The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented challenges to healthcare in general and to pain management practices in particular. Chronic pain patients being one of the most vulnerable patient populations under normal circumstances, have been affected particularly hard during the pandemic when pain management practices were closed and most treatment modalities, including medical management, physical therapy, psychological interventions, and interventional procedures were not available. Additionally, loss of revenue from not rendering services put a tremendous financial strain on pain practices.
As pain practices work to continue treating patients and reopen more widely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AAPM has established recommendations to guide pain providers. While local conditions vary quite a bit from region to region, recommendations can be tailored to individual practices and local regulations, as well as the current state of the pandemic in their region.
AAPM recently featured this guidance on reopening pain practices amidst COVID-19 during a live webinar originally presented on June 2, 2020. A recording of this webinar is now freely available as a CME course in the AAPM Education Center. Reopening topics covered by the expert faculty panel during the course include:
- Patient care in light of the ongoing pandemic
- Safety measures when reopening a pain clinic in order to protect both healthcare workers and patients
- Risk stratification of pain management procedures based on urgency vs. the increased risk of contracting COVID-19
- The important role of telemedicine
- The financial impact of the pandemic and available resources, and
- How to prevent the physicians burnout during pandemic and beyond.