Provisions from National Pain Care Policy Act Included in Health Care Reform Bill to Promote Improved Pain Care

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 Medical PDA News
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New Law will Address Barriers to Care for Millions of Americans in Pain

BALTIMORE, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Pain Foundation (APF) is pleased to report that the Health Care Reform Bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Barack Obama, today, includes several provisions from the National Pain Care Policy Act, a critical piece of legislation written to improve pain care in America for the more than 76.5 million Americans affected by pain--more people than those affected by diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

The provisions from the National Pain Care Policy Act 2009 (S660) incorporated into the Health Care Reform Bill include:

"APF, along with a dedicated grassroots movement of volunteer advocates and national partnering organizations, have worked together to hone our efforts and raise our voices to encourage the passing of legislation that would create a national focus and priority of improving pain care in our country," said Will Rowe, chief executive officer for APF. "Congressional action to provide strong direction in advancing pain medicine is long overdue. These key pain elements are a first step in creating that focus and take concrete measures to improve pain care for the millions of deserving Americans."

"These unprecedented provisions are paramount for people in pain," said Scott M. Fishman, M.D. chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis and president of the board of directors for APF.

"They will help guide increased priority for pain care, establish support for clinicians specializing in pain management, and will raise the bar for funding research that is desperately needed for understanding pain and improving its treatment. This represents a remarkable step forward in addressing the barriers preventing humane and effective treatment of pain in the United States."

In 2009, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee members voted unanimously to include the National Pain Care Policy Act 2009 as an amendment to the National Health Care Reform Bill. APF's volunteer grassroots Action Network has been actively engaged in supporting the National Pain Care Policy Act through meetings with elected officials, letter-writing campaigns, community outreach and social networking.

"Including the provisions from the National Pain Care Policy Act into the National Health Care Reform Bill was not only a victory for people in pain but for health care providers as well," said Rowe. "When people have access to the pain treatment that they deserve and doctors are provided the appropriate training they are seeking to treat them, many people in pain can resume active, productive lives worth living."

Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation (APF) is an independent nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization serving people with pain through information, advocacy and support. The mission of APF is to improve the quality of life of people by raising public awareness, providing practical information, promoting research and advocating to remove barriers and increase access to effective pain management. For more information, visit www.painfoundation.org.

-- Mandating an Institute of Medicine conference on pain to address key medical and policy issues affecting the delivery of quality pain care; -- Establishing a training program to improve the skills of health care professionals to assess and treat pain; and, -- Enhancing the pain research agenda for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

SOURCE American Pain Foundation


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