U.S. Pain volunteers mobilized quickly this month to respond to two problematic proposals at the national level: one from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding opioids and another from the Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) concerning health insurance on state exchanges.

In both instances, volunteers were asked to submit a template letter to the organizations, which were accepting public comment. The campaign to respond to the HHS proposal saw 60 advocates take action, while an astounding 683 individuals stepped up to address the CMS proposal.

“We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers for their quick responses to these important issues,” says Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s national director of policy and advocacy. “We are hopeful that HHS and CMS will pay attention and respond positively to our members’ concerns.”

The CMS campaign addressed concerns about far-reaching opioid restrictions that would potentially harm individuals living with chronic pain. The proposed restrictions included dosage limitations and extreme monitoring measures.

The HHS campaign was inspired by a letter written by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and signed by 73 organizations, including U.S. Pain Foundation. The letter recommended improvements in areas such as open enrollment; special enrollment periods; the actuarial value of coverage tiers; network adequacy rules; and community provider requirements.

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