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The Scott Public Relations Healthcare, Insurance and Technology Public Relations Blog

Kevin Glennon, RIMS 2017: Controversy Continues: Medical Marijuana in Workers’ Compensation

Medical marijuana

The past few years have seen sweeping changes in the state of affairs for medical marijuana across the United States. More than twenty states have now legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and new research has begun to find evidence that it may be a solution for America’s growing opioid crisis. Despite these developments, however, obstacles from complicated and conflicting legal standards are still interfering with the inclusion of medical marijuana in the workers’ compensation (WC) process. One Call Care Management’s VP of Home Health Operations and Clinical & Quality Assurance Programs, Kevin Glennon, will delve into the details of marijuana’s newfound health benefits and the legal quagmire surrounding its status in workers’ compensation in an event at the RIMS Annual Conference this month in Philadelphia, PA.

It is medical marijuana’s potential as a treatment for chronic pain that marks it as a major opportunity for workers’ compensation. This ailment affects an estimated 100 million American adults and racks up a cost of $635 billion annually combined between treatment and lost productivity. Using marijuana as a treatment could potentially replace the damaging use of opioids that have escalated costs for treatment and led to more than 16,000 overdose fatalities in 2016. But the limited nature of the medical studies on marijuana have not convinced the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to reclassify it from a Schedule 1 prohibited drug, and the contradicting statuses at state and federal levels have led many WC payers to deny coverage for medical marijuana categorically, largely based on the fact that medical marijuana is not included in WC treatment guidelines such as the Official Disability Guidelines.

Kevin GlennonKevin Glennon has more than thirty years of experience with clinical and claims management for WC and general liability. His extensive experience in medical claims management for complex injuries and long-term disabilities has enabled him to help organizations with better control and management of costs to achieve best possible outcomes.

During his session at RIMS, Kevin will address what the evolving legal status of medical marijuana will mean for the question of whether employers and insurers will have to cover medical marijuana claims in future. He will discuss the potential therapeutic value of medical marijuana, especially for chronic pain, and he will address both new legal developments in states like New Mexico for forcing WC programs to cover medical marijuana and proposed legislation to change marijuana’s federal classification.

Learn about the medicinal and legal future of marijuana in workers’ compensation by attending Kevin’s session, being held on April 25 at 11:00am.

Learn more about Kevin’s upcoming session here: Controversy Continues: Medical Marijuana in Workers’ Compensation

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