In Search of the Best Pain Clinic in Los Angeles: Surgery Centers

By | October 17, 2012

A battery is a battery is a battery, right?

A seldom used but important discriminant in the search for the best pain clinic in LA is the use of surgery centers. I will once again make a categorical statement, that use of surgery centers in the treatment of chronic pain has no place. There are several reasons that a pain management physician might choose to use a surgery center for some of his procedures, but they are all bad. In this and the upcoming blogs we will examine some of these reasons in detail, but for now let’s start with the simplest, profit. Most physicians who routinely use surgery centers are investors and the more work that is done there the more money they make. This in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but it usually has the effect of either increasing patient cost or decreasing the quality of the work done. Let me give you very simple example, the implantation of spinal cord stimulators (SCS). These are sterile operative procedures and must be done in either a hospital or a surgery center. The problem is that Medicare and most insurance companies reimburse surgery centers at a substantially lower rate than hospitals and given the high cost of the implants many of the stimulators implanted in surgery centers are older or less advanced models. Is it ethical for a physician to bring a patient to an outpatient surgery center and implant an inferior unit when a better spinal cord stimulator could have been implanted in a hospital?

At Schlesinger Pain Centers all of our procedures are done either in the office or a hospital.


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