Accident Fund experts to Speak on Negative Effects of Physician Dispensing during International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) Webinar

September 9, 2014

Lansing, Mich. – Dr. Dan Hunt, corporate medical director, Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. and Paul Kauffman, director of Medical Operations, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, will provide details of recent research linking physician dispensing of medications to poor outcomes in workers’ compensation claims during an IAIABC webinar on Sept. 10.

The research was authored by Jeffrey Austin White, director of Medical Management and Practices & Strategy and members of the Medical Center of Excellence team of Accident Fund Holdings, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It revealed a negative impact on medical costs, indemnity costs and lost time from work on workers’ compensation claims when physicians, rather than pharmacies, dispense narcotic and non-narcotic drugs to injured workers within the first 90 days of injury. The study was published in the May edition of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

“Over a quarter of our pharmacy scripts are dispensed directly from the physicians’ office, bypassing our safety mechanisms and putting the injured worker at risk for drug-on-drug interactions and overdose,” says Dr. Hunt. “Unfortunately, some physicians will continue to dispense drugs out of the office as long as there is a financial incentive to do so and regardless of the risk this poses to the patients. We need state legislatures to place limits on this behavior to keep our injured workers safe. Otherwise physician dispensing will continue to be a major economic and health burden in the workers’ compensation industry.”

“Research studies such as this are very useful for state legislatures to review when assessing their workers’ compensation rules,” says Kauffman. “Several states including Illinois and Michigan have recently changed their rules limiting the profits from physician-dispensed medications by impacting reimbursement rates as a result of these studies. We hope other states will follow their lead.”

During the one-hour webinar, Dr. Hunt and Kauffman will also discuss how repackaged drugs are priced and what regulatory strategies effectively address the problem.

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