SCRANTON, PA (January 31, 2018) - A prominent local attorney is speaking out against proposed changes to the workers' compensation system currently under consideration in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
The proposed legislation, S.B. 936, would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to select a nationally recognized prescription drug formulary for treatment of work-related injuries.
"Formularies aren't about protecting workers or improving treatment. They're about money, plain and simple," said attorney Todd J. O'Malley of O'Malley & Langan. "This proposed measure is the equivalent of putting an insurance adjuster right there in the doctor's office and giving him veto power over your doctor."
Proponents of S.B. 936 have argued that the proposed legislation would help fight the opioid crisis, but Mr. O'Malley disputed that notion.
"They say it's about opioids, but the word 'opioid' only appears once in the bill, because the formularies they're creating deal with much more than opioids," O'Malley said. "This formulary would give the insurance company - not your doctor - de facto control over every prescription written to treat work injuries, not just opioid prescriptions."
O'Malley suggested that the insurance companies are piggybacking off the opioid crisis to pursue their own agenda. "We already have a prescription database that can be used to reduce opioid prescriptions. In fact, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice offered an amendment that would have required doctors to check that registry before writing an opioid prescription," O'Malley explained. "That amendment was rejected, and that's telling. This bill is really about the insurance companies taking advantage of a public health crisis to cut benefits and save themselves money, and it's the workers of Pennsylvania who will be stuck holding the bill."
About O'Malley & Langan
Founded in 1990, O'Malley & Langan is a Pennsylvania law firm focused on workers' compensation and personal injury claims. Attorney Todd O'Malley, a founding partner, is a former president and current member of the Board of Directors of the Workers' Injury Law and Advocacy Group. The firm has offices in Scranton, Pittston and Towanda, PA.