THE CHIROPRACTIC PROFESSION GOT OFF TO A GREAT START in 2015 as the Joint Commission revised its pain management standard to include chiropractic services. Clinical experts in pain management who provide input into the commission’s standards affirmed that treatment strategies may consider both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches. Previously nonpharmacologic approaches were not included. Services provided by doctors of chiropractic (who were recognized in 2009 as physicians by the commission) and acupuncture are now included in the standard of care for pain management, effective January 2015.
The new standard also advises organizations, when considering the use of medications to treat pain, to weigh the benefits to the patient, as well as the potential risks of dependency, addiction and abuse of opioids. The change allows the chiropractic profession to help more patients who might not previously have been informed by their health care system or doctor of non-drug approaches to pain management.
Hospitals, in order to be in compliance under the new pain guidelines, will now consider what they can offer patients as a non-pharmacologic alternative. “The new guidelines will change the discussion from simply using the 1-to-10 numeric pain scale and what are you offering patients for pain, to what are the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic pain options, how do you decide and what options do you offer?” says Dr. Erickson. “That is going to change the culture; it doesn’t mandate DCs on staff, but the 20,500-plus healthcare facilities will now begin to document that they make chiropractic referrals, in their attempt to offer patients nonpharmacological approaches to pain.”
What Is the Joint Commission?
An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including every major hospital. Joint Commission accreditation and certification are recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. For more information, visit http:// bit.ly/1qEuR0e. To learn more about the Joint Commission, go to www.jointcommission.org.
This is great news for patients with chronic back pain. If you’re under the care of a pain management physician for chronic low back or your primary care provider is treating you for chronic back pain, ask if he or she has considered a referral for a trial of chiropractic treatment.
If you are considering going to a pain specialist for chronic low back pain and have not had a chiropractic evaluation to see if chiropractic treatment could be helpful to you…..call today!