AffirmHealth Blog

Nalxone access by state-1

An Update on National Naloxone Distribution Efforts

Oct 2, 2018 9:30:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD

At AffirmHealth, we’ve directed much of our blog content towards safe and responsible opioid prescribing practices with an emphasis on the application of state and federal guidelines to daily clinician activities. 

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Implementing Opioid Management Guidelines Through Electronic Decision Support: A Clinician’s View

Aug 1, 2018 10:01:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in clinical practice improvement activities, clinical decision support, electronic decisions support, clinicians

“The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”—Atul Guwande.[1]

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Three, Five, and Seven Day-Opioid Limits:  Where Do They Come From and Why You Should Care

Jun 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, prescriber compliance, prescribing protocols

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Kratom leaves,

Kratom: A Primer on the Controversy Surrounding the Opioid Analogue

May 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Clinician Perspective, DEA, kratom, patient safety

We’ve previously written about the challenges clinicians and patients face as they seek non-opioid alternatives for effective pain management.  One such alternative, Mitragyna speciose, or kratom, has been a focus of increased public discussion lately, but is still a topic that many clinicians are unfamiliar with.  AffirmHealth has developed this short primer to help bring you up to speed so that you can have an informed discussion with your patients.

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Gabapentin pill packs,

Law of Unintended Consequences:  Gabapentin Meets the Opioid Crisis

May 7, 2018 4:34:00 PM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, medication combinations

Amidst the opioid and chronic pain crises in the United States, many of us on the front lines of clinical and research medicine have been searching for opioid alternatives that we can safely use to manage our patients’ pain. 

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Pain Scales: From Faces to Numbers and Everywhere In Between

Apr 10, 2018 11:30:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Pain Management, opioid prescribing, Pain Guidelines, pain scales

In Medscape’s article “Talk About Pain,” R. Morgan Griffin states, “One of the hardest things about chronic pain is that only you know how bad the pain feels. There's no blood test that can show much you're suffering. There's often no outward sign, like a bandage or a cast. There's just the pain." 'Pain is always personal,' says F. Michael Ferrante, MD, director of the UCLA Pain Management Center in Los Angeles. 'It's invisible to other people looking at you -- and that can lead to a lot mistrust and difficulties in relationships.'"

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Trump Announces Strategy to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Mar 20, 2018 5:05:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Epidemic, regulations

This afternoon in New Hampshire, a state hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic, President Trump announced a three part strategy to combat the worsening crisis.  Opinions about the approach have been mixed with some calling it a return to "a comprehensive drug policy," while others are concerned that a heavy focus on punitive measures will limit efficacy.  Here's our summary:

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AffirmHealth: Beyond Pain Management

Jan 9, 2018 10:45:47 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Smarter Pain Management, Clinical Tools, Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Chronic Pain Guidelines

One of the questions we get most frequently when we discuss AffirmHealth is, “who are your customers?”  It’s a fair question and broadly speaking, our customers are two-fold:  clinical providers and the patients they serve.  The second follow on question that occasionally comes up is, “do you want to get rid of all opioids?”  To be clear, our goal is not to eliminate opioids.  In fact, we firmly believe in the viable role that opioids have in pain management.  But we also believe that responsible opioid prescribing must be practiced within the boundaries of a relationship founded on trust between the physician and the patient.  Our products are designed to help develop that relationship so that both providers and patients can manage these prescriptions as safely as possible.  Recognizing that different medical specialties have different regulatory demands, we offer solutions in three practice areas:

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