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State of the States July 21, 2023

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The US Department of Labor (DOL) adopted a rule requiring added electronic reporting protocols for certain high-risk injury industries

NationalUS Department of Labor (DOL) officials recently adopted a rule requiring certain high-risk industries to electronically submit injury/illness information to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) commencing on January 1st. The rule mandates employers in these industries electronically submit work logs and injury/illness reports annually. This requirement is in addition to the existing annual requirement to submit a summary of work-related injuries/illnesses. OSHA plans to make some of the information electronically submitted by employers available to the public to “ultimately reduce occupational injuries and illnesses” and improve transparency.  


Recently released findings from Enlyte indicate that medication assistance treatment (MAT) utilization rose by 11.6 percent in 2022

NationalNewly released findings from Enlyte show that less than a quarter (23.8%) of injured workers are currently receiving opioid medication for their injuries. In 2022 opioid scripts per claim fell 7.8 percent, cost per claim dropped nearly 15 percent, and cost per script for opioids declined 7.6. The average daily morphine equivalent dosage (MED) among the states decreased by 2.8 percent. States such as Georgia and Massachusetts experienced the most significant average daily MED declines at 5.2 and 3.7 percent. While opioid costs and usage continue to decrease, claims with medication assistance treatment (MAT) such as Naloxone increased by 11.6 percent.  

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) will hold a Legislative Update Webinar on August 1

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-coloradoStaff from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) will hold a Legislative Update Webinar on Tuesday, August 1st, at 1 PM EST. The event will provide an overview of key statutory and rule changes following the 2023 Colorado legislative session. Colorado’s legislative session concluded on May 8th.  

  State regulators issue guidance on telehealth payment disputes in workers’ compensation

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-new-yorkThe state Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) released guidance concerning telehealth payment disputes late last week. Staff from the WCB emphasized that medical treatment provided through telehealth should not be the sole basis for a legal objection to a bill. New guidelines stipulate that services should be reimbursed “unless explicitly precluded by regulation.”    

Hot weather increases workers’ compensation costs for specific high risk injury industries according to a new study

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-north-carolinaHot weather increases workers’ compensation costs, according to a study based in the tar heel state. Findings from a Natural Resources Defense Council report show that when temperatures exceed 90 degrees, workers’ compensation claim costs rose for agriculture, construction cartage/trucking, and commercial enterprise industries. Researchers believe regulatory authorities should implement heat standards to reduce heat illness risk, particularly in high-risk occupation groups. OSHA’s proposed heat rules are currently in the formal review process.    

Personnel from the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) seek industry stakeholder input concerning the 2024 medical fee schedule

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-oklahomaState regulators from the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) seek comments on potential revisions for the 2024 fee schedule. Previous changes to the fee schedule were agreed to and finalized in May 2022. The Commission says there will be a comment period after an initial draft is created but before it is adopted to promote stakeholder participation in the fee schedule review process. WCC personnel must submit a workers’ compensation fee schedule to the legislature on a biennial basis. The first round of comments from industry stakeholders can be emailed to    

Officials from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) approved an audit plan for                                                              spinal cord stimulator treatment

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-texasThe state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation approved a spinal cord simulator plan-based audit. Auditing this treatment will assist with evaluating the appropriateness of a physician's decision and ensure recordkeeping that supports the use/effectiveness of spinal cord stimulators, according to DWC personnel. Spinal cord stimulators are utilized as a therapy for some patients with neuropathic pain where no other alternative treatment exists. Spinal cord stimulators are estimated to be successful around 50 percent of the time. Although new developments could improve success rates for spinal cord stimulators, regulators remain cautious with the treatment.  

Note: To access audio for the LWU please access audio via Adobe by a.) choosing “view” at the top menu b.) click “activate read out loud” c.) click “read to end of the document”.

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