Opioids and Workers Compensation: The Cost of Pain Control

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Michigan workers compensation attorney discusses how opioids are a common treatment for workplace injuries.

There was a fascinating article in The New York Times last week regarding the increased use of narcotic painkillers. These drugs are now being prescribed for more types of medical conditions, including chronic back pain, as a less expensive form of treatment. However, there is increasing evidence that such drugs are often ineffective in treating long-term pain and can have serious consequences.

Data included with the article shows claims for workers compensation are much higher when a opioid has been prescribed. The average workers compensation claim cost being $13,000 without an opioid, $39,000 with a short-acting opioid, and $117,000 when a long-acting opioid like OxyContin has been prescribed.

The article points out that workers compensation pays for medical and lost wages. “The stronger the opioid, the higher the expense.”

Our 2 cents

Many of our clients suffer from chronic pain after a serious work injury. While opioids can provide some relief, side-effects can interfere with a return to work.

Our experience shows that every claimant needs to be treated as an individual. There is no one size fits all in medicine. This is why it is important to give deference to treating physicians and not insurance company doctors.

Most of our clients simply want to recover and get back to work. While claim costs are an important consideration, they should not be used to justify a reduction in the quality of care. Let’s leave the prescribing of drugs to the doctors and keep the bean counters out of the equation.

Medical care denied

Insurance companies routinely deny medical treatment for people who are hurt-at-work. We have seen individuals get cut-off after having been on opioids for years. Some of our clients must sit at home in pain because they have no way to see a doctor. Others cannot get authorization for a pain clinic or other specialized treatment.

We understand the issues and can help. Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers compensation attorneys. We give free advice and never charge a fee unless you are successful with your case.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

How your medical expenses are covered under Michigan work comp and what to do if your employer gives you the run around

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by e-MagineArt.com.

07/01/2013

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.