Official Disability Guidelines

ODG by MCG (Official Disability Guidelines)

About the ODG: The Industrial Commission of Arizona (Commission) has adopted ODG (Official Disability Guidelines), published by MCG Health, as the standard reference for evidence based medicine within the context of Arizona’s workers’ compensation system. By adopting and referencing the most recent edition (at the time of treatment), and continuously updated ODG, the Commission can ensure the latest available medical evidence is used in making medical treatment decisions for injured workers.

Please refer to:

Article 13, Treatment Guideline Rules

The use of ODG for the management of chronic pain and the use of opioids for all stages of pain management went into effect on October 1, 2016.

Please refer to:

Article 13, Treatment Guideline Rules

ODG, an MCG Health company, provides unbiased, evidence-based guidelines that unite payers, providers and employers in the effort to confidently and effectively return employees to health. The clinical guidelines and analytical tools within ODG are designed to improve and benchmark return-to-work performance, facilitate quality care while limiting inappropriate utilization, assess claim risk for interventional triage, and set reserves based on industry data. Specifically, ODG contains independent, evidence-based, nationally recognized treatment guidelines for work-related injuries and illnesses, integrated with evidence-based return-to-work guidelines, predictive modeling, and medical management tools. Learn more at the MCG ODG site.

Within the treatment guidelines are chapters based on either body parts such as “Knee and Leg” or general conditions such as “Pain.” Each chapter has a “Procedure Summary” section which includes a comprehensive list of treatments that could be performed for injuries to specific body parts or on general conditions as indicated by the chapter name. Each possible treatment procedure is listed as Recommended, Conditionally Recommended (contains criteria for indications), Not Recommended, or Under Study. All recommendations are based on a comprehensive and ongoing medical literature review. ODG offers an array of tools outside the treatment guidelines including evidence-based return to work guidelines, medical management tools, and predictive modeling tools which can be used to forecast length of disability, claims costs, and risk levels of claims.

As part of MCG Health, the ODG editorial department analyzes and classifies peer-reviewed papers and research studies each year to develop the care guidelines. ODG’s guidelines are in strict accordance with the principles of evidence-based medicine. Thousands of references and unique citations are reviewed and ranked annually. For external peer review, ODG also has an Editorial Advisory Board of physicians who are engaged for peer review on an annual basis. ODG researchers, editors, and authors are not volunteers who might have other priorities. ODG’s editorial staff are focused on one objective: creating the highest quality evidence-based guideline for workers’ compensation and non-occupational disability.

Yes, ODG is evidence-based and each recommendation is linked to the supporting medical evidence, provided in abstract form, which has been ranked, highlighted, and indexed. Full text copies of these studies are used by physician editors in formulating recommendations and are available on request. Accountability and transparency are hallmarks of the ODG development process. To learn more please refer to ODG methodology.

The ODG treatment guidelines are developed according to the AGREE Instrument. AGREE stands for “Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation". It originates from an international collaboration of researchers and policy makers who work together to improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines by establishing a shared framework for their development, reporting, and assessment. To view the full ODG Methodology Using the AGREE Instrument, download this document.

ODG is continuously updated, reflecting the findings of new studies as they are conducted and released; subscribers are always up to date. ODG undergoes a comprehensive annual update process based on scientific medical literature review, claims data analysis, and expert panel validation. As new studies are released, the Web version is updated throughout the year to reflect them, along with quality improvements made to meet market demand. New features in recent years include an RTW Prescription (to export the guidelines for sharing with the injured worker, employer, and treating physician), Job Profiler, Comorbidity Calculator, Drug Formulary, UR Advisor, and Claims Reserve Calculator, along with connectivity to MedlinePlus for full-color pictures and referential content from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ODG is available in a subscription-based website. Individuals or companies can purchase annual licenses to access ODG on the Web. ODG is also available for integration into software platforms.

Arizona users receive 50% off the current subscription price. Reference "Arizona" in your order inquiry.

Rev 05/2020

Subscription Licenses

Subscription Licenses are available for:

  • Health-Care Providers
  • Attorneys
  • Insurance Carriers, Third-Party Administrators (TPAs), Self-Insured Employers

For more Information on Subscription Licenses - 1.0


ODG Training Tools

ODG Self-Training Tools - 1.0



Recurring Scheduled Webinars for Which Enrollment Is Required

Introduction to ODG, held monthly - 1.0

Recorded Webinars That Can Be Viewed at Any Time

On-demand training webinars

ODG Appendix a Drug Formulary

ODG Drug Formulary

ODG Drug Formulary Information