By Mitch Freeman, Chief Clinical Officer, Pharmacy Solutions
Study and Impact of Guidelines on the Workers’ Compensation Industry
The United States is facing a very real and serious opioid epidemic. Prolific prescribing, widespread abuse, and the highly addictive nature of these drugs have contributed to rapid increases in opioid overdose deaths from both prescription opioids and its illegal counterpart, heroin. In response to this crisis, the first federal guidelines for the prescribing of opioids, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (CDC Opioid Guidelines), were published in March of 2016.
Pain is the most prominent symptom treated with medications following a work-related injury. As a result, the workers’ compensation industry has felt the impact of opioid use more directly than other insurance markets involved in healthcare delivery. In this white paper, we will explore:
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- How the prescribing of opioids for the treatment of pain led to the epidemic in America
- What conditions were present to support the rapid increase in opioid prescribing
- Review the impact on the health and well- being of the general public
- Provide an overview of the CDC Opioid Guidelines
- Through an in-depth data analysis, provide insight into the state of opioid prescribing in workers’ compensation prior to and after release of the CDC Opioid Guidelines
- Discuss how industry stakeholders will be impacted should the CDC Opioid Guidelines, at some point, be enforceable through regulation
About the Author
Dr. Mitch Freeman, Pharm.D.
- Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer
- Mitchell Pharmacy Solutions
Mitch Freeman is the Chief Clinical Officer for Mitchell International, Pharmacy Solutions. Prior to joining Mitchell, Freeman was the CEO of First Coast Health. He has a wealth of industry expertise and leadership in the workers’ compensation industry including the chief sales and marketing o cer of PMSI, vice president of sales at Ameritox, vice president and general manager for ExpressScripts, and president of pharmacy services for MSC.
Freeman is a frequent guest speaker and author and is a graduate of Florida A&M University where he received his doctorate of pharmacy.