502.495.5040

News - 2018

Settled Science and Opioids

Apr
18

Political debates over “settled science” are never-ending. Nevertheless, I’m declaring game over when it comes to science and opioids.

 

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has been around for 35 years, and their publications have been the catalyst for improvement in the workers’ comp industry.

 

A recent WCRI study titled The Impact of Opioid Prescriptions on Duration of Temporary Disability examined nonsurgical low back injuries over a five year time period in 28 states.

 

As you might expect, extended prescribing of opioids caused longer duration of temporary disability. A WorkersCompensation.com quote from John Ruser, WCRI’s president, sums it up nicely. “Based on the results of this study, there is a clear indication that policies addressing inappropriate longer-term opioid prescribing will result in faster return to work.”

 

This has been a core belief of OMCA for decades, and it’s always rewarding when the science backs you up.

 

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
502-495-5040
william.faris@omca.biz
www.omca.biz

Going Rate for Bogus Pain Referrals?

Apr
11

Evidently it’s about $240 per patient.

 

I’m linking to a press release from the New Jersey Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor regarding a physician participating in a fraudulent conspiracy and money laundering scheme.

 

We have seen this story before. Evidently, five chiropractors received almost $200,000 for 790 patient referrals to a pain management clinic. As if the kickbacks weren’t bad enough, the pain doctor is then accused of submitting over $4.4 million in illegal bills for services to insurance companies.

 

The answer is the same if you want to do better:

  • Who is building your provider network?
  • Are you aggressively limiting your networks to the best physicians?
  • Is evidence-based utilization review part of your plan?
  • Is professional credentialing just an afterthought?

 

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
502-495-5040
william.faris@omca.biz
www.omca.biz

Say This Three Times Fast

Mar
27

Say this three times fast:

 

Multiple Modalities in Perioperative Analgesic Protocols

 

A new study published in The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and summarized by Allen Cone of UPI, examined pain relief after total knee or hip replacement.

 

The researchers looked at a nationwide database at over 500 hospitals to determine if opioids alone, or opioids with a combination of safer pain meds, improved outcomes. This was a comprehensive project that analyzed a decade of surgeries in over 1.5 million hip/knee replacements.

 

The conclusion? When NSAIDs (e.g. Advil) and Cox-2 inhibitors (e.g. Celebrex) were prescribed along with opioids, there were:

  • Fewer respiratory and GI complications;
  • Shorter hospital stays;
  • Decreased opioid use.

 

As usual, follow the science in order to do better.

 

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
502-495-5040
william.faris@omca.biz
www.omca.biz

I Always Wanted to Work on a TransmissioÑ

Mar
14

Some may recall a television commercial from several years ago where work in an auto repair shop was being portrayed. The shop specialized in mufflers and had repairmen who were up to this specific task. One customer presented a problem with his car’s transmission and asked the shop to fix it.

 

Not having sufficiently trained staff, but not wanting to pass up good business, the boss assigned the task not to an auto technician, but rather to a maintenance man. Expressing his joy over being picked, the maintenance man said gleefully, “I always wanted to work on a transmission!” (For reasons I’ve never understood, he pronounced transmission with a faux French accent.) Chances are this won’t work out well for the customer.

 

In some workers’ comp claims shops, the work is doled out in a similar fashion. Assign the killer claim to the new kid. Give the new hire the biggest, fattest, most problematic files in the office. Assign authority to direct medical care to the guy who knows nothing.

 

Leaving medical decisions to non-medical people is a recipe for failure. One adjuster we dealt with thought a spinal cord stimulator and a TENS unit were the same thing, so he approved a very expensive procedure.

 

I always close with call us, we can do better.  When it comes to helping you with medical issues, we surely can do better. Our nurses and reviewing physicians are experts in evaluating the necessity and intensity of care.

 

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
502-495-5040
william.faris@omca.biz
www.omca.biz

Come At Me Bro

Feb
27

For over fifteen years, we have been sounding the opioid alarm while successfully treating claimants experiencing the nightmare of opioid abuse.

 

“Come at me bro” is just my latest reaction to the current Big Pharma news in USA Today.

 

According to a Senate report, from 2012-2017, the five biggest opioid manufacturers paid over $10 million to “so called” advocacy groups and medical societies that echoed and amplified messages encouraging the use of these dangerous drugs.

 

Some of the messages promoted opioids as safe and effective with minimal risk of addiction. Unfortunately, many of these groups were totally dependent on Big Pharma’s funding which casts doubt on their independence. Essentially, their propaganda undercut federal and state efforts to curb prescribing.

 

In a related article, Purdue Pharma is slashing their 400-strong opioid sales force in order to focus on new prescription activity (more of this in a future article).

 

If you want to do better, don’t just come at me bro. Come with me bro.

 

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
502-495-5040
william.faris@omca.biz
www.omca.biz

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