WELCOME TO ADVANCED PAIN MEDICINE INSTITUTE
When you or your referring provider’s office make an appointment over the telephone at Advanced Pain Medicine Institute, our friendly Patient Coordinator will collect information regarding your medical history and reason(s) for seeking help at APMI. APMI must receive medical records from your referring health care provider (if you have one) or pain management prior to your first visit.
Please help us gather the following types of information relevant to your pain issue. Some may already have been forwarded by your referring provider. Our Patient Coordinator will review exactly what you need to bring:
- An identification card or driver’s license
- Insurance card
- Pertinent medical records
- A list of all medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past year
- X-ray reports
- MRI reports
- CT reports
Anything else you feel is important for your consultation
If you would like to further expedite the check-in process you can print and complete the registration forms available on our website and fill them out prior to your appointment day.
If you are NEW or SELF-PAY patient (without insurance), please be aware that APMI is a specialty medical practice, the purpose of your visit is for a consultation as requested by one of your physicians. This means that you are not entitled to receive prescriptions for narcotic medication. Your payment is for a consultation, and NOT a prescription.
What is my first appointment like?
You should plan to spend approximately TWO HOURS in our office for your initial consultation. When you arrive, check in with our receptionist. The receptionist will assist you in completing the new patient paperwork and take your photo for our confidential electronic records.
Some additional brief forms you will be asked to fill out are:
Registration information – name, address, contact numbers, insurance coverage
Medication agreement – necessary if you are, or might be prescribed narcotics
Medical records release to obtain records from other providers
You will then be escorted to an examination room where the medical assistant will take your vital signs, collect a preliminary urine specimen (if you already take, or may be prescribed, a narcotic medication), and input some basic information on the computer record, such as your primary complaint, any medical problems that may be related to your pain or future treatment, and a review of your overall health.
What happens during the consultation?
You will next be seen by a pain management specialist. This initial consultation allows for a more detailed investigation of the pain problem, including:
- an extensive review of your pain history and prior treatment(s)
- a focused physical exam
- a discussion of the treatment plan
- addressing your questions or concerns
The treatment plan developed from this initial meeting will be used to guide your future course. It is not set in concrete and may change slightly or even dramatically as treatment responses are assessed or new technologies are indicated or become available. It is possible that no formal treatment may be started on the first visit. This decision is based on a number of factors, such as:
Need for a specific injection which must generally be scheduled for another day
Availability of adequate past records
Possibility of illicit drug use
It is easy to feel paranoid that we are singling YOU out. This is not so. There are two main reasons for doing urine testing and pill counts on a regular basis:
Anyone taking narcotics is carefully monitored because severe (sometimes fatal) reactions can occur in overusing these meds, or combining them with illicit medications and street drugs. We use a variety of tools to include physical assessment, patient’s daily activities, pill counts, and urine testing. Urine testing validates the presence of the drug we prescribe and the absence of potentially dangerous drugs we do not. Pill counts verify that the medication has not been overused.
The Drug Enforcement Agency mandates that we make a very serious effort to identify and report any potential drug abuse and/or diversion among patients using narcotics for pain management. Also, the State Medical Board mandates that we follow its guidelines for good medical care to include drug screening for all patients taking narcotics chronically. Therefore, urine testing and pill count results protect both the patient and the provider from legal ramifications.