11:10 AM

Chronic Pain in the Era of the Opioid Crisis

Outpatient Surgery Magazine reports on the interventions for managing chronic pain in the era of the opioid crisis, which include epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation and spinal cord stimulators, and their associated costs.

Outpatient Surgery Magazine spoke to Vladimir N. Kramskiy, MD, neurologist and director of the Ambulatory Recuperative Pain Medicine Program at HSS, about the paradigm shift in treating chronic pain, who said, “Pain management is just starting to come out of that one-size-fits-all approach to treating patients.”

As spinal cord stimulators involve a 2-step process (a trial period and implanting the device), this intervention tends to be costly, and the reimbursement process is more intricate. “Implantable devices require the use of a psychologist, because this intervention can lead to significant long-term implications," explained Dr. Kramskiy. Due to those implications, insurers' response is to require some degree of additional screening, besides just relying on the physician's recommendation, before approving this treatment, he added.

This article originally appeared on Outpatientsurgery.net.