Call to Action: The Opioid Epidemic and WCMSAs
Jesse Hamby
May 9, 2016

Franco Signor took an important step last week to inform the White House of a practice by CMS with regard to WCMSAs and the current opioid epidemic.  We have all heard the statistics and agree that action must be taken with regard to overuse and the over prescribing of opioids in the United States.  We applaud the administration’s recent efforts when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) drafted guidelines designed to reduce impact of opioid misuse and abuse.  It is our belief that CMS should take similar steps when it comes to their WCMSA contractor approvals that include lifetime opioid projections, harmful to our injured workers.  A copy of our letter can be found here (the referenced examples can be provided by request by emailing

Now our ask of you:  Matters work in Washington D.C. when the public speaks.  The climate is perfect: considering this nation’s tragic loss of a rock star legend Prince, combined with the recent action by the FDA.  We need to take advantage of the public sentiment against opioids and make our voices known.  To do so, we ask that you and any of your colleagues who wish to stop this abuse let the White House know how you feel.  To do so is very easy, click this link and tell the White House how you feel.

If you wish you can include in your comment the following paragraph that references the attached letter to better allow the White House to measure our industry’s concern.

“Recently, I was made aware of a letter by Franco Signor sent to the White House regarding Opioids and CMS practices involving the approval of Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set Asides.  The workers’ compensation industry has struggled for more than 7 years with these practices that authorize the purchase of opioids for the lifetime of the injured worker as part of their settlement.  This practice sends the wrong message about opioids and it is time that CMS consider clinical standards when authorizing such dangerous narcotic medications.  We urge that the following people sent this letter of 5/4/2016 be asked to change CMS practices in line with FDA draft guidelines.  Thank you for your time.

  • Andrea Palm, Senior Counselor to the Secretary and HHS Lead for Opioid Taskforce*
  • Richard Frank, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
  • Anne Reid, Counselor to the Secretary
  • Averi Pakulis, Policy Advisor, Office of the Counselors
  • Regina LaBelle, Chief of Staff at ONDCP”

Franco Signor appreciates you joining this important message.  Together we can stop opioid abuse even in WCMSAs.


Heather Schwartz Sanderson, Esq., MSCC, CHPE, CLMP, CMSP

Chief Legal Officer

Franco Signor LLC