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The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force recently released a draft report identifying gaps or inconsistencies and proposing updates to best practices and recommendations for pain management. The report comes after one year of regular meetings with the task force, which was authorized by section 101 of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). The group’s findings are critical for addressing the mounting public awareness of opioids and clinical efforts to reduce the number of opioids prescribed.

The draft report released on Dec. 28, 2018, calls for individualized, patient-centered pain alleviation and management to improve the lives of those who experience acute and chronic pain. It contains proposed recommendations in a number of areas, including:

  • Approaches to acute and chronic pain management;
  • Clinical best practices/Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs);
  • Provider and patient education;
  • Non-opioid/Innovative solutions to pain management;
  • Improved stewardship through risk assessment;
  • Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP);
  • Special populations considerations;
  • Mandated review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

The 29-person task force includes public, organizational, and federal representatives who have significant experience across a multitude of disciplines, including orthopaedic surgery.

The draft report can be found here.