CA [R] SB 1160 – Workers Compensation

Commentary- It’s important to establish responsibility for not only the injured worker which seems to be set forth much more clearly, but also for those who control the injured workers life in care, ongoing care, and quality of life. This must include employers, insurance adjusters, attorney’s and those who set back the process of diagnosis, healing, and access to proper and timely care for these injured workers without delay, denials, or stall tactics.

Number: CA [R] SB 1160 – Workers Compensation
Updated (Status 09/10/2016) Sponsor: Sen. Tony Mendoza (DEM-CA)
Introduced by Senator Mendoza
(Principal coauthor: Senator Pan)

ca-state-capital-photo-by-twinklev

February 18, 2016

An act to amend Sections 138.4, 138.6, 4610.5, 4610.6, 4903.05, 4903.8, 5307.27, 5710, 5811, and 6409 of, to amend, repeal, and add Section 4610 of, and to add Section 4615 to, the Labor Code, relating to workers’ compensation.

According to the Legislative Counsil Digest existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of his or her employment.
Existing law requires the administrative director to develop and make available informational material written in plain language that describes the overall workers’ compensation claims process, as specified.
This bill would require the administrative director to adopt regulations to provide employees with notice regarding access to medical treatment following the denial of a claim under the workers’ compensation system.
Existing law requires the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Department of Industrial Relations to develop a workers’ compensation information system in consultation with the Insurance Commissioner and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, with certain data to be collected electronically and to be compatible with the Electronic Data Interchange System of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Existing law requires the administrative director to assess an administrative penalty of not more than $5,000 in a single year against a claims administrator for a violation of those data reporting requirements.
This bill would increase that penalty assessment to not more than $10,000. The bill would require the administrative director to post on the Division of Workers’ Compensation Internet Web site a list of claims administrators who are in violation of the data reporting requirements.
Existing law requires every employer to establish a utilization review process, and defines “utilization review” as utilization review or utilization management functions that prospectively, retrospectively, or concurrently review and approve, modify, delay, or deny, based in whole or in part on medical necessity to cure and relieve, treatment recommendations by physicians, prior to, retrospectively, or concurrent with providing medical treatment services. Existing law also provides for an independent medical review process to resolve disputes over utilization review decisions, as defined.
This bill would revise and recast provisions relating to utilization review, as specified, with regard to injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2018. Among other things, the bill would set forth the medical treatment services that would be subject to prospective utilization review under these provisions, as provided. The bill would authorize retrospective utilization review for treatment provided under these provisions under limited circumstances, as specified. The bill would establish procedures for prospective and retrospective utilization reviews and set forth provisions for removal of a physician or provider under designated circumstances. On and after January 1, 2018, the bill would establish new procedures for reviewing determinations regarding the medical necessity of medication prescribed pursuant to the drug formulary adopted by the administrative director, as provided. The bill would make conforming changes to related provisions to implement these changes.

The bill would, commencing July 1, 2018, require each utilization review process to be accredited by an independent, nonprofit organization to certify that the utilization review process meets specified criteria, including, but not limited to, timeliness in issuing a utilization review decision, the scope of medical material used in issuing a utilization review decision, and requiring a policy preventing financial incentives to doctors and other providers based on the utilization review decision. The bill would require the administrative director to adopt rules to implement the selection of an independent, nonprofit organization for accreditation purposes, as specified. The bill would authorize the administrative director to adopt rules to require additional specific criteria for measuring the quality of a utilization review process for purposes of accreditation and provide for certain exemptions. The bill would require the administrative director to develop a system for electronic reporting of documents related to utilization review performed by each employer, to be administered by the division. The bill would require the administrative director, on or after March 1, 2019, to contract with an outside independent research organization to evaluate and report on the impact of provision of medical treatment within the first 30 days after a claim is filed, for claims filed on or after January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2019. The bill would require the report to be completed before January 1, 2020, and to be distributed to the administrative director, the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations, and the Assembly Committee on Insurance.
Existing law requires every lien claimant to file its lien with the appeals board in writing upon a form approved by the appeals board. Existing law requires a lien to be accompanied by a full statement or itemized voucher supporting the lien and justifying the right to reimbursement, as specified.
This bill would require certain lien claimants that file a lien under these provisions to do so by filing a declaration, under penalty of perjury, that includes specified information. The bill would require current lien claimants to also file the declaration by a specified date. The bill would make a failure to file a declaration under these provisions grounds for dismissal of a lien. Because the bill would expand the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would also automatically stay any physician or provider lien upon the filing of criminal charges against that person or entity for specified offenses involving medical fraud, as provided. The bill would authorize the administrative director to adopt regulations to implement that provision. The bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature in connection with these provisions.
Existing law prohibits the assignment of a lien under these provisions, except under limited circumstances, as specified.
This bill would, for liens filed after January 1, 2017, invalidate any assignment of a lien made in violation of these provisions, by operation of law.
Existing law requires the administrative director, in consultation with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, to adopt, after public hearings, a medical treatment utilization schedule to incorporate evidence-based, peer-reviewed, nationally recognized standards of care recommended by the commission, as specified.
This bill would authorize the administrative director to make updates to the utilization schedule by order, which would not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, as specified. The bill would require any order adopted pursuant to these provisions to be published on the Internet Web site of the division.
Existing law requires a deponent to receive certain expenses and reimbursements if an employer or insurance carrier requests a deposition to be taken of an injured employee, or any person claiming benefits as a dependent of an injured employee. Existing law authorizes the deponent to receive a reasonable allowance for attorney’s fees, if represented by an attorney licensed in this state.
This bill would authorize the administrative director to determine the range of reasonable fees to be paid to a deponent.
Existing law provides that it is the responsibility of any party producing a witness requiring an interpreter to arrange for the presence of a qualified interpreter. Existing law sets forth the qualifications of a qualified interpreter for these purposes, and provides for the settings under which a qualified interpreter may render services.
This bill would require the administrative director to promulgate regulations establishing criteria to verify the identity and credentials of individuals that provide interpreter services under these provisions.
Existing law requires physicians, as defined, who attend to injured or ill employees to file reports with specific information prescribed by law.
This bill would revise those reporting requirements, as prescribed.
This bill would incorporate changes to Section 4610 of the Labor Code proposed by AB 2503, to be operative as specified if both bills are enacted.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

For more information-
Bill Text
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Read the full text –
http://www.cqstatetrack.com/texis/redir?id=56c6cbba47

See references:

State Pain Policy Advocacy Network (SPPAN)
http://sppan.aapainmanage.org/state/california

Los Angeles Network of Care
http://losangeles.networkofcare.org/mh/legislate/state-bill-detail.aspx?bill=SB%201160&sessionid=2015000

LegInfo Legislature CA.Gov
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB1160

CSIMS http://www.csims.org/?page=SB1160
Blog: Daisy Bill http://blog.daisybill.com/sb1160-shakes-up-workers-comp

~Update brought to you by iPain Advocacy Committee, International Pain Foundation internationalpain.org

patient-awareness-internationalpainorg-ipain

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Over

In the last week I’ve shared about 6 video’s in the raw. Unedited, me without make up, me with make up, me just going on about the last few months or more, blah blah.

I made it 15 years. I made the last 10 with SCS, medication and functional restoration and the last 4 by medication management, SCS, and home functional restoration enough to help me set goals and achieve them. Sometimes it can really take time to get unstuck from the pain cycles, the why me’s, sulking pity party. I busted my butt, learned, wanted to learn, and aside from a patient, I’m a caregiver too. Hard? It has to be done.

So many times I’ve had to alter my list of the 3 most important tasks needing done in a day. I’d move the least important to the top of the following day’s list. All those little tricks and things I’ve learned over the years that hang out in my toolbox of survival mechanisms.

I knew it was almost over. I just never imagined it would be by the hands and decisions of others/provider’s before giving up of my own. I just didn’t think…  of all the thinking I do that my award also became part of my end. I worked hard for that. Decades for that. Unpaid for that.

Spontaneous? Not really. I messaged my mom to have my Advanced Directive revoked and destroyed. I’ve tried to and I haven’t been able to get them back. It was Valentine’s Day, I called the radio station The new STAR and dedicated a song to my man. I’ll hold back on that song title right now. I took the last walk I ever thought I’d walk. It was long and hard, and I had to sit on people’s lawns or lean against trees or mailboxes and it was really only a little farther than end of our block.

Am I a quitter, a coward? Perception.  A quitter and a coward would have never rolled into those headlights, but let’s be fair, I haven’t quit yet.

I was already in withdrawal, unstable, but woke up to a nice day. It was all good until I re read the first denial letter stating those 2 medications (Cymbalta and Zonegran) weren’t medically necessarily and not supported by the California MTUS (Yes they are). It also claimed that due to the doctors report it was left to interpretation on a couple of matters and one of them was that those 2 medications didn’t reduce my potential for abuse or minimize my current opioid use. Seriously?!!

I appealed and I won. No potential for abuse or misuse and both medically necessary.

Approved on appeal February 16, 2016.  I’m still not on them, nor am I on any pain reliever at all.

I can get through the 7’s, bouncing 8’s and 9’s. I can use my tools to bring those 8/9’s down enough to level myself. I couldn’t handle the 9/10 I couldn’t bring myself out of it. The physical 9/10 that can make you lose your mind. Why? Because it’s in your mind where you’re coping abilities and strategies are.

Already living in your head all day just to manage your 7, see what happens when 10 comes and there isn’t any help. I’ve rarely used 10 in my entire life, I seldom use 9, except to acknowledge it gets there off and on throughout any day for seconds, minutes, hours.

10 though! I drank that bottle, intoxicated, drunk, I could care less about labels because I hit the ground on my stomach and face so hard I passed out. Somnolence, narcoleptic episodes (diagnosed) or alcohol, perhaps a combination of each. Though my husband said he dropped me as I was leaning against him.

I walked out of our gate and stood against our lamp post. Husband came out and told me to go back inside. I wasn’t doing anything but standing there, reflecting, thinking, but then…

He started grabbing me to lead me in and a lady called the Sheriff’s Department on him for abusing me. He wasn’t, but he was in my space and I just wanted to chill. I was sure to tell her that he didn’t hurt me, beat me, abuse me and that I was fine. I was. I think.

Our street, people drive down it like there is no road and a speed limit doesn’t exist.

That was my out! I laid down in the center of the street, spread my arms and my legs as best as I could and I could see headlights flying right for me. Am I mad I was pulled out of the street? A little. Why would I ever think to let a driver be responsible for killing me. Well how about this, slow down and do the speed limit. Everything is a learning experience.

The unbelievable inaccuracies in my medical records are nearly beyond fixing. Medications listed I’m not even taking, and a few for more than a year. I’ve updated again since my release and tonight I peeked at my Patient EMR. They’re all still listed. So the medications go on the record, but they don’t come off? There’s a difference between previously taken medications (inactive) and medications currently taking (active). It say’s I’m on 11 medications including 2 opioids, a benzo, oic med, lidoderm patches, cymbalta, and zonegran and I”M NOT!  Lisinopril, Hydralazine, Atorvastatin and Nuvigil. That is what I’m on. 4 medications. Red flag above 7, did you know that? So yes, I’ve been red flagged and it’s flying the wrong way.

I’m sorry to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the Metropolitan Fire Department and the EMT and probably ambulance driver too. I didn’t trust you.

When you asked if I was in pain? I told you I wouldn’t tell you even if I was… Because… I wasn’t going to have in my record an opioid pain reliever documented as given to me. Yeah I suffered and I suffered for not being truthful. I’m learning though that truth and honesty is just someone elses made up lies. Unfortunate casualties of the world we live in.

To the Officer that lacked a little faith, I pray I left you with something. Heart! Have a little faith that sometimes not everyone is who the rest of the world made us out to be.

I’m not sorry for the actions that led to my consequences or my responsibility in it. It’s forever now.  I’m glad I screamed all the policy issues going on and made it loud and clear for blocks. I’m sorry for all those who played a part and either bailed or covered their own asses. I’m sorry for all those who think relieving pain leads to misuse, abuse and heroin above the overdoses that are self inflicted one way or the other.

Who ever thought it’d be me? No one!

Courage - Your fear

Goals? Get my lyrics out to those who’ve been interested and play that part of a lifetime. Really though, I’ve already done everything I wanted. From Poster Girl to TV Commercial, being published by my 20’s, being a part of Sacramento history in the news, hard copy, on the news live, iPain Foundation, my own endeavors. All in the background from my space, my cubby.

I’ll either fly off this earth by the grace of God, or by my faith in options. Take that as you will. I’ve had to choose, make choices, decisions, options to save my own life. My own!

Still not what you would simply assume.

I don’t hardly care about much right now because I can’t fix me enough to put in the few hours a month I had been to help others. I’m numb and it’s not the numb I wish it was. It really is easy to rectify wrongs, accidents, mistakes, oversights, correct errors and be responsible for your own actions. It really is easy to do. The only reason someone would choose not to is to hide their own guilt and be unable or against a face to face with you in the presence of a sit down meeting with lead staff for a reconciliation. I feel bad about that and I shouldn’t because I did move to rectify and was denied. I was even denied the 30 days of “emergency care” allotted by law when being dismissed by a provider.

I am grateful for the person who provided LLLT and Bowen Therapy yesterday. Bowen might take a few more times. LLLT I’ve done a few times before. The only “maybe” for months.

Really though, my problem is that I care too much but I think that’s been back handed out of me. None of this is finished, some has only just begun and the rest well…  it is what it is, for now.

Over and…

out.

 

The Body, Mind and Spirit; Humanizing the Soul

https://rsdadvisory.com/2016/02/11/the-body-mind-and-spirit-humanizing-the-soul/

It Really Hurts to Hurt | Live On. Give On.

https://rsdadvisory.com/2016/03/20/it-really-hurts-to-hurt-live-on-give-on/

The Unintended Side Effects of Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse by Twinkle VanFleet

The California Progress Report January 8, 2015

http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/unintended-side-effects-fighting-prescription-drug-abuse

Bracelets; Lockdown; Profound and Letdown

https://rsdadvisory.com/2016/02/26/bracelets-lockdown-profound-and-letdown/

It Really Hurts to Hurt | Live On. Give On.

twinklev_onlygodcanjudgemeIt’s been a couple of days over a month since I came home from that hospital stay. I can’t say it’s gotten any better, in fact, worse in that I’m also now 6 days off of the very last medication that provided any relief and the only opioid based medication I was on in the first place. Let me back track to pre Hawaii and the honor I received by being a 2015 Bakken Invitation Award Honoree. I was already struggling harder that maintaining my average 7 (on the pain scale). I was to depart on January 13th. A week or about prior I knew or believed at the time that I couldn’t make that trip any longer. I made a non scheduled emergency appointment with my Pain Management provider, who attempted to help me. I had only been using BuTrans 5mcg/hour. I was increased to 10mcg/hour for 2 months. When my husband got me to the pharmacy, my 5 was ready. I put in the Rx for the 10 and didn’t pick up the already approved 5. Trying to always remain in compliance and thinking I was doing right by not picking up the 5, yet instead swapping it out for the new 10 backfired. (why would I try to get them both? I didn’t. That wasn’t the medical plan to have each of them.

I’ve been asked how Hawaii was and I’ll always say amazing due the achievements while living intractable pain that got me there. I never laid out in the sun, or made it to the beach, I never got to visit the cabana, or see the turtles. I went to Hawaii but didn’t get to “Hawaii”. My husband had the privilege to spend time on the beach on 2 occasions and have lunch with an agent of Medtronic. I didn’t.

Energy Pennies!

Each of us honorees were there for living with medical technology that had given us “extra life”. Extra life that let us give back selflessly and the ability to “Live On. Give On. I actually live with other forms of medical technology. An Auto Servo Ventilator by Philips that forces me to breathe when my brain shuts down the muscle that allow breathing in Central Apnea with Cheyne Stokes Respiration, and the Obstructive Apnea I have with it. Otherwise known as complex or mixed sleep apnea. I’ve had 2 clips holding me organs together. The injury that led to my CRPS over 15 years ago was a severe separation of my right foot, chip fractures, and tendon displacements. Either referred to as a mid-metatarsal separation or a Lis Franc fracture.

While my husband went to have lunch with the others, I was getting ready for my filmed interview. It was a hard day for me. That same morning was my Whale Watching Cruise. Each honoree was gifted an event of their choosing among a few choices. I chose the one that didn’t require any physical activity beyond getting to and from the location to each boat transfer for the cruise. I tried to walk the length of the beach upon arrival to get to the boat landing and I did! But in doing so, I set myself back. I had to use ADA beach wheel chair transport on the way back. When we all got back to the Hotel my interview was already waiting. The trip took longer over all. When we got back to our room, I had about 30 minutes to get ready and I used 10 or more of them to get off my legs and lay down. The clock was ticking, I had to change, and do something with my face. I didn’t wear makeup to the cruise. My husband headed for lunch and I got myself to the interview and back. It was that same night that we were having our awards reception. When I made it back to our room after the interview, I rested for an hour or so. My legs were burning so bad. My right side swollen and discolored, my left side could barely take it from carrying me. I had to do another change and get ready for the evening. Neither of the dresses I took was I able to wear due to the mass amount of swelling. I wore a blouse previously worn one other time. (Embarrassing but not everyone knew that I had). I’m not in many of the group photos because of inability, but I’m grateful for the photos I am apart of with a few special people that bonded in love, laughter, crying, and hope. Tanya, fellow honoree, Andrea, fellow honoree, Andrew, photography, Rich, Medtronic, Emelyne and Darren.

My BuTrans was picked up the day after returning home on the 18th. I attempted to refill Cymbalta and Zonegran on the 29th. The pharmacy said my doctor hadn’t responded to the fax request. In reality they had been denied by WC and I just hadn’t known it yet. I appealed via my PMD. Approved by another IME as being medically necessary February 16th. I still don’t have them.

2 months prior I had gone through similar delay of weeks, and before that. Always and abrupt discontinuation of either days, weeks or in this case nearly 2 months for 2 of them.

Can you imagine what it does to someone’s brain each time you go from something to nothing. What being on an SSNRI and anti seizure for over 10 years, yet coping through the adverse effects of on and off over and over again?
Can you imagine physical pain so bad that you aren’t just complaining or trying live anymore because you can’t? Can you imagine pain so visceral and crippling, you lose your mind?

I’ve known this pain before. It’s where all my piercing were born from. The diversion for pain to replace pain. I don’t often use the number 10 because 10 is meant to imply true inability to perform anything, the worse pain “imaginable”. Hospital bound, suicidal ideations, that’s 10. It’s not 11 or 20. It’s 10.

I don’t head for pills or opioid chase as some would like to believe we all do, my toxicology screens is and was negative for everything illicit, but it was positive for ethanol on Valentine’s day. I’ve been there before too, prior to ever getting into pain management in 2004. By the end of 2004, I woke up one day and didn’t drink again until 2012 and not to the point of intoxication and not again for another year. Gradually and after January 1st of 2015, I chose to drink when I wanted to, and not drink when I didn’t want to. January 1st was the denial and abrupt discontinuation of Klonopin 0.5, the reduction from 90 mg of Cymbalta to 30 and the denial of Lidoderm patches entirely as well.

The last 14 months have been a hell only certain people survive. I didn’t appeal those denials and reductions. It was the beginning of my decline in hope. I still had something left that couldn’t be taken and that was my Spinal Cord Stimulator which covers my lower back on down to my toes on each side.

Maybe you don’t like my politics or philosophies and maybe I don’t prefer your inaccuracies and errors in my medical records that I update each and every time I’m seen by anyone. Maybe you don’t prefer the thought provoking statements I make or consequences and responsibility topics I engage in.

That’s okay because I still respect your right to speak out against the pain you‘ve endured, perhaps you could afford me the same.

What good is the EMR (Electronic Medical Record) if it’s not used properly? In my recent hospitalization it showed I was on 11 medications, and I was injected with a medication potentially life threatening due to those errors which claimed I was still on a Benzo, BuTrans 5 and 10, Lidoderm, OIC med, Cymbalta and Zonegran.

I was only on BuTrans 10. The records only indicated a few of my diagnosis’ and left out important others. I’m not speaking of independent care or my PMD, I’m speaking of my primary health record. Dignity/Mercy Health.

The record shows that during that stay Morphine was prescribed, but denied.

Because of the medical record errors they gave me Cymbalta and Zonegran for 2 days which I had already been off for over 2 weeks. So when I got to come home I had to fall from it again.

As of now, I’m only on Lisinopril and Hydralazine for high Blood pressure. Atorvastatin for HC, and Nuvigil for sleep disorders.

Pain? You don’t know pain until you really want to live, but you pray to God to die.

And you don’t know pain until you’ve walked my shoes. Each and every worn out pair (not the ones you physically wear on your feet) but the shoes of life, struggle, being born with arthritis, PTSD x 3, DDD + Cervical, Diverticulosis (it is when flaring), CRPS 2, liver disease, reduced kidney function, female crap and all the others that would only take up space. Survival!

You don’t know pain until you keep doing for others to help them through, give them hope, change their lives, encourage them, love them, care-give when you can’t even care for yourself, yet you continue to put them before anything for you. I’ve been an advocate in one capacity or other for over 30 years and a writer for 40. I’m 48.

Friday evening it took over 2 hours to get myself out of the mind space I was in. That mind space that said go hit a wall, divert it, you know how. With the rest of me repeating to myself over and over #StrongerThanPain. “I’ll walk, when I cannot walk, I’ll carry myself, when I can’t carry myself, I’ll fly”

Late that night, my husband went and got me some generic Acetaminophen PM and another bottle of only Acetaminophen without sleep aid.

I’ll most likely never reach out again, but I’m thankful to Barby Ingle for when I did make it into a new day and I was able to talk a few her encouraging words assisted in the ongoing fight to live through it and with it, somehow. HOPE!

I’m thankful for technology and I’m grateful for those who humanize patients. Dr. Bakken, Dr. Duffy, and Susan Pueschel. I haven’t lost faith in my God, I’m losing faith in humanity.

As I said before, it’s all a Mirage, but I suppose it’s also part of the purpose.
PPP

I’m far from well, I can barely walk, my butt is bleeding, every part of me hurts not only from what I already had but from the injuries that occurred on Valentine’s day as well. A laceration/contusion of my head/forehead and face, deep contusions/sprains/strains/possible breaks of my hands/wrists, deep bruising arms, legs, back, butt. None of which documented at all. None of which are part of any record or care in those 2 days. Only my own/photos days later.

It doesn’t matter what caused it, how, or who.

Accuracy matters.

and…

#IHaveTheNerveToBeHeard

Godspeed!

Bracelets; Lockdown; Profound and Letdown

Cross-posted from February 19 at 12:43pm

In the early evening of Valentines Day, February 14, 16, I was placed in handcuffs in front of my residence and transferred to ‪#‎MethodistHospital‬ psychiatric hold where I got to come home the evening of February 16th Initially, I was being transferred to another facility for a 72 hour hold and evaluation after the Dr. said I wasn’t a threat to others, but I was to myself. Upon re evaluation the afternoon of the 16th, the doctor via tele medicine (Robot) allowed me to go home. The bruises on my body (severe) are not self inflicted, but are the consequences of my actions. After being denied 2 types of medications I’ve been on over 10 years (non opioid, anti-depressent/nerve pain and an anticonvulsent, 2 others removed entirely and abruptly January 2015 and reduced from 90 to 30 on Cymbalta at the same time, being continuously delayed, denied, retaking these 2, being denied again, going through the withdrawals over and over and knowing how many of you go through the same or similar, I began to crack. Days prior I filed the appeal, the next day I sought psych help from one of my providers, but was never contacted back. Valentines day started beautifully. My husband set up our patio, and have a vase of flowers for me, coffee and it was peaceful. When I woke that morning, he said “don’t go back” referring to the bedroom. He said” close your eyes” I did. He led me to the patio, the best gift I could have been given. As the early afternoon and sunshine made it’s way in, I was updating hand notes previously taken on a legislative conference to send as minutes. I was listening to music. My emotions began to rise. I was upset that I couldn’t be there for Barby in the loss of her dad, or my mom who’s doing all she can to keep her heart beating, or my dad, or my children, even my sister. I saw that denial letter again as I was highlighting the inaccuracies it contained. I tossed back a 200 ml bottle of vodka. To be specific the $1.99 bottle of Tamiroff (the cheap crap) 40% alcohol by volume. It wasn’t the cause of my actions, but it was the liquid courage to tell it how it was and how it shouldn’t be, however misplaced. I remembered what WC took from me, what I was manipulated into 14 years ago. Something that even possibility, chance or a cure can never bring back and I realized how absolutely stupid I was to listen to my health team at the time. See? I’ve learned and I’ve grown since then and while now I have to tread carefully, I refuse to shut up for me, or for you. And I remember that when my case was initially force closed in 2003, I asked for 1 thing. Just one, and whether my 3 know that or not, I submitted it in writing. I asked for them to apologize to my children.

They’re still waiting

I stood in the street and screamed everything we go through. ‪#‎Chronic‬, ‪#‎IntractabIe‬ ‪#‎Pain‬, ‪#‎CRPS‬, ‪#‎DWC‬ ‪#‎California‬ ‪#‎MTUS‬, denials and delays, I screamed that if you take an opioid, tomorrow you’re defined an addict If you have a drink, guess what? Now you’re an alcoholic. I screamed that records should be maintained accurately and that I was DONE! With irresponsible people fucking up responsible lives. Was my act responsible? Perhaps not, but the cause and reason was.

My tongue was foul.

When I attempted to advocate for myself, speak of compassion and understanding, humanizing people for all, and reveal what I do and that I wasn’t blind to it all, I was considered hallucinating, fabricating, making it up, laughed at, demeaned and ridiculed. Being kind, caring, loving, understanding, respectful, honest, and trustworthy has got me no where. Incline my head to the higher ups as if they’re right, when really I just don’t have the guts to advocate on my own behalf and tell them they’re wrong.

A person (and patient) who’s done everything right has labeled me, defined me, and stigmatized me as someone who’s wrong and who’s done everyone wrong.
They wouldn’t even give me my SCS controller to turn off my stim. Flat increases stimulation. The nurse tried to give me some line about, not right now, she didn’t know what I was talking about, so I tried to tell her. Being dismissed from that made me see even more red, I called her stupid and told her to f off. Then I apologized because even in my upset state, I had the mind to know it really wasn’t her fault, she was just ignorant and uneducated.

I won’t be tolerating inaccuracies in records, healthcare or otherwise. I won’t be tolerating patients not being able to add note to correct the record. I won’t be hiding away under the blankets anymore, while people create their reports to satisfy their own job criteria, yet leave out pertinent information. I’ll be up to make sure you know you better get it right. And that people deserve truth about all else.

I’ll be sharing this story in it’s entirety, there’s so much more than this. My records, PRIUM, tox screen, etc are being sent to the International Pain Foundation. Via iPain someone gets the exclusive. I’ll decide free or fee. Oh and I got on the inside in all of it, now I know what goes on behind those scenes and those doors. I supposedly blew a high alcohol level. But here’s the deal. The bottle is still the same bottle it can’t magically become something else. The amount my body took in wasn’t more than that, I’m 200 pounds, so go figure. I’ve saved that little bottle as a souvenir. Excuses? Not at all. I’m not proud, but nor am I ashamed. My transparency will bring me back up, enough to prove, I haven’t lied, fabricated and I wasn’t on any illicit or illegal drugs which no one believed either.

On the contrary, the truth I’ve told and will tell
Will become me

(This is my #FightSong

… Take back my life song)

If I gave anything that night, I gave 2 things.

1. On command I removed my hands from my mama’s jacket pockets and complied without incident to place my hands behind my back. ‪#‎SacramentoSheriffsDepartment‬. Everyone should do the same in all situations.

2. I’ve given all of you the rest of my life; the one I can’t go back on.
My name is now associated with defiance and lock down.

Nothing else was considered
Sleep disorders, narcoleptic episodes
CSA (my brain doesn’t send the signals to my body to breathe)
Myoclonia
Withdrawal (probably over that by now, but the effects I’m still dealing with)
CRPS (Flare) + and an altered brain from the last 13 months of continuous WC hell.
CRPS (secondary depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD x 2 (diagnosed)

(excluded are internal diagnosis’)

My medication list has been updated each and every time I’m seen by my physicians. Yet, my discharge shows I’m on 11 meds, including Butrans, 5 and 10, a benzo and others. I’m on Lisinopril 1 x a.m, Atorvastatin 1 x p.m, Hydralazine as needed only, BP 180/+, Nuvigil daily, and BuTrans Patch/wk. ‪#‎DignityHealth‬ is linked to all my doctors. The hospital is part of Dignity Health. What’s the point of the EMR, PMP, PDMP or even a computer if it’s not properly used?

Understand why I kept saying “I’m fucking done” I’m done doesn’t equal I’m going to kill myself. I’m over it, doesn’t mean it either. I don’t want to be here doesn’t either. What they all are is some else’s perception and reality I could fart and my son would throw up his hands and say “I’m done!”

Check it out.. My voice will carry, I have the guts to say it, open eyes and touch hearts, contribute to change, maybe not for me, but hopefully for someone else

If I killed myself, I wouldn’t get to say it, now would I?

I’m sure they gave me Cymbalta, Zonegran and Hydralazine in the lockdown. I wasn’t suppose to be given any of those. Only Lisinopril and the Statin. No wonder my head hurts.

I have no regrets
I pray you don’t either.

To be continued…

Sincerely,
Twinkle VanFleet,
Advocacy Director, Healthcare Advisor, Consultant, Speaker, International Pain Foundation (iPain) powerofpain.org/leader-directory

Medtronic Ambassador medtronic.com tamethepain.com
Cureclick Ambassador cureclick.com trialreach.com
SPPAN leader http://sppan.aapainmanage.org
Legislative policy leader
Founder- CRPSA

TwinkleV Feb 23 2016 2

Twinkle V. February 23, 2016

“When no one else believes in you…
.. You better!” ~T

On the 29th of January, I put in for my Cymbalta (30, 1x) and Zonegran (100, 2 x). I went to my grandson’s 10th birthday party yesterday (sick) but I played it like it was something else, I played it off so good and to the point of… shrugs. Yah, slam dunk withdrawal again. Pharmacy kept telling me my doc hadn’t refilled. (A lie) If you didn’t know the truth, say you don’t know. Today I get a letter in the mail from PRIUM. Cymbalta and Zonegran denied. Last January, 13 months ago, I was removed from 2 other medications entirely (one of which was Lidoderm) and reduced from 90 to 30 Cymbalta. I tried. I faked it to make it and I prayed it and played it. but was slipping harder than anyone could ever see, . There’s 1 med left and I know it’s next. Nearly every month I’m delayed, the months I’m not delayed by days, I am by weeks. I’m sure my brain is fried by now. I’m sick all the time from abrupt discontinuation, to trying to re stabilize after getting back on, to slam dunked again. Over and over and over. Those medications aren’t suppose to be slam dunked off of. They aren’t suppose to be abruptly discontinued. They are suppose to be weaned off to prevent seizures and adverse affects that can in some cases include death. Their letter is a lie, it contradicted 12 months ago where it did indicate Cymbalta and Zonegran and now says the CA MTUS doesn’t indicate for the treatment of neuropathic pain. (wrong). It also said because I’ve been treating with a dentist and was ON Norco 5/325 that the Cymbalta and Zonegran didn’t keep me OFF OPIOIDS. A fucking lie. As of the date of that letter. I had 3 dentist appointments. And I suffered and declined med, even tho I took some. I also got permission from my PMD prior to ever getting an RX , filling it or taking it. I have not asked for 1 single extra pill and I didn’t even fill the Rx I had for days later. But know what? It’s a done deal now. TOWER ENERGY GROUP – SCOTT CORNWELL ADJUSTER ARROWPOINT CAPITAL. You might want to get your facts right. You expect us to have ours accurate, yes? Let me see here in 1 year approximately $15,000 a year in medication management times 81 years of age. I’m still only 47. I got your game, you better get mine, too.

This letter said that I failed Lyrica and Neurontin (the reason it now says NO to Zonegran, but that I didn’t fail Carbamazepine or Lamotrigine. You got me stuck on stupid. For real? drugscom says make sure to tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides;
liver or kidney disease; ALL OF THE ABOVE. I get it, compromise one side for the other right? Which really means lower your spending. Sorry idiots, I settled for lifetime medical and didn’t take your money. Go on keep punishing me. Neither of these are NOT indicated for me. I didn’t appeal your last denials (January 2015) and I’m not appealing these either. Oh and by the way, next time you put bull shit in my letters, CA fail first/step therapy REFER TO AB 374 and know that if you’re going to quote taking and failing, you better also note all else that goes with it.

Because I think you failed something else…

Yourselves!

The Travesty of Delays- California Workers’ Compensation SB 863 and AB 1124

https://www.facebook.com/notes/twinkle-vanfleet/the-travesty-of-delays-california-workers-compensation-sb-863-and-ab-1124/10153777634894774

CRPS/RSD and Suicide

https://rsdadvisory.com/2013/05/05/crpsrsd-and-suicide/

January 28 at 11:48am

@CDCgov ‪#‎CDC‬ ‪#‎BSC‬ ‪#‎NCIPC‬ RE: Today’s CDC Public Hearing

I would like to offer that in conversation this last week with Dr. Kolodny and others who advocate against the use of opioid pain care that I attempted to stress the importance of responsibility and education in stating that ”

“So much time proving how bad opioids are when we could have been educating, teaching personal responsibility.” (Twitter only allows so many characters)

A direct reply and quote from Dr. Kolodny

“Education & “teaching personal responsibility” will not make opioids less addictive or more effective.”

Already in today’s call responsibility has been spoken of as well as education several times. He came on and mentioned Guiding physicians. Isn’t guiding educating?

Other therapies can potentially be more harmful, anti depressants, anti seizure medications for the treatment of chronic pain, such as Cymbalta,
Neurontin, Nortriptyline, Amtriptolyne and similar medications also have misuse and abuse potential. When there is misuse, abuse and Overdose is already likely. Surgical intervention is contraindicated in patients with nerve damage, neuropathies, CRPS/RSD. Some of these opioid overdoses were in part due to other medications, mixtures and alcohol, not solely opioid. Integrated and functional restoration programs are important, but few insurances at all, cover them.

Can we try not to stress the decline in white people falling to addiction, when we didn’t seem to be as concerned about blacks, or minorities. many were like, oh well, let them kill themselves, calling them stupid. We’re your kids stupid? I think not. I find it disheartening.
People were people all along. Also personal responsibility is directly related to opioid overdoses. If these children or adults didn’t understand the risk, or what the medication may cause, then education was absolutely necessary by parents, family and spouses first and foremost before the medical community. It becomes a mutual responsibility. Not only the doctor who prescribed it.

If they can’t stop, it’s our responsibility to intervene on their behalf. and attempt to save their lives before it’s too late.

Pain is physical, and pain is emotional. Physical pain seeks quality of life, the emotional pain, those against opioid’s seek comfort for
their loss. Pain doesn’t discriminate.

Physiology also plays a major role in this topic. Lets not sacrifice people for people. Otherwise unintended consequences become intended
consequences. Responsibility in prescribing isn’t a one way street. We seek out the doctor, they don’t seek us out.

~Twinkle V. / Advocacy Director, International Pain Foundation ‪#‎iPain‬

Mid Metatarsal Separation | Lis Franc Separation

https://rsdadvisory.com/2015/12/21/mid-metatarsal-seperation-lis-franc-seperation/

Chronic pain, opioids, addiction and controversy

https://rsdadvisory.com/2016/01/25/chronic-pain-opioids-addiction-and-controversy/

A Call for Action- 2016

A Call for Action 2016 by Twinkle VanFleet

https://rsdadvisory.com/2015/10/14/a-call-for-action-2016/

Overcoming Challenging Obstacles

Excerpts from, Overcoming Challenging Obstacles by Twinkle VanFleet

https://rsdadvisory.com/2015/11/24/overcoming-challenging-obstacles/

(Several pages and paragraphs not included at this time)

 

Full details of this entire experience soon enough, including photos. —> Media, news, social media, video, radio, and and… and  🙂

 

 

First Week of February 2016 – And in Memory of Jim Ingle

 

My block helped nearly 2 weeks. I had the Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve block on January 28, 2016.  I had a reduction from a really hard 8 going in for the procedure to a 4 until a couple of days ago when it started creeping back up. L3 and L4 this time instead of L2 and L4. I was so grateful for this. That’s 40-50 percent of reduced symptoms. When I left to receive that amazing award my medication had been delayed yet again. I was a week without already. My block only covered my right lower extremity so 4 means only that which was blocked. I’m still working on a post to share the Bakken Invitation Award experience. I almost left it all behind and I almost didn’t make it through once there, but I did, and I did. The block eased the flare I left in and came home with, allowed extra midnight snacks for the man, dinners, cleaning, sharing, a little catching up. That really is everything it could have been. I don’t count what I didn’t get from the block, I consider each symptom I get relief from. That allows me an over all number, fairly. I tend to be conservative with the pain scale. The time it lasted wasn’t what my insurance wants to approve it again, but it lasted long enough that I could catch my breath again. Since many don’t want anyone on pain reliever, options are minimal for most of us. Not every option is available in every area and not every option is covered by insurance, therefor, we’re stuck in a trap. I’ve already fallen twice in the last couple of weeks. Staying up on my legs is becoming a another risk. I take so much Ibuprofen for inflammation no wonder my liver is a mess and I need to water my kidney’s in excess to keep them flushed due to diminished function. I didn’t get back on my medication until the 10th day and the night after returning.  Had I not been in a flare, or medication delayed, my block may have helped better. The body trying to recover itself from a sudden change and in a sense shock. The inflammation and swelling was horrible. I had my mouth repaired soon after my block. Still a process there. I didn’t have the grafting done even though the bone damage in my face is an issue, too. I fell asleep 4 times today, just worn. I’m charging my SCS right now, so that I can give me a nice goose me up and numb me down.

Movie time.

February 4, 2016

I fell asleep before posting last evening and woke to learn of a heartbreaking loss.

It is with great sadness that Mr. Jim Ingle, Barby Ingle ‘s dad passed away this morning. Without Mr. Ingle, the International Pain Foundation (Power of Pain) wouldn’t exist. He lost his battle waiting on a kidney transplant and other life saving procedures. He fought for himself to the last second, reaching his son’s home in his own vehicle, even after crashing it, where he passed away with his son and first responders before ever reaching the hospital. Mr. Ingle didn’t have a phone to call for his own help, the family was trying to have it replaced promptly which also never happened in time.

Photo is Mr. Ingle presenting the Melanie McDowell Award to Dale Lehn 2008 recipient.

The Power of Pain Foundation (International Pain Foundation) presents the Melanie McDowell Pain Awareness and Advocacy Award annually. The recipient is a pain patient or provider who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to assisting and advocating for people with neuropathy pain conditions. Nominations are solicited in the pain community for people who are making a significant contribution within the field of research, education, awareness, or patient assistance. http://powerofpain.org/mcdowell-advocacy-award/

My heart breaks for Barby, and her siblings, who also lost their mom last year. I’m so grateful that I’ve been apart of IPF POP long enough to have been on conference calls with the man himself. Godspeed Sir. Thank you for all you’ve given, all you’ve fought for and for starting this organization in honor of his daughter Barby and memory of Melanie.

 

Jim Ingle preseting the 1st Melanie McDowell Award to Dale Lehn 2008 2016-02-04

Mr. Jim Ingle presenting the Melanie McDowell Pain Awareness and Advocacy Award to Dale Lehn, 2008 recipient.

 

I don’t generally solicit donations, but in honor of the man who not only brought “Power of Pain” to my life via his daughter, but ours, he’s worth it.

http://powerofpain.org/donate-ipain/   A gift can be made in his memory and/or honor – Jim Ingle

Thank you!

California Labor Code Section 4600.2 | Workers Compensation | Be Advised

If you’re a California Injured Worker you may be receiving a letter similar. Previously, I declined this mail-order pharmacy which was solicited over the phone as an option. On July 18, 2015, the letter I received states that as of August 1, 2015, all Workers Compensation prescriptions will be filled through a remote mail-order pharmacy only. As I researched, I learned that two of the main reasons is for cost reduction and because injured workers supposedly demanded their prescriptions to be filled at certain pharmacies. Really? You mean you couldn’t contract with legitimate pharmacies that are in good standing? You think injured workers are trying to rip you off? We don’t have anything to do with the cost of pharmaceuticals or medical supplies. I think you’re trying to put me in a compromising position by forcing me to have medication delivered where I can’t be absolutely responsible for its delivery. I tried this once because you tried to sell me the plus side before I opted out and continued to decline again. What happened? The box was left out front for anyone to take. I never knew when it would be here. You know darned good and well if a patient calls to say their medications haven’t been received they are not going to get them again. There are laws in place for this. That is why when at my current pharmacy they know when the medication is ordered, filled, when it is picked up and by who. There is no discrepancy. You can’t control the mail service, the delivery person, the time of day delivered, or any potential consequences and neither can I.

“In the event a medical emergency arises and it is not reasonably and immediately possible for you to obtain the required prescribed medication through our selected pharmacy Benefits Manager, Helios, please visit a local network pharmacy in your area.” Again really? Who’s going to note in the permanent record it was an emergency and the reason for an alternate and local location? I don’t want my PDMP (CURES) showing different pharmacies. You know, pharmacy hopping and all.

ArrowpointCapital - TwinkleVanFleet

Additionally, I was given less than 2 weeks notice of this sudden change. I haven’t received the “enrollment package” and it’s the 24th. So I suppose I should be the one to run this Helios down?

Helios

Yes, you have been able to reach me by the phone several times. I said no thank you, told you why, and I wasn’t told I couldn’t choose to decline. Please refer to your recorded calls for quality assurance.

At least have the decency to be truthful and the common courtesy to be on time. Wait! The last 14 years have been full of denials and delays. Yes, of course, this would be last-minute, too.

UNDERSTANDING & IMPLEMENTING AB 749 – IV

Work Comp, Denials, Delays and Dangerous Outcomes

Just last evening I got back on the medication that should have been filled January 4th, 2015.  On January 9th, I received a modification approval through PRIUM quoting reasons for denial using the California MTUS.  Two of the medications were available for pick up on Monday January 19th. One was a modification and reduction of Duloxetine, the other an Anti-Seizure.  Both of these medications warn that patients should not abruptly stop them. Cymbalta/Duloxetine withdrawal was so bad that I couldn’t see straight, literally. I saw lights flashing before my eyes, instability, rapid heart rate, a rise and fall in blood pressure and I heard sounds in my ears, head? I felt as if I was dissociating from myself. Bouncing in and out of my entire being. I only take one actual pain medication. On the 4th when they all should have been filled. I was still okay there. On the 8th, I had a Lumbar Sympathetic Block that seemingly failed due to the Duloxetine withdrawal state I was already in. I was already off the Anti Seizure as well. I removed my patch on time 3 days later. I knew I was heading into another withdrawal. This medication was approved on the 9th also. It is a partial agonist and partial antagonist.  It was still not made available to me. None of them were. 2 of the medications will not be filled at all, anymore. At this time I am coming off another that helped me greatly over the years, but which I will no longer get.  In addition Lidoderm will no longer be approved. It has not been easy.  Last night my patch, the lowest dose of its type was finally put back on.

I know what Lidoderm was originally classified for, yet it seems a little odd to take away a patch that eases nerve pain in targeted areas. Especially when the indications for Shingles is post use and not during break out.

Cost, I am sure!

What is important to point out here is that if the insurance or adjuster has an idea that medication will not be filled for any reason notify the patient or provider before hand.  Give opportunity to properly reduce to avoid side effects. I could have seized! I may have and just don’t know it. Nausea, vomiting, dehydration from not being able to keep liquid or food in was also most unpleasant.  Edema, myoclonic jerks were in an uproar. I had respiratory depression and ended up with flu and cold like symptoms which still exist. I couldn’t lay down and I couldn’t use my Auto Servo Ventilator during the worse of it because of its unique ability to force me to breathe. I coughed uncontrollably. My chest is still heavy.

I do not mean to place myself in another category than other’s on Worker’s Compensation. However, my claim is closed with lifetime medical. My rating above 70 percent was issued in 2008. So how do you determine who is entitled to what and when? Or are none of us entitled at all? New claims, old claims, open claims? We seem to be at the mercy of someone who holds our lives in their hands. I seriously want to learn more! I would appreciate honest answers, but I don’t expect a single one.

We should not have to go through this because someone somewhere is sloppy in their own duties. So what do we do? What are all the patients who are being effected by similar issues suppose to do? Every time I’m denied for a procedure it’s overturned and approved by a medical professional. Why is all the money spent to deny and delay instead of treat in the first place? You speak of high cost in the Work Comp System, oh yes, I agree! While our awards are sitting in an investment account, paid out in bi weekly portions, you get the interest we never see. And then some of you show us your new multi-million dollar buildings and all we want is access to care.  If I had gone to the hospital it would have been initially assumed I was an addict drug seeking. I already know this because this is the position many of you have placed us in.  An immediate assumption, no presumption, no fact or basis for the pre judgement.

Discontinuation of Treatment with Cymbalta

Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking Cymbalta. Following abrupt or tapered discontinuation in adult placebo-controlled clinical trials, the following symptoms occurred at 1% or greater and at a significantly higher rate in Cymbalta-treated patients compared to those discontinuing from placebo: dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, paresthesia, irritability, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis, and fatigue.

During marketing of other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. Although these events are generally self-limiting, some have been reported to be severe.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with Cymbalta. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].  Indications and Usage for Cymbalta ~Drugs.com

What is also interesting is that while both my provider and I was told by my Pharmacist that my Rx’s were put into the inactive file and that there was nothing they could do, when the first 2 were picked up on the 19th, the info on the bottles are back dated to the 15th and 16th. That’s wrong! That is not when they were filled. I have kept the receipt/dated of when they were picked up.

I will not name the Pharmacy as I have always had a great relationship with them. So while I continue to withdrawal from one medication, and try to re stabilize from those that had been removed, modified, approved and denied, I can’t help but wonder when the solution is coming to fix a broken system that doesn’t only affect me but millions of injured workers through the States.

As the prescription drug epidemic continues to fuel, let me also mention that slam dunking people off medication has them consider alternatives they would have never considered before.

You make some people become the person they never were. Before you jump to conclusions I beat this! I am beating it! I did not turn to alcohol, I didn’t seek out pills, I did not do what you could have pushed me into.  Suicide increases more and more each day and will become the next epidemic. No one cares to see that part. No one cares to listen enough. Even those that reach out are left hopeless. This isn’t just about Work Comp it’s about access to care in the chronically ill intractable pain patient.  If treatment was offered early, progression of injuries, disease and pain could be controlled instead of becoming out of hand.  Some people with diagnosis’ like mine would even have the chance at remission! Wouldn’t that save billions of dollars?

So I have to wonder if anyone really wants to change anything at all.

We’re not victims, I play an active role in my own pain care. My physicians are just another tool in my tool box of modalities, spirituality and assistance to help me survive and have some semblance of life.

So what do we do, and how do we do it?

I’m all ears.

 

~Twinkle VanFleet,

Advocacy,  Power of Pain Foundation