The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently released the Chronic Pain Experience Journey Map which highlights the most prominent barriers experienced by people accessing care and the influencers acting on providers. These access issues and influencers ultimately affect the person with chronic pain, their quality of care and their quality of life.
CMS used qualitative research methods and the human-centered design process to understand and visualize the customer experiences living with, providing care for and treating people with chronic pain. In addition to direct engagement, CMS leveraged data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CMS recognizes the impact of pain across its programs, and has identified the importance of effective treatment and management of pain in the CMS Behavioral Health Strategy. This work aligns with the CMS Behavioral Health Strategy, the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy, and important provisions of the SUPPORT Act that address the treatment of pain: Section 6032 which includes a Report to Congress and a CMS Action Plan to Enhance Prevention and Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, and Section 6086, the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study.
We encourage everyone to explore where opportunities exist outside of the parameters of government to bring ease for those suffering with chronic pain, such as eliminating the stigmas that exist not only for those who suffer with chronic pain, but also those who suffer with behavioral health issues as well as those who suffer from opioid use disorder.
Important reminders on ways to reduce chronic pain:
- Avoid Smoking
- Create a daily schedule that includes a few priorities and time for rest and self-care
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your stress
- Eat a healthy diet
- Limit alcohol, which can cause problems with sleep and pain
- Join a support group for chronic pain to learn from other people with similar conditions
For questions or more information on the Journey Map, contact the CMS Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics