With the opioid crisis still in full force, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHR) has put together a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, whose mission is to determine whether gaps or inconsistencies in acute and chronic pain management exist, and to propose recommendations to address those gaps.
This report is currently open for public comment, and the final report will be submitted to Congress later in the year to serve as a basis for future work in improving and modernizing pain management in the U.S. The NCCAOM Advocacy Committee has submitted a detailed comment letter providing additional support and focus on targeted provisions in the report, and we need your input to provide an expanded voice for our NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™. Essentially, we are working toward getting more benefit coverage for Americans to address pain management without opioids.
Comments are due to HHS by Monday, April 1st, 2019. We are asking you, valued patients, to submit comments to help get acupuncture recognized and reimbursed as a method to manage acute and chronic pain. Let’s work together to have a day where the dependency and accidental death from opioids is in our rearview mirror.
How To Submit Comments:
- Visit http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket Number: HHS-OS-2018-0027 (or follow this direct link).
- Click the button that says, “Comment Now!” and input your feedback in the designated text box. (Note: our outlines below are meant to be a guide – feel free to use your own words.)
- Submit your comments by the end of the day (11:59pm ET) on April 1, 2019.
- If you have any questions about how to submit comments, feel free to reach out to our Government Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft Comments for Patients: (These are prompts you can use, or modify as you’d like)
- I am a patient who receives acupuncture for pain management (and any other conditions/benefits that the patient receives) and I support the Task Force’s work to expand access to this treatment.
- Expanding access to acupuncture and other non-pharmacological pain treatments is essential for addressing the opioid crisis, and I appreciate the work the Task Force has done to raise awareness of these issues.
- (Provide any background on how acupuncture has helped you manage your pain, and any barriers you have faced in receiving this treatment – be sure not to include any personally identifiable information).
- I agree with the Task Force’s recommendation that the federal government and private payors prioritize non-opioid, non-pharmacological pain management options. It is essential not only to recommend use of these treatments, but to improve coverage and reimbursement policies so that more patients are able to access treatments such as acupuncture.
Thank you all for taking the time to comment on how acupuncture has helped you!
Again, comments are due to HHS by Monday, April 1st, 2019.