Pain Stories In The News
Major initiative established to prevent opioid abuse and overdose
August 4, 2011 Source: Group Health Research Institute
Fatal overdoses involving prescribed opioids tripled in the United States between 1999 and 2006, climbing to almost 14,000 deaths annually. Now a report in the August issue of Health Affairs describes a major initiative at Group Health Research Institute to make opioid prescribing safer while improving care for patients with chronic pain. Group Health scientists are evaluating the initiative's effects on care, hoping Group Health's experience can help guide national efforts.
New report calls for 'cultural transformation' in current views of chronic pain
July 11, 2011 Source: Stanford School of Medicine
A new report reveals that more than 100 million Americans suffer needlessly from chronic pain. The report, titled "Relieving Pain in America," was prepared by the IOM's Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education chaired by Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. Pizzo was recently interviewed for a "1:2:1" podcast about the report's call for a cultural transformation in how our society views and treats chronic pain.
When someone says, "my stomach hurts," Stanford listens
July 11, 2011 Source: Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Stanford Hospital & Clinics' new Gastrointestinal (GI) Pain Program is a recently inaugurated, multi-disciplinary treatment approach: Stanford specialists in gastrointestinal disorders figured out what was wrong, then joined pain experts from the Stanford Pain Management Center to find solutions for patients with a gastrointestinal disorder.
Closer outcomes tracking on the horizon for pain clinicians, experts say
July 9, 2011 Source: Pain Medicine News
Care management experts are warning that an imminent and highly competitive "value-based" health care delivery model will require pain medicine clinicians to meticulously document patient outcomes and to demonstrate the monetary and clinical value of the care they provide. Increasingly, health care buyers are becoming concerned with cost savings while being equally insistent on the delivery of optimal health outcomes, and the onus will be on providers to demonstrate they are optimizing both.
Interventionalist takes on insurance company in fight for coverage of minimally invasive spine procedures
July 2011 Source: Pain Medicine News
An interventional pain physician has successfully sued an insurance company after the firm disallowed reimbursement for a percutaneous discectomy. This may pave the way for more broad-based action to try to force the company, 32BJ, and the firms from which it in turn gets coverage, which are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association—to reconsider their blanket policy against covering this interventional pain procedure.