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Workers compensation insurers can now request a hearing specifically to consider whether an injured worker should be weaned from opioids.
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board on Monday announced a new hearing process that aims to gauge whether an injured worker can wean off opioids, and altered its forms to provide insurers this option for reviewing a claim. Under the new forms an independent medical examination is required.
In 2014 the board adopted its Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines, which provided a comprehensive approach to managing chronic pain and included best-practice recommendations for the appropriate use of narcotics.
According to bulletin posted Monday, these guidelines make “clear (that) long-term opioid use is only recommended in limited circumstances, and must involve constant clinical monitoring and re-evaluation.”
Workers compensation experts say they’re seeing escalating costs for treating opioid addiction in the United States and predict the current addiction climate will get a lot worse before it gets better.