The opioid crisis has hurt families and communities in many nations, especially in the U.S. The crisis takes a toll on businesses, too. The abuse of these strong pain medications can drive up workers compensation costs and extend the temporary disability of injured workers. But businesses can support the fight against the scourge of opioid abuse by taking steps to discourage unnecessary use while supporting compassionate treatment of employees.
Opioid medications can relieve pain for injured workers and put them on the path to recovery, but they also pose serious risks for employees and businesses alike. To begin addressing this issue at your business, it’s important to understand the ways that opioid misuse and addiction can hurt your company and workers. The costs to businesses are driven by four main factors:
Businesses can help respond to the opioid epidemic, control costs, and meet the needs of employees by working with their workers compensation insurer to take a balanced, comprehensive approach to responding to workplace injuries, including:
Companies and insurers worldwide can play a critical role in helping fight the opioid crisis. Reducing opioid prescriptions is both good medicine and good business. Progress is being made on some fronts, with opioid overdose deaths declining in some nations, but there is more work to be done. Opioid overutilization and abuse have had a major impact on workers compensation claims, making it critical for businesses to be part of the response.
For more information, see Chubb Healthbeat: A pulse on the current opioid crisis
1 Source: Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, March 2018
This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only, and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.
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