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C-TAC submitted comments last week on HHS’ Request for Public Comments on the Pain Management Best Practices Inter- Agency Task Force Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies, and Recommendations. This report was required in the 2016 CARA Opioid legislation.

Overall we were in strong support of the report and its recommendations and appreciated its focus on personalized care of those with pain along with a more appropriate use of the CDC Pain Management Guidelines. We supported most of the report’s recommendations and pointed out that training of all clinicians in evidence-based pain and other symptom management and communication should be aggressively pursued.

We cautioned that recommended practices like urine drug tests and written treatment agreements could be inappropriate for those with advanced illness where the risk of opioids must be balanced by the benefits of these medications. Finally, we recommended that additional research is needed to better understand the impact of pain on family caregivers, as they play a great role in the care of those with advanced illness.

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