Pain management physicians have a moral and ethical responsibility to address pain, which can have profound, widespread consequences if left untreated. The undertreatment of pain has been causally linked to the opioid crisis.
Access to pain treatment has been called a fundamental human right by numerous organizations, similar to the right to access basic medical care, housing, and free speech
Pain is inherently subjective, and there is enormous variation in how patients report their pain and react to their pain.
Patients with the same pathology can respond dramatically differently to treatment, and react in myriad ways to having anticipated treatment withheld including becoming socially withdrawn, functionally disabled, and suicidal.
In conjunction with the The Corona Virus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, most current visits are being performed from home via tele-medicine as it is imperative during this public health emergency that patients avoid travel, when possible, to physicians offices, clinics, hospitals, or other health care facilities where they could risk their own or others exposure to further illness.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in Governor Newsoms Declaration of a State of Emergency, and numerous County Departments of Public Health declaring a local and public health emergency in response to the increased spread of COVID-19 across the cities, state, and world; President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency over the outbreak, and the directive from those government officials to ensure and facilitate social distancing, and to protect the health and safety of the public,
Urgent and semi-urgent cases will be addressed without delay including MRI imaging, injection procedures, and surgery if necessary.
Although we may discuss and recommend specific procedures for pain control, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be assessing the acuity of the pain and the risks of deferring treatment compared to the risk of spread of the contagion to make a clinical decision as to whether this procedure can be delayed or would be deemed semi-urgent. Semi-urgent procedures will be scheduled immediately while non-urgent elective patient procedures will be delayed for approximately 14 days. We will also be taking into account risk factors such as old age, lung disease and those with immunocompromised health. Patient’s expressions of the severity of their pain and willingness to proceed versus their decision to safely stay home combined with the physician’s input, evaluation and recommendations weigh heavy in determining their immediate treatment decisions.