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CA-SIG Spring Forum

For those who were lucky enough to be there, the sky was sunny and the conversations were dynamic as attendees arrived at the reception on the patio at the Balboa Bay Resort. The Spring Forum was a sold-out event, and after a sumptuous dinner we had the privilege of hearing an in-depth presentation by Dr. Steve Wiesner of Kaiser Permanente, who informed us of the shocking statistics regarding the prescriptions of opioids in Workers' Compensation, including:

  • 74% of opioids prescribed in California are for work-related injuries
  • Workers who received high doses of opioids stayed out of work 3x longer than those who took lower doses
  • Nearly half of the Schedule II opioid prescriptions in California WC are for minor back injury claims
  • 3% of prescribing physicians in WC account for
    • 55% of Schedule II prescriptions
  • 1% of claimants account for nearly 40% of all WC opioid costs
    • Top 10% of claimants account for 80% of all WC opioid costs
    • Top 10% of claimants receiving Schedule II morphine equivalents get prescriptions from 3.3 different physicians
  • In 2010 workers' comp insurers in California spent $252 million on opioids, which is 30% of all prescription costs

Attendees came away with a clear understanding of the guidelines and management protocol that physicians should use to mitigate this tide, and what we all can do to achieve this.
You are welcome to download Dr. Wiesner's slides for this topic on Clinical Pain Management: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Drug Dependency.

Download Presentation

Among his many roles at Kaiser Permanente, principally Associate Regional Medical Director of Occupational Health Department for Northern California, Dr. Steve Wiesner also serves as the Physician Advisor for the Kaiser Permanente National Integrated Disability Management (IDM) Program.


What Is CA-SIG

California Alliance of Self-Insured Groups is an association dedicated to support high standards for self-insurance as a reliable alternative for businesses. It is an organization of self-insured group administrators, self-insured groups and industry professionals that has been established to create an accreditation process for program administrators and to encourage best practices in its membership.

Our goals are to participate in the regulatory changes, to work closely with the Office of Self Insured Plans to develop Administrative Standards, and to provide networking and educational opportunities for members.


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"The hard insurance markets that inspire SIG’s represent more than high costs to employers. Insurers, rightly or wrongly, are perceived as part of the problem, unresponsive to smaller businesses in tough times. SIG’s, like all forms of self-insurance, are an effort to gain greater control, to have more skin in the game."

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