Dr. Wasserman participates with most major workers’ compensation carriers. However, Dr. Wasserman does not directly participate with private insurers, though his office will provide any patient who requests with a receipt and “HCFA” form so that the patient may directly submit his or her medical bills from Dr. Wasserman directly to their respective insurance companies. Often, depending on the type of insurance that a patient has, patients will get some, if not full, reimbursement for seeing an ‘out-of-network’ doctor, such as Dr. Wasserman. Dr. Wasserman does not participate with Medicare.
The Pain Treatment Center of Greater Washington is a very unique “boutique” pain management clinic which provides very individualized care to every one of our patients. We at the Pain Treatment Center of Greater Washington understand that no two patients are ‘exactly alike’ and, therefore, the highest quality of medical care can be delivered only if each patient is treated with careful, methodical, thoughtful, and meticulous attention and planning. This is necessary due to the tremendous complexity of chronic pain, which is often accompanied by sleep disorder, depression and anxiety disorders, addiction disorders, obesity/weight gain, and other medical problems.
Rather than ‘just treating the pain’, Dr. Wasserman pays attention to, and addresses, all of these other issues since he understands that a physician cannot provide adequate treatment of the ‘whole patient’ unless all of these issues are fully addressed. Dr. Wasserman’s goals for all of his patients are to decrease the patient’s perception of his or her pain, increase the patient’s function, and to maximize the patient’s quality of life. Indeed, rather than narrowly focusing only on the patient’s perceived pain levels, Dr. Wasserman is constantly trying to ‘heal’ the whole patient—both physically and spiritually.
Of course, in order to comprehensively address extremely complicated chronic pain and the many peripheral issues associated with chronic pain, Dr. Wasserman spends as much time which each patient as he feels is necessary in order to accomplish these goals. In order to do this, he can sometimes spend upwards of 1 ½ to 2 hours with a new patient, or up to 45 minutes for a routine follow-up visit, if he feels that this is warranted based on a patient’s particular circumstances and needs.
Unfortunately, major insurance carriers and Medicare simply do not value this ‘hands-on’, time-consuming, approach. Rather, they assume that a doctor will spend 5-15 minutes per patient, and therefore compensate the doctor accordingly. As such, many doctors who accept payment from major insurers and Medicare will, indeed, spend only 5-15 minutes with their patients-- assuming the patients even get to see a doctor. Often, doctors will ‘farm-out’ their more complex time-consuming medical management patients to physician extenders, such as physician assistants or nurse practitioners, freeing-up the doctor ‘s time to perform the more lucrative interventional pain management procedures—something Dr. Wasserman adamantly refuses to do. Again, Dr. Wasserman feels that this type of “assembly line”/"cookie-cutter" approach is simply inadequate when treating a disorder as complex and difficult to treat as severe intractable chronic pain. To do otherwise provides a disservice to the patient--plain and simple.
In summary, the time-consuming nature of what Dr. Wasserman does for his patients mandates that Dr. Wasserman is unable to participate with private insurance carriers and Medicare. Dr. Wasserman does, however, choose to participate with some workers’ compensation carriers as a moral/ethical gesture in order to help those tragically injured workers in his community. We at The Pain Treatment Center of Greater Washington hope that you understand our decision to not participate with private insurance carriers and Medicare, and recognize that our decision to do so actually ultimately benefits all of his patients since it allows him to spend as much time with each patient as is necessary in order to provide the most comprehensive and high quality care possible.