Make Pain a Thing of the Past – ASIPP – Physician Partners of America

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Hot topic: new advances in pain management

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ended its 2018 ASIPP 20th Annual Meeting on March 18. Physician Partners of America (PPOA) had a strong presence at the conference, which focused on the opioid crisis and new medical technology.

ASIPP has been the voice of interventional pain physicians since 1998. Conference co-chairs and guest speakers from around the country gathered at the world’s largest Marriott for three days of workshops at the Orlando World Center.

The conference theme of “Excellence in IPM: Education, Research, Advocacy” attracted more than 1,000 attendees. They were offered a choice of 75 educational lectures. The event was held in partnership with the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and the Society of Interventional Pain Management Surgery Centers.

PPOA President  and COO Tracie Lawson, MBA, MSN, ARNP-C, and PPOA founder Rodolfo Gari, M.D., MBA answered in-depth questions from physicians. Attendees learned how the fast-growing national healthcare company can strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and manage medical practices. Chief Development Officer David Wood, Vice President of Sales and Operations – Ancillary Division Samantha Dangler, and Vice President of Business Development Chrissy Infinger were also on hand to answer questions at the PPOA booth.

Opioids: give patients what they need, not what they want

The most well-attended session of the ASIPP conference was “Best Practices in Pain Management in the Context of Addressing the Opioid Epidemic,” and it’s easy to see why. Opioid overdoses are now the leading cause of death in people under age 50, killing about 64,000 Americans in 2016. No fewer than six leading authorities addressed the topic. Anita Gupta, D.O., PharmD, reports that “opioids aren’t going away” and stressed the importance of a “holistic approach.”

Gupta continued: “What we do for a living is an art and requires a balanced approach.  Pills kill. Pain doesn’t.” She offered the “SHARE” approach: seek patient’s participation, help patient explore and compare treatment options, access patient’s values and preferences, reach a decision with the patient, evaluating the patient’s decision.

ASIPP moderator Peter Staats, M.D., said pain physicians should always listen to the little voice in their heads that asks “is it worth the risk?” whenever prescribing. He added that “patients should be given what they need, not what they want.”

PPOA medical chief will host Florida opioid conference

Abraham Rivera, M.D., chief medical officer for PPOA, will continue the discussion at the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine Opioid Update Summit. It will take place in Clearwater, Fla on April 28. Dr. Rivera is an FAPM board member and the workshop coordinator. He will give the keynote lecture during the event. “This conference will change the behavior of those in attendance,” Rivera said. “Expert speakers will change the practice of the average physician who attend this event.”


Pain management impacts millions of Americans each year and costs the national economy billions of dollars. This is because chronic pain costs more than just the cost of medical care.

The hidden costs of chronic pain can impact the economy of the entire country because it has such massive impacts on individuals. If you or someone in your family is going through ongoing pain, here are some of the hidden costs that you may experience:

Difficulty Working

For someone going through chronic pain problems, working can be very difficult, no matter what you do for a living. If you work in job where you have to sit most of the day, you could aggravate your pain. If you work a very physical job, that could also make pain more intense.

Depending on the source of your pain, it could be difficult to concentrate at work and perform your best. Headaches, for example, can be very hard to ignore when you are trying to work.

These difficulties can lead to serious costs. If your pain causes you to need to miss work and take sick days, that can cost both you and your company money. If the pain continues to get negatively impact your work, you run the risk of losing your job, which can lead to a number of monetary issues.

Potential Disability

Pain problems are the leading cause of disability for American adults, according to the American Chronic Pain Association. When pain reaches the point of becoming a disability, there can be a number of potential costs that come along, both for the individual and society.

If a pain-related disability leaves you unable to work, costs can quickly begin to add up. Not only will you need to pay for your medical expenses, but all of the other areas of your life as well. Even if you are able to collect disability, you are likely to have to keep costs down to make it all work out.

Trouble Enjoying Activities

Though the financial costs of chronic pain can be numerous, perhaps the most debilitating cost of all is the personal cost. When you are constantly in pain, it can make it difficult to enjoy your family, friends and hobbies.

There is no dollar amount that can make up for missing memories because you are in pain. You deserve to enjoy your life without the constant struggle of pain holding you back.

Invest in the Right Medical Treatment

With all of the costs that chronic pain can bring about, it can be overwhelming. However, your focus should be on getting better. Though there are costs associated with chronic pain treatment, getting help now can help lessen the expenses you will pay down the road.

Putting off medical treatment is not a good idea. Consider the costs of medical care as an investment in your future. You want to get your pain under control so it does not impact your ability to earn income or enjoy your life.
If you wait to get help, the pain may get worse. Treatment now can actually save you money later.