A New Risk Emerges: Provider Accountability for Inadequate Treatment of Pain

Annals of Long-Term Care, Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2001

5 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2008

Date Written: September 25, 2008

Abstract

Patients in the United States are routinely undertreated for pain. This problem has been widely recognized and documented in medical literature. In a seminal medical study of end-of-life care, researchers found that 50% of all patients who died during hospitalization "experienced moderate or severe pain at least half of the time during their last 3 days of life." Elderly patients are particularly vulnerable to insufficient pain treatment. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that up o 40% of cancer patients in nursing homes are not appropriately treated for pain. In addition, 26% of those experiencing pain did not receive any pain medication, and 16% were given over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or acetaminophen for their pain. At the same time, it is well-established that perhaps only 10% of dying patients have conditions in which alleviation of pain is truly difficult or impossible.

Keywords: pain management, failure to treat pain, provider accountability, palliative care, end of life care, California Medical Board, Intractable Pain Treatment Acts, ITPA, Tomlinson, Bergman

JEL Classification: I00, I10, I11, I12, I18, I19, I28, J18, K00, K10, K13, K14, K19, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Tucker, Kathryn L., A New Risk Emerges: Provider Accountability for Inadequate Treatment of Pain (September 25, 2008). Annals of Long-Term Care, Vol. 9, No. 4, April 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1273455

Kathryn L. Tucker (Contact Author)

Compassion & Choices ( email )

PO Box 101810
Denver, CO 80250
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.compassionandchoices.org

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