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One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Pain Care is Growing Tiresome

July 19, 2018
New survey of primarily pain patients provides possible direction for future treatment plans.

A PPM Brief

Patients are tired of a one-size-fits-all approach to pain care, according to a new survey1 of 300 subjects released by the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management, a collective of healthcare advocacy groups, patient organizations, industry representatives, and stakeholders. The survey, conducted May-June 2018, polled healthcare professionals, patients, advocates, and caregivers from across the United States.  Of significance, 92% of the survey participants were female, 72% were pain patients, and only 12% were under age 50.

The reason given for diversity in pain treatment approaches primarily lies in insurance coverage limitations, with 74% stating that “health plans don’t provide adequate coverage for integrative pain care.” In addition to favoring “greater access to a range of treatment options” survey participants said they believe:1

  • Pain is undertreated (80%)
  • Physicians should determine the course of treatment (85%)
  • Effective pain management should address related conditions such as anxiety and depression (88%)
  • Limited coverage for integrative care forces patients to use opioids to manage their pain (60%)
  • Abuse-deterrent opioids play a role in curbing the opioid crisis (62%)
  • Overreliance on an opioid-only approach to pain has exacerbated the nation’s abuse and addiction problem (50%/plurality)
  • Hospital formularies should accommodate multimodal analgesia (66%)
  • Health plans should adequately cover related treatments like chiropractic, physical therapy and talk therapy (84%)
  • Health plans should cover technology-based treatments and devices for short- and long-term pain (74%)
  • Prior authorization unnecessarily blocks access to abuse-deterrent opioids (71%).




Last updated on: July 23, 2018
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