DOL aims to reduce feds' opioid use
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jul 03, 2017
The U.S. Department of Labor is aiming to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed to federal employees in an attempt to reduce the risk of substance abuse.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs late last month began instituting procedures to monitor and manage opioid prescription use under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. “When prescribed and used appropriately, opioid drugs can provide necessary and safe pain relief to injured workers. However, opioids carry a risk of substance use disorder and accidental overdose. Due to these safety concerns, we believe these additional monitoring steps are necessary and appropriate,” Gary A. Steinberg, deputy director of OWCP said in a press release.
With the new changes, any physician who prescribes an opioid medication to a patient covered the Federal Employees Compensation Act, must limit the duration of opioid prescriptions to 60 days and a minimum of 30 days as the preferred prescription to manage pain relief. Additionally, no more than two opioids can be prescribed during the same time. A letter stating the medical necessity for anything beyond 60 days would be required.
“Over the next year, this prior authorization process will be expanded to include individuals who seek to fill new prescriptions for opioid medications. Prior authorization will eventually be extended to other individuals receiving opioid medications in long-term FECA cases,” according to the DOL statement.