CHICAGO – The landscape for the use of medical marijuana and cannabinoids is changing in employee compensation, and it is likely that more insurance companies will have to pay for this in the near future, experts say.
By 2019 CLM Workers Compensation Conference Wednesday, Chicago's panelists shared their different perspectives on the use of marijuana and CBD in workers' compromise rooms and how this could change, as states are considering new legislation on marijuana medical and recreational use.
Dr. Carlos Giron, MD of the Pain Institute of Georgia in Macon, Georgia, said he was skeptical of the use of medical marijuana and CBD to treat pain. But when patients in their practice ̵
"I began to see an opportunity to use this to improve patient safety, and the results I've seen as a doctor … have been nothing less than remarkable," he said.
Over the past four months, Ronald Mazariegos, vice president of claims and supplier management at Arrowood Indemnity Co. In Charlotte, North Carolina, said the company's replacement workers' book has begun to see more requests for medical marijuana administration.
"In some jurisdictions, carriers have been authorized to replace," he said. "Personally, I know about half a dozen carriers and (third party administrators) compensation for medical marijuana, and many said they are replacing claims directly."
There are only a handful of states where marijuana is legal in the employee's compensation and repayment required, says Jeremy Buchalski, an associate of Wilson Esler Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP in New York City. New Mexico, requires professional competency insurers to repay for medical marijuana and has added it to the fee schedule. New York and New Jersey courts have argued that employees should be replaced for medical marijuana to treat a reimbursable condition, he said. Legislation on compensation for workers' compensation for medical marijuana is also available in several states, including Maine, Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, New York and Hawaii.
The Governor of New York has also expressed its support for the State Employment Compensation Board to approve medical cannabis compensation, "said Jeremy Unruh, head of regulatory and public affairs of the Chicago-based PharmaCann LLC.
However, patients should not be able to to a vape store and present the bill to the insurer, Dr. Giron said.
"The key is to know what the patient is receiving," and what their dose regimen and dosing schedule is, if and when the time will often be repaid. to workers comp.
Mr Mazariegos said from an insurance perspective, he is concerned about losing a "leaning slope" if workers can only submit a receipt from a dispenser and receive compensation.
In Illinois, state opioid alternative pilot program that came into force three months ago allows individuals who would otherwise be prescribed opioids to choose prescription f micro marijuana to be filled in a dispensary. Mr Unruh said the pilot also set up a marijuana tracking system to collect data on the risks and benefits to enable well-informed public policy decisions in the future.
A challenge that needs to be solved from the medical perspective, says Dr. Giron, is the lack of federal or clinical guidelines to use as a reference for dosing. For his use of the CBD, he said he has taken a clinical approach to finding the right dosage for different patients, but says that those using CBD have seen more than 90% clinical improvement. He also said he was able to reduce patients' use of opioids by 60% to 65% using CBD.
"What we've seen in the past and a half is a reduction of not only opioids, but all the accompanying medications that accompany it – muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory agents, benzodiazepines, sleep medications," he said. "Every time I would remove or reduce some of them, it would not only work better, even the cost of their claims decreased and their functional status improved."
Mr. Buchalski said that with pending legislation expanding medical marijuana into 20 states and 10 states considering recreation marijuana, he believes that the future will become medical marijuana in the labor market.
"The trend is obvious," he said.