Dr. Adam Perlman Aims to Improve the Business of Chronic Pain Care

Adam Perlman Speaks at CPBC 880_290 2016

Chronic pain management often excludes helpful integrative treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, self-care and mind-body practices. Integrative care helps relieve the suffering of patients and by extension is good for business noted Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Duke Integrative Medicine. In the competitive industry of health care, integrative care can improve market share through quality of care and differentiation. It positively impacts the bottom line through improved patient satisfaction scores, HCAHPS, as well as decreased length of stay and readmission rates.

“Organizations that are early adopters of integrative care will have the experience, track record and refined processes, and will be in a better position to take advantage of bundled payments and other aspects of value-based care that are continuing to evolve,” said Dr. Perlman.

As the chair of Samueli Institute’s Chronic Pain Collaborative, Dr. Perlman guides clinics as they shift towards incorporating more integrative practices. After one year of implementing mind-body, self-care and other integrative treatments within these clinics, the participating organizations saw the following improvements:

  • A decrease in the number of patients relying on opioids for chronic pain.
  • An increase in the number of patients using non-pharma and self-care therapies    for pain.
  • An increase in quality of life and patient function.

Dr. Perlman is not alone in his pursuit of patient-centered, evidence-based integrative pain care. Faculty members of the Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative have integrated many of these treatments at clinics and hospitals across the United States. The breakthrough change James Lehman, DC, MBA, FACO is implementing at the University of Bridgeport Health Sciences division has the potential to improve patient care, boost patient and provider satisfaction while cutting the cost of provider pain care by 33%.  The CPBC’s Dr. Vinny Francio also has a success story about his implementation of integrative practices in Oklahoma City.

“This breakthrough collaborative is an opportunity for healthcare systems to rapidly develop programs that they can implement and ultimately grow and that will have an almost immediate impact.” – Dr. Perlman

Read our three case studies on integrative pain care:


There is scientific evidence which shows that mindfulness and other mind-body therapies treat and prevent chronic pain. Samueli Institute recently launched the mind-body website brainmindhealing.org to bring together the evidence behind mind-body medicine, encourage the implementation of integrative practices in standard care and discuss how the role of the brain and the mind in health and resilience can positively impact the future of our healthcare system. Be sure to visit the site.