With Narcotics, Time is NOT on Your Side
Yes it’s true, the Rolling Stones really did sing “Time is On My Side” but, oddly enough, they weren’t talking about narcotics use and workers compensation. Fortunately, NCCI is talking about it and they conclude time is NOT on your side if you wish to contain the costs of opioids.
In a NCCI Research Brief released May, 2012, author Chris Laws extensively examines the relationship between workers’ comp costs and narcotics. The Brief is very comprehensive and includes much information to discuss during the next few weeks. We choose to start, however, with the fact that high narcotics use in the first quarter following an injury indicates a higher than average probability of long-term narcotics use.
Measuring morphine equivalents (MEA), NCCI collected data from 45 states showing those claimants starting off in the top 10% of users immediately following their injury will soar above the lower categories by as much as 300%. Use becomes long-term (even 5 years out) and substantial. What was meant to be a short-term therapy becomes a long-term lifestyle – at your expense.
Addressing narcotics use can’t wait. The earlier we intervene the better the results, both in improved health for the claimant and lower costs for the insurer. We know how to do this.
Call us. We can do better.
William V. Faris, JD