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HomeFocus → No Quick Fix: Missouri Finds Managing Pain Without Opioids Isn’t Fast Or Easy

No Quick Fix: Missouri Finds Managing Pain Without Opioids Isn’t Fast Or Easy Print E-mail
Written by Lauren Weber | Kaiser Health News   
Monday, 17 February 2020 00:00

Missouri began offering chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for Medicaid patients in April, the latest state to try an alternative to opioids for those battling chronic pain. Yet only about 500 of the state's roughly 330,000 adult Medicaid users accessed the program through December, at a cost of $190,000, according to Josh Moore, the Missouri Medicaid pharmacy director. While the numbers may reflect an undercount because of lags in submitting claims, the jointly funded federal-state program known in the state as MO HealthNet is hitting just a fraction of possible patients so far. Meanwhile, according to the state, opioids were still being doled out: 109,610 Missouri Medicaid patients of all age groups received opioid prescriptions last year. The going has been slow, health experts said, because of a slew of barriers. Such treatments are more time-consuming and involved than simply getting a prescription. A limited number of providers offer alternative treatment options, especially to Medicaid patients. And perhaps the biggest problem? These therapies don't seem to work for everyone.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2020 17:00
 


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