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Pain management or pill mills?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 83 Replies
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I have a variety of medical issues that all contribute to chronic pain. Over the years, my primary care physicians had developed a system that worked for me. I would not have changed physicians at all, but moves and insurance changes caused the change in drs over time. My medical documentation is extensive ranging from MRIs to lab tests, so the need for meds has not been questioned. I have seen different pain docs over the years more as a back up for the primary doctors and the primary docs have been the ones to prescribe my meds.

Last May, my wonderful primary care dr closed her office. It is very difficult in my city to get a new doctor. We have a definite shortage. Out of the 115 primary care doctors who took my insurance, there was not one taking new patients. I finally got an appointment with a new dr joining an existing practice. He is right out of residency and did not feel competent to prescribe what I was taking. We tried a pain management referral, but there was not one approved by my insurance company.

I changed insurance companies effective Jan. 1. I saw the new pain dr yesterday. He had my medical records and the last MRI report and photos of the films. The visit went very well. What I found ENCOURAGING is their pain contract. This is not new and common if you are a pain patient. This practice does a drug screen at every appointment and if any illegal substance or prescription pain med they did not prescribe (or informed about) is present, they will stop treating you. They also require you to bring any pain meds with you so they can do a pill count. In addition to the standard releases, you have to give permission for them to communicate with ALL local pharmacies to see if you are pharmacy hopping. 

I like their approach and think more pain clinics should have these rules. Have you had any similar experience?


FTR: I lost one of my best friends in 1998. She was a recovering alcoholic and was super smart. She would research conditions that can't be proven with tests and would make her husband take her to different ERs 3-5 nights a week for shots. She found a pain dr who gave her several hundred pills a month (I think 360). She was petite...5:8, 100 pounds. She got her last prescription on a Thursday and died on Friday. I have tremendous respect for the power of pain meds when not properly managed.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM
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Guess it is not pick on the disabled day. 

caustinb
by Ruby Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:37 PM
Sounds reasonable to me. I went to college in Kentucky, though, and that whole state was a pill mill for awhile. So I may be a little biased.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:39 PM

yes, pain management centers around here are like that too

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:41 PM
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Quoting caustinb: Sounds reasonable to me. I went to college in Kentucky, though, and that whole state was a pill mill for awhile. So I may be a little biased.

I have no problem with it at all. I was actually glad to see the policies. There was a man in the waiting room who was a new patient and tried to convince the clerk he simply did not have any form of identification. I can't imagine what the drs have to go through every day. 

He told me I looked fairly comfortable. I responded that I was in pain, but have been for so long that you learn to make adjustments and felt no need to be overly dramatic because I also knew he had all of the documentation in front of him. He agreed. I guess he is used to people over emphasizing their problems. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM


Quoting Anonymous:

yes, pain management centers around here are like that too

I have not been to one in years and never had one require routine drug screens. But, all of the others have been hospital based and this was a free standing clinic. Glad to hear they are getting stricter.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:44 PM
I have spine problems witch limit my leg movements and I am often in pain. I went to a pcp and it was most definatly a pill farm. when you went in the office they put you in a little room and some Dr came in and asked questions like are you cold in the winter time, or do you drive a small care and you would answer the question and they would write presciptions for 3 powerful pain meds and you walked out. I would fill them and sell them. I know that was aweful but I did it. but the thing is I still have pain because I didn't take the meds. I am glad I finally woke up and got my life back on track and no longer am a pill pusher.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:48 PM
I'm jusy starting out on my chronic pain journey. Yay me.

My new urologist did give me a copy of my records so I wouldn't be accused of being a drug addict, lol
BewitchedKisses
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

When I was in pain management for a car accident I was in while I was pregnant. (Pain management came almost 10 months after my son was born, after all meds were exhausted and didn't work) They had a very similar clause in their contract. 

I also went to a pain management clinic that was an 8 hour a day clinic. I was there 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I did PT, Psychotherapy, Bio-therapy and Occupational Therapy. It was the best thing ever. 

AngelSinger
by MS Warrior on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:51 PM

I see a pain management specialist. We do random urine tests, and blood work twice a year. Frankly, I would not want to pay for a urine test every single time I came in; I am seen by my PCP every other month! I do have a contract, and I am happy with the care I am getting. 

I am so sorry for your loss. 

LokisMama
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:51 PM

I've never been to a pain management center so I'm not really aware of their policies.  It sounds like a good idea, though. 

They have pain management clinics that get busted a couple times a month locally here. It's awful. 

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