At pain management clinics around the country now, physicians are utilizing pain management agreements, which are also called “pain contracts.” Plenty of individuals do not like to use the term pain contracts, however effectively it means the same thing as a pain agreement.
There are certain components of a pain agreement that are fairly ubiquitous from practice to practice. One of the most important things to understand is that there is a reason pain agreements are so popular. Opioid medications are federally regulated and carefully controlled. Pain doctors and primary care doctors place themselves at significant risk when using their DEA licenses to prescribe narcotics. Therefore it is prudent for pain practices to strictly monitor patient compliance.
Here are some common components of a pain agreement.
· Medication dosage and frequency prescribed by the doctor must be adhered to exactly.
· If the patient undertakes an unauthorized increase in medication dose or frequency, this may result in discontinuation of opioid treatment.
· Medication will not be obtained illegally by the patient, this includes obtaining from either friends or relatives also.
· Opioids will not be used in conjunction with any potentially dangerous activities such as driving. This also includes activities which would endanger either the patient him or herself or others.
· Medications will not be shared with others, or traded with anyone.
· Medications must be protected against theft as the medications will not be replaced by the pain doctor.
· If the medications are stolen, the theft must be reported to law enforcement officials with a police report being obtained.
· At the request of the prescribing physician, the patient must submit to a urine or blood sample for drug screening and testing. If the patient is unable to urinate at any visit where a drug test is to be obtained, he or she consents to a saliva test.
· One of the most important components of a pain management agreement is that the patient agrees that medications will be obtained from the prescribing doctor and only the prescribing doctor.
· Refills of opioid medications will be made only at the time of an office visit with no refills been given over the phone.
· Patients are responsible for keeping track of the medication amounts and must plan accordingly for refills so as not to run out of medication. The patient agrees to bring in all unused pain medication upon request.
· Also the patient agrees to cooperate fully with any official in an investigation of possible misuse, sale, or diversion of the patient’s pain medications.