Workers’ compensation, is not simply a cost of doing business; it’s a cost that can be controlled. The Las Vegas Recovery Center’s (LVRC) Functional Restoration Program reduces costs and improves outcomes for all stakeholders in the workers’ comp process.
Effective Pain Recovery Program
In workers’ compensation systems nationally, pharmacy spending has been extremely high and continues to increase at significant rates; and much of this spending is for opioids prescribed for pain relief. It is well known that these medications create substantial risks for misuse, physical dependence, and addiction. Increasingly, workers’ compensation plans struggle with claims costs linked to dependence on and addiction to opioids. Moreover, workers’ compensation payors incur direct financial harm from recurring costs and the inability to settle claims whenever opioids are prescribed excessively or inappropriately.
At LVRC, we recognize the long-term use of opioids to manage chronic pain rarely improves and often further impairs an individual’s ability to function. Our innovative Pain Recovery Program, originally developed in 2005 and adapted for functional restoration, continues to be supervised by our award-winning Medical Director and author, Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM. Because pain and disability affect all aspects of a person’s life, this program is designed to treat the whole person—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as physically. We utilize an opioid-free functional restoration model that incorporates a carefully selected combination of medical, clinical, family, physical, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services to provide comprehensive individualized treatment in a structured setting. The multidisciplinary team at LVRC works together to maximize and restore function and return patients as closely as possible to pre-injury productivity, prevent needless disability, and help patients avoid surgery and unnecessary medical care.
Functional Restoration Program Helps Reduce Workers’ Compensation Costs
The goals of the LVRC Functional Restoration Program are to significantly decrease workers’ compensation costs by:
- Eliminating the use of opioids, sedatives, and other habit-forming medications and reducing the need for medical services.
- Restoring functional capacity so the injured person can return to work, training, or educational pursuits.
- Improving self-management of pain and related problems.
- Moving patients toward stability so the claim can be closed.
- Medically managed detoxification/withdrawal
- Psychological evaluation
- Twenty-four hour nursing care, including regular pain assessments
- Pain Outcome Profile (POP)
- One-on-one sessions with primary counselor
- Educational groups
- Process groups
- Specialized Pain Recovery groups
- Mindfulness meditation training/body scan groups
- Family sessions
- Every patient receives a copy of our unique workbook coauthored by Dr. Pohl: Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain.
Physical—including Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Physical therapy: includes initial evaluation and reassessment during treatment and Functional Capacity Evaluation when requested
- Therapeutic massage
- Chiropractic assessment and treatment
- Chi Kung (an ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused attention)
- Reiki (a Japanese energy technique that works to clear and balance the flow of energy in the body)
- TENS unit (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Nutrition consultation
Pain and disability dramatically alter the patient’s role within his or her family, creating significant stress for everyone involved. In addition to family sessions, LVRC provides our specialized Family Renewal Program—a four day intensive workshop for family members and significant others that provides in-depth education, support, and skill development.
The LVRC Functional Restoration Program is ideal for workers’ comp cases—both as an early intervention and for ongoing cases, especially for patients whose disability and pain medication needs have the potential to be long-term and expensive. Our staff understands the life changes an injured worker experiences after an injury and can help with workers’ compensation injury insurance claims.
Communication with case managers, employers and employees is key to getting the injured worker treated and back to work in a timely fashion. To help with this, we provide same day written updates upon request at any time. Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) and medical records review accompanied by dictated reports, as well as intensive outpatient pain recovery services are available on request.