IHPC Comments on CDC Guidelines for Opioids for Chronic Pain

IHPC has submitted “Comments on proposed 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly endorsing the evaluation of the Guidelines by the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM, an IHPC Partner for Health).

CDC_Pain2016

Click the image above for the CDC page describing the guidelines


The letter summarizes the powerful collection of pain-related studies and statements produced in the last two or three years, including the ACCAHC Policy Brief, “Never Only Opioids: The Imperative for Early Integration of Non-Pharmacologic Approaches and Practitioners in the Treatment of Patients with Pain;” and the Joint Commission Revisions to Pain Management Standard, that became effective Jan. 1, of 2015. (The full list is below.)

The letter (click here for a PDF of the letter) highlighted comments by AAPM’s Executive Director Bob Twillman, Ph.D., FAPM who noted the proven treatment value of acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and massage therapy as “chief among non-opioid treatments,” noting that “We need to find a way to increase patient access by ensuring adequate insurance reimbursements.”

AAPM has been a stalwart supporter of and partner with IHPC’s CoveMyCare campaign which seeks to end insurer discrimination against licensed integrative providers, as is called for in Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act.

In its “Intended Purpose and Use of Guideline,” CDC presents on its web page:

“The purpose of the CDC guideline is to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (i.e., pain lasting longer than 3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) outside end-of-life care.”

IHPC’s letter also notes the necessity of reversing the therapeutic order that too often has led to opioid prescribing before any other choice. “It’s clear that a balanced approach should be used in treating chronic pain, applying the least harmful and invasive techniques first in an integrative patient-centered setting.”

Citations used in the IHPC Letter to the CNC

  • Integrative non-pharmacological approaches. Tick, H., Chauvin, S. W., Brown, M. and Haramati, A. (2015)
  • American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) Comments on proposed 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
  • ACCAHC Policy Brief – Never Only Opioids: The Imperative for Early Integration of Non-Pharmacologic Approaches and Practitioners in the Treatment of Patients with Pain
  • Joint Commission Revisions to Pain Management Standard effective January 1, 2015
  • Tick, H., et al. Core Competencies in Integrative Pain Care for Entry-Level Primary Care Physicians. Pain Medicine, 16: 2090–2097
  • APHA Proposed Statement authored by Michele Maiers, DC, MPH
  • Integrative Health and Medicine: Today’s Answer to Affordable Health Care: Health Creation Economics
  • Tick, H., Integrative pain medicine: A holistic model of care. Pain Clin Updates, 2014
  • World Health Organization Scoping Document for Treatment Guidelines on chronic non-malignant pain in adults. October 14, 2008

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