New CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Fall Short in Protecting Patients
"The CDC needs to aggressively advocate for affordable patient access to pain treatments that are safe and effective and not leave the 100 million Americans who are in chronic pain without any means of relief."
The opioid prescribing guidelines released this week by the CDC are commendable in that they acknowledge the harm done by prescription painkillers, the lack of evidence for long term benefit and the need for caution in prescribing for more than a few days, says chronic pain treatment expert Cindy Perlin, LCSW.
Perlin, the author of “The Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments: The Best and Worst Strategies for Becoming Pain Free,” notes, however, that the guidelines are short on alternative recommendations for how physicians should treat pain.
“The guidelines give lip service to psychotherapy and physical therapy as alternative treatments while minimizing the fact that these services are inaccessible to many pain patients”, says Perlin. “More than 93 million Americans live in areas where there is less than one mental health provider for every 10,000 people. In addition, most insurance companies rarely cover more than a few sessions of physical therapy, which is grossly inadequate to address chronic pain. These services also are becoming increasingly rare because insurance companies have not raised fees for providers on over 35 years.”
Perlin also points out that the CDC guidelines ignore and insurance companies rarely cover other proven treatments for pain, including biofeedback, chiropractic,massage, acupuncture, nutritional and herbal interventions, marijuana and low level laser therapy.
“The CDC needs to aggressively advocate for affordable patient access to pain treatments that are safe and effective,” insists Perlin, “and not leave the 100 million Americans who are in chronic pain without any means of relief.”
Perlin has started a petition on change.org advocating for a federal law to require health insurance coverage for all pain treatments that are proven safe and effective..
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- Contact Information
- Cindy Perlin
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Cindy Perlin
- (1) (518) 439-6431
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