502.495.5040

News - 2017

#ByeFelicia!

Aug
15

Opana’s a goner.

When the FDA claims your product is associated with outbreaks of:

  • HIV
  • Hep C
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathy…

 

…what do you get? You get your walking papers.

 

In June, the FDA asked Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove reformulated Opana ER from the marketplace. According to their press release, the FDA claims Opana ER is subject to dangerous abuse and manipulation through injections. This is the first time they have successfully removed a currently-marketed opioid pain medication due to public health issues.

 

Although, as you might expect, Big Pharma continues to tout the safety and efficacy of this product. In contrast, the FDA is claiming the product’s risks outweigh its benefits.

 

In related news, President Trump just declared a national public health emergency to combat the opioid epidemic. This means Federal dollars will be available to help states deal with addiction.

 

#ByeFelicia. It’s past time 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

“Move Your Body,” Says Beyoncé

Jul
31

What do Jack LaLanne (I’m showing my age), Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda all have in common? Easy peasy! General health and wellness is improved by a common sense exercise program.

 

Count The New York Times and a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as exercise believers when it comes to patients with chronic low back pain.

 

Most of us in the workers’ comp business are well-aware of radiofrequency denervation (RFD). This procedure calls for a doctor to guide a needle to a nerve, use an electric current to damage the nerve, and hopefully eliminate the conduction of pain impulses. In this JAMA report, a Netherland research trial at pain clinics examined the effectiveness of RFDs when combined with a standardized exercise program.

 

After 90 days, there was no clinical difference in function or painbetween the group that had RFD with exercise versus the group that just did exercise. Although this was a limited study over a short timeframe, I feel sure there is more to come.

 

Jack LaLanne lived until 96 doing his exercise regimen on the day he died from pneumonia. Wikipedia makes no mention if he ever took an RFD to do better, but I doubt it.

 

Call us. We can do better.

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

 

High Error Rate Found in WC Diagnoses

Jul
27

Twenty percent of your workers’ compensation claims are misdiagnosed. So says a study just released by Best Doctors, a medical consulting firm in Boston. And how do they know this?

They analyzed 250,000 claims over a 10-year period. Their results also showed that in the top 5% most expensive claims, the diagnostic error rate was as high as 50%.

Dr. Lewis Levy, one of the study’s authors, talked with WorkersCompensation.com recently and elaborated on his findings. “There is a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll caused by a misdiagnosis. The impact can be even more overwhelming for an injured worker who may experience prolonged disability, household financial distress, and a career in jeopardy.”

Often, I think, we go for the quick fix, the easiest solution and forget the lifelong impact that incorrect medical treatment can have. The case that we can wrap up quickly can result in a tragic outcome for the claimant who is incorrectly diagnosed.

What can we do? Better physician participants in our networks, close scrutiny of the medical care rendered, adherence to evidence-based medicine and thorough utilization review by nurses and doctors who are experts in the field they are reviewing can make a major difference in outcomes, and outcomes make a major difference in both cost and quality of life. This is hard work, but the payoff is huge.

We do all these things very well.

Call us. We can do better.

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

Physicians as Perpetual Students

Jul
18

 

I love our Physician Advisors/Reviewers. From Austin to Santa Fe, Knoxville to Chicago, Louisville to Birmingham, we provide effective Utilization, Peer, Pharmaceutical and Specialty Reviewers from coast to coast. Physician panels that make a difference are dedicated to constantly keeping up on the latest scientific research/evidence. We recruit only those Board Certified physicians who demonstrate a commitment to continual study.

 

I’m linking to the abstracts of two recent studies in Spine that were forwarded to me by one of our Orthopedic Surgeons, regarding typical workers’ comp medical procedures.

 

The first clinical study concerns degenerative lumbar stenosis and concludes that fusion with decompression has a significant negative impact on clinical outcomes in workers’ comp claimants.

 

The second clinical study concerns the ineffectiveness of vertebroplasty (cement injection into a fractured vertebra) and ultimate return to work.

 

These papers are just an example of the types of research our physician panels analyze.

 

A wise regulator once told me that if you want to overturn a treating physician’s/surgeon’s plan, you can’t do it on the cheap, and you must show the science and evidence.

 

Call us. Science and evidence let us do better.

 

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

“I’ll Take ‘Unscrupulous’ for $30,000, Alex.”

Jul
11

With Subsys, an expensive and powerful morphine, Big Pharma hit the Jeopardy Daily Double!

 

This highly addictive painkiller is 100 times stronger than morphine and is approved by the FDA for cancer patients with breakthrough pain. Nevertheless, the manufacturer has been successful in a broader marketing push that has generated a billion dollars over the last five years.

 

Writing in NBCNews.com, Corky Siemaszko highlights the allegations from a former drug rep who claimed “she was part of a scheme to get the drug Subsys to patients who never should have had it.” Some of the quotes from the article are chilling:

  • “It was wrong, but it was genius.”
  • “Trick the insurers into believing it was medically necessary.”
  • “Mention oncology records that didn’t exist.”
  • “Provide specific diagnosis codes, whether or not the patients had those conditions.”
  • “A 30-day supply costs anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000.”

 

Subsys is a potentially dangerous substance. Laced with fentanyl and delivered in a spray, it is different than many other painkillers.

 

Don’t let Big Pharma determine what’s medically necessary.

 

Doing better requires aggressive pharmaceutical UR and peer-to-peer intervention. Don’t get stumped on the final Jeopardy question.

 

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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