National Governors Association Expanding Access to Non-Opioid Chronic Pain Management

An August 2020 report by the National Governors Association highlighted the clear risks that opioids pose and the importance of increasing access to non-opioid forms of pain management as a strategy to confront the opioid overdose epidemic. The result of a 2018 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Health Division convened expert roundtable with 5 states (Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington), this report provides a resource for Governors looking to prioritize access to non-opioid therapies. The executive summary identified the following four strategies for Governors to consider:

  1. “Examine current evidence, coverage and access for non-opioid therapies and non-pharmacologic interventions such as physical therapy, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for common musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain
  2. Explore innovative, coordinated, interdisciplinary care delivery models that function as best practice models for patients experiencing complex, high-impact pain
  3. Consider state Medicaid strategies for expanding access to chronic pain management services that can be used to increase access to therapies and improve care for patient with chronic pain
  4. Identify additional state strategies to improve access to pain management for cross-sector collaboration to support expanded access to care”

The full report with much more detailed information is available at https://www.nga.org/center/publications/expanding-access-non-opioid-management-chronic-pain/.