State of the States


New york - On Wednesday, the New York Workers Comp Board finally issued a notice of adoption for the states workers’ comp drug formulary. The complicated drug formulary will go into effect in 6 months for all new prescriptions and by June 5, 2020 for all refill and renewal prescriptions. In adopting the final regulations, the WCB refused to add any additional medications to the limited formulary, seeking the formulary in place “as soon as possible”, and stated additions to the formulary will be addressed later.

Ohio - A recent amendment to HB 80, a bill to establish the 2020- 2021 workers’ comp budget for Ohio, would provide first responders, including police, firefighters, and EMTs to collect workers’ comp benefits for PTSD without a corresponding physical injury. Business and employers have expressed concerns over the amendment which may stall its consideration by the full House.

Connecticut - After years of trying, the Connecticut legislature finally passed a bill to expand workers’ comp coverage for first responders. SB 164 would make PTSD compensable for first responders in the state, including state and municipal police officers, paid and volunteer firefighters, and parole officers working directly with law enforcement. PTSD would be compensable if a first responder experiences one of six types of traumatic events, including witnessing the death or an incident involving a death. There remains controversy surrounding the bill as it excludes EMTs, except for EMTs who work as part of a fire department. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

Louisiana - A bill that would include mental stress in the list of conditions presumed to be work related for first responders is awaiting the Governor’s signature. SB 107, passed by the Louisiana legislature last week, was filed at the request of first responders, including firefighters and EMTs, who believe there is a significant lack of services available for first responders effected by the troubling scenes they encounter as part of their job.

Delaware - HB 115, a bill to mandate electronic prescribing in Delaware was voted out of the Sunset Committee in the Senate and now awaits a vote of the full Senate before it can be sent to the Governor for approval. It passed, the bill would require all doctors, nurses, dentists, podiatrists, and optometrists to utilize electronic prescribing for all prescriptions issued beginning January 1, 2021

National - A bill was filed in the United States House of Representatives titled “Lessening Addiction by Enhancing Opioids Act of 2019.” The bill would mandate on the federal level that all prescriptions filled for Schedule II-V containing warning labels that opioids can cause dependence, addiction, and overdose. The bill requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop regulations and text for the label. 

By Danielle Jaffee

Courtesy of Injured Workers Pharmacy Blog

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