Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
DO YOU PRESCRIBE SUBOXONE?
Our practice does not offer Suboxone.
DO YOU REQUIRE A REFERRAL OR CAN I JUST CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
No, we don’t require a referral most of the time, and you can call us at 214-444-7079 to make an appointment. Some insurance plans, mostly HMO’s, do require a referral from your primary care doctor. We can verify your insurance for you when you call.
WHAT INSURANCES DO YOU ACCEPT?
We are in-network with all the major medical insurances including BCBS, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Wellmed, Medicare, and Medicare supplemental plans, and Tricare. We do not accept Medicaid. Please call us at 214-444-7079 or book online.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST APPOINTMENT?
At this appointment you will meet with one of our practitioners for a comprehensive exam, where a personalized treatment plan will be developed for you.
Please be aware that our providers many times we will not prescribe controlled substances at your first visit, and any medication refills you need in the meantime would need to be coordinated with your current medication prescriber.
MY PREVIOUS PROVIDER SAID SHE/HE WILL NOT PRESCRIBE ANY MORE MEDICATION. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
- Talk with your previous provider about how to safely taper your medications.
- If you are already out of medication, talk with them about managing withdrawal symptoms.
- Unfortunately, we cannot take over your prescription medications in an urgent situation like this.
DO YOU PRESCRIBE OPIOID PAIN MEDICATIONS?
Yes, we do. Opioids can be part of a treatment regimen, but often certain types of pain are not well treated with them and because of their safety profile they are often not the best option in the long term. We do offer other options such as interventions which can include different type of injections such as epidurals and joint injections. We also offer treatment options to help heal injured or torn ligaments and tendons. These can be done together with medications including muscle relaxants, visits to physical therapy or chiropractic. We DO NOT do sole opioids prescriptions and management.
OTHER THAN OPIOID MEDICATIONS, HOW COULD MY PAIN BE MANAGED?
The good news is that medication is only one part of effective pain management. A combination of approaches is often the best way to manage your pain. Our practice uses a multidisciplinary approach to treating pain. The whole focus of multidisciplinary programs is to get people functioning again. One of the drawbacks of long-term opiate use is many people who take these drugs over a long period of time lose physical function. The goal is to restore physical function and to help people learn that chronic pain does not have to prevent them from living a full, active life. We will discuss several options that would be available to help you with your pain.
WILL MY PAIN GET WORSE IF I AM VERY ACTIVE?
When you have constant pain, it seems natural to avoid doing things like walking, bending and moving around as they can make the feeling of pain worse. However, our bodies are designed to move. When we decrease activity, we lose muscle strength – over time this means that even simple daily activities can become more difficult. Many people with pain fear exercise as they think it will cause more problems. However, regular stretching and exercise can decrease pain and increase your ability to function physically.
It is important to remember that chronic pain is not necessarily associated with ongoing damage to your body. This means that hurt doesn’t necessarily equal harm, and if no ongoing cause for the pain is found, you can slowly increase your physical activity despite a certain level of pain. This gradual approach to activity is called pacing.
SHOULD I WAIT FOR MY PAIN TO GO AWAY BEFORE I GO BACK TO ACTIVITIES I USED TO DO?
Starting to exercise and learning new coping skills are important strategies to help improve your ability to function and reduce the impact of the pain. It is also important not to wait for the pain to be completely gone before starting normal activities, including work.
I WANT TO STOP OPIOIDS, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW, AND I’M WORRIED ABOUT WITHDRAWAL.
Withdrawal is a common effect of stopping opioids. It is uncomfortable but not life threatening and there are strategies to minimize this and help treat the symptoms. We may be able to help with some of the withdrawal symptoms if you wish to stop the opioids.
I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE AND ADDICTION TO PAIN MEDICATIONS, BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE TO ME?
Physical dependence occurs with any person that takes narcotics at a certain dose for a time, if the medication is stopped abruptly then there may be withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, feeling shaky and sweaty.
Addiction occurs in susceptible individuals, and there are ways to figure out who may be more susceptible. This may manifest as a craving for the medication and may include escalating dosages and drug seeking behavior.
WILL MY PROVIDER PRESCRIBE OPIOID MEDICATIONS ON THE FIRST VISIT?
We may prescribe opioids on the first visit; each patient is unique. We will need to do an informed consent discussion, sign an Opioid Treatment Agreement and submit a urine sample, as required by the state of Texas. We will check your opioid pharmacy record to see your last opioid prescription pick up date. We require an office visit every 30 days to be able to prescribe opioid medications.
WHAT IS AN OPIOID TREATMENT AGREEMENT?
What is a pain medication agreement? Your health and safety are our primary concern. The pain medication agreement outlines important safety and regulatory issues concerning proper medical use of controlled substances. Among other expectations, we stress the use of one pharmacy and one physician for all of your pain medication prescriptions. We require you to take your medications as prescribed and submit urine specimens for testing on a regular basis. If you are impaired in any way, you must not drive or operate machinery. You cannot give or sell your medications to others or take someone else’s medications. These and other concerns are a part of our agreement necessary to safely prescribe opioid medications and/or other controlled substances for the management of pain. Breaking your Opioid agreement with us may result in being released from the practice.
I LOST MY PILLS/SOMEONE STOLE MY PILLS, WHAT DO I DO NOW?
We will need a police report of the actual incident and proof of theft, not just your account narrated to the police in a report. We will refill medications early one time and one time only for this reason. Please safeguard your prescription from others.
CAN I GET AN EARLY FILL OF MY PRESCRIPTION?
In very limited situations, we can refill early such as someone leaving for a trip or vacation. Taking more than prescribed will not result in an early refill. Often, your insurance will not cover the cost of an early refill as most policies allow refills every 30 days only. If your pain is poorly controlled, please call our office to schedule a consultation.
THE PILLS PRESCRIBED ARE NOT WORKING, I WANT A DIFFERENT SCRIPT.
You will have to bring in the remaining pills back to us to count and destroy before we can prescribe anything else. The pharmacy will not refund or accept back anything once in your current possession. Additionally, this is the reason that we use a multidisciplinary approach because medications alone are often insufficient to manage pain.
WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE URINE DRUG SCREENINGS?
Texas requires that anyone who is prescribed opioids or benzodiazepines and certain other medications to have periodic urine drug screenings. This will not be every month. While we collect the urine for the laboratory, we have nothing to do with the bills from the lab. We do not own any part of the laboratory business. The lab we use is in-network with all major insurance carriers and you may be required to pay a copay or pay something out of pocket if you have not met your deductible for the year. Please do NOT ask us to take care of the bill for the urine drug screenings as these are not bills from us.
I HAVE AN INJECTION/PROCEDURE SCHEDULED, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BE READY?
Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time of the procedure to fill out remaining paperwork including consent, get changed if required, and have your intravenous started if receiving sedation. Please don’t apply any lotions to your skin. If you are supposed to have sedation or anesthesia, please make sure to have someone responsible who can drive you back home. You will need to fast for at least 8 hours. Do not have any dairy or meat on the day of your procedure if you are eating something early in the morning.
You do not need to fast or have a ride if you are not having sedation.