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Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. Launches Narcotics Program to Protect Injured Workers from Drugs Used to Manage Chronic Pain
Date:2/6/2012

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. recently created a comprehensive narcotics program to help reduce the health risks of these drugs on injured workers and ultimately provide a mechanism for them to get back to work sooner.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100727/DE40865LOGO )

The recent shift in prescribing patterns to more patients consuming Schedule II narcotics is more prevalent today then ever before.  Opioid medications are now being prescribed at higher dosages in pure form and are routinely making their way into the hands of injured workers without the proper controls, regardless of the health risks.  Escalating problems such as overdose, addiction, and even death have reached epidemic proportions, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and are now commonly reported in association with workers compensation claims with 55-85% of injured workers across the country receiving narcotics for chronic pain relief.

"The growing public concern, the burden of this drug on insurers, and the health risks to the injured worker are a real and a major concern," Donald Bearden, D.O., corporate medical director for Accident Fund Holdings, said.

Accident Fund Holdings has been monitoring the use of opioids to manage chronic pain for years and the results of a recent study completed in 2011 with the Division of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has validated the scope of this problem.

"The extent of the issue was not fully realized until we linked our pharmacy data to our claims data," Jeffrey Austin White, director of Medical Management Practices and Strategy for Accident Fund Holdings and the individual running point on the development of the over-arching strategy, said.  "In hindsight, it appears we were focused primarily on monitoring drug c
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SOURCE Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.
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