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AIA tries to slash workers' compensation costs

The American Insurance Association submitted a statement calling for physicians to only be allowed to dispense a five-day supply of re-packaged prescription medication. This statement was submitted to the Pennsylvania House Labor Committee. The reimbursement amount for these medications was also limited to 110 percent of the average wholesale price. In 2012, members of AIA wrote almost $6 million, or 23 percent, of workers' compensation premiums in the state.

The costs for workers' compensation has risen throughout the state despite declining injury rates. Physician dispensed re-packaged drugs are responsible for more than one-fourth of drug-related expenses for workers' compensation. The higher medical costs are not the only pitfall to these physician-dispensed drugs; research says that medications tend to extend the disability time and increases costs even further.

This practice of physicians dispensing re-packaged medication accounts for 38 percent of prescription payments. It is estimated this re-packaging of medications has added millions to workers' compensation costs. The result of the statement submitted by the AIA is hoped to be the cutting of cost abuse, thus providing more affordable workers' compensation payments for employers while still giving workers high-quality care and recompense for lost wages.

Workers who have been injured on the job are eligible for workers' compensation payments for their medical treatment. However, the law regarding the recovery of lost wages varies on a state-by-state basis. A workers' compensation attorney could provide more information on the laws specific to Pennsylvania. If the settlement offered by the insurance provider is not sufficient to cover the accident-related expenses, it may be necessary to file a claim in court.

Source: Claims Journal , "AIA Supports Curbing Physician Dispensed Medications in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Comp System", December 05, 2013

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