" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

October 26, 2011


·  CPT Coding Changes Announced

·  CMS Releases Dramatically Revised Final ACO Regulations

·  Still Time to Sign Up for November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop

·  Lawmakers Told Medicare Reform Begins with Elimination of SGR

·  EMRs: Your Transition From Paper

·  Affordable Care Act Helps Improve Care for People with Chronic Diseases in Missouri

·  Slashing Doc Pay: Making US Rates More Like Europe's

·  States Target Physicians in New Opioid Regulations

·  Volusia County Task Force: Make Prescription Database Check Mandatory

·  Vermont Police Not Allowed to Use Prescription Database

·  Yoga May Help Low Back Pain. Mental Effects? Not So Much

·  State Society News

·  Physicians Wanted

CPT Coding Changes Announced

As Dr. Manchikanti indicated in an e-mail to the ASIPP membership earlier today, The new CPT code books are available now. The following changes will impact interventional pain physicians. Please look over these appropriately and consult your billing department and educate them. Deviations will be considered initially as abuse and then fraud.

Please read each description carefully as descriptions have been revised and text in red represents new text.

  • New codes for radiofrequency have been assigned with fluoroscopy bundled.
  • For discography, epidural and fluoroscopy are bundled for disc decompression.
  • Fluoroscopy is bundled for SI joints.

Click HERE view all the changes.

CPT Coding Changes

CMS Releases Dramatically Revised Final ACO Regulations


WASHINGTON - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Thursday released the final regulations for accountable care organizations (ACOs), which contain major revisions from the draft regulations released earlier this year.

The draft regulations, released in March, drew a firestorm of criticism, including complaints from providers that they would not share enough in the savings created by an ACO, a long and ill-defined list of 63 quality measures an ACO would need to meet in order to qualify for performance bonus payments and retrospective assignment of Medicare beneficiaries to ACOs.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD, noted that the final regulation's "changes and numerous others create a more feasible and attractive on-ramp for a diverse set of providers and organizations to participate as ACOs."

Healthcare Finance News

Still Time to Sign Up for November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop


Register today to attend the Nov. 11-13 Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop for Basic, Intermediate, and Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination Preparation course review.

This 2½-day review course and workshop is designed for interventional pain physicians, for a review, skills improvement or to assist in preparation for Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination qualifications.

ASIPP offers the most in-depth, comprehensive, and individualized programs available in interventional pain management, featuring maximum hands-on training with cadavers in a state-of-the-art facility and maximum ability to interact with other participants.

The meeting will be held at the Hilton Memphis and the MERI Center in Memphis, TN.

Click HERE to view brochure.

Register now!

Lawmakers Told Medicare Reform Begins with Elimination of SGR

Washington -- Reforming the Medicare program and dealing with its long-term financial issues start with eliminating the sustainable growth rate formula, several health policy observers told a Senate panel on Oct. 12.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to build consensus on fixing Medicare as lawmakers consider major reforms to government programs that slow the growth of the national debt. Congress is debating ideas to send to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is aiming to decrease future deficits by $1.2 trillion.

Eliminating the SGR wouldn't reduce the deficit. Instead, it's estimated to cost $300 billion. But delaying its repeal would be more costly to the program, think tank leaders said.


AMA news

EMRs: Your Transition From Paper


Going to electronic records is more than flipping a switch. Practices must determine what do with old charts -- and how long to hang onto them.

During the change to an electronic medical record system, the focus for many practices is on how data will be collected, stored and analyzed going forward. But in most cases, there are many years' worth of historical data in paper files that physicians will need post-EMR.

Many practices are left wondering what data should be transferred to the EMR and how. And what happens to the data that remain on paper?

Jonathan Bertman, MD, a family physician in Hope Valley, R.I., who founded the EMR company Amazing Charts, said it's unrealistic to think that going live with an EMR and going paperless will happen simultaneously. "They are two separate things," he said. And people need to get used to the EMR before they feel comfortable walking in to see a patient without the crutch of a paper file, he said.

AMA news

Affordable Care Act Helps Improve Care for People with Chronic Diseases in Missouri

People with chronic mental illness, substance abuse disorders and other chronic conditions will now be able to receive a new level of coordinated health care under an innovative program approved by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Affordable Care Act provided new flexibility and resources for State Medicaid programs to provide new health home services for people with chronic conditions. Using new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act, Missouri will be the first in the nation to create this "health home" model for providing health care. Missouri's new services will go into effect on January 1, 2012.


Slashing Doc Pay: Making US Rates More Like Europe's

A key government panel voted this month to whack what Medicare pays most doctors to treat patients. It's an important step on the path to ObamaCare -- because the only way to make European-style health entitlements work in America is to pay US doctors lower European wages.

This is going to hurt doctors -- and hit patients even harder, as American physicians scale down their medical practices to adapt to the lower pay rates.

The vote by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission involves slashing what the program for older Americans pays medical specialists -- then freezing these lower rates for years.

New York Post

States Target Physicians in New Opioid Regulations

New state regulations are moving away from regulating just "pill mills" to setting up restrictions for physicians practicing pain management, according to an American Medical News

Some of the strictest regulations are in Washington and Ohio, the report said. A new Washington law, which passed in July and which will go into effect in January, requires physicians and patients to sign "patient contracts" as well as provides guidelines for evaluating and treating patients with chronic noncancer pain. In Ohio, physicians working at clinics where more than 50 percent of patients are prescribed opioids are required to complete 20 hours of pain medicine continuing education every two years.

Becker's Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management

Volusia County Task Force: Make Prescription Database Check Mandatory

DAYTONA BEACH -- Local officials want the pharmacists who put powerful painkillers into patients' hands to be required to check the state's new prescription database for repeated prescriptions -- and say the lack of that mandate is a serious loophole in the new law aimed at curbing Florida's drug epidemic.

A report in Tuesday's News-Journal that pharmacists were required to check the database before dispensing certain controlled drugs had Larry Huguenin's phone jangling all week. Huguenin, a board member of the Volusia-Flagler County Pharmacy Association, told the county's Substance Abuse Task Force on Friday that he had an opinion from the state Pharmacy Board that checking the database is voluntary for both doctors and pharmacists -- not mandatory.

"A lot of pharmacists can't even get on the database at work yet," said Huguenin, who works as a pharmacist at a Winn-Dixie.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Vermont Police Not Allowed to Use Prescription Database

Police in Vermont are barred from access to a key state database that tracks the prescribing of potentially addictive opiate drugs, even though the $392,371 in biennial funding the program receives comes from the federal Department of Justice.

Instead, the database known as the prescription drug monitoring network is run by the state Health Department for the benefit of the state's medical community, said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner for substance abuse at the state Health Department.

"It's really a tool to assist the physicians," Cimaglio said. "It's not a tool to routinely and swiftly identify people who are abusing medications." Only in the most extreme of cases - two in four years - does the law allow the state health commissioner to advise the state public safety sommissioner of something the network has uncovered.

Burlington Free Press

Yoga May Help Low Back Pain. Mental Effects? Not So Much

A study believed to be the largest of its kind suggests that the physical aspects of yoga are effective at relieving low back pain, but it didn't find any evidence that yoga provided broader mental benefits.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was published online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It was lead by researchers at Seattle's Group Health Research Institute.

Smaller studies in the past have suggested that yoga, which involves stretching exercises along with a mental component of deep breathing and other relaxation techniques, was moderately effective at easing symptoms of chronic lower back pain.

It was thought the combination of stretching and relaxation relieved back pain, according to previous studies.

But the current study found both yoga and stretching were equally as effective, suggesting the benefits of yoga are attributable to the physical benefits of stretching and not to its mental components, said the study's lead author, Karen J. Sherman, senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute.

Wall Street Journal

State Society News

NYSIPP to Host Symposium, Nov. 11-12

The New York Society of Interventional Pain Physicians is hosting a symposium titled: Pain Medicine Symposium 2011: Evolving Advanced Pain Therapies, November 11-12, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey City.

Staten Island University Hospital designates this activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

To register, go to www.etouches.com/NYSIPP

FSIPP Annual Meeting Dates May 18-20, 2012

The Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians has set the date for their next annual meeting for May 18-20, 2012 at the Gaylord Palms, Orlando, FL.

Read more about the meeting and other activities going on in the state of Florida in their newsletter. Click HERE to read latest issue.

For a complete look at the May meeting schedule and CME information, click HERE

CASIPP Annual Meeting Dates Nov. 9-11, 2012

The annual meeting of the California chapter of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will be Nov. 9 -11, 2012 at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, CA.

Go to www.casipp.com for more information.

Physicians Wanted

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

Physicians Wanted





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