Now, more than ever, it is important for people with pain need to support each other, uniting to bring awareness and understanding. Throughout September, U.S. Pain will be providing numerous opportunities for you to join us in making a positive change for pain warriors. Take a look at some of U.S. Pain’s upcoming activities and events so that you can help honor Pain Awareness Month. It’s never too late to get involved, and there’s something for everyone, no matter what your abilities or interests.
Being a pain warrior means fighting for positive change. Right now, there are two major opportunities to comment on the state of pain care in America at the highest levels of the U.S. government: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Opportunity #1: HHS Interagency Pain Management Best Practices Task Force – second meeting
Deadline: Sept. 17
How to take action: Submit comments here
The late summer has brought the heat to Oregon after residents caught wind of a proposed change to Medicaid that would force patients with chronic pain to taper off opioid medications within one year beginning in 2020. While many states have enacted tougher restrictions on pain medications in response to the opioid crisis, none have gone so far as to completely eliminate the use of opioids by people with chronic pain who show no signs of misuse.
After a two-year effort put forth by the Illinois Fair Care Coalition, a group of patient and provider groups co-led by U.S. Pain Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation, children and adults living with chronic conditions will no longer face potentially harmful prescription coverage changes during the health plan year. Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4146 into law at the end of August, a bipartisan measure that will help protect families from an unfair insurance practice known as non-medical switching.
California has long been a harbinger of medical cannabis access. In 1996, it approved medical cannabis for patients with a physician’s recommendation, and in 2016, it legalized marijuana for all residents. Continuing to lead the way on this therapeutic treatment option, lawmakers are considering Assembly Bill 1996, which would establish a research program on the medical use of cannabis. It would be the first of its kind in the country.
The Massachusetts legislature passed a landmark opioid bill that includes help for people with pain. The bill passed at a quarter to midnight on July 31, 15 minutes before the end of the 2017-2018 formal session; the Governor signed the bill into law the following week. U.S. Pain’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy Cindy Steinberg, who also serves as Policy Council Chair of the Massachusetts Pain Initiative, worked closely behind the scenes to ensure the legislation would do as much to improve pain management as it would to ameliorate the opioid crisis.
Just in time for Pain Awareness Month, U.S. Pain Foundation is announcing the launch of a new blog.Called Remedy, the blog aims to provide people with the support they need to thrive despite chronic pain.
“While we offer an overview of U.S. Pain’s efforts in our newsletter and lots of educational information on our various websites, we saw a need for more timely content directly related to life with chronic pain,” says Emily Lemiska, Director of Communications. “We want to offer our community more tangible resources to improve their quality of life and more education to help inform their treatment decisions.”
In honor of Pain Awareness Month, U.S. Pain is ramping up its online event offerings, with one event each week throughout the month of September. All of the events are free and open to the public. Some events require advance registration.=&0=&. On Sept. 5 at 2 pm EST, U.S. Pain’s NIcole Hemmenway, Interim CEO, will host a 30-minute Facebook Live event in collaboration with The Mighty. Hemmenway, who is also author of the book “It’s not in my head: From wheelchair to marathon,” and Director of the INvisible Project, will talk about how she explains her pain to others and offer tips about sharing your pain story. Check The Mighty’s Facebook page for details=&2=& =&3=&