Medicare settlements feature lifetime opioid guarantees

“I start to think we are making progress and we are getting somewhere and opioid use in comp is down, and then you come across something like this,” said Alex Swedlow, president of the Oakland-based California Workers’ Compensation Institute, which conducted a study that found 70% of federally mandated and approved California workers compensation Medicare set-aside settlements for injured workers include money earmarked for decades of opioid use.

“It’s a confirmation of what we believe has existed,” said Rita Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Delray Beach, Florida-based Tower MSA Partners L.L.C., which helps insurers and employers remain Medicare-compliant and began tackling the opioids in Medicare set-asides in mid-2015. “(It) quantifies the concern of too much opioids in the Medicare set-asides,” she said of the study that was released in the fall.

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