Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic that has an intimate relationship with the Workers Compensation industry. A large percentage of prescription medication addicts started taking the drugs when they were injured on the job and their treating physician prescribed them. The majority of these drugs are opioids, which are used to treat pain. Common opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl. These drugs are highly addictive and are responsible for more deaths in America than cocaine and heroin combined. Here are a couple interesting stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- In 2010, 12 million people in the US reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers
- Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs healthcare insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs. NOTE: This does not take into account the missed work time and lost wages associated with Workers Compensation. http://www.cdc.gov/features/vitalsigns/painkilleroverdoses/index.html
Now for the good news: Orchid Medical formed a strategic partnership with a toxicology laboratory to develop a program to identify injured workers that may be at risk. Employers provide us data on injured workers that are on prescription medications, which we then analyze. We look for red flags such as early refills, extended length of use and doctor shopping. We then notify the client of the alert and arrange for a urinary drug test. A specimen is collected by the treating physician or at a collection point and then shipped to the lab, where it is tested. When the results are completed, we provide the findings to the client, who can then take the appropriate action.
See our website for more information on the Orchid Medical Urinary Drug Testing program (UDT). http://localhost/services/specialty/urinary-drug-testing-udt/
Founded in 2002, Orlando-based Orchid Medical is a one-stop comprehensive medical service company serving the workers’ compensation industry. Dedicated to efficiency and quality care solutions that expedite successful outcomes for injured workers, it offers a nationwide network of service providers for insurance carriers, self-insured employers and TPAs ancillary medical services including DME, Orthotics & Prosthetics, Home Health Care, Diagnostic Imaging and Physical Therapy.
David Anderson, 407-893-7188
Vice President of Operations