Opioids and chronic pain

CDC releases new guidelines for treating chronic pain with opioids and what this could mean for individuals on workers’ compensation in Michigan.

We have handled many cases involving people with chronic pain. It is very challenging to balance management of symptoms with a successful return to work.

The CDC has now released new guidelines for doctors who prescribe opioids. These are powerful drugs that are used to help people with severe pain. Common names include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), and morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza).

While opioids can provide needed relief, there are serious risks and dangers. This has been a hot topic in Michigan workers’ compensation for years. New administrative rules were even adopted by the WCA in 2014 that prohibit opioid treatment beyond 90 days unless specific requirements are met. We have been critical about these changes and the new bureaucratic hurdles created.

We are concerned that a one-size-fits-all approach would negatively affect our clients. Our experience shows that medicine is not a perfect science and every claimant must be treated as an individual. We encourage all of our clients to have an open and honest conversation with their doctors.

Opioids can also be very expensive. Insurance companies look for ways to cut back on these costs. Michigan workers’ compensation is supposed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. We suggest having both a strong medical and legal advocate if prescriptions are not being approved.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Opioids and Workers Compensation: The Cost of Pain Control

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by .v1ctor Casale..

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