By an Oregon Advocate.
The Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force proposal of forced taper from opioids for Medicaid patients sparked a national debate—-a debate that has made a mark. If public attention hadn’t been brought to this issue, the proposal would have long passed back in August of 2018. As it stands now, the vote is set to take place March 14th, 2019 (meeting details below. A meeting March 14th of the Value based Benefits Subcommittee (VbBS) in the morning and the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) in the afternoon. HERC has promised to give ample patient and expert testimony time at this particular meeting.
This is not just an issue for Oregon patients or Medicaid. If implemented, this will reach far beyond Oregon borders. This will serve as a precedent for all insurance payers and a reference guide for all other states.
We need your help. A letter writing campaign is underway to help influence change. We’ve created some form protest letters or you can write your own. See below.
Update on proposal: One week before the January VbBS/HERC meeting on January 17th, some new revisions by HERC staff were added to the Chronic Pain Task Force proposal. This would technically be the second revision since public objections. To reiterate, the public has had no concerns pertaining to adding complementary services to Oregon’s Medicaid program such as CBT, yoga, massage, acupuncture, etc. What the public and expert objections highlighted was the prohibition style forced tapers to zero of all long-term opioid therapy for all chronic pain conditions, which are contradictory to scientific literature.
Patient advocacy, experts and respected institutions have interjected, the four chronic pain areas once on the chopping block are now aligned with the present national standards. A win on this note, if voted on as is on March 14th. As it stands now, those patients should be allowed opioid coverage on OHP if appropriate. Yet, chronic pain for ALL Back/ Spine/ Neck conditions as well as Fibromyalgia will NOT be allowed any long-term opioid coverage and are still being subjected to forced tapers to zero.
If implemented, this policy could extend beyond the borders of Oregon. Because knowledge is power, the goal of patient advocates is to arm as many individuals as possible with the background information and intricacies inside the OHA. We believe the OHA will continue to overreach. Bias and agenda are the rule right now, and until oversight and accountability are mandatorily implemented into the system, the overreach will continue.
Next steps are clear and will require a monumental outpouring from the community. This letter writing campaign has been enacted to facilitate change within their system.
Located in the Oregon Pain Action Group Google Drive are instructions, form letters broken into different critical categories and a suggested contact list is provided; https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1s0RNbCjx9Ek-SxnCJp_flafx4VRIln_R
Please join in our campaign. This is rare opportunity to affect change for patients that face the most radical, authoritative blanket pain policy ever enacted in the U.S. This is a national effort.
1.) The Chronic Pain Task Force highlighted disturbing aspects inside the Oregon Health Authority operations to advocates and experts in the field of pain as well as addiction. It became clear that the complexities and confusions surrounding all manners of pain policy development within the Oregon Health Authority and the powerful groups who advise them, required a comprehensive, investigative style reference article.
Caylee Cresta visited Oregon for the last Chronic Pain Task Force meeting December 5th, 2018 and dedicated significant time working in collaboration with local Oregon advocates and experts to assimilate a thorough compilation of the current events related to pain care transpiring in Oregon.
Her article can be found here. OREGON THE DEATH OF COMPASSION IN THE SANCTUARY STATE: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/oregon-the-death-of-compassion-in-the-sanctuary-state-237cef708b1c
2.) Oregon Pain Action Group Google Doc, Instructions, form letters, contact list: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1s0RNbCjx9Ek-SxnCJp_flafx4VRIln_R
(The form letters were created to act as a guide, inspiration or as the actual letter. Please personalize each letter as much as possible. The contact list is also a suggested guide, please feel free to add additional contacts.
3.) Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) meetings page:
4). Most recent CPTF proposal update (see section 4.0 Biennial Review, Chronic Pain Task Force Proposal and HERC Staff Suggested Revisions)
The author asked that we not provide a name, but it is a person that the National Pain Report has been in constant contact in the past several months. The National Pain Report has reported extensively on the Oregon issue. For past articles, see here.