Analyzing The Outcomes of a Comprehensive Pain Management Program

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Posted by rpage on 05/26/2021

Chronic pain management is terribly challenging, especially in the setting of the opioid crisis. Non-pharmacologic interventions, as identified, may improve quality of life. My thanks and congratulations to the authors.

Posted by jermolov on 05/26/2021

Thank you all for your work on this project -- it's particularly encouraging to see chronic pain management addressed in this state, given the context of the opioid crisis and it's impact on Vermont communities. I thought the layout of your poster was also visually pleasing and easy to read.

One question I had: do you know how equitable a program like this is? It seems that taking an integrative approach, while promising, could lead to difficulties with those who don't have access to travel arrangements for multiple appointments, or could potentially be financially restrictive if someone doesn't have insurance/if their insurance won't cover all aspects of this care.

Posted by wsahene on 05/26/2021 Reply to jermolov

Hi Jake,

Great question! In terms of accessibility, this program is available in South Burlington where some patients might be attending pre-existing appointments. Through COVID, some of the programs have also been accessible through Zoom. Accessibility outside of VT can really depend on the resources available (state to state basis). Insurance coverage is also variable company to company. We hope that with continued research showing improved quality of life in patients, there will be more insurance companies willing to cover these treatments.

Posted by cmaclean on 05/26/2021

Thanks for your excellent presentation. Can you expand more on your comments regarding how this type of program could be suited to a value-based versus a fee for service based system.

Posted by ajohns28 on 05/26/2021 Reply to cmaclean

Hi Dr. MacLean,

I believe there has been value-based care information collected on a small group of patients in terms of the number of reductions in ED visits for those patients in the pain program. If insurance companies like BCBS expanded these pilot programs they would hopefully be able to further track data on value-care benefits in terms of office visit reductions and fee decreases in the fee for service system. Unfortunately it seems like the current overall insurance climate does not incentivize this type of work, but there is certainly more data that could be collected by following participants' overall healthcare through their time with a comprehensive pain program for further study in how these types of programs can hopefully become a part of the insurance system.