Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT

Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT Delivering the most advanced pain management therapy to patients suffering from acute and chronic pa
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04/03/2024

Seeking medical receptionist in addition to a medical assistant for immediate start. please contact Erika at [email protected] or call 8607930500

07/29/2023

Do no harm???? What every American needs to know about recent changes made by Medicare that are making our elderly population suffer….

Never has it been more challenging and frankly at times depressing to be a physician caring for our “elderly” patients who are in pain (Medicare beneficiaries). Medicare, over the past couple of years, has adopted incredibly restrictive guidelines with respect to several critically needed pain management procedures. This was done to curb cost, but inadvertently at the expense of increased pain and suffering among our citizens in greatest need.

How did we get here? Unfortunately, there is a well-known history of abuse and misuse among pain management providers who care for Medicare beneficiaries. This trend continues and is more pronounced in some states than others. Countless medically unnecessary procedures continue to be performed on Medicare recipients at risk of their safety and well being and at tremendous cost to the broken government run healthcare system. Medicare, despite our urging, does not credential providers which means the provider who is placing a spinal injection a few millimeters from the spinal cord of you or your relative legally needs no formal training to do so. Hence, the flood gates opened when greedy doctors took advantage and starting doing (along with their staff – PAs, APRNs, “techs”) needless injections at nauseum seemingly on anyone with a Medicare card and a pulse. Shameful. Medicare did indeed need to do something, but they got it wrong.

I have worked closely with Medicare as the primary pain management advisor from Connecticut for over 15 years to help them better understand appropriate pain management care for their beneficiaries and implement reasonable and sound policies regarding the same. They used to listen. We would meet in person, discuss data, and thoughtful, fair policies would ensue. We would meet in person after office hours given this is all volunteer work by the physicians (the process was the same for all recognized medical specialties, not just pain management). Now, the same meetings occur in the middle of a workday via a telephone conference call (no video, no faces, no relationships). Ironically, the last meeting I was to attend, before recently resigning from this position, was made known to me 4 hours before the meeting was to start. With a full patient schedule already booked, I was unable to attend. The message is clear – Medicare says they value our expert input, but it’s all a façade. They take hours of our volunteered time, ask us to present data and studies, and then merely do whatever they decided they were going to do before we even met after spending about a year developing each policy. The system is broken and everyone, especially the elderly patient, loses.


The new Medicare pain management policies are incredibly and inappropriately restrictive. They completely go against the sacred oath we take regarding “do no harm.” For example (one of many), arthritis pain (facet joint pain) in the spine is very common and very treatable with certain procedures if performed by a trained expert (Medicare doesn’t care who is performing them). There are multiple facet joints along the spine. Medicare, in their wisdom despite our passionate advising, deemed that we can only treat 2 facet joint levels now – ONCE A YEAR (the standard for the rest of U.S. insurance companies is up to twice a year). Arthritis does not “know to stop at two levels.” Arthritis does not discriminate between affecting the left side vs. the right side, or both. Now, many times a day my conversations go like this: “Well Mrs. Smith, I would like to offer you that procedure for your 4-facet joint level pain which gave you 100% relief for 6 months, but I can only do half of that procedure now so we can hope for 50% relief for 6 months. You will need to wait 6 months before we can treat you again. I am truly sorry.” Ironically, despite the pressure of the DEA, the press, and insurance companies, we are now prescribing more and more opioids to Medicare beneficiaries which are not without risk and with substantial increased cost to the system. The opioid epidemic is perpetuated partially by the failure of Medicare to provide care for their beneficiaries. We know these medications can be addictive, and from a medical perspective they can adversely affect the elderly in many other ways: sedation, constipation, immune compromise, depression, increased falls, etc. One of the most common ways by which young folks get their hands on opioids is from their elder family members – a gateway to a life of hell and premature death in too many cases. Additionally, more and more Medicare beneficiaries are being referred for invasive and risky surgical interventions at considerable cost to the system. Many of these surgeries could be avoided with appropriate pain management care; care which we cannot render given the clinical handcuffs imposed by Medicare.

No one takes care of Medicare beneficiaries to get rich. The payment rates, which consistently decrease annually, are abysmal. They sometimes barely cover the cost of the treatment. That being said, treating our dear elders provides incredible personal and professional satisfaction: restoring and helping maintain their quality of life and their ability to function safely and independently without potentially addictive medications and invasive surgery. It is most challenging to find joy when we are being forced to withhold potentially beneficial care, especially when the patient flourished with appropriate, highly effective treatment in the past, and hopes (expects) for the same level of care now and in the future.

Bottom line: Medicare needs to credential and audit the providers doing these potentially high risk, yet potentially highly effective procedures. Just doing that would provide them the cost savings they are seeking and much more. They need to listen to the experts. There is always hope that these recent policies will be modified in time, but for now, our patients suffer with increased risk of adverse outcomes due to a lack of access to effective, time-tested treatments. It is the humbling duty of the pain management physician to somehow hold our suffering patients through this most challenging phase while maintaining the energy to do this day after day after day. Personally, I am losing sleep wondering if I am truly upholding my oath, taken almost 25 years to the day, promising to “do no harm.”

09/05/2022

This week our Practice turns 15 years old. Thank you to all of our patients, families, and providers/referring parties for your continued support and trust. We are fortunate to practice the CARE in healthCARE in our smaller practice setting in a world where medicine has become big business-- a business that often overlooks personalized, efficient, responsible, and compassionate care.

09/10/2020

Thank you to all of our loyal patients and my compassionate staff/team for supporting CPM for 13 years to date. It is my mission to survive as a solo physician practice to best serve the pain management needs of this region.

12 years ago this week Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT opened its doors to those in CT suffering with pain. ...
09/15/2019

12 years ago this week Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT opened its doors to those in CT suffering with pain. Much has changed in the local healthcare realm- seemingly most practices have embraced the mantra that "bigger is better." I would argue not when it comes to pain care. Pain is such an intimate and personal condition it warrants the dedication of a smaller more patient center care team.

We at CPM truly are protective of the care in healthcare. Eric Grahling

07/31/2019

Dr. Eric Grahling discusses how to manage pain before it gets to the point of needing highly addictive opioid drugs.

Watch Dr. Eric Grahling, Owner/Founder of Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT and President of the CT Pain Socie...
07/31/2019

Watch Dr. Eric Grahling, Owner/Founder of Comprehensive Pain Management of Central CT and President of the CT Pain Society, live on NBC news discussing the opioid crisis.
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__nbcct.co_OOIIZUI&d=DwMFAg&c=LO_8KzsOlAGvgA6hdGI4v02U_XLiES0sR51Zca0yIy4&r=uZZ8lEWraOBeLsrXTI-onuue2myKHqAURIA8nTiTyQ0&m=tWY6im5r3AYcxzayTE3Gta2Zb1kSyWXEJWH3V-MDZfQ&s=MtUvSIbrU3M-f2nGd8_6iyretcySYPsbG-qVesyCDGQ&e=

Dr. Eric Grahling discusses how to manage pain before it gets to the point of needing highly addictive opioid drugs.

Our founder, Eric Grahling, M.D. was recently quoted in Eat This, Not That! - Secrets Your Doctor Won’t Tell You -“Patie...
07/18/2019

Our founder, Eric Grahling, M.D. was recently quoted in Eat This, Not That! - Secrets Your Doctor Won’t Tell You -

“Patients often are fixated on findings on MRIs which are frequently clinically not significant (meaning not the cause of any of their issues). We redirect the patient and explain to them that we treat the whole person, not just their MRI picture unlike a lot of providers. Such redirection helps them pursue a more holistic view of their being and condition and usually leads to better outcomes.”

We asked the country’s top professionals to reveal 40 secrets they’d never normally tell you. Read on for the ultimate brain X-ray.

Patients need to know that they have choices in terms of their pain care and providers need to be more transparent in wh...
07/14/2019

Patients need to know that they have choices in terms of their pain care and providers need to be more transparent in why they refer their patients the way they do. The system needs to better serve those who suffer in pain and need care.

What patients should look for when seeking a pain management specialist. We owe it to our patients to provide them with options that are going to be best for th

President of the CT Pain Society, Dr. Eric Grahling, M.D., featured in CT Medical Society's special journal regarding th...
06/06/2019

President of the CT Pain Society, Dr. Eric Grahling, M.D., featured in CT Medical Society's special journal regarding the opioid crisis.

Collaboration between community providers and pain management experts is our greatest tool to reduce the introduction of opioids in pain management treatment pl

We are honored, Dr. Eric Grahling, President of the CT Pain Society, has been invited to provide commentary in the most ...
05/30/2019

We are honored, Dr. Eric Grahling, President of the CT Pain Society, has been invited to provide commentary in the most recent journal published by the CT State Medical Society which addresses the critical battle we all face regarding the "opioid crisis."

Most people don’t realize how serious and incapacitating migraine headaches are. They can cripple one’s ability to funct...
05/23/2019

Most people don’t realize how serious and incapacitating migraine headaches are. They can cripple one’s ability to function. Living with migraines is an exercise of coping with the unpredictable. Frequency, symptoms and severity can change from one attack to the next.

Botox is FDA approved for the prevention of migraine headaches. It is recommended for patients who experience more than 15 headache days a month.

04/11/2019

Dedicated to clinical and patient excellence, Comprehensive Pain Management treats acute and chronic pain conditions, from the most common to the most complex and rare syndromes. Dr. Grahling's background gives CPM the ability to utilize the most advanced techniques to treat a wide array of conditions while providing the comfort and empathy unique to a smaller, more personalized private practice setting.

04/10/2019

A step back......I learned last week of a "back center" at a local hospital that is attempting to treat folks with back issues. The model is to provide efficient care to those that are suffering with the misery of back pain. This is admirable. That being said, the model is one of the past. Providers (midlevels and physicians) without pain management training are evaluating patients and then referring to interventional radiologists for treatment in a hospital setting. So..we have non experts in making pain diagnoses referring patients to radiologists (who typically do not examine or follow up with patients) for treatments in the most expensive health care setting there is. Our patients who are suffering with pain deserve better: the right diagnosis, the right treatment in a lower cost setting, and the appropriate follow up. Patients in pain deserve experts trained in pain management.

04/05/2019
04/05/2019
04/05/2019

Dr. Grahling, founder and medical director of Comprehensive Pain Management of Central Connecticut, is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. He was named one of the "Top 150 Pain Management Physicians to Know in the U.S.” by the prestigious Becker's ASC Review.

04/05/2019
04/05/2019
04/05/2019

Leaders in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of related pain conditions and car accident related-injuries. Dr. Grahling specializes in all major areas of the body, with a particular interest in spine and back pain conditions. CPM takes a non-surgical approach to spinal care in order to relieve pain and restore function.

04/05/2019

Address

440 New Britain Avenue
Plainville, CT
06062

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 5pm
Thursday 7:30am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 4pm

Telephone

+18607930500

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At the cutting edge of pain therapy, Dr. Eric Grahling is the most credentialed Harvard-educated and trained pain management doctor in Connecticut. His background gives Comprehensive Pain Management of Central Connecticut the ability to utilize the most advanced techniques to treat a wide array of conditions while providing the comfort and empathy unique to a smaller, more personalized private practice setting. A caring and compassionate patient-doctor relationship is paramount to successful treatment because patient-focused care leads to better outcomes.

The power of the patient-doctor relationship is one of the most valuable and overlooked tools we have in treating pain conditions. A simple conversation between doctor and patient can be the best diagnostic tool and as powerful as many treatments we prescribe.

Our expert, caring practitioners and state of the art facility make us one of the top rated pain management private practice in Connecticut. Our providers are dedicated to the art and science of determining the source of your pain in an empathetic and compassionate manner.

Don't accept pain, we can help.


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