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Fewer workers compensation claims are seeing opioid prescriptions, according to the first installment of Coventry Health Care Workers Compensation Inc.’s 2016 Drug Trends Series released Monday.
Downers Grove, Illinois-based Coventry found an 8.5% drop in opioid use and a 9.9% decline in cost-per-claim compared with 2015 data, according to the report, which is based on Coventry’s 2016 transactions billed through the managed care organization’s pharmacy and medical review programs.
The strength of opioids is also on a downward trend, with the report citing a 5.6% decrease in average morphine dose per prescription.
The report lists early interventions, better collaboration, education initiatives and states’ adoptions of closed drug formularies among the reasons for the downturn in opioid prescribing.
“In addition to proactive prescription management, we believe there is benefit being derived from the focused attention by the government, the media, and the general public that supports this positive trend,” the report states.
Workers compensation experts say the industry is bracing for side effects and growing pains as more states aim to put opioid prescribing in check.