Encouraging Integrative, Non-opioid Approaches To Pain: A Policy Agenda

The United States is struggling to deal with an opioid epidemic that is damaging lives, resulting in overdoses, and yet not reducing chronic pain. National initiatives are underway to dramatically reduce access to prescription opioids, but these efforts lack a systematic approach to provide alternative treatments for these patients. Policy changes are urgently needed to provide better care for patients with chronic pain, and in this post, we outline three feasible policy initiatives. Innovative reimbursement initiatives by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could frame and stimulate use of evidence-based treatment options, and allow health providers to acquire familiarity with non-pharmaceutical treatments. Electronic medical systems could be designed to guide safe opioid tapering and provide prompts to incorporate physical, occupational, vocational, and psychological approaches to the patient’s care. And providers must be trained in state-of-the-art interdisciplinary models of pain treatment and management. These approaches reflect contemporary evidence for optimal management of chronic pain. The national dialogue must seriously include initiatives that not only reduce use of a dangerous treatment, but also eliminate obstacles to implementation of safer treatments for persons with pain. Unless provided with alternative options, patients who are desperate for pain relief may take matters into their own hands and look to the streets. Chronic Pain And Op...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Drugs and Medical Technology Health Professionals Public Health Quality chronic pain Opioid Addiction opioids Source Type: blogs

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