Content in this section will include the coding article written by Emily Hill, recommendations, guidelines, or any other updates that may have a direct impact on the way pain clinicians practice.

Virtual Services During the Time of COVID-19

Public and private insurers have taken steps to increase telehealth services during the public health emergency due to COVID-19. CMS is expanding its Virtual Services benefits on a temporary and emergency basis. The expanded benefit is retroactive to March 1, 2020 and allows patients to receive care at their place of residence rather than in a physician office or a hospital. The most recent expansion included payment for telephone calls with patients.

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COVID-19: Clinical Considerations for Using Telemedicine with Pain Patients

Practical Pain Management discusses considerations and best practices for the rapid introduction of remotely supported (eHealth) pain management services based on a paper recently published in PAIN.

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Practitioners May Prescribe Buprenorphine to Treat OUD via Telemedicine Communication

For as long as the Secretary of the Department of Health's designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners may issue prescriptions for buprenorphine and other controlled substance...
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Six Building Blocks: A Team-Based Approach to Improving Opioid Management in Primary Care

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a toolkit offering a structured team-based approach designed to support clinics as they independently implement effective, guideline-driven care for their patients ...
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ASA, AAOS Launch Toolkit to Help Physicians Safely, Effectively Alleviate Patients’ Postoperative Pain with Reduced Opioid Use

The toolkit provides physicians and patients with resources to encourage communication and decision-making to help reduce patients' postoperative pain as much and as safely as possible.

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AAAHC Publishes New Resource for Pain Management

The Pain Management Toolkit provides organizations with current information and tools to educate staff, achieve consistent, standardized processes, and consider key issues that may help in making decisions about managing...
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AMA Releases Coding Advice Related to COVID-19

  The AMA has created a quick reference flow chart for CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing that outlines coding options for testing patients for COVID-19. Although testing is not likely to be ordered by pain medicine practices, the flow chart summarizes the coding options for telemedicine, telephone and "virtual check-in" visits. Most of these options were explained in a previous article.

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Providing and Reporting Medicare Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily lifted restrictions on the use of telehealth services to allow beneficiaries to receive care without going to their physician's office. CMS announced...
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Managing Pain and Related Symptoms during Coronavirus

​ Practical Pain Management editorial advisory board members share their tips for getting pain patients through the pandemic. Full story.
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Intermountain Healthcare First Health System in Utah to Offer Formal Opioid-Free Surgery Program for Patients Wanting Alternative Pain Control Options

The new program was tested for three months as part of a pilot project, in which physicians utilized non-addictive and less-addictive pain management alternatives for surgical patients looking for alternative pain contro...
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