Ohio residents with work-related back injuries in most cases must try remedies like rest, physical therapy and chiropractic care before turning to spinal fusion surgery and prescription painkillers… - From NBC4i.com
Washington, Colorado and Minnesota already restrict injured-worker payments for the surgery, officials said, but the Ohio policy, which went into effect Jan.
The state has been among the hardest hit by the overdose crisis, which many experts say stems largely from addictions to prescription painkillers that can progress into heroin use.
The new rule at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the nation’s largest state-run injured-worker fund, requires an injured worker to undergo at least 60 days of alternative care — while avoiding opioid use, if possible — before resorting to spinal fusion surgery, with a few exceptions for the most severe back injuries.
Daniel Resnick, a Madison, Wisconsin-based neurosurgeon and president of the North American Spine Society, said the Ohio rule is overly broad and will result in added hurdles for those in need of spinal fusion surgery.
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