Case Study

Chronic Pain Patient Storytelling in Amending Reimbursement Rule

Identified and Addressed

the potential threat of pain medication misuse

Influenced Amendment of CMS Rule

as to protect patients from losing treatment access and to prevent physicians from losing innovative treatment

Direct Patient and Provider Engagement

to amplify the threat of implementation of reimbusement policy

Client Situation

A company with a non-opioid approved treatment for chronic pain was impacted by a reimbursement rule proposed by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The results of this rule would limit reimbursement for physicians prescribing a non­opioid approved treatment which directly inhibits a safer approach to patients who need access to pain medication. Specifically, patients would no longer have access to the clinically superior treatment and be relegated to generic drugs or the use of prescription opioids. In the midst of the federal SUPPORT Act, a comprehensive bill that encourages innovation and utilization of non-opioid treatments, Patient Advocacy Strategies (PAS) identified and addressed the potential threat of the misuse of pain medication.


PAS galvanized the professional and patient pain community, working with patients experiencing chronic pain and providers to amplify the threat of such a reimbursement policy. Specifically, PAS deployed advocates to share their story of controlled pain with newly-approved non-opioid pain treatments and enlisted over fifty advocacy organizations to protest against CMS.


Through PAS, the exposure to patient stories and the written protest against CMS modified the reimbursement rule. This amended rule protects patients from losing access to exceptional treatment and physicians from losing access to innovative treatments and thereby, protects the client’s business.

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