Work Enabling Opioid Management
This study describes the relationship between opioid prescribing and ability to work.
The opioid prescription patterns of 4994 claimants were studied. Three groups were constructed: 1) at least 3 consecutive months prescribed (chronic opioid therapy; COT); 2) less than 3 consecutive months prescribed (acute opioid therapy; AOT); and 3) no opioids prescribed. Variables included sex, age, daily morphine equivalent dose (MED), days opioids were prescribed, temporary total days (TTDs), and medical/indemnity/total costs.
The COT versus AOT claimants had higher opioid costs ($8618 vs $94), longer TTD (636.2 vs 182.3), and average MED (66.8 vs 34.9). Only 2% of the COT cohort were not released to work. Fifty-seven percent of patients in the COT category (64 of 112) were released to work while still receiving opioids.
COT does not preclude ability to work when prescribing within established guidelines.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Lavin); Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Drs Kalia, Tao); Strategic Risk and Strategy Management, Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Mr Yuspeh); Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Mr Yuspeh, Dr Bernacki); Workers’ Compensation Department, Johns Hopkins Health System & Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (Ms Barry); Dell Medical School—The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (Dr Bernacki).
Publication date: August 1, 2017