What to expect BEFORE your Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial

Your provider has recommended spinal cord stimulation as a treatment option for your chronic pain.

What happens next?

You will need to complete a spinal cord stimulator trial to ensure this therapy works for your pain. Spinal cord stimulation information will be given to you in the form of an informational packet and DVD. This will give a brief explanation of spinal cord stimulation therapy and may help to answer any questions you have initially. We hope you find this information helpful as you decide if a spinal cord stimulator trial is right for you!

Psychological Evaluation
A psychological evaluation is required by all insurance companies prior to going forward with the trial. In your office visit with your provider they will give you an informational packet, you will find a list of psychologists who are experienced in doing this evaluation, as well as a letter to be given to the psychologist. If you choose a psychologist from outside of this list, you will need to make sure that they are comfortable doing this evaluation. Please have your psychological evaluation faxed to TCPC at 952-841-2346.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapy within the last 12 months is required by insurance companies prior to going forward with the trial. If you have completed a course of physical therapy in this time frame, please have these records faxed to TCPC at 952-841-2346. If you need to update our physical therapy, your TCPC provider can write an order for this.

Insurance
Spinal cord stimulation is a procedure which requires special authorization from your insurance company. Our clinic works with a third party to ensure that this procedure will be covered by your insurance. Once you have completed the psychological evaluation and physical therapy, our clinic will send the necessary records to the reimbursement department. The reimbursement department will contact your insurance company or refer to the coverage policies to reach a decision on coverage. Our clinic requires an approval from the reimbursement department before we can schedule the trial. Keep in mind, even if approved, there may still be out of pocket expenses that you will be responsible for.
** It may take 4-6 weeks to get this approval. **
** We cannot submit your records to the reimbursement department for approval of the spinal cord stimulator trial without the psychological evaluation and physical therapy records. **

Pre-operative History and Physical
Once we receive approval from your insurance company, you will be contacted by our clinic. You will need to obtain a pre-operative history and physical evaluation. This is an examination to evaluate your health status and “clear” you for the procedure. This can be done at TCPC, or your primary care provider if you prefer. Do not schedule this until you have been contacted by our clinic or surgery center about the approval. Please have this evaluation faxed to 952-856-2644.

Scheduling
A scheduling coordinator will be in touch with you as soon as possible after receiving your approval. We will mail you an informational packet and call you to schedule the remaining appointments:
1. SCS Trial Education Appointment: about 1 week prior to the trial. We will review the procedure in detail. This appointment is at TCPC with your provider. No medications are refilled at this appointment.
2. SCS Trial: The trial procedure itself is performed at Twin Cities Surgery Center or Fairview Southdale Hospital, depending on your insurance coverage. Please bring in the signed spinal cord stimulation consent form you received in the mail.
3. Mid Trial Appointment: about 2-3 days after the temporary lead placement
4. Lead Pull Appointment: about 1 week after the temporary lead placement

 

Spinal Cord Stimulation helps improve the ability to function in daily life. We want you to get back to the things you love the most, without pain. If you have questions about Spinal Cord Stimulation, or other treatment options please call Twin Cities Pain Clinic at 952-841-2345.

 

 

Posted in Spinal Cord Stimulation and tagged , , .