Living with chronic pain is not easy, and when it’s time to seek out a pain specialists who understands the intricacies of chronic pain and the options for treatment, your family physician is your first resource. Most pain clinics require a referral from that family physician in order for the pain clinic to accept you as a patient. The Pain Center of Arizona is no exception. In order to receive the award-winning medical treatment from our pain specialists, a referral from your family physician is needed.
Why do I need a Referral?
One of the most common questions that we get is “why do I need a referral?” The most common answer is that it’s really up to your insurance company, and to alleviate any insurance discrepancies we ask that patient’s come by referral. Without getting too complicated, referrals depend on whether you have a PPO or an HMO, whether you are using a provider within your network or not, and whether it’s an emergency situation. In any situation where you’d need to see one of our pain specialists, it’s your best bet to get a referral.
How do I know if I need a Referral?
Can’t my family physician just treat the pain? The short answer, yes and no. Your family physician can prescribe over the counter medications to help alleviate the pain, but simply alleviating the pain is not diagnosing the problem or treating it’s source. If you’ve tried pain medication from your physician, and you’ve tried options such as massage and exercise (things that are probably not covered by insurance), and you’re still in pain, it’s time to get that referral to see a pain specialist.
How do I ask for a Referral?
Many family physicians have become much like family friends, treating you and your family for generations. So when it comes to ask to seek out a professional that isn’t your physician, sometimes it can be difficult to ask for that referral. And, in some cases, physicians don’t want to give you that referral. Either way, if you have been on pain medication and it’s not working, you must ask for a referral to see a pain specialist. Here are some tips for asking:
- Discuss with your family physician the amount of pain you’re still in. Let him know that the medication is not working well enough, and you’d like to get to the source of the problem to solve it, not just cover it up with pain killers.
- Discuss the various treatment options that you’ve already tried with your physician, and ask if he can suggest any others. If he has run out of options, it’s time to see a specialist.
- Asking for a referral is like ripping off a band aid. You know it has to be done, but you don’t want to make anyone feel bad.
- As you ask for your referral, it is also a great time to ask your physician to send a letter to The Pain Center of Arizona explaining your medical situation.
- Finally, check with your insurance to make sure that The Pain Center is within your network.