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This week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared it will cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain.

The news comes following a series of open comment periods offered by CMS on the topic. We alerted our volunteers to the second comment period earlier this summer, and many of you took the time to respond. The second open comment period saw an impressive 644 submitted comments, most of them patients. (You can read U.S. Pain Foundation’s submitted comments here.)

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From left, Wade Delk of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing; Steinberg; and Elliott Warren, of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association.

As 2019 comes to a close, advocates are making a final push for Congress to hold a hearing on the Pain Management Best Practices Report, a series of outstanding recommendations for improving pain care nationally.

“If even half of the recommendations in this report were implemented, it would likely change the lives of millions of Americans who suffer with chronic pain,” says Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, who served on the task force that created the report.

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A new federal bill would expand and coordinate scientific research of cannabidiol (CBD) or marijuana-derived products, allowing researchers to better understand their potential efficacy and safety. While medical cannabis is increasingly available in a number of states nationwide, too often, there is little clinical data available to help patients and health care providers make informed decisions about whether it would work well for their specific condition, or how much and what type to use.

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New York, NY – Nov. 21, 2019 – The US Pain Collaborative, comprised of advocacy leaders from across the pain community, today announced the publication of a report, titled “Chronic Pain Assessment: Patient Perspectives.” The report, driven by survey data on patient awareness and satisfaction with current chronic pain assessment instruments, provides patient-informed recommendations that should be taken by physicians, patients, and advocacy organizations immediately to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. The full report can be found HERE.

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U.S. Pain Foundation was among several hundred organizations and individuals to weigh in on a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comment period. Specifically, the FDA asked for the public’s views on two main issues:

  1. What criteria the FDA should use to evaluate new opioids to treat pain
  2. What new incentives are needed to better support and encourage the development of new treatments for pain

The comment period came on the heels of a Sept. 17 public hearing at the FDA on these same topics.

U.S. Pain notified its community of the comment period, which ended Nov. 18, via email, social media, and an op-ed by Cindy Steinberg published in National Pain Report.

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We wanted to make you aware of an opportunity to submit public comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specifically, the FDA would like the public’s views on two main issues:

  1. What criteria the FDA should use to evaluate new opioids to treat pain
  2. What new incentives are needed to better support and encourage the development of new treatments for pain

On Sept. 17, the FDA held a public hearing called “Standards for Future Opioid Analgesic Approvals and Incentives for New Therapeutics to Treat Pain and Addiction.” While the public hearing has passed, the FDA is accepting written comments until Nov. 18 at 11:59 pm EST.

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Attendees Sharon Rose, Heidi Brehm, and Ryan Drozd at the summit. View a slideshow of the weekend here.

Despite challenges often faced when traveling with a chronic pain condition, 19 advocates and a handful of caregivers rallied together in Dallas, TX, for a U.S. Pain Foundation Advocacy Summit. The goal was to help people with pain understand how they can take action at the state and federal level and influence positive change for the pain community. Participants were selected to attend because of their exceptional efforts to engage and speak out about pain in the past.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit input into the development of an Action Plan on the opioid crisis and the treatment of acute and chronic pain as specified in the SUPPORT Act.

The deadline for comment was Oct. 11.

National Director of Policy and Advocacy Cindy Steinberg submitted on behalf of U.S. Pain Foundation, outlining 10 recommendations for ways CMS could improve pain care.

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Shari Ling, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of CMS, left, with Steinberg

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) convened a public meeting on Sept. 20 to solicit input into the development of an Action Plan on the opioid crisis and the treatment of acute and chronic pain as specified in the SUPPORT Act. The Action Plan is due to Congress June 1, 2020.

Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, was among the meeting’s speakers as a member of a panel, “Personal Perspectives on Pain and Substance Use Disorders.” To read about her comments on the panel, click here.

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