Chronic pain sufferers urged to seek safe relief from pain physicians
(BPT) - When a person is in pain, he or she will seek options to attempt to reduce or eliminate the pain. For minor pains like headaches, muscle aches and small wounds, often over-the-counter drugs can help reduce suffering. But people with chronic pain may have to search for other solutions.
More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, at a cost of $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) started paying providers without formal training in pain medicine to diagnose and treat chronic pain.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) advises against receiving care from providers without training in treating chronic pain because patient safety can be seriously compromised. In addition to jeopardizing patient safety, untrained providers lower the quality of health care and can increase the risk for fraud and prescription drug abuse. Untrained providers lack the sufficient education and training needed to properly prescribe opioids, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
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