Despite substantial reductions in recent years, opioids continue to be widely dispensed to workers with work-related injuries in several states. Longer-term opioid dispensing for workers with work-related injuries can lead to increased disability duration and even death.
This study identifies which patients are more likely to develop longer-term opioid use, given what is known about the worker, nature of the injury, and nature of the medical care early in the claim. These findings can help policymakers and stakeholders in targeting policies and programs aimed at reducing longer-term use of opioids to the appropriate worker.
The data for this study include workers with more than seven days of lost time who had injuries between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, from 33 states. The study was authored by Dr. Bogdan Savych and Dr. Vennela Thumula.