Oregon task force backs controversial opioid plan

BEND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon proposal to expand alternative treatments for certain chronic pain conditions while limiting the use of opioids has moved forward with minimal changes, despite outcries from chronic pain patients and sharp criticism from pain experts across the country.

The Bulletin reports that the state’s Chronic Pain Task Force, an ad hoc committee providing recommendations on treatments for chronic pain under Oregon’s Medicaid program, backed a proposal Wednesday to provide coverage for five chronic pain conditions currently not covered by the Oregon Health Plan.

That would allow patients to receive services such as physical therapy, acupuncture and other types of treatment. Opioids would be covered in limited doses for some of the chronic pain conditions, but not for fibromyalgia or centralized pain syndrome.