" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

June 14, 2012


painASIPP 14th Annual Meeting a Great Success


More than 350 members of ASIPP attended this year's annual meeting and legislative session. This meeting offered something for everyone with breakout sessions on controlled substances, imaging, emerging technologies, a section just for Residents and Fellows.


The meeting also featured several well-known speakers including former Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Honorable Tevi Troy, PhD; health care executive and policy expert David Merritt; and Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Diversion Control for the DEA, Joseph T. Rannazzisi.

Sunday evening, ASIPP bid President Standiford Helms, MD, a fond farewell and warmly welcomed this year's president Frank Falco, MD.


 On Monday, the focus shifted to legislative issues. Cosponsored by both ASIPP and NANS, the session began with legislative preparatory sessions then visits to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.


More than 140 members of ASIPP attended meetings with their congressional representatives. ASIPP members attended 123 office meetings - 68 appointments were with members of the House of Representatives and 55 meetings were held in Senators' offices.

If you missed out this year, make plans to attend the 15th annual ASIPP meeting June 8-12, 2013 at Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA.

medicareMedicare Limits Coverage of TENS for Low Back Pain


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Final Decision Memorandum restricting coverage for a popular, non-invasive, inexpensive pain therapy called Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). This notice is expected to result in a national coverage decision later this year. TENS is delivered to the lower back by using a small stimulation device that?s mobile or can be used at home.



Decision Memo for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Low Back Pain (CAG-00429N) 


twoTwo Insurers Will Keep ACA Provisions

WASHINGTON -- UnitedHealth and Humana have vowed to continue to provide some of the protections included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even if the Supreme Court overturns the law.


MedPage Today

CMSCMS Releases National Health Spending Projections through 2021


WASHINGTON - Between 2011 and 2021, national health spending is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.7 percent annually, according to projections set forth in a study done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' National Health Expenditure Accounts Team and published in the July issue of Health Affairs. The study, which was released Tuesday, projects that the average annual growth rate between 2011 and 2021 is 0.9 percent faster than the expected annual increase in the gross domestic product during this period.

According to Sean Keehan, a senior economist in the Office of the Actuary at CMS, during a media briefing on Tuesday, between 2011 and 2013, U.S. health spending is projected to grow on average at 4 percent, which is slightly above the historically low growth rate of 3.8 percent in 2009. Preliminary data suggest that growth in consumers' use of health services remained slow in 2011, with the pattern expected to stay similar in 2012 and 2013. In these years, the lingering effects of the economic recession and modest recovery, mostly in the form of limited growth in incomes, are expected to continue to constrain health spending growth.


Healthcare Finance News

earlyEarly "Sunshine" Laws Show Little Effect on Prescribing



Two states that require pharmaceutical companies to report how much they spend on marketing their products saw little shift away from brand-name drugs in doctors' prescribing habits, said a study in the May 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.


The findings come as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services works to address more than 300 responses from physician organizations, drugmakers and others to its proposed rule to implement the Physician Payments Sunshine Act that was included in the 2010 health-system reform law. In May, CMS announced that federal requirements for medical industry firms to collect data on payments to doctors would not begin until 2013. They had been set to start this year.



AMA news


organizedOrganized Medicine Details Future of Medicare Payment Without SGR


Washington Organized medicine has given Congress proposed solutions for moving past what physicians and policymakers agree is a flawed Medicare payment system by creating opportunities for physicians to participate in new care delivery models.


Members of the House Ways and Means Committee had requested comments on developing alternative pay models to serve as possible replacements for the current Medicare sustainable growth rate formula that helps determine physician pay. The American Medical Association was among several physician organizations that responded to specific questions from committee members by detailing ways to overhaul the system while abandoning the SGR.


AMA news


problemsProblems Plague Medicare's Method for Measuring Payment Errors


WASHINGTON, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Inspector General Report Highlights Defective Payment and Documentation Policies for Power Mobility, Says American Association for Homecare

The American Association for Homecare reported in this week's Mobility Matters publication that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has uncovered serious flaws in the methodology used to calculate the error rate on payments for services and products provided to Medicare patients.


Market WatchWall Street Journal


shoppersShoppers Drug Mart Launches New Physician Portal in an Effort to Improve Patient Care

Shoppers Health Care Portal the first of its kind in Canada


TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation today launched the Shoppers Health Care Portal, a website designed to provide Canadian health care professionals with access to drug reimbursement information and clinical tools with the goal of improving patient care.


The first of its kind in Canada, the Shoppers Health Care Portal, is a web-based application, available to physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The portal will give registered users access to drug coverage reimbursement and clinical eligibility criteria for more than 200 special authorization medications, as well as patient assistant program information.


Canada Newswire



imagingImaging Boom Raised Radiation Exposures


Advanced diagnostic imaging has increased substantially over the past 15 years, bringing an increase in radiation exposure, researchers found.


CT imaging roughly tripled and MRI use nearly quadrupled from 1996 to 2010 across the six large integrated health systems studied by Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues.



MedPage Today

rxRx Drug Abuse Bill Passes NY Legislature


The New York State Legislature has unanimously passed the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP. Introduced in June of 2011 by Attorney General Schneiderman, I-STOP is an online database that enables doctors and pharmacists to report and track controlled narcotics in real time.


The bipartisan legislation - the first joint Attorney General-Governor program bill in recent memory - passed the Assembly by a margin of 116-0 and the Senate 58 to 0.


Rockland Times





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