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States are Taking Steps to Address Opioid Use in Workers’ Comp

Opioid misuse and abuse is a long-standing and growing concern for workers’ compensation payers. Appropriate monitoring of injured worker compliance with a given treatment plan is an essential missing piece of the treatment puzzle. The Official Disability Guidelines and the American College of Occupational and

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BlueCross to Stop Covering Oxycontin in Tennessee in 2019

The largest health insurance company in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield, will stop covering OxyContin prescriptions as of January 1, 2019. OxyContin is the brand name of the opioid oxycodone, a highly addictive pain reliever manufactured by Purdue Pharma and one of the primary drugs contributing to

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Overdose Deaths Increase to Record High in 2017, CDC Estimates

Even as federal and state governments make efforts to stem the growing opioid epidemic through legislation to monitor and limit the availability of prescription painkillers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released provisional estimates that indicate a continuing rise in overdose deaths, most notably

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The Link Between Opioids and Joblessness

Almost 50 percent of prime age men (ages 25 to 54) who are not in the labor force take some kind of pain medication every day, states a report by a Princeton economist on labor force participation (LFP) in the U.S. The LFP rate measures how

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White House 2019 Budget Proposal Targets Opioid Epidemic

In its budget proposal for 2019, the Trump administration has requested approximately $17 billion dollars to address the opioid epidemic. In general, the proposal allocates funding for new opioid-related resources for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), expands Medicaid reimbursement to include medication-assisted

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FDA Toughens Warning on Opioid Cough and Cold Medicines

Citing safety concerns about opioid exposure in children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated new labeling requirements for prescription cough and cold medicines that contain codeine or hydrocodone, limiting their indicated use to adults 18 years and older. The FDA is requiring

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A New Kind of Office Visit to Reduce Opioid Overdoses

Borrowing a classic pharmaceutical sales technique, a group of doctors and pharmacists in California are catching medical providers between patients to talk about opioid prescribing habits, reports the Washington Post. This practice, known as “academic detailing,” a play on the pharma industry’s “pharmaceutical detailing,” is

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