23 Dec How Precision Pain Care Approaches Our Patient Care
I place the patient’s considerations first.
Presently, practicing pain management is thwart with many political and legal considerations, which unfortunately leads to an additional course for the patient and insurance. Likewise, the practice of medicine, especially in corporate medicine, has become more of a business where the patient is a revenue stream.
I am a sole provider who is not an employee of a hospital system or corporate medical practice. Whenever I evaluate a patient and plan the treatment, I am not persuaded by the bottom line but the patient’s best interest.
I know patients can have social and financial limitations. I try to keep costs low for the patient by offering treatments that are within their financial grasp. I know that a lot of the procedures I do are not permanent fixes, but then again, most medical treatments are not. I do not believe in setting up treatment plans for patients that lose their effectiveness by the time the patient is finished paying.
Pain management is not an exact science. The clinician must make a hypothesis based on physical examination history and, if available, imaging studies or other tests. No hypothesis is 100%. I, therefore, weigh the probability of relief from the procedure with the cost of the procedure. If I believe the procedure has only a 50% chance of getting relief based on the information available from the patient, I generally will provide a less expensive treatment that still has the possibility of giving relief. However, this is not to say that I would write unlimited medication. Pain medication should be used as a bridge to a more extended treatment or if no other alternative treatment exists.