Seeking Member Feedback to Inform Responses to AHRQ, CDC, and DEA Pain and Opioid Requests for Comments

Members & Publications

May 22, 2020

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are all soliciting public comments on 3 opportunities detailed below.

Your AAPM&R Pain Management and Opioid Task Force is considering submitting comments in response to the 3 opportunities and would like to solicit your feedback. If you would like to provide comments to inform the task force’s response, please send your comments to by June 4, 2020.  

AHRQ Draft Report on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Opioids, Opioid Misuse, and Opioid Use Disorder in Older Adults

The Evidence-Based Practice Center (EPC) Program at AHRQ has posted the draft technical brief on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Opioids, Opioid Misuse, and Opioid Use Disorder in Older Adults. The purpose of the review is to provide a framework for understanding how to reduce adverse outcomes of opioid use among older adults and to describe the evidence available for different factors associated with and interventions to reduce adverse outcomes related to opioid use in this population.

CDC Management of Acute and Chronic Pain: Request for Comment

The CDC is seeking to obtain comments to inform its understanding of stakeholders’ values and preferences related to pain and pain management options. This effort will complement the CDC’s ongoing work assessing the need for updating or expanding the 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The CDC is especially seeking perspectives, recommendations, and data focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments. Particularly CDC are seeking information regarding 1) benefits, risks, and/or harms of the aforementioned pain management options; 2) experiences choosing among the pain management options listed above, including considering factors such as each option’s accessibility, cost, benefits, and/or risks; and 3) experiences getting information needed to make pain management decisions.

DEA Interim Final Rule: Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances

The DEA issued a notice reopening a previous interim final rule to solicit additional comments from the public. The DEA originally published an interim final rule in the Federal Register on March 31, 2010, which provides practitioners with the option of writing prescriptions for controlled substances electronically. Since publishing the interim final rule, the DEA has received questions and requests for clarification on various issues concerning the implementation and technical requirements for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances. The DEA is therefore reopening the March 31, 2010, interim final rule to solicit comments from the public on specific issues outlined regarding the electronic prescribing of controlled substances in anticipation of subsequently publishing a final rule on these topics.


Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.