Advice for pain patients facing insurance challenges
(BPT) - People living with chronic pain face many challenges, and one of the most daunting can be finding ways to pay for treatment.
Reimbursement policies can stand in the way of the integrated approach that is often the most successful in managing chronic pain. Vital aspects of a pain patient’s care – including specialty care services, rehabilitative services, patient education and the time needed for health care professionals to plan and coordinate care – may not be covered.
That’s one of the conclusions of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report on chronic pain, “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research.” The report states that insurance is a significant barrier to adequate care for several reasons, including the reality that a third of all Americans are uninsured or underinsured, and reimbursement policies of insurance companies “obstruct patient-centered care.” The report recommends insurance companies begin revising their reimbursement policies to “foster coordinated and evidence-based pain care.”
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