More than 30 health organizations have endorsed a new study from the Mayday Fund recommending broad changes in how chronic pain is assessed and treated.
The report (link to PDF) concludes that poor quality of care and unnecessary surgeries, injections or procedures are driving up costs and causing patients more pain:
Instead of receiving effective relief, patients with persistent pain often find themselves in an endless cycle, seeing multiple health care providers, including many specialists in areas other than pain, who are not prepared to respond effectively. They often endure repeated tests and inadequate or unproven treatments. Patients with chronic pain have more hospital admissions, longer hospital stays and unnecessary trips to the emergency department. Such inefficient and even wasteful treatment for pain is contributing to the rapid rise in health care costs in the United States.
Photo by Andrew Eick