Nebraska Eyes Drug Formulary for Workers' Compensation

by Helios | Feb 11, 2016

Senator Burke Harr-Omaha has presented LB1005 before the Nebraska Senate Business Labor Committee. LB1005 would direct the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court to develop a drug formulary for use in the workers’ compensation system. The formulary would include controlled substances or drugs listed in Schedules II, III, IV, and V of NRS 28-405 (that chapter can be found here). The legislation also outlines a framework for preauthorizing medications not included in the formulary. 

The hearing was primarily informational, and ​senators and the public had an opportunity to ask questions about how the formulary would look and work once it was implemented. The discussion generated a lot of unanswered questions and curiosity about how injured workers would be impacted and how the ​court would manage the formulary on an on-going basis. As currently drafted, the legislation also creates a presumption of reasonableness for medications included in the formulary. Our government affairs team met with Senator Harr and expressed concern about that presumption and detailed situations where an approved drug could be inappropriate for a particular injury and would delay quality care. We presented Senator Harr with a proposed amendment to ensure approved medications would be medically necessary and appropriate for the injury. Senator Harr was very open to suggestions and agreed to consider the amendment as the bill advances. 

It is unclear whether or not LB1005 will be set for an Executive Session for a vote by the Committee.  Sources in Senator Harr’s office explained that during this abbreviated session, only bills receiving a priority designation will advance for consideration. Given the number of questions about this bill, it is likely that the legislation will be held for study and further discussion over the interim. Senator Harr welcomes thoughtful input into the process and has agreed to keep our team involved and informed as the legislation advances through the process. Full text of the current draft of LB1005 can be found here