A New National Strategy for Managing Pain

Feb 4, 2019

Physical therapy is a well-established long-term solution for chronic pain but insurance coverage and slow recovery deter patients from the commitment.
Credit U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham)

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is addressing the need for alternative pain management. The department recently released a draft federal report on best practices — and opened a public comment period. Pain specialists recommend an interdisciplinary approach, combining physical treatments, pharmacology and mental health therapy. Many Granite Staters encounter hurdles with insurance coverage, access to health care providers, and stigma in treating their pain holistically.

We talk to physicians about the best approaches to acute and chronic pain. We also hear how health insurance companies are adjusting coverage to meet changing trends in pain management.



  • Kate Berry — Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at America's Health Insurance Plans, a national association representing health insurers and health care service providers.
  • Dr. Jeremy Collins  — A pain specialist at Granite State Pain Associates. 
  • Dr. David Nagel — A physician who specializes in pain management at Concord Orthopaedics. He is the New Hampshire representative to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Dr. Nagel is the author of Needless Suffering: How Society Fails Those with Chronic Pain. 
  • Dr. Adam Seidner — Chief Medical Officer at The Hartford Insurance company. He manages strategy company-wide with a particular focus on workers’ compensation and disability management through iRECOVER, a specialized workplace rehabilitation program.