State Laws and Other Regulatory Policies Related to Pain Care

Healthcare practice in the United States is governed at the state level. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws and other regulatory policies that address pain management for patients. Policies related to pain care, palliative care, or end-of-life care provide standards of practice influencing the way pain management is provided for all patients with chronic diseases or conditions, including those with cancer and those who are now cancer-free, but are experiencing other chronic painful conditions. These policies also have been used as a tool to curtail the opioid epidemic. As a result, content from these policies can, when implemented into practice, create facilitators or barriers to patients’ access to needed treatments. 

This dataset explores important features of state pain care-related laws and other regulatory policies. It includes laws and policies that address prescribing of controlled substances (specifically, Schedule II opioid analgesics); definitions creating parameters for healthcare practice; standards for evaluating and improving pain treatment, including practitioner expectations for treatment; practice requirements; and characteristics of state prescription monitoring programs (PMPs).

This map identifies and displays key features of more than 700 laws and other regulatory policies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in effect as of December 31, 2017.

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