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Tennessee Enacts Pain Management Bill for Workers' Compensation

Injured workers in Tennessee now face new requirements when receiving pain management services in their Workers' Compensation case. SB 3315/HB 3372, sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson and Representative Mark White was intended to "ensure the availability of quality medical care services for injured and disabled employees and to manage medical costs" by "eradicating prescription drug abuse through utilization review." The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2012 and applies to pain management prescribed on or after that date. A few of the highlights of the bill:

  • Utilization review is required whenever Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances are prescribed for more than ninety (90) days.
  • Only "qualified physicians" can manage chronic pain - board certified in anesthesiology, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, radiology, or physical medicine and rehabilitation unless the other specialized physician has completed subspecialty board in pain medicine.
  • Community requirement for panel of qualified physician is not applicable and can include physicians up to 175 miles from residence or place of employment.
  • Injured worker may sign formal written drug agreement.
  • Violation of the terms of the agreement on more than one occasion terminated right to pain management. For injuries on or after July 1, 2012, violation will be deemed to be misconduct connected to employment.
  • Also, for injuries on or after July 1, 2012, if the violation occurs before a finding of permanent and total disability, the incapacity due to lack of pain management cannot be considered when determining disability.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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