Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Loebsack Pushes Pain-Care Management Initiative for Servicemembers

Based on his observations on the ground in Iraq and on the home front at the Pain Care Center University of Iowa Hospital, Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, introduced legislation that would require the Department of Defense to create and implement a comprehensive pain care initiative for men and women serving in the nation’s armed services. Loebsack’s provision, The Military Pain Care Act (H.R. 5465), was added to the National Defense Authorization Act last week.

“We need to do a better job of protecting the health and wellbeing of our active-duty servicemembers on the battlefield, in military clinics, and in VA hospitals,” Loebsack told reporters on a conference call last week. “We have the best medical facilities in the world, but our servicememberes are not getting the comprehensive health care they deserve. Pain care management, both acute and chronic, is a critical component of this care and needs to be brought to attention.”

After touring the Pain Care Center and discussing pain care management with Dr. Richard Rosenquist, UI Director of Pain Medicine Service, Loebsack is convinced more needs to be done to provide servicemembers with treatment. “Forty percent of our armed forces are unable to return to their service obligations because of issues related to pain, yet the Defense Department has no pain care management system in place,” Loebsack said. “Failure to address this issue will not only affect active-duty members, but will also have an impact on the Iowa National Guard and the ease of their transition back into their civilian lives.”

Part of Loebsack’s bill would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of existing military Department of Defense pain care programs and to develop a best practices approach.

“The implementation of a comprehensive pain care management system will have a significant impact on the personal lives of military members and the military service’s combat readiness,” Dr. Rosenquist said on the conference call. “Of the military members that have been treated by qualified pain management specialists, 94 percent of them have returned to active-duty service.”

Rosenquist said that most of the people he treats for pain suffer from lower-back pains, which he says is consistent among his civilian patients. “The day-to-day rigors of duties related to combat take their toll on soldiers' bodies,” Dr. Rosenquist said. “Not to mention, the need for pain care management increases with direct-combat injuries, such as injuries sustained from improvised explosive devices.”

2 comments:

pain management emr said...

I agree with you there, “We have the best medical facilities in the world, but our servicememberes are not getting the comprehensive health care they deserve. Pain care management, both acute and chronic, is a critical component of this care and needs to be brought to attention.” I think they need to start from their service members. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. Looking forward for your next post.

-mel-

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