Policy Makers, Practitioners, and Patients Issue Inter-Agency Task Force Report
Emphasizing the importance of individualized patient-centered care in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pain, the Department of Health & Human Services has released a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations. The 116 page report had input from HHS agencies, the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, and the Office of National Drug Control Police as well as individual experts in pain management, pain advocacy, addiction, recovery, substance use disorders, mental health, minority health, patients—including thousands of comments from the public—and representatives from veteran service organizations, the addiction treatment community, first responders, medical boards, and hospitals. PAINWeek faculty member Sondra M. Adkinson, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist, Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare System, Bay Pines, in Florida served as a special government employee member. Featured sections on Approaches to Pain Management, Medications, Restorative Therapies, Interventional Procedures, Behavioral Health Approaches, Complementary and Integrative Health, and Special Populations.
The report also emphasizes the development of an effective pain treatment plan after proper evaluation to establish a diagnosis, with measurable outcomes that focus on improvements, including quality of life, improved functionality, and activities of daily living.
The Executive Summary states, “Patients with acute and chronic pain in the United States face a crisis because of significant challenges in obtaining adequate care, resulting in profound physical, emotional, and societal costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 million adults in the United States have chronic daily pain, with 19.6 million adults experiencing high impact chronic pain that interferes with daily life or work activities. The cost of pain to our nation is estimated at between $560 billion and $635 billion annually. At the same time, our nation is facing an opioid crisis that, over the past two decades, has resulted in an unprecedented wave of overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids.” It concludes with, “The Task Force, which included a broad spectrum of stakeholder perspectives, was convened to address one of the greatest public health crises of our time. The Task Force respectfully submits these gaps and recommendations, with special acknowledgement of the brave individuals who have told their stories about the challenges wrought by pain in their lives, the thousands of members of the public and organizations sharing their various perspectives and experiences through public comments, and the millions of others they represent in our nation who have been affected by pain.”
Read about the task force.
Access the report here.
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