Over one year ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its National Pain Strategy initiatives to help equip providers with the proper tools to institute better treatments for pain-centered ailments.
Dr. Linda Porter, director of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Pain Policy, told Patient Daily the entire strategy is a multifaceted plan that is experiencing a complex implementation phase.
“The Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) was set up as an advisory committee for the secretary of Health and Human Services, and their primary mandate was to coordinate research on pain across the federal government and make sure that there weren’t any redundancies in that,” Porter said. “One of the things they have done to coordinate that research was — in a more recent effort — to develop more of a pain strategy to help guide the government to enhance and improve the research that they do and the choices that they make in funding pain research.”
The concept of a national plan to address the public health crisis of pain in the United States was a multiyear, multiagency, private-public campaign to improve pain management and prevention practices.
In effect, the strategy maintains several objectives ranging from developing professional education and training resources, promoting public education and clear communication channels, and addressing issues associated with health disparities, payments for services and prevention and care.
Put together by IPRCC, the National Pain Strategy creates methods and strategies to serve as new options for addressing pain management. Many of these strategies provide for the development of “methods and metrics to monitor and improve the prevention and management of pain,” according to March 18, 2016, release.
The same press release pointed out that the strategy also serves as a tool to support the creation of a “system of patient-centered integrated pain management practices,” through a model created from one that centers on biophysical care that provides a wide-ranging array of options for treating pain for both patients and providers.
Other components of the strategy include a process to reduce steps for patients to get care for pain related ailments while improving the quality of care for “vulnerable, stigmatized and underserved populations.” Also, the strategy also called for the creation of a plan that increases the public’s awareness and patient’s knowledge of accessible treatment, and develops a health care workforce that is privy to the knowledge required to implement such methods of care.
The National Pain Strategy, when introduced in the latter days of President Barack Obama’s tenure, serves as an “essential element” for the HHS initiative to address the impending opioid abuse epidemic.