HHS issues national pain strategy

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a national strategy for the improvement of pain care on Friday.

The plan was developed by an interagency committee with contribution from a range of experts. The HHS described the strategy as the "federal government's first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans."

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The strategy contains recommendations in population research, prevention and care, addressing disparities in pain care for stigmatized and underserved populations, service delivery and payment, professional education and training and public education and communication.

The strategy was referred to as an essential element in HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell's initiative to combat the opioid epidemic.

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