The mission of Advanced Pain Management is to provide you with an accurate diagnosis, and effectively assist you in the treatment of that diagnosis and help you to cope with your chronic painful conditions. We make every effort to do this in a timely, caring, and effective manner.
Unfortunately, our clinic’s resources are limited. Some understanding and forbearance on your part will make working together more cordial and effective. The following guidelines will help you gain the most benefit from your pain management services:
1. A cordial and cooperative tone will facilitate communication with our staff and providers. Thank you for remaining calm and friendly. As a courtesy, please turn off or silence your cell phones while in the office.
2. All patients with pain perceive their symptoms to be special and urgent. We acknowledge that you may be experiencing physical and emotional distress. However, all of the patients referred to this clinic feel this same urgency to obtain treatment. Extra-special consideration cannot routinely be granted in scheduling your visits and treatments due to time, space, and staff limitations. Please know that we will do everything possible to serve you in a timely and effective manner within our limitations. Occasionally, a medical emergency arises which may delay the day’s schedule – we appreciate your patience in these situations.
3. There are many different options for treatment of chronic pain. If opiate medications are a possible treatment then the patient must follow the Advanced Pain Management protocol before any opiate medications are prescribed.
4. Chronic pain is not considered to be a medical emergency. Therefore, emergency access to our clinic is rarely indicated. You may be referred back to your primary care physician or to an emergency facility if we cannot accommodate your urgent needs. Please do not wait until the last minute to seek care for an escalating problem.
5. Please make an effort to keep any payments owed to the clinic current. If your balance is large, we will set up a payment plan. This can be done through our billing staff. Patients who do not make an effort to pay on an outstanding balance will be asked to seek care elsewhere.
6. You will be assessed a “Missed Appointment” fee of $25.00 for office visits and $50.00 for procedural appointment that you miss and fail to give at least 24 hours notice. As a courtesy you will receive a 48 hour reminder phone call, but ultimately the responsibility of the appointment rests with you. Please note who you speak to when you call to cancel your appointment, including the date and time. No refills of controlled medications will be given over the phone. You must make an appointment.
7. Medical records, disability forms or letter requests must be made in writing, and can take 7-14 days to days to complete. Fees for providing these documents are available with our staff. During the treatment course, still or moving pictures and closed circuit monitoring of patient care may be used for medical records, quality assurance or educational purposes, unless requested otherwise.
8. If narcotics or other potent medications to treat your pain are prescribed, you will be asked to enter into a formal narcotic agreement that outlines rules, risks, and conditions of continued access to these medications. Please remember we will not prescribe opiate medications on the first visit.
9. Obtaining pain medications elsewhere without our specific written approval may be considered a sign of possible narcotic addiction and may be reason for dismissal from our clinic.
10. A current referral along with your co-pay is required at each of your clinic visits. If you do not bring your co-pay to your visit, you will be given a warning that this must not happen again. If it should occur a second time, we will not see you until your account is brought to date.
11. If a diagnostic injection is scheduled for you in the operating room, we will obtain authorization for the procedure through your insurance and let you know that it has been obtained.
12. When you call our clinic, you may be routed to a voice mailbox. Please leave your message. We listen to our messages daily and will return your call within 24 business hours. Multiple phone calls on the same day for the same problem are very disruptive. If you do this you will be given a warning to desist. If this behavior continues, you will be dismissed from our clinic.
13. Missed appointments will be rescheduled at the next available time (possibly as long as 3-4 weeks). We will not refill medications in the interim so try not to miss your scheduled appointment. Missing several appointments may be reason for dismissal from our clinic.
14. Arriving late for your appointment is very disruptive and makes it nearly impossible to maintain our commitment to serve you in a timely manner. Therefore, if you arrive 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment, we will usually not be able to see you that day. We will reschedule your appointment for the next available time. Arriving late on a routine basis for your scheduled appointments may be reason for dismissal from our clinic.
15. As providers, we are very busy during the day caring for patients. During the course of a normal day, we receive a high volume of calls from patients with a variety of requests and problems. Answering each phone call individually would make it impossible for us to do our job. Therefore, the providers do not personally return patient phone calls. If you leave your concerns on the voicemail box, we will discuss them with the providers and phone you back within 24 hours.
16. Not all pain problems will respond to treatments that we offer in our clinic. Often a 50% reduction in pain along with a 50% increase in function is considered a treatment success. At times there may be nothing more we can do for your pain problem. You will be informed of this if this is the case.
17. Psychological evaluation and behavioral counseling to learn methods of coping with your pain is a standard part of the care of any patient referred to a pain clinic. If you are referred to a psychologist you will be expected to attend 80% of your scheduled visits. Missing more than this amount may be reason for dismissal from our clinic.
18. If you reach our answering machine after hours, please leave a detailed message and your call will usually be returned within 24 hours. If you are experiencing an emergency situation, please go to a local emergency room.
19. Lifestyle alterations including exercise and physical therapy are the foundation of any pain management care plan. You will be guided in making changes to your lifestyle that will benefit and restore you to function. You will be expected to participate in these activities. Non-participation may be reason for dismissal from our clinic.
Following these guidelines is important for continued success in managing your pain. If our clinic guidelines are unacceptable to you, you may choose to seek care from another source more suited to your desires. Thank, you for your understanding. We consider it a privilege to serve you. We look forward to a happy and productive working relationship.
Advanced Pain Management’s Patient Financial Policy can be found in Patient Forms