“Louisiana Medicaid covers the epidural injection of an anesthetic substance for the prevention or control of acute pain such as that which occurs during delivery or surgery. Billing of these procedures subsequently for pain management, pain control, or any another reason is not covered. Medicaid does not cover spinal injections to alleviate chronic, intractable pain.
Louisiana Medicaid does not cover any services for chronic pain management.”
This scares me. What it says is if you are poor and sick in Louisiana, the state will not help you if you have a chronic pain disorder.
How is it that medicine and its practice has become more the purview of politicians then doctors?
My concern has mostly been about the legalization of medical marijuana for those in pain, as well as other diseases and disorders that have been shown to benefit from this drug.
It never occurred to me, until I saw a post in a support group about the Louisiana rule, that the government, at least in one state, has decided they are doctors and can pronounce what illness is not worthy of state dollars.
It would be one thing if all chronic pain disorders were in doubt. Although fibromyalgia still has its detractors, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, trigeminal and other cranial neuropathies, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and many other chronic pain conditions have been repeatedly proven to be of medical origin, their “legitimacy” not in doubt.
What troubles me even more is that those who need the aid of the state already have few resources. They cannot afford alternative treatments or pay for the medications and treatments that a doctor might prescribe. Hiring aides, home healthcare workers, etc. is going to be financially difficult, if not impossible.
What is more concerning is the question of the slippery slope.
How many other states might jump on this bandwagon?
We, as pain patients, and the medical community who treat those in pain, are already in a fight with the DEA over how and sometimes what may be prescribed.
The media has fallen on the bandwagon of blaming those in chronic pain for the opioid “epidemic.” These two entities have helped to make our fight harder, because we have to fight just to be believed and to not be thought of as drug seekers.
Many of us are either disabled by our pain or just working part time when able. Those who can work have often taken jobs that pay little. Poverty is often a side effect of our pain.
At what point will we be treated as equals to all other patients, and chronic pain accepted as equal to other disorders and diseases?
Pain often makes it harder to gather the strength to fight. It seems to make us easy prey.
I want to end with an answer but all I can posit is the question: Why are we denied what other patients can take for granted?
Carol Jay Levy has lived with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic facial pain disorder, for over 30 years. She is the author of “A Pained Life, A Chronic Pain Journey.” Carol was accredited to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, where she helped get chronic pain recognized as a disease.
The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that! It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.