Pain Management


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AAPM&R aims to be a leader in the implementation of the strategies and efforts related to opioids and pain management. Your Academy established a Pain Management and Opioid Task Force that is working to compose a comprehensive response to the physiatrist’s role in pain management and controlling opioid prescribing. The Academy is an active partner on national initiatives and actively monitors state legislation concerning opioid prescribing and pain management.

Combating the Opioid Crisis

    The Academy is an active partner in helping the AMA end the epidemic through participation on the Opioid Task Force, the Pain Care Task Force, and the Cannabis Task Force. Learn more about how AAPM&R, along with the Task Forces, are addressing America’s opioid crisis:

    AAPM&R also offers extensive, complimentary physician education on proper opioid prescribing. Learn more about the REMS Playbook for Opioid Prescribing and Update in Opioid Management SAE-P

    ACGME's Program Requirements for Pain Medicine

    Your Academy, in collaboration with the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) and the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP), reviewed and submitted comments on the current Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) Program Requirements for Pain Medicine. As physiatrists, we have the distinctive ability to bring together and lead an interdisciplinary care team focused on managing patients’ pain and optimizing function.

    Your Academy has advocated for changes to be made to 9 specific training requirements, with 7 of them being updated based on our recommendations. While this is positive, the Academy will continue work with the ACGME to ensure the training requirements are reflective of best practices and creating an environment of ideal training.

    Read the entire comment letter here.

    Helping Craft the National Pain Management Strategy

    As a member of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), Dr. Steven P. Stanos, Jr., DO, was instrumental in helping draft the National Pain Management Strategy (NPS).

    The NPS draft report was released on April 2, 2015 for a 60-day public comment period. The final NPS release is pending and under review by the Department of Health and Human Services.  This document includes objectives and plans related to key areas of pain and pain care, including professional education and training, public education and communication, service delivery and reimbursement, prevention and care, disparities, and population research. 

    The IPRCC was charged by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to create a comprehensive population health level strategy for pain prevention, treatment, management, and research.

    Dr. Stanos is currently Medical Director of the Swedish Pain and Headache Center, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, and Medical Director of Occupational Medicine Services at Swedish Spine, Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Swedish Medical Group. Read the full article in the September 2015 issue of The Physiatrist on page 6.

    Participating in the Multi-society Pain Workgroup (MPW) 

    AAPM&R participates in a multi-specialty pain workgroup (MPW) involving 14 national specialty societies representing well over 100,000 physicians. MPW was created by a small group of Contractor Medical Directors who were reviewing services and LCDs ranging from Spinal Cord Stimulation to Epidural Steroid Injections and were in search of the best evidence supporting a given treatment for the Medicare population to assist in the definition of “best practices”. This MPW has made consensus recommendations for a number of potential LCDs involving pain-related procedures including lumbar epidural steroid injections.

    AAPM&R Comments on Opioids and Chronic Pain Management

    Memos on Opioids and Chronic Pain Management

    Resources for Therapeutic Cannabis

    While the Academy does not have a formal position statement on therapeutic cannabis patient certification, at the request of membership, the following were identified as educational resources: