Recently, the opioid crisis across the United States has been causing a bit of a stir among conservative healthcare practitioners and medical doctors as well as the powers that be. Inadequate pain management and the over prescribing of prescription opioids has taken an incredible toll on the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. President Trump said 64,000 Americans died from overdoses just last year. He has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and “the worst drug crisis in American history”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as one in four patients who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids. That number has jumped 99% from 2005-2014 and is likely to get worse before it gets better.
We, as a country, are now forced to take a closer look at this growing epidemic and seriously consider what the Chiropractic community has known for ages: that Chiropractic and other conservative (non-drug) approaches to pain management can be an important first line of defense against pain and addiction caused by the overuse of prescription opioid pain medications.
Due to the increasingly large amount of research validating chiropractic as an effective, drug-free approach to pain relief, many respected health care organizations as well as lawmakers are beginning to understand the necessity of utilizing these conservative methods prior to moving on to potentially addictive treatments such as opioids.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) encourages patients and health care providers to first exhaust conservative forms of pain management, when appropriate, before moving on to riskier, potentially addictive treatments such as opioids. To this end, ACA delegates met in Washington, D.C., in 2016 and adopted a policy statement proposing a solution to the dual public health concerns of inadequate pain management and opioid abuse. ACA’s policy statement supports:
The investigation of non-pharmacologic interventions for pain treatment across a variety of patient populations and healthcare delivery setting
The promotion of evidence-based non-pharmacologic therapies within best practice models for pain management.
The improvement of access to providers of non-pharmacologic therapies
Interprofessional education to augment the training of pain management teams
And public health campaigns to raise awareness of drug-free treatment options for pain syndromes.
As conservative pain management becomes more accessible, chiropractors need to be ready.
To be able to receive and successfully manage referrals you’ll need to have systems in place to communicate effectively and coordinate patient care with M.D.s and other providers. Are your current documentation systems and procedures up to speed?
Document Plus is not only a complete documentation solution but enhances quality of care with built in ways for you to track functional progress and effectively communicate with other physicians.
It’s easy to use and an effective way to present yourself as the first stop for treatment for patients with appropriate presenting conditions.
Right now, eyes are opening across the country, to the effectiveness of chiropractic other non-drug approaches to pain management. The opioid crisis has placed the chiropractor in a unique and exciting position.
With quality documentation and communication, you will be ready to help a tremendous number of new patients. Don’t let this historic opportunity pass you by.
If you do not currently have Document Plus and would like to take a closer look, call Bryan at 800-642-0600 Ext. 105 or click to request a demo.
If you currently have Document Plus please contact us to further discuss how to use your current system and correspondence to embrace this historic opportunity to generate more referrals, serve more patients, and take chiropractic to the next level.
Call Melanie at 800-642-0600 Ext. 113 or click to request a training session.