Dermatological drug payment rates have increased more than 10% and are a major part of workers' compensation for drug spending in many states, says the Workers Compensation Research Institute in a study released on Tuesday.
Payment rates for dermatological drugs increased more than 10% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2019 in nine of 28 states studied by researchers from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute.
WCRI researchers studied prescription rates of workers composing drugs for 28 states, as well as pay-per-claim, which is based on quarterly payments in each group compared to all prescriptions filled in that quarter.
Report, Interstate Variation and Trends in Workers' Compensation Drug Payments: 201
While workers' compensation for prescription drug payments per medical claim decreased by 15% or more in 22 states, drug payment rates including antiretrovirals and anticoagulants increased in many states, with the entire category of drugs classified as "other" increasing between 22% and 28% during study time in median states.
Of the states, California saw the sharpest decline in workers calculating drug spending with a 75% reduction in claims per claim during the study period, followed by Delaware (63% decline), Wisconsin and Texas (44% decline) and Arkansas (43% decline). Only two of the study states saw their drug spending increase during the study period, with Connecticut's employees per application and drug payments increasing by 27% and South Carolina increasing by 4% from 2016 to 2019.
Opioid payments decreased in all states studied, with a decrease in payment rates from about 9% to 20% in a typical state. In California, payments per claim for opioids decreased 85%. Opioid payment rates also declined in all states except Delaware. The associations also declined significantly according to the report and constitute only a small percentage of prescription payments. Payments for anticonvulsants, musculoskeletal therapy drugs and NSAIDs remained consistent in most states.
The 28 states in the study include Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico , New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.