JOHN PRUNSKIS, M.D., AASP ACADEMY COUNCIL MEMBER, WORKS WITH THE US SURGEON GENERAL TO ADDRESS THE US OPIOD CRISIS
John Prunskis M.D., CEO/ Medical Director of the Illinois Pain Institute along with US Surgeon General Jerome Adams M.D. and Congressman Peter Roskam met with over 50 Chicagoland leaders in healthcare, law enforcement and first responders to answer questions and to discuss the current progress being made at both the state and national levels of government to solve the US opioid crisis.
Forward progress is being made regarding US opioid policy. Dr. Prunskis emphasized to healthcare professionals that prior to administering opioid pain medications; healthcare professionals must establish a precise diagnosis as for a patient’s pain. If they are not able to establish such a diagnosis, they should seek consultation with a specialist who can do so.
Congressman Roskam has initiated and supported legislation to combat the opioid crisis, including securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act. Congressman Roskam also works to ensure that those patients who are in need of opioid pain management still have access to these medications.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams brought to the forefront his personal and professional involvement in working to end the opioid crisis, highlighting the need for Narcan (naloxone), a reversal agent for opioid overdose, to be widely available. Dr. Adams also discussed that changes within the system need to be made to assist those incarcerated for events that occurred as a result of their substance abuse.
Perhaps most concerning, as Dr. Prunskis and members of the audience pointed out, are the inconsistencies in reimbursement for pain management services, where in some cases there will be a reimbursement for writing opiate pain prescriptions but, not appropriate reimbursement for procedures that will actually address the underlying condition causing the patient’s pain.
Members of the audience provided valuable input and shared personal stories that added substantially to the discussion.
Dr. John V. Prunskis was confirmed in May, 2018, by Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve on the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Task Force in Washington D.C. to establish a national standard for the treatment of pain. He is the only physician in Illinois to serve on this task force. Board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, Dr. Prunskis is a nine-time winner of the Castle Connolly Top Pain Doctor Award and has been honored as a US News and World Report Top Physician.
John Prunskis, MD is a member of the Academy Council of the American Academy of Spine Physicians. The Article represent a press release made available by the Illinois Pain Institute.