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" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary
 

October 19, 2011

 

  • 2012CPT Coding Changes Announced
  • HHS Secretary Sebelius announces drop of CLASS Act
  • Obama Administration's Regulatory Reductions to Save Health Care System Nearly $1.1 Billion
  • Still Time to Sign Up for November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop
  • Lawsuit Filed to Block Illegal Denials of Services to Medicare Patients with Chronic Illness
  • MedPAC Plan Repeals SGR, but Cuts Doctor Pay
  • Critics Want Drug Makers to Help Curb Abuse
  • U.S. Earns 64 out of a Possible 100 on Healthcare Scorecard
  • CMS Allows Unrestricted Same-Day Surgery for ASCs
  • Colorado Pain Bill Comment Period Open
  • States Try More Aggressive RX Opioid Controls
  • State Society News
  • Physicians Wanted

  • CPT Coding Changes Announced
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    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.

     


    HHS Secretary Sebelius announces drop of CLASS Act
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    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

     


    Obama Administration's Regulatory Reductions to Save Health Care System Nearly $1.1 Billion
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    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 Workshop
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    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.

     


    Lawsuit Filed to Block Illegal Denials of Services to Medicare Patients with Chronic Illness
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    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.

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    MedPAC Plan Repeals SGR, but Cuts Doctor Pay
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    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

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    Critics Want Drug Makers to Help Curb Abuse
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    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
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    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 possible 100.

    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.

    Scorecard: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2011/Oct/Why-Not-the-Best-2011.aspx

     


    CMS Allows Unrestricted Same-Day Surgery for ASCs
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    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. 23.

     


    Colorado Pain Bill Comment Period Open
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    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' Compensation.

    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
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    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.

     


    State Society News
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    KSIPP Plans Annual Meeting this Saturday


    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. 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

    Early bird registration discounts available through Oct. 15. To register, go to www.etouches.com/NYSIPP


    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.


    FSIPP Annual Meeting Dates May 18-20, 2010


    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

     


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

     


     

     

     

     

     


    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