[Washington, DC] – A group of leading national health care organizations have established the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM), a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder collaborative to promote comprehensive integrative pain management (CIPM) for the over 50 million Americans living with inadequately treated pain.

There are many challenges to assessing, diagnosing, and managing pain and many barriers currently exist between people living with pain and evidence-based, comprehensive treatment options such as physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, nerve block injections, massage therapy, or chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, and innovation in pain treatment techniques such as neuromodulation, and regenerative medicine.

“We need to connect the dots for the 50 million people living with chronic pain in the USA,” said Dr. Vanila Singh, MD, Stanford physician, former Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  As chair of the Congressionally mandated HHS Pain Management Task Force, Dr. Singh noted that “Patient-centered health care experts in the various different specialties and disciplines can together provide a comprehensive integrative approach to those patients that need it.  Healthcare providers can better serve those who suffer from various painful conditions which would result in improved functionality, and overall quality of life”

“When treating pain, it is important to treat the whole person and not just the symptom. That is the goal of comprehensive integrative pain management,” said Tracy Gaudet, MD, former Executive Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s pain office and another member of AACIPM’s Advisory Committee. “Shifting the treatment approach from one that relies heavily on a compartmentalized view rather than an individualized, interdisciplinary and integrative solution will result in better outcomes for people living with pain.”

AACIPM includes leaders from more than 75 organizations representing policy experts, people living with pain, patient and caregiver advocates, public and private insurers, government agencies, researchers, purchasers of health care, policy experts, and a full spectrum of health care professionals involved in the delivery of CIPM who are all united in their interest in advocating for policies that increase access and invest in ongoing research focused on this approach. These policies include increased education for health care providers, and suggested standards for insurers and purchasers to abide by when adopting guidelines and coverage policies related to  the availability and cost of CIPM.

“The Alliance is focused on changing the way we approach and talk about caring for people with pain; helping providers, patients, and third parties truly understand the varied and multifactorial components of pain and its impact on the US healthcare system and productivity of citizens,” said Amy Goldstein, Director of AACIPM. “Getting key stakeholders on the same page, we can effectively advocate for policy changes that increase access to best practices in pain management.”

This year and throughout 2020, the Alliance plans to publish white papers, conduct pilot programs, and construct strategic policy recommendations. It will also host a pain policy conference in May 2020.

This effort is supported by an investment from The Lovell Foundation. For more information, please visit painmanagementalliance.org/aacipm.