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4 ways to curb narcotics abuse in Workers’ Compensation claims

September 29, 2015
Adam Winters

Adam Winters

Percocet. OxyContin. Vicodin. We are a country addicted to prescription painkillers. But the drug abuse problem extends beyond average Americans. It’s having severe consequences on Workers’ Compensation costs.

In a 2013 report, The National Council on Compensation Issues found that prescription painkillers are the driving force beyond growing Workers’ Compensation claims, and narcotics account for 25 percent of drug cost.

Here are 4 strategies to keep narcotics abuse from wreaking havoc on your Worker’s Compensation costs.

  1. Get your injured employee treated right away. Injured workers who are treated early on are more apt to recover sooner and are less likely to need painkillers.
  2. Talk to the physician. Consult with the physician about lowering an injured worker’s drug dosage or prescribing alternatives to highly addictive painkillers. Also select a physician who doesn’t easily prescribe narcotics. The NCCI found that physician dispensing, those who supply their patients with drugs from their office, was one of the main reasons for increases in claims.
  3. Monitor Claims. Have your claims manager keep a close watch on what drugs are being prescribed and how many refills are recommended for an injured workers. Look for signs of addiction such as pharmacy or doctor shopping.
  4. Initiate an intervention. Medical experts say if an injured worker is on painkillers for more than 90 days employers should take notice. You want to talk to the employee about alternatives such as physical or behavioral therapy to manage chronic pain.

Organizations that have policies to combat narcotics abuse are more likely to keep their Workers’ Compensation claims under control.

Still have questions about ways to manage your claims? Give Founders Insurance Group a call at 860-482-3506 or email me at

Adam Winters

Commercial Lines Account Manager

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