Opinion by Seddon R. Savage: Affordable Care Act Offers Opportunity to Combat Pain and Drug Abuse

“The rollout of the Affordable Care Act is a huge opportunity to both reduce prescription drug abuse and improve the care of pain. The ACA names essential benefits that must be included in new programs, such as state insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansions that will serve as models for all insurers. These include a requirement for treatment of mental health and substance-use disorders in parity with other medical conditions that can potentially expand access to care for millions who need it.

Reducing pain and reducing drug abuse are not, as commonly thought, at odds. Members of Congress can fight prescription drug abuse and pain together by ensuring that the powerful opportunities afforded by the ACA to advance pain research and improve care of persons with chronic pain and with addiction disorders are fully realized in its implementation.”


Source: Rollcall.com – April 5, 2013