It is hard to imagine that a medical clinic or individual clinician would require patients to sign a contract before receiving care. Unfortunately, contracts are pretty common in pain medicine. Pain clinics around the country establish contractual relationships with their patients, with the understanding that such relationships can be terminated for breach of contract. Here at KindlyMD, we believe there is a better way than pain management contracts.
In fairness to those clinics that choose the contract route, they do so for a reason. The primary thing they are attempting to avoid is misuse of prescription medications. Not only is medication misuse unhealthy for patients, but it could also expose a clinic to liability. Basing care on a signed contract ostensibly minimizes both.
In a Medical News Today post published in March of 2023, contributor Mary West posed an intriguing question: "how many chances do you get at pain management?" Her point is well taken. Pain management isn't a simple thing. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of time to achieve the desired results. Effective pain management is often a process of trial and error.
A pain management physician might prescribe a particular medication after an initial consultation. If it doesn't work, it's back to the drawing board. The back-and-forth between doctor and patient might eventually hit on an effective treatment, but it could take months or years. In the meantime, the patient won’t necessarily follow the doctor's advice to the letter.
That could result in breach of contract. When that happens, the patient gets dropped, and they are out of chances – at least with that clinician. Then it's on to the next. It all seems pretty strange given the fact that healthcare is supposed to be altruistic at its core.
As we said at the start of this post, we think there is a better way to handle pain management. That better way is to let the patient be the guide. No one knows a patient's body better than the patient themselves. No one knows but them how they truly feel. Most importantly, no one but the patient has to live their life. Clinicians should always remember that.
Part of our approach to patient-guided journeys is to explore alternative treatments. We are not so quick to write prescriptions. If there are other ways to manage pain, we want our patients to know about and use them. We are especially fond of plant-based medicine due to its widespread use in Eastern practices for millennia.
We believe plant-based medicine is a more natural way to treat chronic pain. We feel it is more organic and more closely aligned with how the human body works. We realize that not all pain clinics share our beliefs or agree with letting patients guide their healthcare journeys. But we can confidently say that we have had remarkable success over the years.
We believe letting the patient guide their healthcare journey is a better approach than establishing a contractual relationship between doctor and patient. It is a better approach for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that a patient's opportunities to find relief ought to be unlimited. No one should be condemned to a life of chronic pain because a contract was violated.
We understand why some pain clinics go the pain management contracts route. What they do is their business. At KindlyMD, we think that a patient-guided approach is the better way to go. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more about how we treat chronic pain.