Cleveland, OH,
08:00 AM

Developing Digital Pain Management Solutions for Clinical Use

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The MetroHealth System and Fern Health today announced a strategic partnership to develop and deploy a comprehensive digital pain management program to be used as a resource for patients as a complement to traditional pain management plans prescribed by providers across the pain management continuum.

Under the agreement, MetroHealth will provide clinical and operational subject matter expertise to support Fern Health’s development of virtual pain management programs that are fully integrated with provider electronic health records and clinical workflows to support providers and patients between clinical visits. MetroHealth also will study the effectiveness of these programs within a patient/provider setting. MetroHealth and Fern Health will partner to build the necessary infrastructure to deploy and scale these programs within a clinical setting, including the necessary business and reimbursement pathways to sustain the programs.

“We welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in caring for patients who are affected by chronic pain to help improve the lives of patients not just in Ohio, but now across the United States” said Chong Kim, MD, Co-Director of the Pain and Healing Center at MetroHealth, who is leading the study and the clinical aspects of the project. “More than 20 percent of Americans are living with chronic pain, and it takes a physical and emotional toll on their quality of life. As a nationally recognized leader in providing cost-effective, comprehensive and equitable health care to a diverse patient population, and as a pioneer in virtual care, MetroHealth is well positioned to work with Fern Health to develop a digital solution to complement a physician and their care team’s approach to pain management.”

Fern’s multimodal chronic pain solution, currently available through employer benefit plans, includes evidence-based pain neuroscience education, virtual one-on-one sessions with certified health coaches trained in pain management and on-demand content that helps participants understand the physical, emotional and social factors of pain. It also offers resources and tools to help participants build skills and improve healthy behaviors in areas related to pain, including daily movement, sleep, emotional health, nutrition and therapeutic exercise.

“Over the last decade, chronic pain care has transitioned from a focus on a patient’s pain scores to a focus on physical function and quality of life,” said Brad Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of Fern Health. “Providers who utilize Fern can gain valuable insights into patients’ daily lifestyle and behavior relevant to chronic pain and use that information to better tailor pain treatment plans to that particular patient’s needs. We are excited by the opportunity to leverage MetroHealth’s historical strengths in physical medicine and rehabilitation, clinical informatics expertise, and focus on health equity to co-develop solutions that will help current and future customers alike.”

“Together, Fern Health and MetroHealth will help patients and their care teams reduce the daily impact of pain and help patients return to activities that bring them joy,” said Michael Dalton, Entrepreneur in Residence at MetroHealth and CEO of Ovatient, a virtual-first and at-home care delivery company founded by MetroHealth and the Medical University of South Carolina. “For patients living with chronic pain, MetroHealth’s steadfast focus on instilling hope, fostering improvement in health outcomes and providing personalized and compassionate care is exactly what they are looking for. I am excited to see what will come of this partnership as I know MetroHealth and Fern Health are committed to making good on that promise.”

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit