Maryland workers injured on the job may see lower drug costs

Work accidents happen, even sometimes when all the best safety procedures happen. What you want, most likely, is to be sure that you'll receive the money and medical treatment needed without difficulty. If you're injured on the job in Maryland, you may be interested in this news about doctors who have proposed limiting the amount they would charge for medications under workers' compensation.

Since the cost of workers' compensation directly affects employers and employees, it's important to find the most beneficial route to adequate treatment without spending too much. According to a Feb. 11 report, doctors in Maryland have proposed capping their prescription fees under the Maryland workers' compensation system. These doctors had been facing a criticism for marking up drug bills under the system previously.

If the proposal was adapted, the doctors could charge between 130 and 150 percent of the current pharmacy rates for drugs. They would also receive $12 for each prescription and an additional 20 percent if the counties didn't pay the amount requested. However, the municipalities aren't pleased with this arrangement, arguing that it could actually lead to millions of dollars of charges for items that would cost less at a pharmacy.

According to an aide for the mayor of Baltimore, the markups could lead to $1.6 million in costs for the city each year. The proposed fees are being backed by the state medical society, however, in response to the concerns that doctors could prescribe injured workers with repackaged medications, which makes costs up to 700 percent higher for some medications. Repackaging, which includes buying in bulk and then packaging the medications with new federal identification numbers, currently adds to the fees because the repackager and doctor both add additional costs to the purchase price.

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