ASA Presents at HHS Pain Management Task Force - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

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ASA Presents at HHS Pain Management Task Force

On Wednesday, May 30, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) was honored to be a principle presenter at the inaugural meeting of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force.  The Task Force is the Administration’s primary vehicle for developing and advancing best practices to address the nation’s opioid crisis.  ASA is pleased that the Administration recognizes the important voice physician anesthesiologists have in the appropriate treatment of acute and chronic pain. 

Asokumar Buvanendran, M.D., Chair of ASA’s Committee on Pain Medicine represented ASA at the meeting and discussed the unique role physician anesthesiologists can serve in reducing patient exposure to and use of opioids during surgery and at discharge.  He highlighted three key ASA initiatives:

  • ASA’s leadership on the development of the Perioperative Surgical Home, now in a third generation learning collaborative, offers great promise in reducing opioid exposure.
  • In a response to the efforts of policy-makers to set one-size fits all prescribing limits, ASA is partnering with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to develop consensus recommendations for acute postoperative pain management for orthopedic surgery of varying intensity.
  • ASA’s joint pilot with Premier, Inc. through the Hospital Innovation Improvement Network has generated preliminary results that show reductions in great than 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) prescribed for postoperative surgical pain and in reduction in opioids used in the postoperative periods across three major surgical procedures. 

The Task Force’s draft recommendation are expect to be released by the end of the year.

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force was created by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA).  Chaired by ASA member and HHS Office of Assistant Secretary for Health Chief Medical Officer, Vanila Singh, M.D.,  the Task Force will “propose updates to best practices and issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain.”

HHS Pain Management task force


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