May 04, 2016

Ohio Proposes Plan to Reduce Opioid Use in
Workers’ Comp

, Pharmacy

While everyone is talking about the kickoff of Ohio Open Enrollment, there are even deeper topics of conversation taking place in the Buckeye State.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently announced new proposed guidelines that address how doctors treat patients in pain, as well as those who become reliant on such drugs particularly for pain management.

Lori Kurtzman of The Columbus Dispatch, reported on Ohio’s new prescribing rule, which establishes standards for using opioids to treat workplace injuries and illnesses. The rule will create best practices for the use of opioids including individualized treatment plans, risk assessment and monitoring during recovery.

Under the rule, treatment for opioid dependence will also be provided for cases where the dependence arises from the use of opioid medications covered by BWC, including psychological counseling. And lastly, a peer-review process will be implemented to help encourage compliance.

Kurtzman quotes John Hanna, the bureau’s pharmacy program director, in the article.

“We’re looking at pain in the same manner that we would look at a doctor treating diabetes, arthritis or hypertension,” he said.

The state previously took on the issue of opioids in 2010, when the bureau created a pharmacy-management program, which successfully reduced opioid doses for injured employees by 41 percent.

The bureau’s board of directors likely will vote on the proposed rule in late May. If passed, it would go into effect in October.

To learn more, read the article in its entirety on The Columbus Dispatch website.