What is pain management?

Pain management is the process of providing medical care that minimizes or diminishes pain. Our Pain and Spine Specialists are responsible for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of pain.

What are pain and spine specialists?

Pain and spine specialists are doctors that have received extensive training in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. Our doctors have

Do I have to be referred by a physician?

No. You do not need a referral from a physician to schedule an appointment with our doctors.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Scheduling an appointment is simple. You can call (805) 557-0096 to speak with someone over the phone or fill out the Make an Appointment form and someone from our clinic will contact you.

What is the patient portal?

The patient portal (link) is an online platform where you can save valuable time by:

  •         Requesting prescription renewals
  •         Requesting or changing appointments
  •         Reviewing your medical records online in a safe and secure environment
  •         Communicating privately with our clinical staff via secure message

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

Please bring completed new patient forms with you when you arrive at our facility for your first appointment or procedure. If you choose not to fill out the forms before your appointment, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to complete the forms. Please bring copies of the following:

  1. Drivers license or approved government identification card
  2. Valid insurance card
  3. Drug and allergy list
  4. Patient Rights Form

You will also receive an email with detailed information and patient forms prior to your appointment or procedure.

What are facts about pain?

Chronic pain is a major public health problem in the United States. Did you know that:

  • About 116 million Americans suffer from chronic or recurring pain
  • Pain is the number one complaint of Americans ages
  • Migraines plague 25 million people in the U.S. 
  • One in six Americans suffer from arthritis-related chronic pain 
  • Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits in the U.S. 
  • Back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than 45 years old
  • When asked about four common types of pain, respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that low back pain was the most common (27%), followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%)
  • Pain can increase stress levels, which can make pain worse
  • The annual cost of chronic pain in the United States, including healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be about $560-$635 billion.
  • Women were more likely to experience pain (in the form of migraines, neck pain, lower back pain, or face or jaw pain) than men. Women were twice as likely to experience migraines or severe headaches, or pain in the face or jaw, than men.
  • 1 in 3 Americans lose more than 20 hours of sleep each month due to pain

What is difference between acute pain and chronic pain?

Acute pain usually comes on suddenly and has a specific cause. It is sharp in quality and usually does not last longer than six months. Acute pain goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain.

Chronic pain is pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Some people suffer chronic pain even when there is no past injury or apparent body damage. Chronic pain is linked to conditions including:

    • Headache
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia pain

How soon can I get an appointment?

Our clinic is open Monday through Friday. We try our best to accommodate your desired appointment time. Please call (805) 557-0096 to speak with someone over the phone or fill out the Make an Appointment form and someone from our clinic will contact you.

What are your rights and protections against ‘Balance Medical Bills’, sometimes called ‘Surprise Medical Bills’?

When you get emergency care or get treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from surprise billing or balance billing.

What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)?

When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, such as a copayment, coinsurance, and/or a deductible. You may have other costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a health care facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.

“Out-of-network” describes providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan. Out-of-network providers may be permitted to bill you for the difference between what your plan agreed to pay and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your annual out-of-pocket limit.

“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider.

You are protected from balance billing for:

Emergency services
If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most the provider or facility may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments and coinsur- ance). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition, unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.

Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center
When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-net- work. In these cases, the most those providers may bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.

If you get other services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.

You’re never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to get care out-of-network. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
California state law protects consumers from surprise medical bills when they go to an in-network health facility and receive care from an out-of-network provider. This consumer protection makes sure consumers only have to pay their in-network cost sharing in that circumstance. Medical providers can no longer send consumers out-of-network bills when the consumer followed their health insurer’s requirements and went to an in-network facility.

When balance billing isn’t allowed, you also have the following protections:

  • You are only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the copayments, coinsurance, and
    deductibles that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network). Your health plan will pay out-of-network providers and facilities directly.
  • Your health plan generally must:
    • Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (prior authorization).
    • Cover emergency services by out-of-network providers.
    • Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility
      and show that amount in your explanation of benefits.
    • Count any amount you pay for emergency services or out-of-network services toward your deductible
      and out-of-pocket limit.

If you believe you’ve been wrongly billed, you may contact The Department of Health and Human Services: 1-800-985-
3059 or California Department of Insurance: 1-800-927-4357.

Visit https://www.cms.gov/nosurprises for more information about your rights under federal law.
Visit http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/101-help/index.cfm for more information about your rights under state law.