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Building a Successful Pain Management Program Dos and don’ts from an ASC management consultant. BY AMY MOWLES

The common thread of successful pain manage- ment programs in ASCs is that they have a man- agement team in place

that has spent time thinking about where they want to go and put a plan in place to get there.

Step 1 To set the image of your ASC’s pain management program apart from oth- ers, define your program’s objectives in specific terms. Clearly state the types of pain you are going to treat. Let the community at large know if your ASC is multi-disciplinary or single specialty and what advantages that arrangement offers. Promote your pain management physicians, their training and special- ties and all of the pain management services that your ASC provides.

Step 2 Provide a comprehensive program, but keep your expenses down. This may

involve outside providers but should appear as a single package tied directly to your ASC. Availability—work out shared call

systems, but be careful about how you select and relate to the other entities that partner with your ASC. Affability—remember that you have

many customers, including patients, re- ferral sources, hospital personnel and third-party payers, that you want to build outstanding relationships with. Ability—stay up to date.

Step 3

Research your program’s effectiveness by surveying: ■

■ ■

current and former patients about their level of satisfaction with your program;

potential patients to ascertain their needs;

physicians who have and have not referred cases to your ASC to learn what you provide best, what you

want to add and what you need to improve;

RNs and other case managers who are employed by workers’ compen- sation companies;

■ major insurance companies; and ■

managed care payers. After doing all of the above, devel-

op services that meet the wants and needs of your market and be the best at providing the most advanced treat- ments at reasonable prices.

Marketing Your Pain Program 101 The best advertising is educational presentations at public events. You get more “bang for your buck” speaking to doctors than patients, but some pre- sentations to patient groups can gen- erate a lot of good will. Speak to local groups. Volunteer to answer questions on the radio or a TV talk show. Capi- talize on your strengths, including physician training, continuing educa- tion and board certification; strengths in your ASC’s clinical operations and

The advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion. ASC FOCUS JUNE 2013 29

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