Friday, June 21, 2024

Dept. of Labor Overspent $321M

Even worse, the program provided the wrong drugs to individuals, which in some cases could have had lethal consequences...

(By Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) The Department of Labor spent $321.3 million more than it needed to from 2015 through 2020 on prescription drugs for its Federal Employees’ Compensation Program, according to a DOL Inspector General report.

The Department of Labor manages the FECA program, which administers workers compensation benefits to 2.6 million federal workers when they get hurt on the job. Part of that includes paying for prescription drugs.

Independent auditors found that the FECA program didn’t pay the best price for drugs, therefor not effectively managing pharmaceutical spending, leading to $321.3 million in excess spending on drugs.

The DOL didn’t use a pharmacy benefit manager, which negotiates prices to get a better deal on expensive drugs for healthcare systems, the report found.

Even worse, the program provided the wrong drugs to individuals, which in some cases could have had lethal consequences.

This included 1,330 prescriptions for a fast-acting fentanyl drug, despite having a policy that restricted its use. The report also found the program, “spent hundreds of millions of dollars on drugs that may not have been necessary or appropriate for FECA claimants.”

Overall, auditors found the program managers, “lacked sufficient clinical expertise and guidelines to ensure appropriate pharmaceutical decisions, which could negatively impact claimants’ health, recovery, and return to work.”

The incompetent administration of the FECA program has put the health of federal workers at risk, and wastes millions of dollars that could have been spent on healthcare to help workers recover and get back on the job quickly and safely.

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