Pennsylvania Bill Aims to Stop Opioid Abuse Among Workers' Comp Recipients

Opioid drugs are prescribed in 69 percent of PA workers' comp cases

Anyone who watches the evening news understands that the state of Pennsylvania—and the nation as a whole—is in the grips of an opioid addiction epidemic.

What you may not know is that there is a movement in the state Legislature to help reduce instances of opioid abuse and addiction in the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Program.

State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie in February introduced HB 18, which would require treatment guidelines—including a drug formulary—for the Pennsylvania's Worker' Compensation program.

The goal of the program? To reduce the over-prescription of opioid painkillers by "setting evidence-based standards for the drugs that can be prescribed to patients injured on the job who are receiving workers' compensation benefits.

By way of background: The majority of workers' compensation claims involve pain medications—in Pennsylvania, 69 percent of all claims do.

Several other states throughout the country have adopted similar programs. According to one study, a drug formulary would be especially useful in Pennsylvania.

That's because, according to a June 2016 Workers' Compensation Research Institute Study, Pennsylvania has:

  • The second-highest number of opioid pills per prescription per claim
  • The third-highest number of opioid prescriptions per injured worker

If HB 18 passes, the drug formularies will:

  • Be continually updated as new research is released
  • Be available online to the general public
  • Be available online to physicians treating injured workers

At Edgar Snyder & Associates, our workers' compensation attorneys will be keeping a close eye on HB 18, and keep all of our friends and clients posted about its possible effects on workers who are injured on the job.

We hope you're never injured in a work accident, but if you are, please know that our experienced legal team is here to answer your legal questions 24/7.

If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a workplace accident, don't delay. Call Edgar Snyder & Associates today for a free case review. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose when you call, because there's never an obligation to use our services, and there's never a fee unless we get money for you!
HB 18
"Opioid Abuse Takes a Toll on Workers and Their Imployers," NPR, Jan. 20, 2016