Injured workers, like others dealing with pain, may turn to painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin to alleviate their symptoms. Throughout the nation, and particularly in Massachusetts, workers’ compensation systems are attempting to stop the overprescription of these powerful painkillers to workers. This reflects an effort to help workers avoid addiction and potentially dire consequences, such as fatal overdoses.
Last year, Boston, along with the rest of the state, entered into a voluntary program to help injured workers who have settled their claims for Massachusetts workers’ compensation receive treatment for pain management. The intention of the program is to limit the use of opioids or other narcotics. By coordinating chronic pain management options other than the use of prescription opioids, the chance of an injured worker becoming addicted to medication lessens.
Insurance companies for employers pay for prescription medications when injured workers receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries, and a prescription has been indicated as treatment. As employees pay into the workers’ compensation insurance systems, states are responsible for oversight of the insurer. The insurance company is responsible for providing medical care and reimbursing wage loss to workers who have suffered work-related injuries and successfully filed a claim for benefits.