New York Adopts New “Non-Acute Pain” Treatment Guidelines

by Helios | Nov 20, 2014
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board (NY-WCB) adopted updated Medical Treatment Guidelines to be effective December 15, 2014. As a part of these updated treatment guidelines, a new set of “Non-Acute Pain” Medical Treatment Guidelines focusing on the prescribing and treatment of non-acute pain for workers’ compensation claims was also adopted.

The new non-acute pain treatment guidelines aim to assist physicians in properly prescribing opioids, and other pain medications, to injured workers with long-term pain. The guidelines as adopted by the NY-WCB are based on best practices and move to promote better prescriber and patient involvement in the management of long-term pain.  
The guidelines and surrounding rules act as recommendations related to specific pain treatment and are not mandatory. They provide a definition of “non-acute pain” and insight into treatment with both opioid and non-opioid medications. The guidelines also call for greater interaction and communication between the prescriber and patient, including psychological evaluation and ongoing urine drug testing if the patient is on opioid therapy. In addition, the treatment guidelines provide prescribers with documented “pain-assessment” tools, as well as dosing thresholds for certain opioids. They also offer treatment therapy documentation for both the prescriber and the patient in their “patient informed consent and patient understanding” opioid treatment forms.   

Like many adopted in other jurisdictions, these treatment guidelines will impact delivery of pharmacy care to injured workers in New York. Our Clinical and Government Affairs teams are currently reviewing the newly adopted pain guidelines to ascertain their impact on our current clinical processes, our client formularies, and other programs related to utilization of pain medications, specifically utilization of opioids.

For more information, please contact our Clinical Services Department, at, your  clinical liaison, or your account manager. Additionally, should you have any questions regarding this or other regulatory and legislative activity, please contact our Government Affairs Department at

The adopted treatment guidelines can be found by clicking here:

Additionally, the NY-WCB has prepared various training opportunities for physicians, which can be found by clicking here: