Federal Task Force Draft Report on Pain Management Available for Public Comment
January 04, 2019
A federal task force charged with identifying, reviewing, and updating best practices surrounding pain management has released its long-awaited Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations.
The draft report:
- Provides extensive insight into the different types of acute and chronic pain
- Recognizes special population groups, such as children, women, older adults, and others
- Warns of ongoing medication shortages and other details that are worsening the nation’s quality of pain care
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force was established under Section 101 of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). Task force members include hospital officials; federal agency representatives; clinical experts in pain management, pain advocacy, addiction, recovery, and substance use disorders; patients; first responders; medical board members; and others.
Key highlights from the draft report include:
- Focusing on individualized patient care vital to addressing the national public health pain crisis
- Considering a multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain that includes medication, physical therapies, minimally invasive interventional procedures, and complementary approaches (such as yoga and tai chi)
- Addressing drug shortages that may affect acute and chronic pain treatments
- Addressing the existing stigma and providing empathetic and non-judgmental treatment for better outcomes
- Incorporating innovative solutions such as telemedicine, mobile apps, and newer medications and medical devices
- Highlighting special populations for specialized treatment
The draft report also describes the impact of the 2016 opioid prescribing guideline issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, noting that “an unintended consequence of the guideline is the forced tapering or patient abandonment that many patients with chronic pain on stable long-term doses of opioids have experienced."
Comments about the draft report will be accepted by mail, email, or at the Regulations.gov website during the 90-day public comment period. Following the 90-day comment period, the report will be finalized and presented to Congress.
In Pennsylvania, hospitals and health systems continue to work to assist individuals with opioid use disorders. Key programs include warm hand-off protocols, prescription guidelines, and drug takeback boxes.
Additionally, hospitals are:
- Working to develop research-based best practices for medication-assisted treatment
- Providing patients with pain management alternatives
- Advocating for additional funding for inpatient and outpatient behavioral health treatment
- Addressing workforce shortages in physician and non-physician providers that address chronic pain, to include expanding opportunities in health care educational programs
For more information about this report or the Pennsylvania hospital community’s efforts to address the opioid crisis, please contact Michael J. Consuelos, MD, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration, or Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.