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Welcome to the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress Blog!

Brought together by their collective agreement that comprehensive integrative pain management is the best approach to caring for people with pain, and that none of us can properly advance this kind of care alone, the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress is made up of leaders from more than 50 organizations (and growing!) representing the full scope of licensed and certified health care providers, public and private payers, policy experts, and pain research and patient advocacy organizations.

Are you or your organization interested in joining the Policy Congress, or would you like to receive email updates when this blog is updated? Contact Amy Goldstein for more information.

 

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New Workgroups to Advance Comprehensive, Integrative Pain Care Beginning in April!

Posted By Katie Duensing, Thursday, March 29, 2018

As a result of feedback from the participants of the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress, we are beginning three new workgroups to implement focused action steps to advance comprehensive, integrative pain care and address our nation’s challenges with pain, opioid misuse, and mental health.  Below you will find a summary of each workgroup’s first goal, the co-facilitators, and the monthly meeting schedules. If you are interested in participating in one of these workgroups and have not yet signed up, please contact Amy Goldstein.

Improving Access to Quality Pain Care.  This workgroup will begin with a comprehensive analysis of policy and coverage issues as they apply to pain care.  Co-facilitators are Ravi Prasad, PhD, Associate Chief, Stanford University Division of Pain Medicine; and Doug Metz, DC, EVP & Chief Services Officer, American Specialty Health.

A concept outline will be shared in advance of the first meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 7-8AM PST / 8-9AM MST / 9-10AM CST / 10-11AM EST.  Monthly meetings will occur at the same time on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

View the roster of participants for Improving Access to Quality Pain Care.

Promoting Comprehensive, Integrative Pain Care. This group will begin with an analysis of successful models of comprehensive, integrative pain care, looking for common components that will inform future goals related to expanding access to this type of care.  Co-facilitators are Steve Stanos, DO, President, American Academy of Pain Medicine; and Kevin Galloway, BSN, MHA, Colonel, US Army (Retired), Board member, Academy of Integrative Pain Management.

A concept outline will be shared in advance of the first meeting to be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 2-3 PST / 3-4 MST / 4-5 CST / 5-6 EST.  Monthly meetings will occur at the same time on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

View the roster of participants for Promoting Comprehensive, Integrative Pain Care.

Strategic Communication. This group will begin with developing  easy-to-access documents with a consistent look and feel to effectively communicate and build momentum around common language and other outputs, starting with 1) further endorsements of the consensus definition of comprehensive, integrative pain care developed at our first meeting (many of your organizations already have endorsed this); 2) creation of a more robust Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress Blog; and 3) organizing and communicating effectively around the second in-person Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress being planned for November 2018 (announcement coming soon!)  Co-faciliators are Cindy Leyland, Director of Program Operations and PAINS Project Manager for Center for Practical Bioethics; and James Specker, Government & Industry Relations Director, American Massage Therapy Association.

A concept outline will be shared in advance of the first meeting to be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 11-12 PST / 12-1 MST / 1-2 CST / 2-3 EST.  Monthly meetings will occur at the same time on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

View the roster of participants for Strategic Communication.

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Federal Government Continues Its Deep Look at Integrative Pain Care

Posted By Katie Duensing, Monday, March 12, 2018

In a flurry of activity that would have shocked the integrative pain care community just a few years ago, the federal government, at both the legislative and administrative levels, continues to take a deep look at how non-opioid and non-pharmacological treatments for pain can be better utilized to treat pain and reduce reliance on opioid analgesics.

Congress Asks for Advice Related to Pain Management, Alternatives to Opioids

As we mentioned last month, the Senate Finance Committee recently sought out comments related to how Medicare and Medicaid program incentives can be used for beneficiaries with chronic pain in ways that minimize the risk of becoming addicted to opioids. In response, two members of the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress, AIPM and US Pain Foundation, submitted a joint letter to the committee recommending a long list of steps that CMS could take to remove barriers to high quality integrative pain care and improve data collection related to that type of care.

Following on the Senate committee’s heels, on February 27th, the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter seeking feedback from a variety of stakeholders, asking a long list of questions related to opioids and pain management. The committee wants information related to incentives in Medicare, tools to prevent opioid abuse, medication therapy management, prescriber education, prescription monitoring programs, reimbursement, alternative options for the treatment of pain, and more. Comments are due no later than March 15, 2018.

CMS Proposes New Payment Policies, Asks for Advice re: Non-Pharmacological Interventions

Apart from the two legislative bodies responsible for overseeing CMS (both committees mentioned above), CMS itself recently asked for public comments related to their proposed payment policies for 2019. In addition to proposing new payment structures related to opioids, the proposed policy also stated that, “CMS and measure developers are exploring additional measurement concepts for future work, such as functional status, and use of non-pharmacological or non-opioid pain management interventions…” In response, AIPM submitted comments related to both limitations on opioids and the use of non-pharmacological and/or non-opioid pain management interventions.

CARA 2.0 Act of 2018

The second iteration of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA 2.0, has been introduced by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee. The legislation is intended to make improvements to the original CARA, and while the bill-as-introduced is lacking in certain pain provisions, Senate leadership from HELP and Finance Committees have expressed their openness to the inclusion of pain-related provisions. Forty-two organizations, including numerous members of the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress, have signed on to a document outlining what they would like to see included in the legislation related to pain. The House is also working on their own version of this legislation, and there will be a few substantive hearings later this month. More details to come soon. 

Application Deadline for CMS Bundled Payments is March 12

As shared in a previous update, if you are interested in applications for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) model, the application deadline is March 12, 2018.  More information about this process can be found here.

Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress Next Steps

The Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress continues to make progress in working together to advance integrative pain care. Based on survey results, the Congress is launching three new workgroups: (1) Coverage and Constraints, (2) Promoting Comprehensive, Integrative Pain Care, and (3) Strategic Communication. In the surveys that helped to form these workgroups, participants also indicated their interest in helping above and beyond meeting participation and with the strategic direction of these workgroups. On that note, Workgroup leadership will be meeting by phone on March 19-20, so you can expect to hear more about these workgroups next month!

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Potential Strategies for Achieving Our Shared Goals

Posted By Katie Duensing, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The inaugural Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress was an invitation-only meeting that brought together approximately 70 leaders from 50+ organizations representing the full scope of licensed and certified health care professionals involved in pain care, along with insurers, regulators, people with pain, researchers, and policy experts (see roster). 

The expertise, effort, and resources required to develop effective plans and interventions that address the public health crises of inadequate pain treatment and opioid-related harms are far beyond the capacities of any one organization (see: Why We Came Together), so it is essential that we find ways to work together to develop areas of consensus and strategies for collaboration.

Focusing on meaningful future action for the Congress by working towards consensus policy and advocacy goals for 2018, Congress participants identified many exciting potential strategies for achieving our shared goals. Workgroups based on some of the many ideas below are currently being developed—more on these to come soon!

If you or your organization has a particular interest in any of the below ideas, or if you have other ideas that should be considered, contact Amy Goldstein.

Communication / Advocacy

  • Agree on consensus definition (Done—see definition)
  • Consistent messaging to policymakers, public, etc. (Example—one-pager re: CARA 2.0 with 38 sign-ons and growing!)
  • Decrease competition and confusion between the messages developed between various pain groups represented at the conference by synchronizing our respective messages.
  • Ensure patients are consistently represented on pain initiatives.
  • Develop core set of Talking Points, Position Statements, and other materials to better define the opioid epidemic and required solutions that involve pain (so that conversation not limited to addiction and to decrease competition and confusion among various groups)
  • Ask for a commitment from each organization that we will use common language (the consensus definition at the very least, common talking points if possible)

Data Collection / Measurement

  • Define metrics
  • Keep and mine data
  • Agreement on collection methods
  • Organize trials (e.g., DoD, CMS, payors)
  • Metrics that talk to plans (what are healthcare leaders responsible for and how can we also meet their needs (e.g., HEDIS, NCQA)
    • Identify minimum package of services that might be included in a comprehensive/integrative package
    • Pilots, demonstrations
    • Pitch to Medicare new quality improvement measures related to pain
    • Collaborate with largest purchasers of healthcare plans
    • Identify high risk/complex/ high cost patient populations and allow for bundled payment options and collect outcomes
  • Cultural shift towards measurement-driven care
  • Data that crosses companies
  • Algorithm for how to choose modalities across pain disciplines/services
  • Clinical financial QOL factors
  • Comparative effectiveness studies
  • Create a spectrum of patient centric pathways to address care
  • Identify specifics around coverage challenges and provider network challenges to better understand current system’s failings

Education / Training

  • Large scale education
  • Comprehensive, integrative pain management
  • Earlier treatment / prevention for pain
  • Approach COE, graduate schools for pain education
  • Target pediatric population
  • Get more people with pain engaged in care
  • Networks and support groups for people with pain

Promoting Quality Pain Care / Outcomes

  • Identify exemplar programs
  • Identify suggested/recommended standards for outcome profiles/measurements adopted
  • Health related quality of life
  • Pilot programs (e.g., CMMI, PCORI, model studies)
    • Scale up successful pilots to address scaling concerns in real-life care
  • Identify existing demonstrations for extending kinds of care (e.g., Project ECHO, telepain, U of WA, Healing Place)
  • Recognition of various specialties as part of the team
  • Look to successful models for ideas (e.g., patient-centered medical home, palliative care, oncology care model, integrated behavioral health, collaborative care, interdisciplinary consultation)
  • Explore outcomes for who and what, considering biomarkers
  • Algorithm for choosing modalities across pain disciplines/services
  • Paying for outcomes
  • Demand VA demonstrations report out
  • Need outcomes to develop better coverage (e.g., PROMIS, PASTOR)
  • Monitor for better quality of life, functionality
  • Identify high risk/complex/ high cost patient populations and allow for bundled payment options and collect outcomes
  • Shift focus to developing and implementing pain treatment guidelines vs. opioid treatment guidelines
  • Consensus outcome measures
  • Seek telehealth modalities (when practical) to extend care to rural/underserved areas
  • Quality and outcomes (start with ADLs, lower pain, improve sleep, ER visits, decrease specialist not intervention)
  • Make it easy for frontline providers to implement (critical)

Information Repository

  • Include peer-reviewed information
  • Identify research gaps

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Involved Stakeholders and Those We Would Like to Engage

Posted By Katie Duensing, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The inaugural meeting of the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress began with 70 leaders representing 50+ organizations having dinner with one another as they thoughtfully discussed their respective concerns and shared goals related to advancing individualized care for people with pain.  Attendees represented the full scope of licensed and certified health care professionals involved in pain care, along with insurers, people with pain, researchers, policymakers, and policy experts.

At dinner, each table was carefully designed to bring together diverse stakeholder viewpoints to ensure rich and balanced conversations. At one such table, for example, was a researcher, a person with pain, a policy expert, a nurse, a pharmacist, an integrative health physician, a pediatrician, a payer, and an orofacial pain specialist. 

In an effort to ensure our Policy Congress advocates for the best possible policies related to integrative pain care, Congress attendees took time at dinner to discuss what other stakeholders should and/or must be included in the collective conversation as the Congress moves forward. In addition to those who were already at the table (see roster), attendees suggested a number of stakeholders that should be engaged.

Feedback could be grouped in the following ways:

  • Areas of interest (e.g., dental, health care educators, sleep, nutrition, food health, homeopathic medicine, yoga)
  • Payors (e.g, workman’s compensation, state Medicaid directors, CEO private insurance)
  • Government—Federal (e.g., NIH, HRSA, FDA, CMMI, White House Opioid Commission, SAMSHA, NIDA, Congresspeople)
  • Government—State (e.g., NAAG, NGA, state health departments, state insurance commissioners, legislators)
  • Patient advocacy (e.g., professional athletes, voting block, AARP, consumer organizations)
  • Provider organizations (e.g, family physicians, naturopathic physicians, public health association, herbalist guild, college of nutrition, addiction, pediatrics)
  • Pain team representatives (e.g., chaplain, first responders, orthopedic surgeons, oral surgeons, surgeons, gynecologist, rheumatologists, mentors, coaches, behavorial health, family practice, AARP dental educators)
  • National associations (e.g., AHIP, AHA, ASTHO, NQF, NRHA, state EMS officials)
  • Provider education (e.g., ACGME)
  • Purchasers of health care (e.g., large employer coalitions, purchaser coalition, public and private sector, employee assistance)
  • Quality healthcare measurements (e.g., NCQA, HEDIS)

Who are we missing? If you know of other organizations/agencies/institutions that should be involved in developing and implementing policies related to comprehensive integrative pain management, please send your thoughts to Amy Goldstein.

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Coming to Consensus: Defining Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management

Posted By Katie Duensing, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What is comprehensive integrative pain management?

For years, there has been a growing consensus by a wide variety of stakeholder groups that optimal pain care is patient-centered and brings together all evidence-informed therapeutic approaches to reduce pain and achieve optimal health and healing, the health care team working in a coordinated, team-based approach on behalf of the patient. However, until the inaugural Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress, there was never a definition that varied stakeholders agreed upon to that explain precisely what this care is and what it should be called.

To best empower our collective to advocate for policies that will help all of those people whom Policy Congress attendees represent, we first needed to define what, exactly, we were advocating for by addressing the lack of a consensus definition for optimal pain management: achieving a definition was the first priority for the inaugural meeting.

Using information gleaned from pre-Congress surveys, followed up by in-person discussions and many revisions, approximately 70 leaders from 50+ participating organizations agreed on a consensus definition for “comprehensive integrative pain management”. 

Comprehensive integrative pain management includes biomedical, psychosocial, complementary health, and spiritual care. It is person-centered and focuses on maximizing function and wellness.  Care plans are developed through a shared decision-making model that reflects the available evidence regarding optimal clinical practice and the person’s goals and values.

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The Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress: Why We Came Together

Posted By Katie Duensing, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Held in San Diego, California, from October 21-22, 2017, the inaugural Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress was an invitation-only meeting that brought together approximately 70 leaders from 50+ organizations representing the full scope of licensed and certified health care professionals involved in pain care, along with insurers, regulators, people with pain, researchers, and policy experts (see roster). 

Our nation is facing two inter-related public health crises—chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse. To address these intertwined health crises, there is an ever-growing number of guidelines and policies intended to reduce opioid use at both the state and federal levels. While well-intentioned, these policies are impacting the health care that is available to those in need of acute and chronic pain management. Yet, often missing from the conversation surrounding the development of these policies is any talk of how to improve patient access to effective and affordable non-opioid treatments for pain, whether pharmacological or non-pharmacological.

The expertise, effort, and resources required to develop effective plans and interventions that address the public health crises of inadequate pain treatment and opioid-related harms are far beyond the capacities of any one organization, so it is essential that we find ways to work together to develop areas of consensus and strategies for collaboration. Facilitated by Academy of Integrative Pain Management and State Pain Policy Advocacy Network, in partnership with Alliance for Balanced Pain Management, Integrative Health Policy Consortium, and PAINS, the inaugural Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress provided us with the opportunity to do just that by:

  • Gathering, for the first time, leaders and experts representing the full scope of licensed and certified health care professionals involved in pain care, along with insurers, regulators, people with pain, researchers, and policy experts who believe that integrative pain care is essential.  We aimed to highlight current successes and barriers and to discuss opportunities to jointly promote optimal models to provide this kind of care.
  • Achieving consensus on the definition of comprehensive integrative pain management. This was accomplished relatively quickly in person due to focused pre-Congress survey work.
  • Considering stakeholders who should and/or must be included in the collective conversation as the Congress moves forward (in addition to those already participating).
  • Connecting the dots related to past and current efforts to find quality evidence supporting reimbursement for comprehensive integrative pain management.  To discuss the current state of coverage and constraints for payment, along with the most current data available on the effectiveness of these therapies for pain, the Congress facilitated conversations between CMS and private payers; clinical, policy, research leaders; health care providers; and patients.  
  • Focusing on meaningful future action for the Congress by working towards consensus policy and advocacy goals for 2018.  Congress participants identified many exciting Potential Strategies for Achieving Our Shared Goals, and a number of project-specific workgroups are currently being established.

To help kick off the inaugural in-person meeting and help each attendee understand the perspectives of the other attendees, we produced a short video.  This piece included statements shared in advance by attendees and intended to answer the question: What brings us together?

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