(WTOL) - A new law will go into effect Saturday, cracking down on the prescribing of opiate pain killers for injured workers in Ohio.
For more than five years, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has been working to make improvements to their pharmacy program. Since changes started, the total opioid doses has decreased by more than 40 percent.
Starting Saturday, reimbursement for opioid prescriptions will be limited only to claims where best medical practices are followed. A new peer process will be put in place to make sure that doctors are complying.
John Hanna, pharmacy director for Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, says prescribers have at least 90 days to provide documentation of steps being taken to assess a patient's risk of becoming dependent on opioids.
"For 18 months we'll cover the use of medication assisted treatment, behavioral interventions, we'll cover inpatient detox, trying to help the patients getting opioids that the bureau paid for and now they're drug dependent," said Hanna.
He says the bureau wants to apply the state and national guidelines for the writing of these prescriptions. They will also cover treatment for opioid dependence.