The Department of Health and Human Services today issued a national strategy for improving pain care, which it called “the federal government’s first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans.” Developed by an interagency committee with input from a broad range of experts, and created in response to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, the strategy includes recommendations in six areas: population research; prevention and care; disparities; service delivery and payment; professional education and training; and public education and communication. More specifically, it calls for developing methods to improve pain prevention and management, creating a system of patient-centered integrated pain management practices; removing barriers and improving pain care for vulnerable, stigmatized and underserved populations; and educating patients and the health care workforce about pain management. HHS plans to develop an implementation and evaluation plan for the strategy, which it called an essential element of the secretary’s initiative to address the opioid epidemic.