U.S. Pain Spearheads Joint Letter to Congress From 30 Patient and Professional Groups

U.S. Pain Spearheads Joint Letter to Congress From 30 Patient and Professional Groups

Originally posted on USPainFoundation.org January 31, 2020.

U.S. Pain Foundation recently spearheaded a joint letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee and the E&C Health and Oversight Subcommittees requesting that they convene a hearing about the pain provisions in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act and the recommendations released in May 2019 by the Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. The letter was signed by 30 patient and professional groups.

The SUPPORT Act directed federal health agencies—including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)—to improve access, reimbursement, and research into non-opioid alternatives for acute and chronic pain management. The agencies were tasked with specific deliverables to produce by certain dates.

For example, the FDA was tasked with holding a public meeting and issuing a guidance document to address the challenges and barriers to developing non-addictive medical products to treat acute and chronic pain. CMS was directed to produce an “Action Plan” that included a review of payment and coverage policies that may be obstacles to the effective treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as opioid use disorder. Not later than one year after enactment, CMS also was directed to conduct the a study analyzing best practices as well as payment and coverage of multidisciplinary, non-opioid treatments for acute and chronic pain.

“In many cases, we are limiting opioids without providing patients viable or affordable alternatives for relief,” says Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy. “Federal agencies’ representatives have spoken about wanting to provide safer options for pain. But it is Congress’ responsibility to exercise oversight and ensure that these vital activities are conducted in a timely fashion.”

Likewise, Congress created the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force and called upon its experts to update best practices for the nation and to make recommendations on how to tackle the harmful and costly consequences of pain. The Task Force’s final report was uniformly applauded by over 150 health-related organizations.

“But these recommendations can’t improve pain care without support and implementation by Congress,” says Steinberg. “It is critical for the appropriate Congressional committees to publicly review these recommendations and prioritize their implementation.”

You can read the letter here. You can also take part in educating your federal lawmakers about the Task Force final report through this action campaign. In addition, if your Congressional representative sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, please ask him or her to urge the chairs to schedule a hearing. Look up your representatives’ contact information on our Advocacy homepage.

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Staff

newest oldest
Notify of
David W Cole

Thank you! You people are amazing. We’ve got a long ways to go, I’m Finding Congress to be the most worthless body of people I’ve ever seen in my life. I wouldn’t expect anything to happen real fast.


Thank you so much!!


What about patients for whom opioids are the appropriate treatment? When do these people stop being ostracized and treated like criminals for being injured and broken and medical science can’t fix them? All that is left for hundreds of thousands is medical pain management, and after trying and failing every other affordable option, opioids are what’s left. Or suicide from untreated severe pain.

Now at AMAZON … in all formats including Hardcover and Softcover
and Kindle
AMERICAN AGONY: The Opioid War Against Patients in Pain
by Helen Borel,RN,MFA,PhD
. Comprehensive overview of book’s contents
. Table of Contents
. Precis - Thorough encapsulation of everything discussed, later on in the
Sections and Chapters - purpose to help get patients’ prescription opioids restored
I envisioned this book (when I set out to research, develop its format, and write it) as
a sort of Reference Work, a compendium of everything, every argument, patients in
pain need to make their case to physicians, clinics, legislators…to legitimize in print
everything patients in pain have been suffering due to government OxyMORONS.
Just yesterday, a Connecticut group purchased enough AMERICAN AGONY books
for their members to have with them at rallies and to show to their physicians. Anyone
wishing “bulk orders” can contact me at helenborel@gmail.com and I’ll transmit your request to the publisher. Other orders can be completed at AMAZON. Best to all.
May you soon have your prescription opioids restored. Dr. Helen Borel

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Seems that this just continues on and on. I have just arrived at my pain clinic because of a fake and made up diagnostic of “medication fixation” but we will not be discussing this, I refuse to be messed with anymore. We will be reviewing the Patients Bill of Rights, and why my Medicare 20% has suddenly just jumped from around $20.00 to $82.00! I am thinking that they might be trying to get rid of me. Thanks for the article.

Gail Honadle

I would of added my 2 cents, but there is NO PAIN meds for patients like me, Spinal, Neuropathy, GASTRO, Kidney’s there is NO Pain Med I can safely take. Now where is the right motorized wheelchair I need?

Janet R

Can you please address Acute and Chronic pain in the Worker’s Compensation area as well? I am having s very hard time getting the treatment I need for acute CRPS II. Laws need to be changed here as well. We are suffering and drowning in denials as well.

Heidi, Seattle WA

Can you resend this email with the letter as an attachment? The link to it doesn’t show the letter!
Very interested in seeing the direction you are going so we can respond in that same direction!



Tony hardy

There are NO cheap alternative treatments. You can pay $100 a Month and get medication that works decent most of the time or spend $2000-$4000 a month on massage therapy or other high cost alternatives. Canibis doesn’t work for major chronic pain , maybe for anxiety but definitely not for pain. It’s a lossing battle everyday just to live, most people like me have NO Quality of life what so ever, I don’t think sitting around all day doing nothing because of the pain and depression that comes with it is quality of life. But people who are not in pain or have a love one in pain they don’t care because it doesn’t effect them or matter to them.


Sounds “good”. Letter looks “good”.
I just hope the families of those who have ended their lives because of the “opioid crisis” and inability to manage their pain which had been…..managed for years and decades have some recourse but, I doubt it.
Dot/gov……don’t care or the fallout of forced ‘tapering” and holding our physicians hostage, by possible, no, eminent.. licensure revocation for prescribing in excess of 90 mme daily would have NEVER happened in the first place.