13 Oct How Does a “Pain Contract” Work in Pain Management?
Introduction on Pain Contracts
Pain management medication can be highly addictive and 2007 is a year that saw 11,499 people die from opioid related overdose in the U.S alone. This is in fact higher than the number of deaths brought about by overdose of drugs such as cocaine and heroin combined.
Pain management doctors have therefore come up with what is referred to as the pain contract to ensure that the patient takes the pain medication in a safe manner.
The idea behind a pain contract is to discourage patients from not just abusing the medication they have been given, but selling and sharing them as well. While the use of narcotics in pain management can be highly effective, it can also be highly addictive and dangerous as well.
Orange County pain management doctors treat patients humanely and with respect. The training and compassion of pain management doctors in Santa Ana, Irvine and Anaheim areas allows them to individualize treatment to help patients get back to working, avoid disability and reduce pain.
If opiates are taken in excess amounts, the patient could suffer from respiratory depression and fatality. This is the reason why more and more pain management specialists are creating pain contracts.
How It Works
A pain management contract works just like any other contract, there are terms and conditions agreed upon by two parties. This is basically an agreement between a doctor and the patient spelling out how the pain medication can and cannot be used. If the patient does not adhere to the terms of the pain contract, the doctor can withdraw his or her services forcing the patient to seek medical treatment elsewhere.
That said; it’s important that you realise that you have rights as a patient. Though the medication is controlled, the patient has a right to know which medication is being provided and the alternative treatments as well. You can also ask for changes with your treatment and even refuse certain types of medication.
In other words, this is not just a contract used to control patients, but generally giving them the best form of care. Signing a pain contract with your doctor is for your own benefit. The word “contract” is often discouraged, many doctors prefer the word “agreement”. Either way, the end result is the same.
Before you can go ahead and sign a pain contract, some of the things you may want to think about are the medications included in the agreement. You might also want to have a look at the terms of the agreement such as the repercussions for breach of contract and the emergency care provisions as well. A pain contract usually provides a framework for the treatment.
Pitfalls of Pain Contracts
These contracts could sever relations between an Orange County pain management doctor and his or her patient. The agreement basically requires the patient to follow the rules to the letter. Most of the time, patients are asked to take various drug tests to ascertain that they are not abusing their medication which could be a bit humiliating.
There are obvious pros and cons to pain contracts, and it’s important that you have a clear understanding on what the contract is all about. It also helps to have a good doctor-patient relationship.
Specifics of a contract may be that the patient agrees to urine drug testing, pill counts, not to call in early for prescription renewals, showing up for appointments, etc. If a prescription is stolen, a patient may need a police report to show that.
Overall, pain contracts or agreements are very helpful for both a pain doctor and patient. They help with compliance and outcomes and also protect the pain management clinics in Orange County.