The Yearly $635 Billion Pain Costs In The U.S. - A Report

Pain Cost
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A report from the Institute of Medicine has revealed that more or less 116 million adults in the United States are affected by pain, and that the country spends $560 billion to $635 million every year due to this.

The authors of the report have clarified, though, that most of this pain can be prevented - if a conscious effort into changing the way the US responds to pain management and understanding is made.

The authors even went as far as recommending these changes; and according to them, these could be implemented as early as 2012 and others, as soon as 2015.

Stanford University’s School of Medicine dean and professor of pediatrics and microbiology and immunology - Philip Pizzo said, that with the huge number of people who suffer from pain alongside the financial cost and the burden the individual and their families have to go through - it is fact that pain is one of America’s major public health problems. Pizzo is, by the way, also the committee chair of Institute of Medicine’s released report.

He went on to add that - more often than not, the treatment and prevention of pain are not enough, inaccessible or delayed. He explained that to be able to make the situation more suitable - it would be of great advantage to let patients, health care providers and the society be knowledgeable of the biases and wrong perceptions about pain. Also, Pizzo mentioned that learning the root cause and the factors influencing pain through the available services and tools today would come in handy.

Some of the suggestions that the report’s authors have made are as follows:

- Health care organisations should help introduce the benefits of self-management for pain among patients, and that specialty care should only be used for those who have more serious cases.

- All medical and health professionals should be properly trained in pain education; the report has discovered that a lot of physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists and others have not received adequate training and are thus unable to instruct patients in proper self-management for pain.

- Health plans and employee policies regarding health should be able to cover interdisciplinary pain care.

- The current scope and resources of the US National Institutes of Health’s Pain Consortium should be advanced through pain research conducted by the institutes of the organisation.

The report was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and was conducted under the request of the Congress. The IOM is covered by the National Academy of Sciences.

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