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News - 2018

No Pain, More Gain

Feb
06

Ben Franklin is believed to have coined the phrase, “There are no gains without pains.”

In workers’ comp, we see it a little differently. If you want gains, minimize the pain.

I’m linking to a couple of provocative articles that recently ran in The Courier Journal. The first by Sarah Crawford is headlined What’s the Answer for Treating Chronic Pain? The second one by Kristi L. Nelson is titled How Do Opioids Trick the Brain? These are fairly easy reads and reinforce the messages we have been delivering for years:

 

  • Opioids are NOT the answer for treating chronic pain;
  • Alternative non-pharmacological treatments, cognitive behavioral therapy, and unique medication- assisted protocols are effective options.

 

At OMCA, we have opioid-dependent claimants who have successfully treated through our functional restoration program administered by Restart-FX. There ARE protocols 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

Reckless, Feckless and Heartless

Jan
31

Bill Estep, writing in the Lexington Herald-Leader, reported on Attorney General Andy Beshear’s filing of a lawsuit against McKesson Corp. This drug wholesaler has distributed millions of prescription painkillers in Kentucky.

 

In the lawsuit, Beshear argues that McKesson distributed excessive amounts of pills, disregarded health and safety norms, and failed to comply with reporting requirements.

 

Some of the drug overdose statistics in Kentucky are frightening, especially in rural and Eastern Kentucky counties. Overdose fatalities are far exceeding highway traffic deaths, and as you might expect, oxycodone/hydrocodone are detected in over one-third of the incidents.

 

This is not the first time Big Pharma has been sued, and they have previously paid hundreds of millions to settle past accusations. In response to other suits, they have pledged to solve the crisis, claiming that litigation is not the answer.

 

Sometimes you have to keep hitting them in the pocketbook until they finally do better.

 

Call us. We can help you do better, one claimant at a time.

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

Don’t Mess With Texas

Jan
09

Some of our most effective and highly-credentialed national physician reviewers are located in the Lone Star State. The “Don’t Mess With Texas” motto exemplifies the confident and determined manner in which Texans take care of business.

 

The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation recently announced an informal draft rule to require that compound drugs be preauthorized. Their goal is to maintain access to these drugs but minimize fraud, cost and unnecessary use.

 

I’m linking to a report from the Texas DWC titled “Baseline Evaluation of the Utilization and Cost Patterns of Compounded Drugs.” This study found:

  • The number of compound drug prescriptions increased almost 50% between 2010 and 2014;
  • The total cost of compound drugs doubled between 2010 and 2014;
  • The average cost of a compound drug prescription jumped from $356 in 2010 to $829 in 2016.

 

We will keep a close eye on Texas to see if this new rule does better.

 

Call us. We can do better.

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

Where’s Waldo?

Jan
03

Most of us are familiar with the Where’s Waldo puzzles. Waldo, the striped object of the game, is strategically hidden somewhere in the picture. Once you find him, you think, “How could I have missed that?”

 

Recently in The New York Times, we had a Where’s Waldo moment. The headline of the article written by Reed Abelson says, “As Health Care Changes, Insurers, Hospitals and Drugstores Team Up.” What’s missing here, what we should look for, what makes the puzzle of healthcare even remotely workable is, of course, the patient and the payor. How interesting that the folks being treated and the folks picking up the tab are not considered team members.

 

You know that all of these things (hospitals, doctors and pharmacies) are big ticket items. We’re not in the bargain aisle. This is where things can go wrong in a hurry.

 

Invariably you need someone who can represent your views — the employers, the carriers and the patients. You’re the people who make the system work, but you’re left out when it comes to forming important partnerships.

 

We can help with that. We design networks, we manage pharmacy plans, we manage providers, and we manage care (over 300,000 cases in 27 years). Our nurses and consulting physicians are experts at getting folks the care they need while eliminating waste and duplication.

 

Call us. We can do better.

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

Tough Canadians, Eh?

Dec
12

We have all watched hockey games and seen the missing teeth and maybe even a quick cut stitching with no numbing agent. If you participate in Canadian Junior Hockey League, no one will question your toughness.

 

A recent study, published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that ibuprofen is a better option than oral morphine for pediatric pain relief after minor orthopedic outpatient surgery. Essentially the pain scores for the two test groups were similar, but as you might expect, there were more adverse side effects with the morphine. These included drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and constipation.

 

The take-away from studies like these is the need, if you want to do better, to continue examining the options for effective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic strategies to most effectively manage pain. With minor procedures and routine recovery protocols, the first-line default option to use morphine for pain relief is not always indicated.

 

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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