New York State Medical Treatment Guidelines for Non-Pharmacological Treatment Options in workers compensation patients

The guidelines provided by the New York State Workers Compensation Board offer fundamental principles for utilizing non-pharmacological treatment options. These directives aim to assist healthcare professionals in identifying appropriate non-drug interventions within the context of comprehensive care.

Healthcare professionals with expertise in implementing non-pharmacological treatment options can rely on the guidance outlined by the Workers Compensation Board to make well-informed decisions about the most suitable non-drug interventions for their patients.

It is important to emphasize that these principles are not intended to replace clinical judgment or professional expertise. The use of non-pharmacological treatment options should involve collaboration between the healthcare provider and the patient, taking into account individual needs and preferences.

Non-Pharmacologic Treatment Modalities

  • The New York Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines do not provide specific recommendations for non-pharmacologic treatments like physical medicine modalities or injection therapies. Instead, these treatments, if deemed clinically necessary, should adhere to the guidelines outlined in relevant Medical Treatment Guidelines.
  • In cases where an injury leading to non-acute pain is not covered by existing Medical Treatment Guidelines, the standard of care for that injury should be followed.
  • When durations of treatment are specified in terms of either a time duration or a specific number of sessions in the New York Non-Acute Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines, the longer of the two durations should be employed to ensure adequate treatment.


Non-Acute Pain Management Programs

  • Non-Acute Pain Management Programs, including Interdisciplinary or Functional Restoration Pain Management Programs, should be considered for patients who haven’t shown functional or behavioral improvements with less intensive treatments.


Interdisciplinary or Functional Restoration Program

  • These programs adopt a comprehensive team-based approach, focusing on restoring function rather than just alleviating pain.
  • Consistent communication and integration among team members ensure that everyone is aware of the patient’s care plan and can implement it effectively.
  • The core interdisciplinary team typically includes a physician, nurse, psychologist, social worker, physical therapist, and occupational therapist, with additional professionals as needed based on the patient’s requirements.
  • A physician with appropriate training or experience oversees the team.


Core Components of an Interdisciplinary Pain Program

  • Initial comprehensive evaluations cover the patient’s physiological, psychological, medical, and sociological needs, leading to a detailed treatment plan.
  • Regular team meetings or group communications allow for review of patient progress and adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.
  • Emphasis is placed on functional improvement rather than pain elimination, with measurable goals, specific timeframes, and objective progress measurement.
  • Treatment modalities may include physical rehabilitation, exercise therapy, cognitive-behavioral interventions, medical management, education, vocational rehabilitation, addiction treatment, and after-discharge care planning.
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