Facebook Pixel Code
Never Settle for Less
Free Consultation
No Fee unless we win
Available 24 /7
We will come to you

Free Case Review

Send us an email to tell us about your situation.

Free Case Evaluation

The Ongoing and Ever Difficult Dilemma of Interventional Pain Treatment, Opioids and Health Insurance Companies

In the United States alone, there are millions of individuals experiencing chronic pain.

Those suffering from chronic pain endure more of a burden due to coverage determination policy-making on behalf of major insurance companies.

In recent years, there has been an industry-wide shift by health insurance companies to consider alternative treatments for chronic pain (also known as interventional pain treatments) as unconventional or even ineffectual, even though such alternative treatments previously established high rates of success.

As a result, health insurance companies are limiting the coverage or refusing coverage completely for alternative treatments leaving patients suffering from chronic pain no other option but to treat with opioid pain medications.

Below are some examples of alternative treatments and opioids:

Alternative Treatments                                            Opioids

Steroid injections                                                     Oxycodone

Joint injections                                                         Hydrocodone

Fluid injections                                                         Fentanyl

Physical therapy                                                      Morphine

Nerve blocks                                                

Radio-frequency ablation     

As many physicians have recently noted, opioid pain medications invariably lead to long-term addiction and other equally serious health issues.

According to a report focusing on the global and national increase in abuse of opioid medications given by Nora D. Volkow, M.D. before a May 14, 2014 meeting of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, “Several factors are likely to have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem.  They include drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed….”

As this trend continues, healthcare providers are met with a “take it or leave it” decision when dealing with patients who require long-term pain treatment, one which increasingly involves relying on the prescription of opioids solely.

Another trend running parallel is that of patients resorting to payment for non-medication based treatments with their own money, which is an option that many people simply will not be able to afford for an extended period of time. This particular trend essentially renders health insurance useless to enrollees, which is frustrating for all parties involved.

The profit margin for insurance companies is what governs these decisions. It is comparatively less expensive to keep patients on opioids, despite the very real possibility of someone experiencing the aforementioned potential health crises.

Until insurers are willing to acknowledge the risks associated with opioids, and the documented efficacy of interventional pain treatments, both patients and physicians are faced with a difficult dilemma.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language


"There are all kinds of reasons why you might need a lawyer at some point(s) in your life. Whatever the reason, what you want is someone that understands you, advises you properly (hey, our emotions can override our intellect), works hard on your behalf and is willing to go the distance. Phil Berenz is just this kind of lawyer. I had a situation where I needed the assistance of a lawyer and fortunately he was recommended to me. Phil can walk that delicate line of completely understanding --feeling your pain--to giving you the best advice based on his experience. Some lawyers may tell you what you want to hear to run up your fees. Not Phil.
He's a top-notch negotiator and has the patience to build relationships with the opposing side to gain the best benefit for the client. He is very skillful at understanding the psyche of the other parties.
I could go on and on, but basically what I want to say -- if you need a lawyer, call Phil. If he doesn't have the expertise that you require, he'll recommend you to someone that does and you can be sure they will be of a high calibre too."