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House Republicans Continue Push for Opioid Reduction in Workers' Compensation System

January 23, 2018

After an informational hearing by the House Labor and Industry Committee yesterday, legislation reforming how drugs are prescribed within Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation system, Senate Bill 936 (White, R-Indiana), was voted out of committee. Following the committee vote, House Republicans held a press conference to discuss the need for the bill to continue to move through the legislative process.

SB 936 is specifically aimed at helping to curb the overuse of opioids within the workers’ compensation system by implementing a drug formulary, a routine part of the health care system.

The bill also requires the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to rely on nationally-certified or accredited utilization review organizations (URO) regarding questions on treatment or medication within workers’ compensation.

House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) was joined by his colleagues to advocate for the reforms with the system. Seen as another tool to help combat the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania, legislators argued the bill will help injured workers return to work faster with better outcomes, reduce the amount of opioids being prescribed and, in turn, reduce the amount of opioids in the community. 

HAP joined 25 provider, business, and insurance organizations in supporting the legislation.

Twenty one states have made similar changes to their workers’ compensation systems.

SB 936 now heads for consideration by the full House.

For additional information, please contact HAP’s Scott Bishop, senior vice-president, legislative advocacy.

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