This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Interagency Task Force will meet to vote on final best practice recommendations focused on acute and chronic pain, including opioid use and prescribing, and will also hear public comment. This comes after the Task Force released draft recommendations in December.

During the May 9-10 meeting, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., chair of ASA’s Committee on Pain Medicine, will be recognized for their efforts to address the opioid crisis and for contributions to the Task Force recommendations.

Dr. Buvanendran presented before the Task Force at its inaugural meeting in May 2018 and is available for interviews on the recommendations, the opioid crisis, and can discuss the importance of:

  • Opioid-sparing techniques in the surgical setting, which can impact the number of opioids prescribed to patients and, consequently, the number of unused opioids in families’ homes following surgery.
  • Insurance coverage for evidence-based interventional procedures for chronic pain, and ensuring patient access to these effective pain treatments by properly trained and skilled pain specialists.
  • Other opioid reduction strategies including models of care such as the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) and improving prescription drug monitoring programs.

Additional information on strategies ASA supports to address the opioid epidemic is available here.