There are several resources to help determine the relationship of a medication to an injury. They include the Internet sites WebMD, Drug Facts and Micromedex; medical journals such as the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Annals of Internal Medicine and American Family Physician; and medical professionals.
Nurses and pharmacists often have information regarding medications, their appropriate use and newly determined uses. They also have access to clinical studies regarding efficacy for newly determined uses.
Physicians can be very helpful by responding to letters requesting clarification of medication use. They often provide a patient's treatment plan that details treatment goals, including medication regimens.
When questioning a physician's diagnosis, request peer review by other physicians to determine if an independent medical evaluation is necessary. This involves a different physician who examines the patient and reviews medical records to determine if the diagnosis is appropriate and if drug treatment is reasonable and necessary.
Medication costs are rising at a rate well above those of other health-care costs in many workers' compensation cases. The ability to determine whether prescription-drug treatment is directly related to an on-the-job injury helps keep claims costs at a minimum. Know what questions to ask and when to ask them.
February 1, 2006
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