Minnesota's APCD Provides Valuable Insights into State's Growing Challenge of Chronic Pain

With more than 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain this past year, providing effective treatment at an affordable cost is quickly becoming one of the most formidable challenges to healthcare systems across the country. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is tackling the issue head on, releasing a new report that finds that about 83,000 Minnesotans undergo procedures to treat chronic pain each year.
The study, which is based on three years (2010-2012) of commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare claims data from the state's APCD, the Minnesota Health Care Claims Reporting System (MHCCRS), is expected to be used to help answer recent questions raised by regulators, insurers, and lawmakers alike working to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families suffering from chronic pain.

Although this report does not estimate the specific cost of treating chronic pain in the state, treatment costs for chronic pain management reach approximately $600 billion per year nationally, according to a study from the Institute of Medicine. Based on MDH’s findings, the associated costs are expected to be formidable (30.9% of the roughly 83,000 Minnesotans receiving chronic pain procedures annually required three or more treatments) and climbing (the volume of chronic pain procedures increased 13.2% from 2010 to 2012).

The MHCCRS was created by Minnesota’s Legislature in 2008 and has been developed, deployed, and operated by Onpoint since 2009. As the MDH’s press release states, “The MN APCD supports efforts to improve health care in Minnesota and increase price transparency by filling critical information gaps related to health care costs, quality, and use.” To read the full release, which includes a link to the new report, visit their website by clicking here