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Meritus Health Partners with Override to Address Chronic Pain

HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND, USA, July 18, 2023/ -- Meritus Health, the largest healthcare provider in Western Maryland, partners with Override Health, a digital healthcare startup, to offer comprehensive virtual care for people with chronic pain.

The partnership features the “Override Chronic Pain Protocol” – an intensive 12-week, virtual program to help people with chronic pain to improve function, regain quality of life, and take back control of their conditions. The protocol also includes a maintenance period following the 12 weeks that includes lower intensity treatment for up to three additional months when warranted.

The core of the program involves one-on-one treatment with chronic pain-trained physicians, physical therapists, licensed behavioral health workers, and coaches who also work together as a team to inform each other of barriers to progress and optimize patient care. The Meritus primary care provider works in collaboration with the Override chronic pain specialists.

Group coaching sessions for peer support and pain education instruction, as well as a proprietary, digitized self-management curriculum are critical elements of the Override approach. The entire experience is available via a mobile app that also allows patients to schedule and have their video visits, message their Override specialists, set goals, and track various health metrics.

“Finding new ways to address a significant issue like chronic pain is consistent with Meritus Health’s mission to improve the health of our community,” says Meritus President and CEO, Maulik Joshi, DrPH.

According to the CDC, more than 20 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Untreated chronic pain has been associated with opioid dependence, mental health issues, and an increased incidence of suicide.

“Chronic pain is one of the most undertreated conditions that we see today. Hospitals and health systems simply don’t have the resources or the ability to treat chronic pain in an interdisciplinary, intensive way. Meritus Health is demonstrating great innovation and leadership by finding a solution for these patients,” says David Shulkin, M.D, Override cofounder and former Secretary of the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

About Override:
Extending his experience with the US Department of Veteran Affairs’ Whole Health program – which has demonstrated great success in decreasing opioid use and improving chronic pain outcomes – David Shulkin, alongside his daughter, Jennie Shulkin, founded Override in 2021. Their mission is to provide more accessible, interdisciplinary chronic pain care. Override investors include 7wireVentures, Martin Ventures, SignalFire, and Esplanade Ventures, among others.

Override delivers an integrated program of virtual interdisciplinary care, neuroplasticity-centered coaching, and peer support to help individuals with chronic pain to navigate the morass of disconnected and siloed offerings in traditional pain care. The digital health company takes the burden off the patient by recruiting chronic pain specialists in pain medicine, physical therapy, psychology, and coaching to work with the patient individually and collaborate as a team to create a unified treatment plan. Override strives to transform patients from passive, dependent cure-seekers into active managers of their own pain – leading to improved pain experiences, lower medication dependencies, and lower costs of care.

Jennifer Shulkin
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