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Understanding Transitional Pain Services

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**Presented at the 2022 CMSA Annual Conference**
*** RN, CCM and SW credits ***

The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions, with the Department of Health and Human Services estimating that ~10 million Americans are misusing prescription opioids each year (HHS). A high percentage of these Americans developed their opioid dependence after having surgery. Studies have shown that, on average, over 5% of surgical patients will develop a persistent post-operative opioid use disorder (Marcusa 2017, Lee 2017, Johnson 2016). These high rates translate to millions of patients, a significant contributor to the opioid epidemic. The Transitional Pain Service has emerged as an effective model for reducing persistent post-operative opioid use. This multidisciplinary approach, which involves pain physicians, nurses, psychologists and licensed counselors (LCSW, PshycD, LPC), is designed to facilitate tapering opioids as quickly and as safely as possible after surgery. This proposed session seeks to educate Nurse and Social Worker Case Managers on the scope of the problem (both in clinical and financial terms) and review emerging models for preventing post-operative opioid use disorders.


  1. Summarize the population size and per patient cost of unmanaged perioperative pain when opioid dependency becomes a negative post surgical outcome.
  2. Explain the Transitional Pain Service as a multidisciplinary evidence based approach toward peri-operative pain control.
  3. Describe the functions and methods of disciplines contributing to holistic Transitional Pain Services.