" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

April 13, 3011


·  UnitedHealth Subsidiary is Buying Logistics Health

·  Second Quarter National Correct Coding Policies Released

·  HHS Announces Nationwide Effort to Reduce Medical Errors

·  Plan to Attend the 13th Annual ASIPP Meeting

·  Mark Your Calendars: August Board Review, Controlled Substance Management, and Coding, Compliance and Practice Management Courses

·  JAMA Publishes Opioid Articles

·  Hospital Bars Surgeon from Operating Room

·  Transition of Part B Kentucky Providers to the Jurisdiction 15 MAC

·  Pill Mills Special Report: New Database May Treat Florida's Prescription Drug Epidemic

·  Bill Seeks Outside Review of Relative Values in Medicare Services

·  Financial Ties to Industry Widespread on Clinical Guideline Panels

·  AMA Launches Coding App Designed For Doctors

·  Littlest Victims of Rx Abuse: Newborns

·  State Society News

·  Physicians Wanted

UnitedHealth Subsidiary is Buying Logistics Health

A subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group Inc. is buying Logistics Health Inc. (LHI), a La Crosse, Wis.-based health care solutions provider.

OptumHealth, which is based in Golden Valley and a part of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth (UNH), said Monday it is buying LHI. The deal must pass an antitrust review by the federal government before completion, which is expected in the second quarter of this year.

While the transaction will have little effect on leadership or staffing, the deal brings resources LHI needs to grow its business, CEO Don Weber told the Winona Daily News.

Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal

Second Quarter National Correct Coding Policies Released

These new edits have been effective since 4/1/2011 and will be effective through 06/30/2011.

Please be aware that SI Joint Injections, HIP Arthrography and Injection, Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are now bundled with Facet Joint Injection (64490 or/and 64493) with no modifiers to bypass. ASIPP is planning to submit a comment letter to NCCI to address these issues soon.

For detailed analysis of NCCI for most commonly used interventional techniques, please follow the following link.

NCCI Edits

HHS Announces Nationwide Effort to Reduce Medical Errors

WASHINGTON - The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new program, developed under the Affordable Care Act, that's aimed at eliminating medical errors and reducing healthcare costs on a national scale.

The program, Partners for Patients, could save up to $50 billion in costs associated with prevented medical errors and help save 60,000 lives over the next three years, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a press conference Tuesday morning.

Sorrel King, a patient advocate who lost a child to medical errors, said such errors cause the same number of deaths as a jumbo jet crashing every day, yet not enough has been done to fix the problem.

"We cannot keep going at the pace we've been going," she said.

Healthcare Finance News

Plan to Attend the 13th Annual ASIPP Meeting

Mark you calendar to attend the 13th Annual Meeting, Legislative Session, and Capitol Hill Visits June 25-29 in Washington, DC.

This year in an effort to meet the needs of interventional pain physicians and other providers as well, we have created an educational program of the highest caliber with a focus on three very important topics for physicians, staff, and other healthcare providers all under the primary theme "A Vision For IPM In A New Decade e"; Evidence-Based Medicine, as well as Comparative Effectiveness in Interventional Pain Management and the Essentials of Practice Management.

The faculty is made up of experts in the field of IPM, practice management, and governmental affairs. We are honored to have Joseph T. Rannazzisi, DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control will address the agencies' role in controlling substance abuse. Dr. James Rathmell speaks on Evidence-Based Medicine: An Academic Perspective from Harvard. From the U.K., speaker Dr Sanjeeva Gupta gives us a sneak peek of IPM in the U.K. and Europe.

On Sunday evening, a special Business Meeting and Presidential Dinner and Dance is scheduled for 7 pm. This is the time ASIPP's newly elected officers will be introduced and then we will celebrate with food and dance.

Click HERE to view brochure.

Submit your Abstract Proposal

Selected Abstracts and accompanying posters will be presented at the annual meeting. o be considered for a presentation at the meeting, abstracts must be submitted and completed by the submission deadline of 5:00pm Central Standard Time (CST) Friday, May 6, 2011. Abstract submission must be completed through ASIPP's interactive online form.

Click HERE to access Abstract proposal submission form

Register Today!

Mark Your Calendars: August Board Review, Controlled Substance Management, and Coding, Compliance and Practice Management Courses

Make your plans today to attend the ASIPP Board Review, Controlled Substance Management, and Coding, Compliance and Practice Management Courses scheduled during the week of August 1-6 in St. Louis, Mo.

August 1-5, 2011 ASIPP Board Review Course Register Brochure

August 6, 2011 ABIPP Part I Examination (ABIPP application must be submitted prior to the exam for approval)

August 1-3, 2011 Comprehensive Review Course in Controlled Substance Management (August 1 -August 2) and Competency Examination (August 3) Register

August 4-6, 2011 Comprehensive Review Course in Coding, Compliance and Practice Management (August 4-5) and Competency Examination (August 6) Register

Register today

JAMA Publishes Opioid Articles

The April 6, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association features an original contribution, a commentary and a research letter regarding opioids.

The original contribution, titled Aassociation Between Opioid Prescribing Patterns and Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths is written by Bohnert AS et al and is found on pages 1315-1321.

The commentary, by Voklow ND and McLellan TA is titled Curtailing Diversion and Abuse of Opioid Analgesics Without Jeopardizing Pain Treatment and is found on pages 1346-1349

The research letter, found on pages 1299-1301 is titled Characteristics of Opioid Prescriptions in 2009 and was submitted by Voklow ND, McLellan TA et al.


Hospital Bars Surgeon from Operating Room

A Portland, Ore., neurosurgeon who performed multiple spinal fusions on the same patients lost his operating privileges at the hospital where he did many of his surgeries and is under investigation by the Oregon Medical Board.

Providence Portland Medical Center revoked Vishal James Makker's surgical privileges last week following a March 29 article in The Wall Street Journal that identified Dr. Makker as having the highest rate of multiple spinal-fusion surgeries among 3,407 surgeons who performed the procedure on 20 or more Medicare patients in 2008 and 2009.

Dr. Makker's rate was nearly 10 times the national average, a Journal analysis of Medicare claims data showed. Dr. Makker, who operated on some of his patients' spines as many as seven times, last month denied wrongdoing and said he acted in the best interest of his patients.

Wall Street Journal

Transition of Part B Kentucky Providers to the Jurisdiction 15 MAC

National Government Services will process the last Kentucky Part B claims on Friday night, April 29. Effective May 2, 2011, Part B Kentucky providers will transition to CIGNA Government Services as the incoming Medicare administrative contractor (MAC) for Jurisdiction 15. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 29, 2011, Kentucky Part B providers must change the contractor number on claim submissions from '00600' to '15102'.


Pill Mills Special Report: New Database May Treat Florida's Prescription Drug Epidemic

Florida is moving forward with a database that could help treat Florida's prescription drug abuse epidemic.

After two years of delays, the state got the green light last week to implement the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a tool that curbs "doctor shopping," the practice in which someone gets multiple, duplicate prescriptions filled by multiple doctors or pharmacists.

??"I'm extremely pleased," said state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who fought for the program for seven years before it was passed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. "...There's no reason that the PDMP should not move forward."

The program, an online database, was stuck in limbo for two years because of budgetary concerns and a vendor dispute. And this year, new threats appeared in the form of an objection byGov. Rick Scott and a House bill that would repeal the program.

Clearwater Patch

Bill Seeks Outside Review of Relative Values in Medicare Services

Washington -- A Democratic lawmaker has proposed changing the way the Medicare program identifies physician services for which it pays too little -- or too much -- by requiring independent contractors to review doctor fees annually.

Since 1992, a panel convened by the American Medical Association and representing a wide range of specialties has recommended thousands of pay changes to the individual services doctors provide to Medicare patients. The bill would add a layer of review on top of the 29-member AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee, known as the RUC.

AMA news

Financial Ties to Industry Widespread on Clinical Guideline Panels

A study finds committees controlled by experts with conflicts of interest such as owning stock in companies that could be affected by their recommendations.

More than half of the people serving on cardiovascular guideline-writing committees between 2004 and 2008 had financial conflicts, according to a March 28 Archives of Internal Medicine study that sheds new light on the pervasiveness of financial ties to industry among the experts who make the clinical recommendations that shape medical care.

The new data arrived only days after an Institute of Medicine panel proposed wide-reaching standards on how clinical guideline panels should manage and limit conflicts of interest.

Of nearly 500 people working on 17 guidelines issued jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Assn., 56% reported financial relationships with industry related to the clinical area covered by their committee. Eleven of the 17 guideline panels had a majority of members disclosing conflicts of interest such as receiving pay for research, speaking, consulting, advising or owning stock in companies that could be affected by the committee's recommendations.

AMA news

AMA Launches Coding App Designed For Doctors

Besides offering an intro CPT app, the Association is hosting a contest for physicians and medical students to create their own medical applications.

The American Medical Association entered the physician mobile phone app market in March with the launch of its CPT Evaluation and Management Quick Reference app on Apple's iTunes store.

The free application is the AMA's attempt to enter the rapidly growing physician mobile health application market. The Association plans to launch at least two more apps this year.

The new app has about 130 CPT billing codes used for E&M visits. The AMA plans to launch updates to the application this year that will offer additional CPT codes for a fee. The advanced versions of the app are expected to allow users to customize it to a physician's needs.

AMA news

Littlest Victims of Rx Abuse: Newborns

BANGOR, Maine -- The mother got the call in the middle of the night: Her 3-day-old baby was going through opiate withdrawal in a hospital here and had to start taking methadone, a drug best known for treating heroin addiction, to ease his suffering.

The mother had abused prescription painkillers like OxyContin for the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy, buying them on the street in rural northern Maine, and then tried to quit cold turkey - a dangerous course, doctors say, that could have ended in miscarriage. The baby had seizures in utero as a result, and his mother, Tonya, turned to methadone treatment, with daily doses to keep her cravings and withdrawal symptoms at bay.

As prescription drug abuse ravages communities across the country, doctors are confronting an emerging challenge: newborns dependent on painkillers. While methadone may have saved Tonya's pregnancy, her son, Matthew, needed to be painstakingly weaned from it.

St. Louis Today

State Society News

FSIPP Annual Meeting 2011 set for May 13-15, 2011

Be sure to save the dates of May 13 - 15, 2011, for FSIPP's Annual Meeting, Conference & Tradeshow, to be held again at The Gaylord Palms, Kissimee (Orlando). The event will kick off Friday evening, May 13, with a Welcome Reception and a presentation on The Health Benefits of Wine!

Continuing education lectures will go on all day Saturday and Sunday morning, as has been our format for the last couple of years.

Please watch http://flsipp.org/ for developing program and registration details, or call 904-221-9171.

CASIPP Second Annual Meeting set for June 3-5, 2011 in Santa Barbara

The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (CASIPP) is proud to present the Second Annual Meeting June 3-5 2011 in Santa Barbara. As with last year's successful event, CASIPP will welcome leading experts to lecture on clinical techniques, political issues and state programs relevant to the Pain Management physician and staff.

Earn eight CME credits while enjoying the luxurious grounds of the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort. To sweeten the deal, the Biltmore has offered discounted rooms to those who register early for the meeting!

Registration is easy online at https://www.casipp.com/register.html.

New Jersey Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Will hold a meeting on June 9, 2011 from 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm at Pines Manor in Edison, NJ. For more information call Lisa Hansen at 732-297-2600 or e-mail: njsipp_lisah@yahoo.com

Physicians Wanted

Visit the ASIPP Web site to find available positions for IPM physicians.

Physicians Wanted


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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
81 Lakeview Drive, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
E-mail asipp@asipp.org