October 19, 2011
|CPT Coding Changes
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
- Fluoroscopy is bundled for SI joints.
Click HERE view all the changes.
|HHS Secretary Sebelius
announces drop of CLASS Act
The U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter to
Congress earlier today announcing that the Obama administration has given up on
the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. The goal
of the CLASS initiative was to improve long-term care insurance options for
Americans. The CLASS Act was championed by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy
and Republicans have opposed the initiative since its introduction as part of
last year's health care law.
Click HERE to read report
Regulatory Reductions to Save Health Care System Nearly $1.1
New proposed rules released today by the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would reduce unnecessary, obsolete,
or burdensome regulations and save hospitals and healthcare providers nearly
$1.1 billion each year and over $5 billion over 5 years. The new proposals
regarding the rules for hospitals that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients were
developed in response to President Obama's call on all Federal agencies to
eliminate burdensome and unnecessary regulations.
"The President and I have
challenged agencies to hunt down burdensome regulations," said Vice President
Joe Biden. "Today's steps will remove outdated, duplicative, unnecessary burdens
on hospitals - saving money and improving care."
CMS proposed two sets of regulatory reforms
today, and finalized a third. All are designed to improve transparency and help
providers operate more efficiently by reducing their regulatory burden. One set
proposes to update the rules for hospitals that treat Medicare and Medicaid
patients -- the Medicare Conditions of Participation. As an example, the
proposed reforms would consolidate patient care plans and eliminate outdated
requirements for hospital management. This could save hospitals over $900
million per year and perhaps grow to much more over time as hospitals
increasingly use this new flexibility.
|Still Time to Sign Up for
November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver
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
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
The meeting will be held at
the Hilton Memphis and the MERI Center in Memphis, TN.
Click HERE to view brochure.
|Lawsuit Filed to Block
Illegal Denials of Services to Medicare Patients with Chronic
Burlington, VT − Today,
The Center for Medicare Advocacy and co-counsel from Vermont Legal Aid filed a
class action lawsuit against Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and
Human Services, aimed at terminating the application of the Medicare
"Improvement Standard," a policy and practice that wrongfully denies Medicare
patients suffering from chronic conditions coverage and care. Jimmo, et al vs.
Sebelius, 5:11-CV-17, (D. VT., January 18, 2011).
The lawsuit was filed in
United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont on behalf of four individual
plaintiffs from Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine and five national
organizational plaintiffs: the National Committee to Preserve Social Security
and Medicare, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson's Action
Network, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the American Academy of Physical
Medicine and Rehabilitation.
The suit was filed against the Secretary of
Health and Human Services as the official responsible for implementing and
enforcing the Medicare program. Medicare provides coverage for health care and
services that are "reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of
illness or injury." The "Improvement Standard" is shorthand for Medicare
coverage denials issued on the grounds that the individual's condition is
stable, chronic, not improving, or that the services involved are for
"maintenance only." The use of an Improvement Standard is not supported by
Medicare law. Under the law and related regulations it is not necessary to
improve in order to get coverage.
|MedPAC Plan Repeals SGR,
but Cuts Doctor Pay
Washington -- A
commission advising Congress on Medicare payment issues recommended pay cuts to
specialists and a 10-year freeze to primary care physicians in a package to
overhaul the Medicare fee-for-service system.
The recommendations by the
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Oct. 6 offer Congress a way to eliminate
the sustainable growth rate formula used to set Medicare payments. Physician
organizations, and a few MedPAC members, while supporting the elimination of
SGR, were critical of the plan
|Critics Want Drug Makers to
Help Curb Abuse
They make the
painkillers that are being abused by an increasing number of Americans, and
critics say it's time drug manufacturers take responsibility for their role in
the nation's fastest growing drug addiction.
"Nobody is reaching out to
the pharmaceutical companies that are causing this problem," said Kristin
Jacobs, a commissioner in Broward County, Fla., where thousands of Kentuckians
get the prescription drugs that help fuel their addictions .
|U.S. Earns 64 out of a
Possible 100 on Healthcare Scorecard
NEW YORK CITY - The
Commonwealth Fund released its third annual national scorecard of 42 indicators
of healthcare performance Tuesday, giving the U.S. a score of 64 out of a
The low score translates
into significant costs to the healthcare system, the report notes. For example,
the scorecard finds that the United States could save $55 billion a year if it
could lower insurance administrative costs to the average of administrative
costs in other countries with mixed public-private insurance systems.
|CMS Allows Unrestricted
Same-Day Surgery for ASCs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services has reversed its long-standing limitation on surgery centers performing
procedures on the day they are scheduled, according to an Ambulatory
Surgery Center Association release (pdf).
ASCs will now be allowed to provide patient
notifications on the day the procedure is performed, allowing same-day
surgeries. ASCA has lobbied for the elimination of this condition of coverage
throughout 2011 and says the move will improve patient choice, reduce costs and
remove an unnecessary regulatory burden from surgery centers.
The revision is expected to take effect Dec.
|Colorado Pain Bill Comment
On Friday, September
30, the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation formally released into the
rulemaking process, the proposed changes to the Chronic Pain (CP) and Complex
Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Medical Treatment Guidelines for Workers'
We are pleased to report
that the Intrathecal Drug Delivery draft language, as proposed in July, has been
updated and now appropriately covers use of IDDS to treat pain.
public hearing has been
scheduled for Thursday, November 3 at 9 am in the 2nd Floor Conference Room, 633
17th Street, in Denver. At the hearing, the Department will take public comment.
If you have concerns about the draft, written comments can be submitted in
advance of the hearing to Paul Tauriello, Director, Division of Workers'
Compensation, 633 17th Street, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80202.
|States Try More Aggressive
RX Opioid Controls
The effort to reduce
painkiller overdoses and deaths is moving beyond prosecuting so-called pill
mills to direct regulation of any physician who prescribes opioids for patients
with chronic noncancer pain.
The strictest regulation of
opioid prescribing is in Washington state. In July, rules affecting osteopathic
physicians and nonphysician prescribers took effect. The rules, which cover
allopathic physicians starting in January 2012, include detailed instructions on
how to evaluate and care for patients with chronic noncancer pain. Also required
are written treatment plans known as "patient contracts" that call for
mandatory, periodic urine screenings.
The rules mandate that
primary care doctors consult with board-certified pain specialists before
prescribing daily morphine-equivalent doses of 120 mg or greater -- the first
dosage threshold of its kind in the U.S.
KSIPP Plans Annual Meeting this
KSIPP is hosting its annual meeting from 10
am to 5 pm Saturday Oct. 22 at the Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green,KY.
Click HERE to view brochure.
The meeting is open to Kentucky and Indiana
members. Cost is $75 for active members, $100 for non members, $50 for associate
members or non-physician, non-members; and no cost for fellows. Click HERE to register.
Participants can earn up to 5 CME credit hours.
Discussions will include an introduction to KASPER and a presentation by the
Drug Enforcement Agency. A meeting of the Kentucky Society of Interventional
Pain Physicians Board of Directors will follow the review course sessions. Lunch
will be provided, but participants must reserve their seat and let organizers
know which entrée they prefer: sautéed chicken or grilled vegetables. For more
information, call Connie Smith at 270-781-2212.
NYSIPP to Host Symposium, Nov.
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
Staten Island University Hospital designates
this activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
Early bird registration
discounts available through Oct. 15. To register, go to www.etouches.com/NYSIPP
CASIPP Annual Meeting Dates Nov. 9-11,
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
FSIPP Annual Meeting Dates May 18-20,
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
Copyright © 2008
American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
81 Lakeview Drive, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394