NWHSU Comments on Federal Pain Policy

NWHSU | April 17, 2019

CHIP coordinates NWHSU’s responses to national healthcare strategy, including this recent guideline on pain management from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) pain management task force issued a draft report, “Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations (pdf).”

This document lays out a national strategy for improving how our healthcare system treats and manages pain conditions. One goal of the guideline is to provide clearer alternatives to opioid (over)prescribing. To that end, complementary and integrative care is noted several times throughout the draft.

HHS hosted an open comment period, inviting organizations, institutions, practitioners and other individuals to make suggestions on the draft report. Northwestern Health Sciences University submitted comments (PDF) on behalf of our stakeholders, providing recommendations for stronger language, more pointedly integrating acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy services as first line approaches to pain management.

We also coordinated our comments with those submitted by the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, the American Chiropractic Association, and the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium. Together with our partners, we aim to raise the profile of our professions and their role in addressing inadequate and inappropriate pain management in the US.

Learn more about the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy (CHIP) here.