Windham Group Receives 1st Case in Mass. Alternate Opioid Treatment Pathway

October 17, 2017

Windham Group, a workers’ compensation case management company, has received the first case in Massachusetts’ Alternate Opioid Treatment Pathway (OATP) program.

The state’s Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) recently launched a two-year pilot program that assigns a care coordinator to mediate pain management treatment between an injured worker and the insurance company covering medical care for work-related injuries.

The DIA selects care managers based on their experience with chronic pain management in workers’ compensation, especially in cases involving more than 100 morphine milligram equivalents per day.

Windham Group’s Director of Specialty Services Mike Pringle, who has helped injured workers taper off opioids for more than four years, is managing the first case. The goal is to help the injured employee learn how to control pain with non-opioid methods, such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness meditation, so they can eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of narcotic pain medication they use, Pringle said in a Windham Group press release.

The voluntary OATP program is available for workers’ compensation cases where the indemnity portion of the claim has settled, the injured worker continues medical treatment for the injury, and medical concerns exist about the high dosage of narcotics being taken. These cases typically take at least a year to resolve, and injured workers continue to take opioids during that time. OATP is designed to resolve these cases faster and reduce the chance of an opioid-related adverse event.

“Care managers help educate injured workers about medications and side effects and coach them through the process of tapering narcotics with their treating physicians,” Pringle said in the release. “We help find the combination of non-opiate pain management interventions that work best for them and show them how to live with pain without being controlled by it.”

Manchester, N.H.-based Windham Group provides medical case management services and return-to-work solutions for the workers’ compensation and disability insurance industries.

Source: Windham Group

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