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Utah claims data shows 50% reduction in opioids in 18 months

Posted On: Nov. 6, 2019 12:09 PM CST


A study of claims data from Utah’s largest workers compensation insurer shows a 50.2% reduction in opioids prescribed to injured workers over 18 months, according to a report published in this month’s Journal of Occupational and Environment Medicine and in line with industry trends across the board.

Sandy, Utah-based WCF Mutual Insurance Co. and San Diego-based insurance technology services firm Mitchell International Inc., in studying claims information from 2013 and 2015, found that the number of injured workers prescribed opioids dropped after the implementation of the 18-month program aimed at reducing pain medicine in claims, according to a statement.

This decrease represented more than 13,000 fewer opioid pills dispensed to injured workers, with opioid prescriptions decreasing from 3,061 to 1,665, or from 11.8% of claims to 5.9%, according to the statement.

Additionally, the number of days’ supply prescribed for first-fill opioids, when including denials and partial fills from post-intervention, dropped from 6.1 to 5.7 days — a 7% drop, according to the statement.

The study also found the number of post-intervention claims requiring a second opioid fill was 528 — a 60.9 % decrease from pre-intervention, according to the statement.