The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between timing and duration of opioid prescriptions, disability duration, and claims costs for work-related injuries.
A retrospective cohort study using lost time compensation claimant data to examine the relationship between opioid prescription patterns and claim duration and cost. Logistic regression adjusted for sex, marital status, initial reserve, attorney involvement, and spinal surgeries.
Odds ratios for claim cost at least $100,000 and duration at least 3 years were not statistically different between groups prescribed opioids less than 30 days and those not prescribed opioids. Claims with short-acting opioids continued after 180 days; the odds ratios for claim cost at least $100,000 and duration at least 3 years were 6.21 (95% confidence interval 5.30 to 7.28) and 3.32 (95% confidence interval 2.94 to 3.74).
Claim cost and lost time are related to when and how long opioids are prescribed for work-related injuries.
Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine (Dr Lavin); Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Tao); Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation, Baton Rouge, and Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Mr Yuspeh); Division of Occupational Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Kalia); Dell Medical School at University of Texas at Austin (Dr Bernacki).
Address correspondence to: Edward J. Bernacki, MD, MPH, Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin, TX (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are no conflicts of interest or external sources of funding for this work.