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Opioids and More Opioids

Burdine & Brown Oct. 1, 2019

Clearly there is an opioid and Fentanyl crisis in the United States. Everyone talks about it. Sixty Minutes does a report about it almost quarterly.

The Chairman of the State Board of Workers' Compensation, Judge Frank McKay, talks about it every time he meets with any group of any size. The crisis extended to the workers' compensation system, no doubt.

One of the problems is the Georgia Medical Association who has placed a stronger hold on who can treat the injured person. If one has chronic pain due to a debilitating job injury there is a Panel of Physicians to which the workers MUST go to obtain medical treatment. This panel is tightly controlled by the employer and their insurer. And the State Board of Workers' Compensation backs up and support the employer/insurer when I want to change my client's medical treatment to a non-panel doctor.

If everyone is so “weirded out” about opioids, then lighten up on the panel of physicians restrictions. Let my clients see a chiropractor, let my clients try acupuncture. Let my clients find a doctor who is sympathetic and friendly, NOT the grumpy insurance doctor who “hates the world.”

You cannot force the injured worker and his/her serious injury to go without strong medicine if you are facing that person to only attend the foul orthopedic doctors whose only allegiance is to the interest of the employer/insurer. Work with us, people, for goodness sake! My clients want to get help and not live in pain. Give them opportunities for alternative treatment.