You're aware of on-the-job injuries, but have you overlooked drug costs as a major problem? For many years, the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has studied workers' compensation cost drivers. According to its latest study, prescription drugs now make up 19% of all workers' compensation medical costs. Here are the key findings:
- The prescription share of total medical costs was 19%, which was slightly higher than the estimate given in NCCI's 2010 update.
- OxyContin® climbed from the number three workers' compensation drug in 2008 to number one in 2009.
- Hydrocodone-acetaminophen dropped from the top workers' compensation drug in 2008 to number three in 2009.
- Overall cost increases were driven more by increases in drug usage than by price increases.
- Physician dispensing continued to increase in 2009 in almost every state.
- Increased physician dispensing was associated with increased drug costs per claim.
- Per-claim prescription costs varied significantly by state.
The complete study can be found at https://www.ncci.com/documents/2011_ncci_research_rxdrug_study.pdf.
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