This past weekend, National Spine & Pain Centers hosted its third annual business focused pain management conference entitled The Business of Pain Medicine: 21st Century Challenges & Solutions. Under the leadership of Peter Staats, M.D., Les Zuckerman, M.D., Sanjay Bakshi, M.D., and Sudhir Diwan, M.D., experts in pain management were brought in to speak across a breadth of business and clinically-related issues integral to the safe & cost-effective delivery of pain management care.
Chronic pain impacts an estimated 112 million Americans and is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. According to a study by the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Unfortunately, opioid use, misuse, and abuse has risen sharply since the 1990’s. Between 1999 and 2005, the incidence of all opioid-related deaths tripled in the US. In 2016, US opiate-related deaths exceeded 64,000, rising a staggering 22% from 2015. While synthetic fentanyl and heroin are the largest contributors to further escalations in the death toll, an estimated 14,400 were from prescription opiates.
This year’s conference brought together some of the nation’s preeminent clinical and administrative leaders in Interventional Pain Management (IPM) to discuss alternatives to opiate therapy and expensive and often ineffective spine surgery. Topics included but were not limited to the following: quality patient care and measuring outcomes, patient safety and experience, and innovative treatment solutions such as neuromodulation which provide lasting relief chronic pain patients.
Uncontrolled pain, and the opioid epidemic are arguably the two greatest health care crises affecting Americans today. The Business of Pain Conference is the premier educational venue assisting physicians, employers and payers alike, to develop fiscally responsible strategies to provide optimal care to patients with pain but to also avoid the devastation that irresponsible opiate utilization can create.” – Dr. Peter Staats, Chief Medical Officer of National Spine & Pain Centers and Conference Course Director.
In all, over 300 attendees, physicians, administrators, sponsors and exhibitors, traveled from all over the country to Washington, DC to participate in this unique conference. Throughout the course of the weekend, in-depth discussions revolved around the challenging economic, regulatory, legal, and business climate facing IPM as a whole. The national opioid crisis was expectedly at the forefront of most discussions.
In light of headline news about the opioid epidemic, the overarching goal of Interventional Pain Management is to relieve pain, maximize function and improve quality of life through minimally invasive treatment solutions. We do remain steadfast that when determined appropriate by your treatment team, opioid medications amongst a host of many available adjunct tools in a multimodal approach, can more effectively and comprehensively treat pain.” – Dr. Doug Wisor, President of National Spine & Pain Centers.
This year’s keynote speaker was New York Times Best Seller Author, Alison Levine. She spoke to attendees about the significance of leadership and asserted that the principles which apply to the world of extreme adventure also apply to demanding clinical and business environments. She also thanked NSPC physicians for providing quality care and supporting patients who suffer from acute and chronic pain.
Business of Pain Medicine Symposium 2017!
The NSPC leadership team and support staff were thrilled by seeing such engagement at the conference, sponsorship support, and the overwhelmingly positive response from all our attendees. Each year, the meeting seems to level up and offer even more value for those who attend. The faculty and participants who contributed, helped make it a truly special event.