Many US insurers may fuel the opioid crisis by covering the addictive drugs – but not alternative pain treatments like acupuncture

When it comes to non-drug therapies for back pain, US insurance plans vary widely in what they will cover, a new study finds.

Private and public insurers are missing important opportunities to promote alternatives to opioids, the investigators write in JAMA Network Open.

In fact, researchers found, insurers often provide little or no coverage for evidence-backed interventions for chronic pain such as acupuncture and psychological counseling.

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