Pain Management Pay Trends and Ancillary Opportunities


At the 20th Annual Spine, Orthopedic + Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, attendees gathered to hear experts from various disciplines discuss the pain management pay trends and ancillary opportunities.

The panelists included:

  • Dean Karahalios, MD, Neurosurgeon, Advocate Medical Group
  • John C. Liu, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Surgery, Co-Director, USC Spine Center

The session was moderated by Kelly Gooch, Senior Editor / Enterprise Lead, Becker's Healthcare.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Pain management revenue is decreasing: Pain management play trends have been decreasing due to cuts, bundling of services, and narrowing of networks. CMS requires outcomes prior to allowing certain procedures which may not be paid for if not documented.
    Pain management practices face challenges in maintaining revenue due to various factors like reimbursement cuts, bundling of services, and limited network access. Additionally, CMS regulations require outcomes to be documented before allowing payments for certain procedures, which can cause financial hardships if not met.
  2. Opportunities for revenue growth: There are many opportunities for pain management to increase revenue, including infusion services, physical therapy services, and pre-authorization services. Physicians should be careful to document all their visits and procedures to ensure proper reimbursements.
    Despite the challenges, there are opportunities for pain management practices to increase their revenue by offering supplemental services like infusion therapy and pre-authorization services. Physicians must ensure proper documentation of all services rendered to receive adequate reimbursements.
  3. Diversify services and stay dynamic: To succeed in the field of pain management, diversifying services and patient mix is crucial. One must also stay dynamic with ever-changing medicine, be open to collaboration and new procedures, and adopt those only with long-term data.
    As the field of pain management continues to evolve, it is essential to diversify services, include varying patient groups, collaborate with other specialties, and stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and technologies. One must also ensure the implementation of new procedures or strategies with adequate long-term data and analysis.
  4. A shift toward collaboration: Interventional cardiology has shifted to a more collaborative effort between surgeons and pain physicians. Concerns over burnout, lack of sustainability, and lower motivation from younger generations may lead to the exodus of pain docs and spine surgeons.
    There is a trend toward collaboration between different specialties in the field of pain management, such as interventional cardiology. However, concerns over burnout and lack of motivation may lead to the departure of experienced physicians as well as younger generations. Hence diversification of services and patient mix is critical.

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