- Refer patients or allow them access to pain management specialists when appropriate.
- Develop state specific report cards on pain management practices based on the Pain & Policy Studies Group model.
- Eliminate regulatory and third-party payer policies and medical practices that usurp the "doctor-patient" relationship or deny pain care access to vulnerable groups. Eliminate those policies that are primarily developed for cost savings that may supersede the best interest of patient care and serve as an inappropriate and unacceptable form of healthcare rationing.
- Ensure that reimbursement is compatible with the time required for effective pain assessment and treatment and that it includes multi-disciplinary and multimodal practice of care.
The American Pain Foundation is a non-profit group geared to raising public awareness, providing practical information and promoting research to remove barriers and increase access to effective pain management.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.