Federal Government Funds Program for Medication Safety and Opioid Use

Federal Government Funds Program for Medication Safety and Opioid Use

The U.S. Department of Labor renews its contract with a program through Coventry Health Care Workers’ Compensation Inc. The program will improve and expand medication safety for injured federal workers in an effort to fight opioid misuse.

The U.S. government is seeking ways to educate the injured employees on medication use, especially the implications of taking opioids as treatment. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) is continuing to work with Coventry Health Care Workers’ Compensation Inc. The program between the two parties will focus on medication safety and quality initiatives for injured federal workers.

Over the next year, a number of new, modern, and accessible feature will be made available to workers, prescribers, pharmacies and Department staff. Among available features are the following perks:

  • Injured workers will have increased access to medications through a network of pharmacies.
  • Using a web portal, injured workers will be able to search for their medication authorization status and be able to get their medications approved through prescribers.
  • Department staff will gain access to better knowledge on prescribed medications using a web-based system that goes into extensive detail on injured workers’ medication regimens and provides clinical recommendations.

The program will not only increase safe accessibility and convenience for drug consumers, but it is committed to helping pharmacists stay educated on the risks and considerations associated with each drug and dosage. When drugs are sold to the consumer, safety checks will notify the dispensing pharmacist of any major safety precautions such as allergy warnings, drug-to-drug interactions, max dosages, duplication of therapy and other considerations.

Coventry will also expand its team of available pharmacists and nurses so the Department will be able to review a list of injured worker medication profiles and perform outreach to prescribers. Previously, this feature has only been available to injured workers who have been prescribed opioids at high dosages. Now, the program will apply to injured workers at many dosage levels.

The program will ideally help people manage their opioid prescriptions more safely, but it could also have potential economic benefits. The Department plans to reduce costs charged to federal agencies for prescription medications. The Department anticipates millions of dollars in annual savings for the federal government, accomplished through the following: lower prices for medications, safety and quality improvement initiatives, industry-proven strategies like leveraging generic medications over brand name medications, and the detection of fraud, waste, and abuse.

The potential economic savings would have a significant impact on the Coventry contract that costs an average of nearly $1 billion annually (in reference to workers’ compensation healthcare costs of injured workers and the work performed under Coventry’s contract). DFEC provides wage replacement benefits, medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to injured federal workers.

"Today is a very encouraging day for the effective treatment of injured federal workers. We have made significant improvements in reducing opioid use, and will now have additional tools necessary to expand efforts to improve the safety and quality of medication delivery for all injured federal workers, while also being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella.

OWCP's mission is to protect the interests of workers who are injured or become ill on the job, their families, and their employers by making timely, appropriate, and accurate decisions on claims, providing prompt payment of benefits, and helping injured workers return to gainful work as early as is feasible.

Read more about the topic on the Department of Labor’s news release.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

Free Whitepaper

Stand Your Ground: A Guide to Slip Resistance in Industrial Safety Footwear

This white paper helps to clarify this complexity, so you can better navigate the standards and better ensure the safety of your employees.

Download Now →

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2019

    November/December 2019

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      Redefining Compliance for the Gas Detection Buyer
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Don't Trip Over the Basics
    • VISION PROTECTION
      What to Look for in Head-to-Toe PPE Solutions
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Effective PPE for Flammable Dust
    View This Issue