Embracing Pain Medicine

An Introduction to a five part series focusing on urine drug testing topics of interest to pain medicine practices.

According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, car accidents are no longer the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. In CDC's recent report, this dubious distinction now belongs to drug poisoning. What's at the root of this trend? A river of prescription painkillers. This article describes the dramatic increase in deaths from prescription medication.

With this dramatic news, I have teamed with POR to arrange this series of articles to help educate pain medicine practices.

As a Florida licensed, nationally certified medical technologist with thirty plus years of experience, I have the pleasure of working with many medical practices as a Laboratory consultant as well as continuing to work PRN in the hospital clinical laboratory. I developed and taught a Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Technician program at Community Technical and Adult Education in Ocala, FL for twelve years before retiring from teaching to focus on Laboratory Consultation. I'm currently employed with Catalyst Healthcare, Inc., a laboratory development and management company as the Laboratory Technical Administrator. Over the past six years I have set up urine drug testing in seven Physician Office Laboratories. The practices include Urgent Care, Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pain Management.

Pain medicine has grown exponentially over the last decade expanding treatment technology and protocols. Many pain practices embrace urine drug screening for their patients utilizing rapid testing cups or send out samples to reference labs. The question I'm proposing is, what's the most practical, beneficial and profitable option for you? Over the next few months I will share information with you about options for testing in your office and the benefits of considering them.

Clinical laboratory urine drug testing was developed for use in forensics, Drug Free Workplace pre-employment screening and monitoring and hospital emergency rooms to treat potential overdose situations. The cutoff values to determine the presence or absence of the drugs were based on those applications. The question is "Are those applicable to medication monitoring in pain practices?" This series of articles will address that question and many others in an effort to educate you about urine drug screening and how to make the right decision for your patients and practices.

Over the next five months we will explore the following topics:

  1. Pain Practice Laboratory Made Simple
  2. Understanding the Realities of Urine Drug Testing Reimbursement, What to Expect & Practice Sustainability
  3. Choosing a Toxicology Lab that has your Patients and Practice's Best Interest at Heart
  4. Differences of EIA on Urine Cups vs. Instrumented Assay
  5. Differences between instrumented Assay & LC/MS

The purpose of the articles will be to provide you with information applicable to pain management practices that is practical, feasible and understandable.

Have a great holiday season! Enjoy time with your families, let your staff know how much you appreciate them, and consider treating yourself to an office laboratory for the New Year. Here's to a prosperous 2013!