The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has recently changed its rules governing treatment of workplace injuries. The BWC will now be allowed, in certain cases, to only reimburse prescriptions filled at a single pharmacy that the injured worker chooses from a pre-approved list. If an injured worker has a prior drug conviction, workers’ compensation may only cover a single prescribing physician.
The BWC has stated the changes are meant to improve treatment safety and quicken the return-to-work process. The BWC also hopes to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs in order to enhance injured workers’ well-being and facilitate their return to the workforce. The new restrictions accompany a list of approved drugs for outpatients, which the BWC put into practice September.
The BWC is hoping to save money with these changes. The BWC has estimated that issuing a list of pre-approved prescription drugs will save as much as $15 million in 2012. In addition to the list of pre-approved drugs, the BWC is also requiring doctors to prescribe generic medication over name-brand whenever possible.
The BWC recognizes that every worker’s situation is unique, however, and so these rules are not absolute. To help ensure that such rules do not prevent injured workers from getting the treatment they need, claimants are entitled to two hearings.
Still, the rules further complicate an already complex claims process, and stricter regulations mean that it may be more difficult for injured workers to receive compensation and proper care for legitimate medical needs. Professional assistance can be vital to successfully navigating the workers’ compensation process.
Source: Business Journal Daily, “BWC Targets Medication Safety, Abuse,” Feb. 1, 2012