Approximately 5,400 individuals and organizations responded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s call for public comment on acute and chronic pain management and whether the CDC should update and expand its 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, submitted a five-page comment on behalf of the U.S. Pain Foundation, which you can read here.
We’re dedicating today, June 11, to flooding policymakers with our request that they allocate funding for key recommendations in the “Pain Management Best Practices” report–a roadmap for improving pain care nationwide.
At U.S. Pain Foundation, we believe this report has the power to revolutionize pain care in the United States. But nothing will change for pain warriors unless Congress hears from YOU. Taking action is fast, fun, and incredibly important to improving the lives of the 50 million Americans with chronic pain.
On April 17, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) opened an official docket requesting comments from patients living with acute and chronic pain about their perspective on the benefits and harms of opioid use as well as their experiences with nonopioid medications and nonpharmacological treatments for pain. The CDC is also interested in the perspective of caregivers, family members, and health care providers of patients living with pain.
Congress has been hard at work on emergency supplemental appropriations bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic hardships confronting the nation. At the same time, they are continuing to work through the regular appropriations process–examining the President’s budget, holding hearings with agency heads, examining budget and appropriations report requests and writing and passing appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021.
Colorado is considering a bill, HB 20-1085, that would help increase affordable access to some types of pain care.
How it helps people with pain
For starters, the bill would require health plans to provide coverage for at least six physical therapy visits and six occupational therapy visits per year, or 12 acupuncture visits, with a maximum of one copayment per year for 12 covered visits. (The acupuncture coverage is dependent on a financial feasibility study.)
State legislative sessions across the country are now in full swing! Here are some major trends we’re seeing related to state pain policy, along with opportunities to take action. You can find all of our opportunities to act here. More will be added soon!
Affordable access to multidisciplinary care
An increasing number of states are looking for ways to expand affordable access to multidisciplinary pain management options, like massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic care.
Over the years, we’ve heard many stories from pain warriors who wished their health care providers knew more about chronic pain and ways to manage it. This year, New York lawmakers are taking significant steps to benefit the chronic pain community and better support health care professionals either in training or practicing medicine.
Two bills pain warriors can get excited about
There’s a proposed piece of legislation in Kentucky that would require health plans to cover certain therapies used to treat chronic pain.
As currently written, House Bill 198 would allow pain warriors to have access to receive 20 visits for pain treatments provided by a licensed professional.
Why it matters
Pain care, especially integrative therapy options, are not well-covered by Kentucky health plans, leaving individuals like you with limited options to manage your chronic pain condition.
U.S. Pain Foundation recently spearheaded a joint letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee and the E&C Health and Oversight Subcommittees requesting that they convene a hearing about the pain provisions in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act and the recommendations released in May 2019 by the Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. The letter was signed by 30 patient and professional groups.
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:
- What criteria the FDA should use to evaluate new opioids to treat pain
- 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.