What has changed in chronic pain legislation?

What has stayed the same?

How has covid-19 affected the chronic pain population? 

In August, U.S. Pain Foundation conducted a survey of 1,581 people with pain to better understand barriers to individualized, multidisciplinary care.

The following is a summary of an update from a conference led by US Pain Foundation  in September for  pain awareness month by  Nichole Hemmenway – CEO, US Pain  Foundation. 

Integrative models, collaboration of services between providers is a goal to avoid narcotics.

Advancing the pain therapy to a multidisciplinary approach is a goal. But people do not have the resources to obtain these.

  • 77% of insurance carriers offer only pain doctors and not multidisciplinary care.
  • 96% of pain patients have insurance , most have Medicare disability 
  • Chronic Pain population considers “most vulnerable in the healthcare system”. 

What do patients want? – They actually do want complementary services BUT  cost barriers exist.  

Acupuncture , massage therapy , PT  therapies prohibited by co pays  – these therapies are integral but patients can not afford them. 

Difficulty driving most difficult thing that these patients relate.

Telemedicine is key. 

26.4% of respondents wished mind-body and behavioral health therapies were emphasized more by their providers. 

uspainawarenessmonth.com/survery-access  -  to see their results

Three factors in 2020 effecting Chronic Pain Population:  – pandemic, economic downturn , racial and ethnic disparities throughout society The effects of the pandemic – many of the multidiscipline providers are not working because of restrictions.

Medicare has started covering acupuncture for low back pain – Legislation passed in February 2020..

Rhode Island- managed care plans did cover some complementary  treatments for chronic pain. But they stopped in 2020.

In 2020, at least 50 million people suffer with chronic pain. 

In 2020, the opioid epidemic has not disappeared. Depression, anxiety, and isolation on the rise due to covid-19. 

The best part of the pandemic for chronic pain population is the proliferation of telemedicine and lessening of restrictions on opioid maintenance prescriptions. 

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