Opioids are largely used in the healthcare industry for pain management; however, they are largely associated with health issues from misuse and a financial burden on the workforce. The CDC estimates that every year, opioid abuse alone presents an economic strain of $78.5 billion in the United States — this includes the adverse effects of lost productivity and addiction treatment. With the current opioid epidemic, physicians and caregivers are looking for opioid alternatives to curb chronic pain.
Increasingly, physicians are prescribing opioid alternatives, such as gabapentin and neurological stimulators, to help treat chronic pain among patients. Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic, cannabidiol medication typically prescribed to manage seizures. However, its ability to chemically adjust the perception of pain has been proven to effectively control nerve pain. Moreover, nerve stimulators are another alternative to manage chronic pain. Neurological stimulators are surgically implanted to provide pain relief with constant nerve stimulations to the spinal cord. Recently, technological advancements have been made to increase the effectiveness and duration of pain relief produced by electrostimulators.
While non-opioid medication and electrostimulators may be effective for some patients, finding sustainable pain management alternatives remains a challenge because the traditional medical model is inherently reactive rather than proactive.
CorVel’s proactive intake model connects injured workers to the care best suited to their individual needs and medical history. David Lupinksy, CorVel’s Vice President of Medical Review Services, explains, “At CorVel, we leverage data and analytics to identify patients at risk and direct them to what they need at the onset of care”. With various treatment options available to patients, the need to rely solely on opioids to manage chronic pain is decreasing.
For information on CorVel’s approach to opioid management, read about their high-touch pharmacy solutions.