BWC Implements Back Surgery Rule

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler, posts about a new lumbar fusion surgery rule: “Effective January 1, 2018, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has a new rule for when injured workers can request lumbar fusion surgery, as well as requirements that must be met prior to seeking authorization for such a procedure …”

“This rule was created, in part, as a response to the current opiate crisis that exists in Ohio. According to the BWC, 68 percent of lumbar fusion surgeries are unsuccessful. This leaves the majority of injured workers who utilize this type of treatment unhappy and dependent on pain killers, such as opioids. In an effort to reduce this risk, the BWC is requiring injured workers to engage in conservative care management for at least 60 days, except in specific cases. It is hoped that this approach will enable workers with low back pain to benefit from non-surgical interventions and return to work more quickly, reserving lumbar fusion surgery for only the few that require it.”

Read more from Bricker here. 1/2/2018

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