The Oregon Health Authority is on the verge of passing a radical policy that would require chronic pain patients receiving Medicaid to have their opioids tapered to zero while covering “nonpharmacologic treatments for pain” that include primarily acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and other “alternative” treatments. Not surprisingly, the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force, which is responsible for this proposed infliction of quackery on the most vulnerable, has three acupuncturists and a chiropractor sitting on it.
Chiropractors and acupuncturists have lobbied for a greater role in treating pain. They might well have won it. Last week, the FDA released proposed changes Wednesday to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain, which now recommend that doctors learn about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid opioids. There’s still time to stop this, but you have to write the FDA.