Your advocacy has made an impact.
Congress has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to disseminate the Pain Management Best Practices Report to providers and create a public awareness campaign about pain via the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee Report accompanying the FY 2021 Budget Bill!
The report includes language we requested in our official appropriations submissions. (The language, with key sections underlined, is below.) Also included is our request to collect and report data on the prevalence of pain and various pain syndromes annually.
It is likely that last month’s Virtual Advocacy Day, and your outreach to legislators, helped make the case for improving the treatment of pain nationwide.
While the language is not absolutely binding, it does tell agency heads what Congress expects them to do. We will be watching and reporting whether these critical activities are accomplished!
Thanks for your efforts!
From the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee Report
Chronic Pain.—The Committee remains concerned about the public health epidemic of acute and chronic pain, including its interrelationship with the opioid crisis. The Committee is pleased with the release of the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report in May 2019, but remains concerned over delayed dissemination and implementation of the Report’s recommendations. A strategic plan to disseminate the report and implement recommendations is needed, and the Committee strongly encourages the Department to widely disseminate the Report to health care providers and other public health stakeholders, and to update relevant pain management policies and educational tools to reflect Task Force recommended best practices across all relevant HHS agencies, including the CDC, CMS, SAMHSA and other relevant agencies. The Committee also urges the Department to coordinate with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to launch a public awareness campaign to educate Americans about acute and chronic pain and the evidence based non-opioid treatment options that are available, including non-opioid medications; interventional procedures such as nerve blocks, injections and surgical devices; behavioral health approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy; and complementary and integrative health therapies such as massage therapy and acupuncture.
Chronic Pain.—The Committee previously encouraged CDC to analyze data collected from the chronic pain questions included in the 2017 National Health Interview Survey and to clarify the incidence and prevalence of various pain syndromes differentiated by patient age, comorbidities, socioeconomic status, race and gender. The Committee also encouraged CDC to collect data on direct and indirect costs of pain treatment and the effectiveness of evidence based treatment approaches (S. Rept. 115–150—Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill, 2018). In light of the issuance of the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Task Force report identifying gaps in access to care, and the importance of utilizing interventional procedures such as nerve blocks, injections and surgical devices; behavioral health approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy; and complementary and integrative health therapies such as massage therapy and acupuncture to address pain, the Committee again encourages CDC to collect this needed data and publish it annually. Furthermore, the Committee directs CDC to provide an update on pain statistics in the fiscal year 2022 Congressional Justification.