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AMA Opioid Task Force

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AAPM Past President Steven Stanos, DO Discusses COVID-19’s Impact on the Opioid Epidemic with AMA

This morning AAPM Past President Steven Stanos, DO participated in an AMA COVID-19 UPDATE podcast to discuss how the pandemic has impacted the nation’s opioid epidemic. Dr. Stanos also serves as AAPM’s representative on the AMA Opioid Task Force.

Dr. Stanos describes a three-prong approach that his hospital system, Swedish Pain Services, has implemented in order to respond to the pandemic: risk mitigation for patients, increased access for virtual visits, and taking care of staff and hospital team members.

Panelists discussed ways to increase access and eliminate treatment barriers for patients suffering from pain as well as those with opioid use disorder. View the full video.

AMA Seeks Clarification, State Action to Protect Patients with Chronic Pain

The AMA joined the Indiana State Medical Association in seeking clarification from the state medical licensing board whether existing patients with chronic pain can be evaluated via telephone-only communication to satisfy state-specific controlled substances prescribing rules.

The new flexibility “may have been satisfied by Executive Orders (EO) 20-12 and 20-13, but we seek clarification – along with the Indiana State Medical Association – as to whether those EOs specifically supersede 844 Indiana Administrative Code 5-6-6,” wrote AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, in a letter to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board (MLB). 

Dr. Madara also encouraged the Indiana MLB to “adopt, in full, guidance provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help ensure patients with pain receive the medications they need while simultaneously helping support public health measures to protect patient safety, reduce unnecessary travel and potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.” This includes urging the MLB to allow for “multiple prescriptions authorizing the patient to receive a total of up to a 90-day supply of a Schedule II controlled substance, subject to specific conditions being met.”

If you have specific examples of states/institutions taking action to help patients with chronic pain, please consider it sharing it with the AMA. Information can be sent to [email protected].

Help AAPM and the AMA Opioid Task Force Identify Barriers in Treatment

As one of the organizations in the AMA Opioid Taskforce, AAPM is working with the American Medical Association (AMA) to gather information on barriers to treatment. AAPM and the AMA request 10-15 minutes of your time to complete the online surveys below by May 8. AAPM and the AMA will use the information collected to better understand how to reduce and remove identified barriers and determine most appropriate next steps. Thank you for your support.

  • Identifying Barriers to Treatment Barriers to Optimal Pain Care Survey
  • Identifying Barriers to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders Survey
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AAPM

American Academy of Pain Medicine