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Friday, May 4, 2012

Sidetracked By Drugs

New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.
New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The core health care delivery problems that exist in workers' compensation are not being driven by the alleged excess prescriptions of pain relief medication. That is a symptom of a system that has been derailed.

The focus of major employer and insurance initiatives of so-called reform legislation in multiple jurisdictions has been to reduce the delivery of prescriptive pain relief. Actually, that is an enforcement issue only that globally exists in the health care industry. New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is working diligently to identify and database the few prescribers and physicians involved.  A national effort modeled after the New York process would go a long way to curtain excessive and unorthodox prescriptions.

To use the prescription drug abuse issue to attack workers' compensation generally is merely sidetracking the real problem with the medical delivery system which is the global denial of compensability of workers' compensation claims by employers and insurance carriers merely to delay and avoid payment of medical benefits.

The recent decision in Federal Court recognizing RICO violations by an insurance carrier, the employer medical expert, and the employer itself, puts the real focus on the problem.  That decision demonstrates the need to get the workers' compensation train back on the tracks and redirect the system so that it pays benefits to injured workers in an efficient and timely basis.