PORTLAND, Ore., March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinicient Inc., a leader in outpatient rehabilitation business solutions, is pleased to announce the Company's enthusiastic support for recent major state and federal efforts to stymie the opioid public health crisis, as outlined below. Clinicient has been an ardent proponent of physical therapy, coupled with the very limited use of opioids, to help patients manage and ultimately relieve their pain naturally.
These landmark developments in the fight against opioid abuse are poised to shift healthcare's approach from one of substance abuse treatment to prevention, including the expanded use of outpatient rehab to treat chronic pain.
- On March 15, the CDC announced new guidelines for the proper prescription of opioids for chronic pain patients, which asserted that: "Many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as CBT, and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain."
- On March 14, Gov. Baker of Massachusetts signed Bill H.4056 supporting rehabilitation as an alternative to opioid prescription and allowing patients to only partially fill opioid prescriptions to prevent addiction.
- On March 10, in a strong display of bipartisanship, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) seeking to expand education around prevention, increase the availability of naloxone, a drug which can treat overdoses, and strengthen drug monitoring programs.
When a patient is suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) pain, physicians have three primary courses of action: recommend physical therapy, suggest surgery, and/or prescribe opioids. Unfortunately, the latter is the most frequently selected, as the amount of prescription painkillers in the U.S. quadrupled since 1999.i
During that same timeframe, physical therapy has emerged as a clinically and financially superior course of treatment, making it the logical first step in a pain remediation protocol. For example, a recent study undertaken by the Health Care Cost Institute showed that lower back pain patients who saw a physical therapist first had a significantly lower probability of having an emergency department visit, lower imaging rates, and lower probability of an opioid prescription compared to patients who saw another provider first.ii
"The consumer often comes to a physical therapist with the goal of making pain 'go away'. As physical therapists we often treat pain first, while identifying and addressing the root problem – regardless of whether the diagnosis is related to a sports injury, some form of trauma or post-surgical care," shared John Vacovec, PT, founder and owner of Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab in Norwood, MA. "Seeing patients thrive without medication and return to a level of wellness that enables them to work or just enjoy their lives is what our industry has been accomplishing for decades."
"Physical therapists are on the front line of reversing the opioid crisis in America. Low back pain is the number one reason for an opioid prescription, yet over time opioids have been shown to make back pain worse," said Timothy W. Flynn, PT, PhD, owner of Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists in Fort Collins, CO. "When a patient has back pain, seeing a physical therapist decreases pain and improves health, and most importantly, physical therapy care dramatically reduces the likelihood of patients ever using these highly addictive and dangerous drugs."
Clinicient plays a critical role in supporting physical therapists to confidently prove their value in a MSK patient's search for pain relief. Clinicient's Total INSIGHT integrated clinical, financial, and revenue cycle management (RCM) solution drives outpatient rehab therapists to clearly demonstrate their value in the treatment of chronic pain with clinical and financial outcomes reporting capabilities. A unique combination of software, process automation and professional services, Total INSIGHT also automatically prompts therapists to reach out to patients at critical relationship points to prevent them from dropping out of therapy and seeking opioid prescriptions for unresolved MSK pain.
"We applaud the leadership being shown by state and federal officials to bring the opioid epidemic into the spotlight, while recommending a natural, common sense alternative – physical therapy – to ease the suffering of patients and their families," said Rick Jung, CEO and chairman of Clinicient. "In 1999, there were more than twice as many motor vehicle deaths as fatal drug overdoses. By 2014, those numbers had flipped, with almost 40 percent more deaths from overdoses than car crashes. This must stop and physical therapy will play the leading role in ending the opioid epidemic."
Founded in 2004, Clinicient helps outpatient rehabilitation therapy businesses optimize their clinical and financial operations from patient to payment, through a combination of cloud-based EMR, practice management and revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions. By combining its process automation technologies with expert professional services, such as data-driven practice management coaching, Clinicient enables thousands of therapists across the United States to deliver more effective clinical outcomes, and maximizes their collection of nearly $1 billion in payments annually. Clinicient is headquartered in Portland, Oregon; for more information call (877) 312-6494 or visit http://www.clinicient.com or follow Clinicient on Twitter @Clinicient.
i Data Overview. (2016). Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/index.html
ii Bianca K. Frogner, PhD1 Kenneth Harwood, PhD, PT2 Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, MSCE2 Holly Andrilla, MS1 Malaika Schwartz, MPH1. (n.d.). Does Unrestricted Direct Access to Physical Therapy Reduce Utilization and Health Spending? Health Care Cost Institute. Retrieved March 8, 2016, from http://www.healthcostinstitute.org/files/HCCI-Issue-Brief-Unrestricted-Access-to-Physical-Therapy.pdf
SOURCE Clinicient Inc.