Chicken or the Egg? Understanding the Relationship Between Depression and Injury or Illness Work Leaves

Do work leaves cause depression or does depression cause work leaves? We teamed up with researchers at The Standard, The Council for Disability Awareness, and The University of California, Davis to try and shine some light on this question. Using an integrated database of medical and disability claims with more than 496,000 short-term disability cases,1 … Continued

Check out our new blog series “Between The Lines”

It’s been said that “experts often possess more data than judgment.” At MDGuidelines, we’re proud to have both in equal measure, and we’re always looking for new ways to share our research findings and our opinions with you, our customers, our friends, and colleagues. Toward that end, we’re pleased to introduce a new blog series … Continued

Spotlight on Inadequate Mental Health Utilization

I was surprised to learn that Mental Health Awareness Month was started in 1949, nearly seven decades ago. But have we made any progress since then? I would argue that although there is a general awareness in the United States that mental health conditions exist, we remain deficient in some extremely important aspects of the … Continued

Let’s Study Patient Outcomes, Not Hypothetical Costs Saved from Formularies

In a 2017 joint position paper on prior authorization spearheaded by the American Medical Association, 17 medical organizations representing clinicians, patients, and hospitals advocate that drug formularies should never be implemented based solely on cost criteria.1 Their first principle rightly states, “Any utilization management program applied to a service, device or drug should be based on … Continued

Research Brief: The Negative Relationship between Depression Severity and Antidepressant Adherence

Summary Antidepressant adherence has been shown to improve health outcomes and reduce workplace costs. We calculated antidepressant adherence rates using the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) acute and continuation phase treatment measures in a nationwide dataset (n = 5,648). We found that only 49% and 31% of patients were adherent in the acute … Continued

Why Occupational Absences Matter in Population Health

Do not skip the appendices. That is what I learned the other day while researching the drivers of high-cost health care. Somehow, I stumbled into “Appendix E: Epidemiology of Serious Illness and High Utilization of Health Care” from Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life.1  This fascinating Appendix … Continued

Using MDGuidelines’ Formulary to Investigate Opioid Prescribing Patterns

Summary of Research Brief Using an extensive database of ~1.9 million short-term disability and workers’ compensation claims, we investigated for leave claims where opioids were prescribed contrary to the MDGuidelines’ Formulary recommendation. We found ~3% of the claims had an opioid prescription that was either moderately or strongly recommended against in our Formulary. We found … Continued