Breaking the Link Between Workers' Compensation and Opioid Addiction
BY JULIE ANDERSON
Millions of Injured workers in America suffer from long-term effects due to chronic pain, which directly correlates to dependency on opioid prescriptions for a somewhat sustainable life. What happens once that dependency turns into addiction? This question that nurse case managers have been dealing with for decades, but only now have the technological means to manage it effectively.
A survey from the National Safety Council found that 75% of employers reported that opioid use had impacted their workplace. However, only 15% reported feeling well-prepared to address the issue.
Protecting Your Injured Employees
Having an early intervention model in place helps your employee retention and detects characteristics that may prolong pain caused by a work-related injury. Although alternative methods are being implemented, opioids and other painkillers dominate the healthcare industry. It is said that for every 20 adults who receive surgery, 1 will be negatively impacted by long-term opioid use.
Through early intervention, nurses are providing more one-on-one time with injured workers to rule out any potential factors that may lead to the misuse of prescription drugs. Our team of nurses alone has seen an average savings of $120,000 per claim in avoided prescription costs and a 15% faster claim closure.
Lowering Prescription Costs and Employer Liability
Our RX Advise team is dedicated to minimizing the time and mone spent on patients using controlled medications during workers’ compensation injury claims. We strive to educate our patients on controlled medications’ risks and side effects during their recovery. Our team will review recommended treatment alternatives with physicians and patients while providing evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines.
Benefits of RX Advise Program:
Implementing RX Advise Into Your Workplace Safety Program
Employers can help workers manage chronic pain through a post-injury management program, like RX Advise. This allows your injured employees a designated nurse to discuss any concerns arising within a safe environment. The nurse will help the employee manage pain through medical and prescription oversight, empowering them with the knowledge and best practices needed for a quicker yet appropriate return to work date.