Pain Relief Specialist Discusses Benefits and Barriers to Telehealth for Pain Patients

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: I made some interesting observations specific to pain medicine: being able to more directly observe patients in their “natural” environment affords an opportunity for the pain medicine specialist to gather additional detailed information about the patient’s functional status and social determinants of health. This information is particularly relevant to the benefit/risk analysis when pain medicine specialists are considering the prescribing of higher risk psychoactive and controlled substances medications.

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Patients and caregivers reported greater satisfaction with telehealth options for a variety of reasons as illustrated in two of the cases here.

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: There were barriers to telemedicine implementation identified that have already been noted by other authors and which deserve further study. These include patient related barriers to utilizing technology that may interfere with care and may decrease patient satisfaction (as illustrated in the third case). There is also a need to determine the relative value (RVU) of telemedicine services. In my experience, the work involved with telemedicine visits has been comparable to that required in face to face encounters.

PainRelief.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Pain medicine clinicians will likely be expected to increasingly utilize telemedicine services into the future. I encourage you to be actively involved in telemedicine implementation, research, and discussions regarding fair reimbursement for our services.

Citation:

 PainWeek 2020 abstract:

Telehealth in Pain Medicine: Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
https://virtual.painweek.org/2020/painweek/PosterTitles.asp?pfp=PosterTitles

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