current issue

Summer 2024

This edition of RxInformer explores new and ongoing trends impacting workers’ comp – ranging the gamut from child labor regulations to new obesity drugs, climate change, and more.

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Weighing the Options: Keeping Track of New Obesity Drugs

Comorbid obesity can complicate recovery, and new drugs create new pharmacy considerations.

Child Labor Laws Are Changing: How Could This Impact Workers’ Comp?

An increase in the teen workforce could impact workplace injury and claims management

Growing Pains: Key Pharmacy Considerations for Pain Management in Young Workers

Drugs regularly used to manage pain in adult populations may carry greater risks for teens

Triple Threat: Healthcare Fraud, Waste and Abuse in Workers' Comp

A current look at fraud, waste and abuse in workers’ comp pharmacy and medical services with strategies for management, including next-generation strategies involving AI.

Removing Barriers to Recovery: A Primer on Psychosocial Treatments for Injured Workers

Psychosocial factors impacting injured workers’ mental and behavioral health can be a barrier to recovery. But addressing any concerns early with the appropriate psychosocial treatments can positively affect a claim and health outcomes.

Extreme Weather: How Climate Change Impacts Workers and Workers’ Compensation

While everyone is affected by climate change, it’s often those on the front lines who feel it the most – those who work outdoors, in hot indoor environments, or in emergency response.

State of the Nation

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

The Real Promise of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and Workers’ Comp

Potential applications, benefits, pitfalls, questions, and the matter of regulation

The Mind-Body Connection: Exploring the Relationship Between Injury and Mental Health

Physical injuries are often accompanied by mental health disorders such as depression, increasing workers’ comp claim costs and delaying recovery

Changing Minds? Unlocking the Potential of Psychedelics in Mental Health Therapy

Explore the growing interest in research around psychedelic substances for medical applications related to workers' comp populations, including but not limited to: psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA

Beyond Opioids: Drugs of Concern in Workers’ Compensation

As opioid utilization decreases, other pharmacy trends bear watching

Ask a Clinician: What Do I Need to Know About DME Trends?

Healthesystems clinicians tackle questions about Durable Medical Equipment (DME) trends

State of States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

More than Skin-Deep: Untangling Topical Drug Classes and Costs

A breakdown of the diverse subcategories comprising dermatologicals prescribing and spend

Unpredictable Costs: How Will Healthcare Price Inflation Impact Workers’ Comp?

Prices are rising for some healthcare products and services that will likely impact workers' compensation medical care

A Golden Opportunity: The Physical Therapist’s Role in Behavioral Health

The connection between physical and behavioral health opens an opportunity for physical therapists to address mental health for injured workers.

Build Your Army: Maintaining Cybersecurity Amid the IT Talent Gap

Considerations to counteract the cybersecurity talent shortage in workers' comp organizations

A Moment of Clarity: Alcohol’s Impact Across Workers and Medical Management

How problematic alcohol use can impact the workplace, claims, and medication management

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

New Challenges? New Opportunities

A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Diagnostics As a Defining Touchpoint in the Claims Journey

Timing and accuracy of diagnostic test results can determine the course of an injured worker’s treatment plan and the claim

The Triple Threat of Tobacco Use on Employer, Clinical, and Medication Complexity

Tobacco use as a complicating factor in workplace injury and recovery

Hard Times: How Economic Stability Can Impact Injured Worker Outcomes

How employment status, poverty, housing, and food security can impact patient health

Coming Up Short: IT Talent Woes in Workers’ Comp

A discussion of the global IT talent crisis and its specific impacts in insurance/workers' comp, with strategies to help solution

Things Change: The Growing Diversity of Pharmacy Cost Drivers

Smaller, more niche drug trends across different populations and geographies

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

Moving Past the Pandemic: Setting a Future Focus

A message from the Chief Executive Officer

The Cannabis Question: Marijuana and Workplace Safety?

With greater legalization and public approval, the question of safety grows more important.

Out of Stock: Medical Supply Chain Shortages Impacting Workers’ Comp

Ancillary medical product and service shortages and how to manage them.

Social Influencers: The Role of Social Determinants of Health in Injured Worker Recovery

Gaining visibility into Social Determinants of Health that intersect with workplace injury and recovery

Giving Notice: How Workforce Attrition Impacts Workers’ Comp

Millions of workers are changing occupations, leading to ripple effects for comp.

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

Sickness and Society: The Future of Infectious Disease in the Workplace

Strategies for a safer, healthier workface amid COVID-19 and beyond.

State of the States

Sandy Shtab, Healthesystems AVP of Advocacy and Compliance, comments on regulatory activity across the country.

Stepping Up to Take on Pandemic Ripple Effects

A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Classification Complications: Will Gig Workers Enter the Workers’ Comp Market?

Legislation could reclassify gig workers as employees, which could entitle them to benefits

The Long Haul: Chronic Health Complications of COVID-19

Those previously infected by coronavirus may face long-term health complications, potentially complicating workers' comp claims

Out of Balance: Workforce Gender Disparities and What They Mean for Workers’ Comp

Adverse effects of the pandemic on women, the workforce, and workers' comp

A Brighter Tomorrow? Applying Pandemic Lessons Today

A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Home Alone: The Mental Health Impact of Working from Home

Extensive isolation and unique stressors may leave remote workers stressed

Making Telemedicine Work for Workers’ Comp

The future of telemedicine and practical tips to make it effective in workers' comp

Empowering the Patient as a Mitigator of Claims Complexity

Patients hold significant influence over the outcomes of their care

Ask a Pharmacist: Why Am I Seeing Voltaren Gel More Often in My Claims?

Healthe's clinical pharmacists tackle common workers' comp questions

Infographic: Uncommon Ground

See how perceptions of workers' comp pros and injured workers don't always align

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

The Patient Experience in Perspective: Applying Empathy to the Work Comp Claims Process

Understanding patients’ pain points with comp can lead to insights that improve program outcomes

Side Effects: COVID-19-Related Healthcare and Pharmacy Trends Impacting Workers’ Comp

The pandemic has disrupted access to care, but the industry has implemented reactive measures

Returning to Work in the COVID-19 Era

Considerations for infection prevention, unique population factors, and more

Moving Forward: How Should Opioid Guidance Continue to Evolve?

Opioid use has decreased, prompting calls for reform, but COVID-19 complicates opioid use

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

By the Numbers

A collection of workers’ compensation facts and figures

2020 Workers’ Comp Industry Insights Survey & Infographic

Results, insights, and various stakeholder perspectives on important industry issues

Growing Pains: The Shift from Opioids to Other Pain Therapies

With opioid utilization decreasing, what concerns do other pain therapies pose?

Live Better, Heal Better: Employee Wellness in Workers’ Comp

Strategies for addressing comorbidities, fatigue, and mental health to positively impact claims

A New Routine: The Growth of Complex Claims and How to Manage Them

Potential causes and solutions for increasing claims complexity

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

By the Numbers: Covid-19 Edition

A collection of facts and figures surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic

By the Numbers

A collection of workers’ compensation facts and figures

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

Rehabilitating Your Rehab Program

How more dynamic data can illuminate program performance, empowering decisions for better outcomes

Better Care = Lower Costs

Ten tips that can help claims professionals keep patients safe and prevent costly complications

When Demand Exceeds Supply: Older Patients and Fewer Physicians in Workers' Comp

The looming physician shortage and how to meet the challenge in workers' comp

Questioning Costs: A Field Guide to Fee Schedules

Understanding how prices are set for medical equipment and services, and how to scrutinize those costs

Painting by Numbers: Workers' Comp Drug Costs in Broad Strokes

High-level trends in healthcare drug spending and utilization in workers? comp

Focus on Care and the Savings Will Come

A message from the Chief Executive Officer

Top Challenges

What do you see as the biggest challenge for your workers’ comp program in 2019 and beyond?

Major Trends

What industry trend do you think will have the biggest impact on your workers’ comp program in the next year?

Program Priorities

Rank the below items in order of priority for your organization’s workers’ comp program.

Program Successes

What workers’ comp program has your organization implemented that you’re finding the most success with?

By the Numbers

A collection of workers’ compensation facts and figures

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

Myth Busters: Medical Marijuana Edition

Our clinicians answer common questions from claims professionals

Shifting Gears in Patient Transportation with Rideshare

How rideshare models like Lyft and Uber can reduce costs and improve patient experience

Patient Engagement Is Personal: How to Help Injured Workers Help Themselves

Strategies for increasing patient engagement in recovery and associated outcomes

Opioid Imbalance: Risk Disparities Among Diverse Patient Populations

Population-based opioid risks include gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity

The Opioids Crisis: Our Defining Moment

Special commentary on the opioid crisis from our clinical leaders

Hero's Welcome: Growing PTSD Coverage for First Responders

Formulary and claims management considerations for populations at risk for PTSD

By the Numbers

A collection of workers’ compensation facts and figures

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

Claims Q&A: Hyaluronic Acid Injections: What is Their Place in Work Comp Claims?

Our clinicians answer common questions from claims professionals

Occupational Illness and Drug Therapy

Workplace risk factors can lead to complex diseases that require unique drug therapy

Valuable Assets: Appreciation and Care Considerations for Older Workers

Employees aged 55+ bring positive traits to the workforce and some unique care considerations

Mark of the Millennial: Managed Care for a New Generation

Millennial workers bring differentiated beliefs to healthcare vs previous generations

The Growing Gig Economy: Questions of Compensation

Rapid growth in short-term or temporary “gig” work raises questions about employee benefits

Be Together. Not the Same.

A message from the Chief Medical Officer

New Pathways in Pain Management: Novel Non-Opioid Medications

Current research explores non-opioid neuropathways for pain management

6 Specialty Drug Trends Impacting Workers' Comp Right Now

Health and cost impacts of specialty drugs for chronic conditions seen in workers' comp

Patient Age: More than a Number in Rx Management

Age, as well as overall health, must be considered in medication management

Reality Check: New FDA Initiatives Re-Examine Opioid Policies

The FDA acknowledges the need to shift opioid policies as overdose rates continue to rise

Claims Q&A: RX Drugs of Abuse: Which Non-Opioid Drugs Present Concern?

Our clinicians answer common questions from claims professionals

Infographic: Medication Multiplication

How opioid side effects can cascade across the body

State of States

State of States

By the Numbers

A collection of workers' compensation facts and figures

Not-So Science Fiction: Innovative Technologies in Workers' Comp

As medical technology continues to evolve, fascinating new opportunities emerge which can potentially benefit the injured worker.

Future Opioids and the Injured Worker: Why “SAFER” is a Relative Term

More than ever these statistics crystalize the need to explore and develop alternative chronic pain therapies

Under the Influence: Impacting Opioid Prescribing Behaviors

Analyzing opioid prescribing trends associated with different medical specialties.

How Off-Label Prescribing Drives a Claim Off Course

Off-label prescribing, or the prescribing of drug therapies outside their approved use, occurs commonly with certain medications in workers’ comp

Bridging the Gap Between Opioid Policy and Prescribing

State and federal governments have taken legislative action to reduce the harm caused by the opioid epidemic

A Data-Driven Understanding of Physical Medicine

In the consumer marketplace, customer experience is king.

Polypharmacy: How Many Drugs is Too Many?

A claims professional noted that a patient’s drug regimen included 11 medications, raising serious concerns.

Myth Busters: Private-Label Topicals Edition

Private-label topical (PLT) analgesics are independently manufactured lotions and creams that are increasingly being prescribed to patients for the temporary relief of minor pain associated with injury.

State of the States

A roundup of regulatory activity around the country

By the Numbers

A collection of workers' compensation facts and figures

Private-Label Topicals: Over-the-counter analgesics go undercover as pricey prescriptions

These costly and clinically unproven topical agents are on the rise in workers’ comp

Physician Dispensing: New Challenges in an Ongoing Battle

State reforms are sparking new trends among physician-dispensed drugs
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Since 2010, the semi-annual RxInformer clinical journal has been a trusted source of timely information and guidance for workers’ comp payers on how best to manage the care of injured worker claimants and plan for the challenges that lay ahead. The publication is an important part of Healthesystems’ proactive approach to advocating for quality care of injured workers while managing the costs associated with treatment.