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Study: Opioid prescriptions down in Georgia workers’ comp claims

A new study shows that fewer Georgia injured workers are being prescribed opioids for pain relief than in previous years. The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found that medical providers are instead more often prescribing non-opioid medications and physical rehabilitation for workers injured on the job.

The study of workers’ compensation claims states that while non-opioid pain medications such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are increasingly prescribed, non-pharmacological remedies such as physical therapies are gaining even faster.

The WCRI study also shows that though opioid prescriptions are declining in worker comp claims, the pain-killers are still prevalent in claims that are both nonsurgical and require the worker to miss at least seven days of work.

“This report informs policymakers and other stakeholders about changes in the way that injured workers are being treated for pain in workers’ compensation systems, and provides information to monitor the impacts of ongoing policy changes,” said a WCRI spokesperson.

Not only does the study show a marked decline in opioid prescriptions in workers’ compensation claims, but it shows that fewer injured workers are receiving pain medications of any kind – opioid or non-opioid – than in years past.

The study showed that from 2012-2014, more than 70 percent of Georgia workers were given opioid prescriptions to help them with their pain. In the period from 2016 to 2018, that figure had declined to just over 50 percent.

The researchers looked at more than 575,000 workers’ comp claims in 27 states.

Of course, there are no treatments at all if your Georgia workers’ compensation claim is denied. A Jonesboro workers’ comp attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve and need.