Please note: Because we are primarily an interventional practice, we DO NOT prescribe opioid medications solely as a primary treatment without any other treatments.
I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ACCEPT MY INSURANCE BUT WHY DO I NEED TO PAY A CO-PAYMENT FOR OFFICE VISITS AND PROCEDURE APPOINTMENTS?
We are a specialist clinic. Your copay may be different or the same between your primary care doctor and a specialist office depending on the terms of your medical insurance policy. We determine the co-payment if any from your insurance policy. We must follow the amount that your insurance company requires us to collect. This co-payment will be the same no matter which office you go to.
DO YOU PRESCRIBE SUBOXONE?
Our practice does offer Suboxone and buprenorphine for pain management.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL OR CAN I JUST CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
No, we don’t require a referral most of the time, and you can call us at 214-560-2000 or make an appointment online. Some insurance plans, primarily HMO’s, do require a referral from your primary care doctor. We can verify your insurance for you when you call.
WHAT INSURANCES DO YOU ACCEPT?
We are in-network with all the major medical insurances including BCBS, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Wellmed, Medicare, and Medicare supplemental plans, and Tricare. We do not accept Medicaid or any Medicaid supplemental plans. Please call us at 214-560-2000 or book online.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST APPOINTMENT?
At your first appointment, you will meet with one of our practitioners for a comprehensive exam, where a personalized treatment plan will be developed for you.
Please be aware that our providers may not prescribe controlled pain medications during your first visit, and any medication refills you need in the meantime would need to be coordinated with your current medication prescriber.
MY PREVIOUS PROVIDER SAID SHE/HE WILL NOT PRESCRIBE ANY MORE MEDICATION. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
DO YOU PRESCRIBE OPIOID PAIN MEDICATIONS?
Yes, we do. Opioids can be part of a treatment regimen, but often they are not effective for certain types of pain. Because they can be dangerous, they are often not the best option in the long term. We offer other treatments which can include epidurals and joint injections. We also treat injured or torn ligaments and tendons. This is a comprehensive approach with medications including muscle relaxants, visits to physical therapy, or chiropractic.
OTHER THAN OPIOID MEDICATIONS, HOW COULD MY PAIN BE MANAGED?
The good news is that medication is only one part of effective pain management. A combination of approaches is often the best way to manage your pain. Our practice uses a multidisciplinary approach to treating pain. The whole focus of multidisciplinary programs is to get people functioning again. One of the drawbacks of long-term opiate use is many people who take these drugs over a long period of time lose physical function. The goal is to restore physical function and to help people learn that chronic pain does not have to prevent them from living a full, active life. We will discuss several options that would be available to help you with your pain.
WILL MY PAIN GET WORSE IF I AM VERY ACTIVE?
When you have constant pain, it seems natural to avoid doing things like walking, bending and moving around as they can make the feeling of pain worse. However, our bodies are designed to move. When we decrease activity, we lose muscle strength, and over time this means that even simple daily activities can become more difficult. Many people with pain fear exercise as they think it will cause more problems. However, regular stretching and exercise can decrease pain and increase your ability to function physically.
It is important to remember that chronic pain is not necessarily associated with ongoing damage to your body. This means that hurt doesn’t necessarily equal harm, and if no ongoing cause for the pain is found, you can slowly increase your physical activity despite a certain level of pain. This gradual approach to activity is called pacing.
SHOULD I WAIT FOR MY PAIN TO GO AWAY BEFORE I GO BACK TO ACTIVITIES I USED TO DO?
Starting to exercise and learning new coping skills are important strategies to help improve your ability to function and reduce the impact of the pain. It is also important not to wait for the pain to be completely gone before starting normal activities, including work.
I WANT TO STOP OPIOIDS, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW, AND I’M WORRIED ABOUT WITHDRAWAL.
Withdrawal is a common effect of stopping opioids. It is uncomfortable, but not life threatening, and there are strategies to minimize this and help treat the symptoms. We may be able to help with some of the withdrawal symptoms if you wish to stop the opioids.
I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE AND ADDICTION TO PAIN MEDICATIONS, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE TO ME?
Physical dependence occurs with any person that takes narcotics at a certain dose for a time. If the medication is stopped abruptly, then there may be withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or feeling shaky, and sweaty.
Addiction occurs in susceptible individuals, and there are ways to figure out who may be more at risk. This may manifest as a craving for the medication and may include escalating dosages and drug seeking behavior.
WILL MY PROVIDER PRESCRIBE OPIOID MEDICATIONS ON THE FIRST VISIT?
We may or may not prescribe opioids on the first visit because each patient is unique. We will need you to sign an informed consent , sign an Opioid Treatment Agreement and submit a urine sample, as required by the state of Texas. We will check your opioid pharmacy record to see your last opioid prescription pick up date. We require an office visit every 30 days to be able to prescribe opioid medications.
WHAT IS AN OPIOID TREATMENT AGREEMENT?
Because your health and safety are our primary concern, the pain medication agreement outlines important safety and regulatory issues concerning proper medical use of controlled substances. Among other expectations, we stress the use of one pharmacy and one physician for all of your pain medication prescriptions. We require you to take your medications as prescribed and to submit urine specimens for testing on a regular basis. You cannot give or sell your medications to others or take someone else’s medications. These and other concerns are a part of our agreement that is necessary to safely prescribe opioid medications and/or other controlled substances for the management of pain. Breaking your opioid agreement with us may result in you being released from the practice.
I LOST MY PILLS/SOMEONE STOLE MY PILLS. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
We will need you to file a police report of the actual incident. We will refill medications early one time and one time only for this reason. Please safeguard your prescription from others.
CAN I GET AN EARLY FILL OF MY PRESCRIPTION?
In very limited situations, we can refill early for reasons such as someone leaving for a trip or vacation during the refill time. Taking more of your medication than prescribed, does not constitute a reason for an early refill. Often, your insurance will not cover the cost of an early refill as most policies allow refills every 30 days only. If your pain is poorly controlled, please call our office to schedule a consultation.
THE PILLS PRESCRIBED ARE NOT WORKING, I WANT A DIFFERENT SCRIPT.
You will have to bring in the remaining pills back to us to count and destroy, before we can prescribe anything else. The pharmacy will not refund or accept any prescriptions back once in your possession. Additionally, this is the reason that we use a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, because pain medications alone are often insufficient to manage pain.
WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE URINE DRUG SCREENINGS?
The state of Texas requires that anyone who is prescribed opioids or benzodiazepines and certain other medications must have periodic urine drug screenings. This is not required every month. While we collect the urine for the laboratory, we have nothing to do with the bills from the lab. We do not own any part of the laboratory business. The lab we use is in-network with all major insurance carriers and you may be required to pay a copay or pay something out-of-pocket if you have not met your deductible for the year. Please do NOT ask us to take care of the bill for the urine drug screenings as these bills are not issued from us.