AMTA is pleased to announce that a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators recently introduced S. 987, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA 3.0) to increase funding authorization levels for certain programs passed as part of the CARA bill in 2016, and to build upon earlier efforts to help address the rising opioid epidemic through enhanced access to treatment and prevention.
CARA 3.0 is a comprehensive approach to tackling issues related to chronic and acute pain and substance abuse. AMTA has long supported this comprehensive approach, and we believe that access to massage therapy as part of an overall treatment plan for pain-related conditions can help reduce the over-reliance on opioids that leads to abuse and addiction. This legislation is needed more than ever; COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for individuals who need access to complementary and integrative therapies to help manage their pain.
CARA 3.0 includes several provisions of interest to massage therapists and other integrative providers, including new research into non-opioid pain management alternatives and increasing continuing education for physicians and providers. The bill also contains specific AMTA-supported language from the NOPAIN Act that requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report to Congress on identified gaps in Medicare coverage for pain, including massage therapy, and to make recommendations to increase patient access to these therapies.
AMTA applauds the introduction of S. 987, CARA 3.0 by leaders: Senators Portman (R-OH), Whitehouse (D-RI), Capito (R-WV), Klobuchar (D-MN), Cantwell (D-WA), and Shaheen (D-NH). For more information on how massage therapists can get involved in supporting this legislation, you can visit our page on AMTA's efforts to advance the conversation about massage for pain.