Filed Under:Markets, Workers Compensation

The Case of Rising WC Costs Due to Physician-Dispensed Drugs

While states and insurers wait for legal recourse, technology may ease medical expense burdens

Despite attempts by lawmakers to put into place rules to reduce drug cost and medical expenses, the cost of drugs within the workers’ compensation industry continues to rise nationwide. It appears that ultimately there are few laws that can reverse the trend of more expensive drugs used by more workers’ compensation patients.

For example: Several states have attempted to address the problem of physician-dispensed drugs, which cost far more in overhead expense than pharmacy-dispensed drugs. Most drugs dispensed to workers’ compensation patients are of the highly addictive pain-related medication type (oxycodone, OxyContin), which are extremely expensive. The result: Increased costs that insurers pay out, which increases the costs of claims and eventually increases premiums paid by employers to insurers. 

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