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Rising Opioid Concerns in WNY

Rising Opioid Concerns in WNY

Changes to New York State’s workers’ compensation policies could pose problems for residents who rely on the program for pain management.

The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board is limiting the frequency with which physicians can conduct urine drug tests from “at least” three to four times each year to a maximum of three or four times. Therefore, monitoring an individual using opioids will be more difficult.

Dr. Cheryl Hart, a workers’ compensation physician warns that if providers cannot monitor their patients closely, they just won’t select them as clients in the first place. And the end result will likely be that people in desperate need of pain management could turn to other, lethal alternatives.

The Board disagrees with such an assessment and reiterated that “the health and safety of injured workers is always paramount.”