The feds say restrict opioid use. Now what?
The federal government has declared, through its major health policy agencies, that the number of pain patients on opioids and the dosages they are on should be severely restricted. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have all issued new guidelines within the past year to that effect. Private insurers are following suit, in many cases refusing to pay for high dose opioids. More recently, the American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain that recommend using nonpharmacological therapies before prescribing any medication. They made this recommendation after a review of the research indicated that therapies such as massage, acupuncture, biofeedback and spinal manipulation have greater effectiveness and lower risks than any pharmaceutical. These therapies get to the root of the problem rather than just treating the symptom. It has become clear that opioids are dangerous for many people who take them. Widespread prescribing of opioids has led to an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths that has destroyed individuals, families and many communities. However, this sudden policy shift is highly problematic. Continue reading ... Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.