Ahead of their upcoming session for the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference (NWCDC), Chief Clinical Officer, Phil Walls, and The Hartford’s Chief Medical Officer, Adam Seidner, MD, were featured in industry publication Risk & Insurance. In “From Medication to Meditation,” which shares the title of the presentation, the two clinicians discuss the changing landscape of pain management in workers’ compensation. According to Walls and Seidner, a strategic approach should utilize smart prescribing and emphasize deprescribing while seeking alternatives to medication where feasible.
One of the most significant issues from a prescribing standpoint is the stacking of drugs, creating a cascade of prescriptions to manage side effects. Both experts stress the importance of prescribers limiting drug cases as much as possible and ensuring deprescription within an appropriate time frame. They said when patients do need to be weaned from a pain medication, it is essential to practice compassionate weaning. Finally, Walls and Seidner discussed a growing range of pain management alternatives, including therapy, meditation and other techniques.