Ohio formulary cuts $2.1 million in narcotics costs
Ohio's workers' comp system has its first-ever formulary to limit prescriptions to injured workers. In its first few months, the plan has reduced prescribed doses of narcotics by 1.1 million, or 12 percent, according to preliminary information.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation implemented the formulary in September 2011 and began restrictions on opiates on Feb. 1. It provides a list of medications that can be used to treat approved conditions related to an injured worker's claim and may include guidelines related to each medication's use.
It is helping improve the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment, limit the inappropriate use of medications, and lower prescription costs, according to a BWC statement. In reviewing prescriptions written between February and April 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, the BWC found there was a 15 percent reduction, or $2.1 million, in costs for narcotics.
In addition, BWC officials say they're seeing success with other pharmacy controls. Some of them are:
- Point of service edits allowing BWC's pharmacy benefits manager to screen out prescriptions not related to an injured worker's condition.
- Standardization of drug utilization reviews, which allows "for a timely objective evaluation of prescriptions an injured worker receives to ensure they are appropriate." Among other benefits, DURs can identify overuse and dangerous mixing of prescriptions.
- A pharmacy lock-in program, which may allow the BWC to require an injured worker to use a single pharmacy for non-emergent prescriptions. The idea is to limit doctor and pharmacy shopping.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 1, 2012
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