" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

March 9, 2011


·  Legislative Awareness, Health Policy, and Advocacy Fellowship Grant Available for Resident Fellow

·  GAO Reports $48B in Medicare Fraud in 2010

·  Register Now for April Review Course and Cadaver Workshop

·  13th Annual ASIPP Meeting Brochure Now Available

·  ASIPP Abstract Registration Open

·  In Health Law, Rx for Trouble

·  HHS Opens Door to Medicaid Eligibility Cuts

·  Doctors Try New Models To Push Health Insurers Aside

·  Police and Pain Practitioners Oppose Cancellation of Florida PDMP Database

·  Fla. Raids Target Sellers of Pain Pills

·  Review of Recent Studies Shows Predominantly Positive Results For Health Information Technology

·  New Nation-Wide Study Indicates Alcohol and Marijuana were Most Commonly Abused Substances by Those Referred to Treatment from Probation or Parole

·  Scrubs vs. White Coats: Equal Opportunity Bacteria Spreaders

·  Top Complaint about Patients: Failure to Follow Medical Advice

·  State Society News

·  Physicians Wanted

Legislative Awareness, Health Policy, and Advocacy Fellowship Grant Available for Resident Fellow

Following the success of last years Legislative Awareness, Health Policy, and Advocacy Fellowship grant, ASIPP has expanded the program from one to three positions and increased the amount of funding each participant will receive.

This will allow more Resident and Fellow members to spend one month this summer working closely with the Legislative Aids of a United States Congress member, especially on interventional pain and health policy related issues. They will have the opportunity to sit in on sessions both in the House and the Senate. The recipients will also receive mentorship during this month by ASIPP's leadership including Frank Falco, MD, David Kloth, MD, and Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD.

In exchange for $7,500 provided by Boston Scientific Neuromodulation, each grant recipient will be expected to:

  • Attend the Annual ASIPP meeting in its entirety, including the 3 days of lobbying in Capitol Hill (room will be covered)
  • . Create and confirm a meeting schedule that suits their interests and to submit it to the Director of the program at least one month before the onset of their fellowship
  • Completion of one month in Washington DC working and networking
  • Remain in close contact with the Director of the Fellowship program

Applications are open to ASIPP members who are about to finish fellowship, residents in training, or are interventional pain physicians in practice. Applications from residents in training or those who are about to begin a Pain fellowship, will require a letter from their program director that they will be allowed to participate if they are granted the award.

To apply, send a CV, a digital photo, a one-to-two page personal statement regarding your interest and why you would like to be involved to hhameed1@jhmi.edu. The deadline for application is April 1, 2011. The fellowship window is negotiable, so if you have scheduling conflicts, please outline them in your personal statement.

GAO Reports $48B in Medicare Fraud in 2010

WASHINGTON - Roughly $48 billion of Medicare's $507 billion budget in 2010 went to fraudulent or improper payments, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

"Medicare remains on a path that is fiscally unsustainable over the long term," the report noted. "This fiscal pressure heightens (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services') challenges to reform and refine Medicare's payment methods to achieve efficiency and savings and to improve its management, program integrity and oversight of patient care and safety."

The report, prepared for a House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee hearing on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, found that CMS has made strides to improve efficiencies, notably in its competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment and the transfer of fee-for-service claims administration to new Medicare Administration Contractors. But the GAO noted that a "greater concern is that GAO found pervasive internal control deficiencies in CMS' management of contracts that increased the risk of improper payments."

Healthcare Finance News

Register Now for April Review Course and Cadaver Workshop

Registration is now open for the April Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop in Interventional Pain Management. The course features Basic, Intermediate, and Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination section levels, and will be held April 8-10 in Memphis, Tenn. In order to maintain an optimal participant/instructor ratio, space in the course are limited so please register early to assure a spot in the course and in the level of your choice.

During the 2½-day Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop, you can improve existing skills and/or learn new techniques. You will have the opportunity for personal interaction with our distinguished faculty comprised of excellent teachers and lecturers. It is always our goal is to create a thorough and compelling educational experience for you.

The course will take place at the Marriott Memphis, 2625 Thousand Oaks Boulevard (901-362-6200) on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday we will transport you the Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) for a hands-on learning experience.

Early registration deadline is March 24.

April brochure Click HERE for April Registration

Register for 2011 Course Today

13th Annual ASIPP Meeting Brochure Now Available

capitol building

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 Decad 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.

Click HERE to view brochure.

Register Today!

ASIPP Abstract Registration Open

The Online Abstract Submission for the 13th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) is now open. The meeting will be held June 25- June 29, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.

To 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 form.

Submit Abstract

In Health Law, Rx for Trouble

Sandy Chung is grappling with a new kind of request at her pediatrics office in Fairfax, Va.: prescriptions for aspirin and diaper-rash cream.

Patients are demanding doctors' orders for over-the-counter products because of a provision in the health-care overhaul that slipped past nearly everyone's radar. It says people who want a tax break to buy such items with what's known as flexible-spending accounts need to get a prescription first.

The result is that Americans are visiting their doctors before making a trip to the drugstore, hoping their physician will help them out by writing the prescription. The new requirements create not only an added burden for doctors, but also new complications for retailers and pharmacies.

"It drives up the cost of health care as opposed to reducing it," says Dr. Chung, who rejected much of a 10-item request from a mother of four that included pain relievers and children's cold medicine

Wall Street Journal

HHS Opens Door to Medicaid Eligibility Cuts

Washington -- A push by Arizona to reduce its Medicaid coverage to help plug massive budget deficits recently received a nod from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The acknowledgment soon was followed by new HHS advice to all states on how they might dial back on their Medicaid coverage to help tackle budget crises without violating federal law.

In a Feb. 15 letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Sebelius said the state could stop covering 245,000 low-income, childless adults when the state Medicaid demonstration waiver that first allowed the expanded coverage expires on Oct. 1. The adults represent the bulk of the 280,000 people whom the state decided to cut from Medicaid on Jan. 20. Brewer had been seeking a new federal waiver to carry out the cuts and sidestep federal eligibility mandates.

AMA news

Doctors Try New Models To Push Health Insurers Aside

Just about everyone agrees that the way we pay for primary care needs fixing. Under the current insurance model, doctors get paid for procedures and tests rather than for time spent with patients, which displeases doctors and patients alike and increases costs. Now some medical practices are sidelining health insurers entirely, instead charging patients a moderate membership fee each month. The approach gets a nod in the health-care overhaul law. But not everyone agrees it's the right way to go.

Seattle-based Qliance Medical Management's three clinics typically charge a patient about $65 a month for unlimited access to the practice's 12 physicians and nurse practitioners. (Fees vary depending on the level of service and the patient's age.) Office appointments last up to an hour, and clinics have evening and weekend hours, with e-mail and phone access to clinicians as well. Routine preventive care and many in-office procedures are free; patients pay for lab work and other outside services "at or near" cost, and they get discounts on many medications.

The average $700 to $800 per patient that Qliance receives annually in membership fees is up to three times more than a doctor in a standard insurance-based practice might make per patient, says Norm Wu, the company's president and chief executive. "So we can have a third the number of patients and get the same revenue per clinician, but with much less overhead," he says. The approach, he says, allows Qliance to funnel more money into the care itself - through longer office hours, for example, or better diagnostic equipment.

Washington Post

Police and Pain Practitioners Oppose Cancellation of Florida PDMP Database

Florida Governor Rick Scott's plan to cancel the state's prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) because it is too pricy and too intrusive of individuals' privacy has met with stiff resistance from a coalition of law enforcement officials, physician groups, and even members of the governor's own party.

Although the statute authorizing the creation of the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) "specifically does not allow the use of state appropriations for establishing the PMDP," Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for the cancellation of the program as part of his efforts to reduce state spending, a move that has touched off a wave of protest from the pain medicine community in Florida.

The Florida Society of Pain Management Providers (FSPMP) responded to the governor's call for repeal by calling the PDMP "the single most important weapon in the war on Rx drug abuse, not only in Florida but in the other 42 states where legislators have approved their operation." Claiming that Florida is "the epicenter of Rx drug abuse" in part because it has delayed implementing the PDMP, the FSPMP news release noted that "without the PDMP system there is no effective way to enforce the law, leaving honest physicians in the precarious position of unknowingly prescribing narcotic medications to a possible abuser or dealer."

HCP Live

Fla. Raids Target Sellers of Pain Pills

Federal agents and police raided doctors' offices across South Florida on Wednesday in a sweep aimed at what authorities say are operations that illegally deal prescription pain pills.

The raids and tough new state laws that can result in criminal charges for doctors who overprescribe narcotics are part of a nationwide crackdown on an explosion of pain management clinics that have sprung up in storefronts and office buildings to supply the USA's growing appetite for prescription drugs.

Often the cash-only clinics require just a cursory exam - if any - before a doctor will prescribe large amounts of narcotic pain medication such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, which can be highly addictive. Some of the clinics have in-house pharmacies to fill the prescriptions, says Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

USA Today

Review of Recent Studies Shows Predominantly Positive Results For Health Information Technology

A study completed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and published in the journal Health Affairs finds growing evidence of the benefits of health information technology (HIT). Using methods that were employed by two previous independent reviews, the new study finds that 92 percent of articles on HIT reached conclusions that showed overall positive effects of HIT on key aspects of care including quality and efficiency of health care.

In addition, the study finds increasing evidence of benefits for all health care providers, not just the larger health IT "leader" organizations (i.e., early adopters of HIT) that have provided much of the data regarding experience with HIT in the past. The previous reviews identified a gap between "leaders" and non-leaders in demonstrating benefits from HIT.

"This article brings us much more up-to-date, both in our confidence regarding the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of adoption and use of HIT, and also in our understanding of problem areas that still need to be addressed, " said David Blumenthal, M.D., the national coordinator for HIT and one of the authors of the review. "This review is important because it helps us correct for the lag in evidence that occurs naturally in the dynamic HIT field, where changes in technology and accelerating adoption cause the old literature to become quickly outdated."


New Nation-Wide Study Indicates Alcohol and Marijuana were Most Commonly Abused Substances by Those Referred to Treatment from Probation or Parole

A new study shows that the most commonly abused substances among those 18 and older referred to substance abuse treatment from parole or probation was alcohol, followed by marijuana and methamphetamines. The study, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also shows that more than half (59.2 percent) of those who entered substance abuse treatment based on referrals from probation or parole reported using more than one substance at admission.

In 2008, 42.8 percent of the admissions 18 or older that were referred to treatment by the criminal justice system were probation or parole referrals, making the probation and parole system the largest source of criminal justice referrals to substance abuse treatment.

Among the study's more notable findings concerning treatment admissions in 2008 involving adults on probation or parole:

  • The most common substances being abused were alcohol (30.6 percent), marijuana (26.4 percent), and methamphetamines (15.6 percent).
  • The majority of admissions were male (76.6 percent), had never married (63.1 percent), were between the ages of 18 and 44 (81.3 percent), and were non-Hispanic White (52.3 percent).
  • Over one-third had less than a high school education (39.6 percent).
  • The majority were unemployed (36.8 percent) or not in the labor force (26.2 percent).

The full report is available on line at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k11/231/231ProbParol.cfm.


Scrubs vs. White Coats: Equal Opportunity Bacteria Spreaders

The idea seemed sensible. Clothing, like many other surfaces, can become contaminated by bacteria. So to minimize the risk of infecting hospital patients, British health authorities in 2007 issued guidelines opposing long-sleeved white coats. Scottish authorities adopted similar rules in 2008.

But U.S. hospitals have not followed suit, and a new study calls into question the premise behind these rules. Researchers at the Denver Health Medical Center conducted a randomized controlled trial with 100 physicians, asking 50 to wear their usual white coats and the other 50 to wear newly laundered short-sleeved scrubs.

After the physicians worked for eight hours, researchers tested the clothing for bacterial contamination, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcal aureus, and found no difference. Researchers were surprised by the results, thinking that perhaps the freshly washed scrubs were not so clean.

"We decided to question our laundry facility to find out if we were really killing all the

bacteria," said Marisha Burden, MD, lead author of the study, published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21312328/). "It was a shock to us."

AMA news

Top Complaint about Patients: Failure to Follow Medical Advice

In 28 years of practicing medicine, Tennessee internist J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, has seen his share of patients who won't take their medication.

The problem can be frustrating but can be used to understand patients better, said Dr. Ralston, president of the American College of Physicians. "I pretty much demand that they bring in their [medication] bottles," he said. "I need them to be honest. Are they forgetting, or do I need to make a stronger case of why they should be taking it? Do we need to change their medicine?"

A survey in the February issue of Consumer Reports found that noncompliance with medical advice and treatment recommendations was doctors' top complaint about patients.

AMA news

State Society News

RSVP now for the 2011 ILSIPP Annual Meeting

The members of the Illinois Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will meet at 6 p.m. March 17 at the the Braxton Seafood Grill in Oakbrook.

Jeffrey D. Petersohn, MD, an adjunct Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, will serve as the featured speaker. His topic is "New Technology in the Treatment of Lower Back Pain."

The event is being hosted by Dr. Timothy Lubenow, ISIPP President, from Rush University Medical Center in conjunction with Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

Please direct RSVPs directly to 312-942-5773 or TTRRLLMD@aol.com. Please include the full names of each guest in your party.

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 3-4, 2011 in Santa Barbara

The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (CASIPP) is proud to present the Second Annual Meeting June 3, 4, 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.

Physicians Wanted

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

Physicians Wanted




All contents Copyright © 2008
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