Among the recommendations to address the opioid epidemic, authors Andrew Kolodny, MD and Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH propose:
"Increase insurance coverage of and access to nonopioid and nonpharmacological management of pain. Chronic pain is a serious and potentially disabling problem for millions of people in the United States. Opioids are likely less effective and certainly more dangerous than other modalities of chronic pain management. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should ensure full reimbursement for nonprescription analgesics, such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for Medicare Part D and Medicaid beneficiaries. This would remove a financial disincentive for patients to use these medications. Easier access to and low or no copayments for physical therapy and other nonpharmacological pain management modalities could potentially reduce medication use and improve patient functionality and outcomes."