For all its imperfections, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act puts healthcare delivery in a whole new light. I recently visited a pain clinic and what I saw changed me for life. A patient who was clearly in physical pain talked to a psychologist about how the pain affected him in other areas of his life. He said no one had ever asked him that.
What was different about this pain clinic was that it had a team of healthcare providers, which unfortunately is not the norm. Physicians, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists all worked together to find the best relief and improve his quality of life. All people living with chronic pain should experience this same whole-person treatment, multidisciplinary pain program. The ACA supports such coordinated care.