Information Resources for Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing

Acute Pain Management - Meeting the Challenges: A VA Clinician's Guide

Provides information and recommendations on safe and effective methods for acute pain management for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) healthcare providers to promote safe opioid prescribing and decrease the number of veterans who develop opioid use disorder (OUD). Covers the Stepped Care model to manage acute pain including opioid use risks, opioid free and non-pharmacological approaches for pain management, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Alternative Pain Management and Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder – Federal Employees' Compensation Act Bulletin NO. 18-06

Announces a policy guiding the authorization of alternative, non-opioid pain management treatments and treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) for federal workers receiving workers' compensation. Aims to reduce barriers to non-opioid pain treatment, such as alternative pain medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and other treatment without medication, as well as in-patient pain management programs. Increases patient access to OUD treatments, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), opioid treatment programs, in-patient, out-patient, and emergency services.

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Provides evidence-based information, guidance, clinical tools, webinars, training, and other resources on the safe and effective prescription of opioids to treat chronic pain in a primary care setting. Addresses patient-centered clinical practices, including accurate assessments, evaluation of treatment options, risk monitoring, and safely ending opioid treatment. Provides an overview of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) and the latest research and activity to reduce the occurrence of opioid use disorder (OUD).

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

Offers evidence-based information, recommendations, guides, and tools to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare providers and patients to assist in the decision making process to improve the health and treatment of patients with chronic pain. Includes information and algorithms for determining the appropriateness, risks, duration, and frequency of opioid therapy to prioritize safe and effective opioid prescribing practices.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
CMS Letter to State Medicaid Directors: Leveraging Medicaid Technology to Address the Opioid Crisis

Offers states information and advice regarding strategies to combat the opioid crisis using technology, as well as potential funding opportunities for these efforts. Discusses implementing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to track and facilitate the safe prescription of opioid medications and increasing data-driven approaches, interoperability, and telehealth services to improve care coordination among healthcare professionals.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS Letter to State Medicaid Directors: Strategies to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Describes treatment and prevention strategies aimed at increasing healthcare quality, availability, and outcomes for Medicaid recipients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUDs). Discusses long-term objectives focused on enhancing states' ability to track and implement evidence-based services to help beneficiaries with OUD and SUDs.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tools

Interactive mapping tools providing recent data on Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates in the U.S. at the state, county, and zip code level, as well as state-level Medicaid data. Includes Medicare data on long-acting opioid prescribing rates, changes in prescribing rate, opioid prescribing hot spots and outliers, and rates in urban and rural areas. Offers data to better inform local prevention and treatment efforts, particularly in rural communities hard hit by the opioid crisis, and demonstrates CMS's commitment to opioid data transparency.

Sponsor: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Indian Health Service (IHS) Opioid Use Disorder and Pain

Offers comprehensive information and resources on the use of prescription opioids, managing chronic pain, and opioid use disorder (OUD) for patients and providers, specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities and Indian Health Service (IHS) providers. Includes online tools, technical assistance resources, guides, and training for patients and providers on topics such as opioid crisis data, opioid prevention, COVID-19 response and opioids, proper pain management, opioid prescribing/stewardship, maternal health, syringe services programs, child health and wellness, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), tele-MAT, trauma informed care, best practices, wellness courts, and training opportunities. Resource is an initiative of the IHS Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).

Sponsor: Indian Health Service (IHS)
Indian Health Service (IHS) Opioids and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Addressing the Opioid Crisis during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Outlines the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the opioid crisis in Native American and Alaskan Native families and communities across the U.S. Provides information, federal resources, programs, and services to address opioid misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD) for Native American and Alaskan Native populations during the COVID-19 crisis. Focuses on key issues and challenges, including treatment options for OUD; telehealth and remote services; prescribing requirements for buprenorphine; provider training and support; and the prevention of coronavirus transmission in high-risk environments.

Sponsor: Indian Health Service (IHS)
Local Response to Public Health Emergencies: Focus on the Opioid Epidemic

Provides an overview of a 2017 pilot project to enhance the ability of local health departments (LHDs) to address opioid use and overdose in their communities. Aims to help LHDs work more effectively with state and local partners and reduce the occurrence of fatal and non-fatal overdose. Summarizes project activities and goals and a brief introduction to the four pilot sites: Bell County, Kentucky; Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; Montgomery County, Ohio; and Boone County, West Virginia.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
New Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) Policy on Opioid Medications

Announces a policy, effective September 23, 2019, whereby injured federal workers receiving workers' compensation that are newly prescribed opioids will be limited to an initial 7-day supply. Allows an injured worker to receive a maximum of four sequential 7-day supply prescriptions, an initial and three subsequent prescriptions, for a total of 28 days before prior authorization is required. For additional opioid prescriptions exceeding the initial 28-day period, the prescribing physician will need to submit a form certifying the medical necessity of continued opioid use for approval from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP).

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Office of National Drug Control Policy COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Summarizes policy changes made by federal National Drug Control Program agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlines program and policy changes designed to ensure individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) can continue to safely access important treatment and recovery support services during the pandemic. Addresses several priority areas, including guidance for prevention, treatment, and recovery services; use of telemedicine and electronic prescribing, flexibility for methadone and buprenorphine treatment, access to prescribed controlled substances, support for rural and tribal communities; and relief opportunities for individuals, providers, and small businesses. Provides links to programs and agencies for additional details related to specific policy changes.

Sponsor: Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Opioid Overdose Prevention for States Microsite

Allows local organizations, providers, and other stakeholders to add a free, customizable version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opioid overdose website to their own websites. Helps communities disseminate online, up-to-date CDC opioid information and resources, as well as training on the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Opioid Policy Four-Point Strategic Plan to Protect Federal Injured Workers

Announces a four-point strategic plan to protect injured federal workers covered under the Federal Employee's Compensation Act from the risk of opioid misuse and addiction. Includes details on these policy initiatives and their progress, information on any new policies, as well as a discussion of opioid facts and risk factors for opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose, and links to additional resources.

Sponsor: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Opioid Safety Initiative Toolkit

Contains field guidance, evidence-based to the extent possible, in the form of documents and presentations to support clinical decisions about starting, continuing, or tapering opioid therapy, and other challenges related to safe opioid prescribing. Includes patient and provider education, clinical tools, and other resources.

Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Pain Education Materials Catalog

Provides a collection of pain-related instructional items cataloged by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Academic Detailing Service (ADS). Helps providers assist patients with pain management by providing tools, resources, guides, and other informational materials on topics such as pain, opioid safety, headaches, opioid use disorder (OUD), opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution, and suicide.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Pain: New Ways to Treat a Common Problem, Patient Guide

Describes the two types of pain: acute and chronic. Discusses pain management strategies and treatments, including non-medication treatments, non-opioid medication treatments, and opioids.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services
Rx Awareness Campaign

Provides information and resources to help states and local communities building media campaigns to increase awareness and educate the public on the dangers of prescription opioids. Offers videos, radio spots, social media posts, signage, and online ads that cover opioid treatment and recovery, overdose prevention, and real life stories of addiction and loss due to prescription opioids.

Sponsor: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
VA PBM: Academic Detailing Service (ADS) Resources

Provides access to education materials advocating for evidence-based treatments to help providers improve the health of veterans. Offers provider and patient education tools and outreach resources to encourage evidence-based decision making for a variety of medical conditions and diseases, including opioid use disorder (OUD) and substance use disorders (SUDs), pain, suicide, dementia, depression, HIV, PTSD, and more.

Sponsor: VA Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) Services