Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) Supports the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report

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The Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) supports the recently released U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report. “We have justifiably been focused on the actions of the pharmaceutical industry, which helped perpetuate the opioid crisis by promoting drugs for pain that they knew had the potential for significant harm, but what has not received enough attention is this groundbreaking report from HHS,” says IHPC Policy Committee Co-Chair, Sharad Kohli, MD. “This document paints a path forward to effectively address pain with a multidisciplinary strategy utilizing non-pharmacologic approaches. Many of the therapies recommended are not only safer but more effective than opioids, will prevent unnecessary deaths and will improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans currently suffering with pain,” said Dr. Kohli.

The Report identifies gaps and inconsistencies in pain management and offers recommendations for improving pain management best practices. The Task Force emphasizes key non-pharmaceutical centered approaches to improve the lives of patients living with acute and chronic pain:

·         Individualized, patient-centered care fostering a therapeutic alliance between the patient and clinician

·         Multidisciplinary approaches utilizing one or more treatment modalities and the biopsychosocial model to pain care

·         Consideration of special patient populations, as well as comorbid conditions that can accompany complex pain conditions

·         Recommending the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other insurers align their reimbursement guidelines for non-opioid pharmacologic therapies with current clinical practice guidelines.

The Task Force’s recommendations span five broad treatment approaches to pain management: Medication, Restorative Therapies, Interventional Procedures, Behavioral Health Approaches, and Complementary and Integrative Health, that are reinforced by four cross-cutting themes critical to all treatment approaches: Risk Assessment, Stigma, Access to Care, and Education. The Report also discusses the role of the 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A philosophical and cultural shift to focus on addressing chronic and acute pain by using complementary and integrative health, including non-pharmacologic approaches, has been proven effective and is widely supported by practitioners working in all healthcare settings. These treatment options include acupuncture, massage therapy, physical and occupational therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, manipulative therapy, yoga, tai chi and meditation.

You can read the full report and visit HHS’ accompanying toolkit here:

About the Integrative Health Policy Consortium:

The Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) is a not-for-profit corporation that has built a vital network of professional organizations bringing integrative healthcare to the forefront in the U.S. IHPC is comprised of 26 organizations and institutions and 12 at-large, national experts, representing more than 600,000 state-licensed and nationally certified healthcare professionals.  They are regulated (licensed or nationally certified) providers of integrative medicine, holistic nursing, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, public health, certified professional midwifery, massage therapy, nutrition and homeopathy.  

IHPC is a trusted voice on Capitol Hill. It was founded in 2001 at the request of legislators who wanted an organization representing the consensus voice of the integrative healthcare community, aligned around wellness, health creation, and choice.  IHPC has championed the Congressional Integrative Health & Wellness Caucus and functions as a critical watchdog of the federal agencies overseeing America’s health and health research needs. IHPC envisions a world with no barriers to health and is focused on promoting a healthier world that incentivizes health creation for all individuals, communities and the planet.


Tracy Bowen, Executive Director
Integrative Health Policy Consortium, IHPC
(202) 746-1663 /

Source: Integrative Health Policy Consortium


Categories: Healthcare and Medical News

Tags: complementaryhealth, HHS, integrativehealth, interventional procedures, opioidcrisis, painmanagement, restorativetherapies

About Integrative Health Policy Consortium

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The Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium is the national policy and advocacy voice of integrative health and wellness healthcare professionals.

Susan Haeger
Interim Executive Director/Board Member, Integrative Health Policy Consortium
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