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State Compensation Insurance Fund has reduced the number of opioid prescriptions for the injured workers they provide care for by 82% since 2014.

Additionally, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2021, State Fund’s opioid reduction program resulted in a 14% decrease in the number of opioid prescriptions for injured workers, despite increasing levels of opioid use and overdose fatalities across the nation as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse 2022.

State Fund’s opioid reduction program is built around a comprehensive strategy to motivate physicians to avoid or reduce prescribing opioids to injured workers, and to educate injured workers about the risks of using opioids to manage pain.

The program focuses on three key areas, including early prevention and intervention in new cases; relapse and delayed recovery response programs; and reduction of chronic opioid usage in existing cases.

The program also includes peer-to-peer physician reviews; education for injured workers and treating physicians; and support for patients who are struggling to stop opioid use. Additional results include:

– – From 2014-2021, State Fund saw a nearly 80% decrease in the number of claimants on any opioid prescription and a 4.6% decrease from 2020-2021
– – The number of patients taking high doses of opioids (80+ MEDs) for more than three months has decreased by 91% from 2014-2021 and decreased by 11% from 2020-2021

“State Fund’s approach to reducing opioid use has continually been fine-tuned over the years,” said Dr. Dinesh Govindarao, chief medical officer at State Fund.

“Our results show that conscious, sustained education for patients and medical providers, paired with peer-to-peer physician collaboration, are invaluable tools in tackling the opioid crisis. Our hope is to see more providers adopt reduction programs, whether they take a comprehensive approach like ours or focus on specific issues.”

State Fund’s opioid reduction program is one way the organization works to fulfill its promise to protect and restore injured workers and help keep California working.