The 2014 Drug Trend Report was released by Ohio based Progressive Medical and Florida based PMSI examined 300,000 workers compensation claims the newly merged companies managed. The study found that Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants wrote 15.8% of prescriptions for opioid medications for work comp injuries in 2013. NPs wrote 6.6%, PAs wrote 9.2% and physicians wrote the rest. This is into comparison 6.5% of opiate prescriptions in a study by IMS Health on prescriptions outside the workers compensation system.
What the data shows, more than anything, is the spotlight on midlevel providers. Healthcare costs and associated waste is being inspected at every level. The prescribing power of nurse practitioners and physicians assistants are easy targets.
Make sure your practice has adequate risk management practices in place and that your insurance policy covers defense costs in the event you are called before a licensing or regulatory board.