Protect pain patients’ rights in MA

Yesterday, Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, and two fellow advocates who live with pain, Debbie and Scott, testified at the Massachusetts State House at a hearing on Senate Bill 1262. The bill would amend the state’s existing Patient Rights Law to require the assessment and management of pain in health care facilities.

Pain assessment and management in a health care setting should be a basic right of all citizens without discrimination. Currently, 19 states have this right in statute.

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Pain patients oftentimes encounter obstacles to care, whether because of a clinician who doesn’t take their pain seriously, difficulty accessing the best treatment options due to high costs, or other reasons. To better protect pain patients’ rights, U.S. Pain Foundation and the Massachusetts Pain Initiative joined together to help spearhead the refiling of a bill, “An Act Requiring Pain Assessment and Management in Healthcare Facilities” (HD409/SD1514), in the state of Massachusetts. The effort was led by U.S. Pain’s National Director of Advocacy and Policy Cindy Steinberg. Bill sponsors are Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Julian Cyr.

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