Promoting changes in laws, regulations, and other government actions to advance the mission of ASIPP®.

In its relatively short history, ASIPP has accumulated an impressive list of major achievements from its work in our nation's capital and 50 states. These achievements have fostered patient access to pain-relieving techniques and services, while strengthening the specialty of interventional pain management.

ASIPP Recently Met With Legislators on Topics Important to Interventional Pain Physicians

A Delegation of ASIPP representatives met with Congressional leaders to discuss issues which are of concern for Interventional Pain Physicians. ASIPP members discussed 'Inappropriate Reimbursement Patterns of Medicare Advantage Plans' and 'AHRQ Technology Assessment for Low Back Pain Therapies: Intellectual Bias and Conflicts'.

Final Voyage of FDA and MPW Epidural Saga: Victory for Practicing Interventional Pain Physicians

On October 5, 2015, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Health and Human Services, notified the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) of the status of the citizen's petition concerning the rejection of the 17 recommendations developed by the Multisociety Pain Workgroup (MPW). See Letter 

The rejection was in response to the FDA citizen’s petition filed by ASIPP and the letter sent to the FDA from 1,040 practicing pain physicians to amend the April 23, 2014, Drug Safety Communication regarding epidural corticosteroid injections for pain urging the rejection of the 17 recommendations developed by MPW.

The letter signed by 1,040 interventional pain physicians was sent on June 26, 2014, and ASIPP filed a citizen petition on September 3, 2014. The FDA held hearings on November 24-25, 2014  on the safety of epidural steroid injections. On March 4, 2015, the FDA informed ASIPP that they were unable to reach a decision on our petition because it raised complex issues requiring extensive review and analysis by agency officials.

The FDA has now determined that they will not amend the drug safety communication; however, they will not adopt the 17 recommendations made by the MPW. This ruling by the FDA is a major victory for practicing interventional pain physicians that avoids micromanagement and the additional bureaucracy created by the MPW. The FDA also published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine which essentially alludes to the same facts as described, and in no uncertain terms, they emphasize the fact that they are not withdrawing the issued warning, but they also were not endorsing the standards from MPW, even though they facilitated the discussion.

It is sad that despite the FDA's and other agencies’ inability to identify what patients are receiving, ASA, ISIS, and other organizations on the CPT Committee blocked our CPT codes specifying the epidural approach, such as caudal or interlaminar, and the use of particulate steroids or nonparticulate steroids or other agents.

Sadly, ISIS has issued a practice advisory stating how they protected the performance of epidural steroid injections and they are standing by the 17 standards refused to be adopted by the FDA.

Consequently, the epidural saga continues even though this may be the final chapter.

Change Your Specialty Designation

Use the CMS Form to Change your Specialty Designation to 09 - Interventional Pain Management

We are faced with the need to increase our 09 Interventional Pain Management specialty designation. Currently CMS claims there are too few IPM physicians, which negatively affects our reimbursement. Interventional Pain Physicians can now change their specialty code designation to 09 utilizing the CMS form CMS855I - see page 8, section D.

Through the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians-PAC, the organization is able to offer significant presence and influence in Washington. ASIPP members who wish to contribute, can click this link to log into our PAC Action Center to make a donation.

Act Today - CMS Proposes IPM Privileges for CRNAs

While the CMS comment period has passed, it is not too late to voice your opinion to Congress on the proposed rule establishing a national policy for CRNA pain management services. Your voice is NEEDED to protect patient safety. This final rule as it is written, would allow CRNAs to perform IPM techniques. This has sweeping ramifications, from compromised patient safety to an increase in fraud and abuse. Contact Congress today and let them know that this proposed rule is unacceptable and dangerous.

President Obama Signs SGR Repeal Legislation, Shifting Medicare Physician Payment Incentives

On April 16, President Barack Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or “MACRA,” a bill passed by the House of Representatives on March 26 and by the Senate on April 14 that now permanently repeals the long-maligned Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician payment.

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Federal Court Dismisses Stark Law Challenge

Physician-owned hospitals suffered defeat when a federal court dismissed their challenge to a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that limits the expansion or building of new physician-owned hospitals.

The ACA expanded Stark self-referral laws, which bar Medicare reimbursement to hospitals owned by physicians who "self-refer" patients there, by ending reimbursements for physician-owned hospitals even if they weren't specialty facilities.

Any physician-owned hospital licensed before Dec. 31, 2010, would still be reimbursed under the previous Stark laws, which say physician-owned hospitals are eligible for payments if they are "whole hospitals," or more than a specialty care facility.


ASIPP Advocacy Efforts

Through the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians-PAC, the organization is able to offer significant presence and influence in Washington. ASIPP members who wish to contribute may contact the ASIPP Office for more information: 270-554-9412.

Carrier Advisory Committee

After a four-year effort, ASIPP was successful in March 2005 in getting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mandate the inclusion of an interventional pain management physician on each state’s Carrier Advisory Committee.