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Temporary disability: Mandatory care aims to stop opioid epidemic

The current opioid epidemic is a nationwide concern, and the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation has found a way to address it. The crisis impacts workers in all industries, and authorities say it is worthwhile to explore ways in which to curb the use of opioids. The need for habit-forming painkillers containing opiates often follows work-related back injuries that cause temporary disability and include products like morphine, heroin, codeine and oxycodone.

According to a report by the Ohio workers' compensation bureau, victims of serious work-related injuries will undergo specialized care for a predetermined period after the incident that caused the injury. For example, it will be obligatory for victims of occupational back injuries to receive conventional care for a period of 60 days. The intention is to use conservative methods to replace the use of damaging painkillers.

Authorities say the mandatory treatment will focus on sessions of physical therapy. The goal will be to help the injured workers to recover from their injuries without relying on habit-forming opioids that could lead to addictions. A spokesperson for a physical therapy treatment facility applauded the workers' compensation initiative and the recognition of conservative methods of care.

Ohio workers need not be concerned about the expenses related to the mandatory treatment and the potentially extended period of temporary disability. They will be entitled to file workers' compensation benefits claims for coverage of those losses. Workers are free to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process on their behalves.

Source: limaohio.com, "New treatment requirements for worker's comp", Jan. 24, 2018

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