Article / Risk Management
Lockton Works to Curb American Opioid Epidemic while Controlling Indemnity Losses
Lockton Works to Curb American Opioid Epidemic while Controlling Indemnity Losses  Hero Image

Retail pharmacies dispensed 245 million opioid prescriptions in the United States in 2014 exemplifying the opioid crisis the country faces. Even as new studies and data points to America’s opioid epidemic, misinformation and money continues to fuel the growing crisis. 

Lockton’s Senior Risk Consultant Keith Rosenblum explains that Lockton has been working on a solution to decrease losses for clients and help solve the underlying issue of chronic pain through Lockton’s Biopsychosocial Injury Recovery Model (BIRM).

“There has never been a more damaging impact on the cost of workers compensation claims from a single issue than the abuse of opioid prescriptions for the management of chronic pain,” Rosenblum explained. “Nationally, an estimated 55% to 86% of all claimants are receiving opioids for chronic pain relief.”

When individuals go to see a medical provider for chronic pain they are often prescribed an opioid that does not address the underlying issue. In many cases this leads to a patient’s minor injury turning into long-term chronic pain and, ultimately, addiction. Rosenblum says that medical over-diagnosis is the main contributor to the declining improvement in managing large loss-claims.

As Rosenblum analyzed Lockton’s data, he was frustrated to see that claims greater than $50,000 account for 7% of claims and 71% of incurred dollars. He brought together his team who began to research the topic to help find a solution for Lockton’s clients. They came up with BIRM, a detailed strategy that maps out a process for finding the right diagnosis and treatment for an injured worker.

“There’s no financial compensation for giving our clients the model. We absolutely believe this is going to make an impact,” Rosenblum said. “I believe it is going to be the workplace, the employers, the insurance industry and the medical industry associated with occupational medicine that are going to drive change.”

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