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States Improving Pain Policies

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000340705.64868.c8
In Brief

Seven states have made progress in adopting balanced policies that help people with pain alleviate their suffering, according to a report evaluating state policies to improve pain management and patient care. The report, “Achieving Balance in State Pain Policy: A Progress Report Card,” was prepared by the University of Wisconsin Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) and jointly funded by the American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Although Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington had policy changes sufficient enough to improve their grade from the previous year, only five states—Oregon, Kansas, Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin—received a grade of A for enabling health care professionals to effectively alleviate the suffering of their patients without encountering barriers in legislation or regulation.

“A growing number of state health care regulatory agencies have recognized the importance of adopting policies that encourage pain management, palliative care, and end-of-life care,” Aaron Gilson, PhD, Director of the US program of the PPSG, said in a news release. “However, states need to continue to eliminate restrictive or ambiguous legislative language in order to improve pain management for patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases.”

The full progress report can be accessed at www.painpolicy.wisc/edu/Achieving_Balance/index.html

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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