Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

More needs to be done to train doctors and healthcare workers about treating chronic pain, according to a new report.

The first stop for most people in pain the their primary physician, according to a report last week from The Mayday Fund. But current systems of care do not sufficiently train internists, family physicians or other healthcare providers who provide primary care in treating pain as a chronic illness. As a result, patients bounce around to different providers, often resulting in longer hospital stays and higher healthcare costs.

Providers, insurers and the government should work together to track pain disorders, treatments and outcomes, the Mayday Fund suggests. Likewise, medical schools and medical boards should ensure that all health professionals are equipped to recognize and treat chronic pain. As many as 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and managing pain is a prominent concern for nursing home and assisted living nurses. The full report is available at