In the fourth and final interview with Dr. Peter Staats in the “On Pain” series by Pain Medicine News, he discusses how certain effective pain therapies aren’t regarded as evidence-based medicine by payors and how that can lead to more opioid prescriptions.
Part of the crisis from a physician standpoint comes from denials from insurance companies saying these types of treatments are experimental. They may be what is best for the patient, but the patient’s insurance denies the claim. Sometimes insurance companies are right, but sometimes they are not.
Evidence-based medicine, in short, is using the best available research and evidence to determine clinical decisions for both the general population and for individual treatment plans.
What attributes to the opioid crisis is when the best available evidence is the best decision for the patient, but insurance companies won’t cover the cost. Sometimes this is simply based on cost, other times it is due to lack of knowledge and understand of certain therapies. This leaves the patient and physician with limited options and they are left with no other choice than to prescribe opioids.
Dr. Staats’ hope is that they can reeducate people what evidence-based treatments and medicines are and talk about effective therapies that minimize the use of opioids where appropriate.
Watch the full interview here.
A Q&A with Dr. Staats also appeared in print in the November issue of Pain Medicine News, which also can be found on our website.
New episodes of “On Pain” will appear every Thursday at PainMedicineNews.com/Multimedia.