" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

September 19, 2012


  1. Articles Address Health Care Issues Relating to IPM
  2. MedPAC Calls for Mandatory ASC Cost Reporting
  3. More Docs Hope to Call D.C. Home
  4. Doctor, Hospital Deals Probed
  5. Massachusetts provider settles HIPAA case for $1.5 million
  6. AMA Releases 2013 CPT Code Set
  7. The Florida Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Drug Law
  8. Feds: Sebelius violated federal law by campaigning for Obama
  9. Methadone: Controlled doses sold for cash on the streets
  10. The Regional Impact of the Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Payment Reductions
  11. Physicians Wanted

articlesArticles Address Health Care Issues Relating to IPM


Assessment of Infection Control Practices for Interventional Techniques: A Best Evidence

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Frank JE Falco, MD, Ramsin M. Benyamin, MD, Davild L. Caraway, MD, Standiford Helm II, MD, Bradley W. Wargo, DO, Hans C. Hansen, MD, Allan T. Parr, MD, Vijay Singh, MD, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD


Proposed Physician Payment Schedule for 2013: Interventional Pain Management at Crossroads

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Vijay Singh, MD, David L. Caraway, MD, Ramsin M. Benyamin, MD, Frank J.E. Falco, MD, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD


Obamacare 2012: Prognosis Unclear for Interventional Pain Management

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD


CMS Proposal for Interventional Pain Management by Nurse Anesthetists: Evidence by Proclamation

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, David L. Caraway, MD, Frank J.E. Falco, MD, Ramsin M. Benyamin, MD, Hans C. Hansen, MD, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD


Click HERE to view articles

medpacMedPAC Calls for Mandatory ASC Cost Reporting


The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has responded to the proposed ASC payment rule by calling for all ASCs to report their costs, according to an ASCA Government Affairs Update.

MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress and HHS on Medicare payment policies, patient access and quality of care. The Commission noted in a letter to CMS that it agrees the CPI-U update factor is inappropriate for ASC payments and may not reflect ASCs' cost structure. The letter went on to say that CMS should collect new cost data from surgery centers and use the data to determine whether an existing input price index is an appropriate update factor for ASC payments, or whether CMS should develop an ASC-specific market basket.

ASCA continues to oppose cost reporting due to the additional burden that may be experienced by surgery centers, as well as the unreliable nature of previously collected data. ASCA noted in comments on the proposed ASC payment rule that, "The delta between the ASC and HOPD conversion factor should be consistent from year to year, meaning that both systems are updated using a single inflation factor." ASCA believes that an ASC-specific market basket would not help to align payment systems with that of HOPDs.


Becker's ASC


dcMore Docs Hope to Call D.C. Home


WASHINGTON -- Depending on how the votes add up this November, the number of physicians roaming the halls of Congress could grow by half -- from 20 to 30.


A total of 28 physicians have their names on the ballot. That includes 17 incumbents and 11 challengers.

Of the 20 physician members of Congress, 17 are in the House and three in the Senate. All of the physician House members, except for Rep. Ron Paul, MD, (R-Texas), who made an unsuccessful bid for the White House, are running for reelection. Two senators -- Rand Paul, MD, (R-Ken.) and Tom Coburn, MD, (R-Okla.) -- are not up for reelection.



MedPage Today

videosComprehensive Board Review Videos Available

This Review Course in IPM is designed to prepare physicians seeking board certification, re-certification, or an in-depth review of the specialty of interventional pain medicine.

This review course will be based on the specifications of subspecialty in pain medicine examination of The American Board of Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neurology and Psychiatry. This review course will also meet 90% curriculum of ABIPP Part 1.

This comprehensive Review Course is intended as an overview of the anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of painful disorders, in order for participants to pass certification or re-certification and obtain in-depth review; and therefore be able to provide improved interventional management, controlled substance management, and practice management.

Order the online videos and receive 5 days of course video via the Internet. You can watch them on your computer or any computer with Internet access. You will be given a password to access the high quality streaming video of each day.

doctorDoctor, Hospital Deals Probed


California's attorney general has launched a broad investigation into whether growing consolidation among hospitals and doctor groups is pushing up the price of medical care, reflecting increasing scrutiny by antitrust regulators of medical-provider deals.


The office of the attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, has sent subpoenas, known as civil investigative demands, to several big hospital operators in the state, including San Francisco-based Dignity Health and San Diego's Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare. Northern California's 24-hospital Sutter Health system has also received one, as has Santa Barbara-based Cottage Health System, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Subpoenas have also gone to major California health insurers, those people said.



Wall Street Journal


massMassachusetts provider settles HIPAA case for $1.5 million


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates Inc. (collectively referred to as "MEEI") has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $1.5 million to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule. MEEI also agreed to take corrective action to improve policies and procedures to safeguard the privacy and security of its patients' protected health information.


The investigation by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) followed a breach report submitted by MEEI, as required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) Breach Notification Rule, reporting the theft of an unencrypted personal laptop containing the electronic protected health information (ePHI) of MEEI patients and research subjects. The information contained on the laptop included patient prescriptions and clinical information.

OCR's investigation indicated that MEEI failed to take necessary steps to comply with certain requirements of the Security Rule, such as conducting a thorough analysis of the risk to the confidentiality of ePHI maintained on portable devices, implementing security measures sufficient to ensure the confidentiality of ePHI that MEEI created, maintained, and transmitted using portable devices, adopting and implementing policies and procedures to restrict access to ePHI to authorized users of portable devices, and adopting and implementing policies and procedures to address security incident identification, reporting, and response. OCR's investigation indicated that these failures continued over an extended period of time, demonstrating a long-term, organizational disregard for the requirements of the Security Rule.




cptAMA Releases 2013 CPT Code Set


The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced the culmination of medicine's annual effort to capture and describe the latest scientific advances in medical, surgical and diagnostic services with the recent public release of the 2013 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set. The new code set should be used for claims filed as of Jan. 1, 2013.


"Medical knowledge is constantly advancing and as steward of CPT, the AMA invests extensive resources each year to keep the code set current with contemporary medical science and technology so it can fulfill its vital role as the health system's universal language for reporting medical procedures," said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D.

One of the largest recent expansions to the CPT code set was the result of significant advancements in understanding and testing for the molecular basis of disease, including the Human Genome Project. In response to the incredible potential offered by this scientific progress, new CPT codes for molecular pathology tests first appeared in 2012 and the evolving process has resulted in the creation of 116 molecular pathology codes available in the 2013 CPT code set. The new codes will enhance the reporting of innovative diagnostic tools now available to advance medicine's overarching goal of reducing disease burdens, improving health outcomes and reducing long-term care costs. Additional CPT enhancements for 2013 reflect physician practice changes and technology improvements in cardiology, neurologic testing and psychiatry.




supremeThe Florida Supreme Court Upholds Controversial Drug Law


The Florida Supreme Court recently upheld a law that eliminates one half of the prosecution's burden of proof in a criminal trial.


September 14, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Florida Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the constitutionality of a provision in the state's Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act that has been steeped in controversy. The state Supreme Court's decision allows the court system to continue to unfairly discriminate against defendants. The court's ruling will likely be challenged in federal court.


The Florida Supreme Court's Ruling


In a 5-2 decision, the state Supreme Court upheld a provision of Florida's drug laws that specifies an accused's knowledge that he or she possessed illicit drugs is not a factor in his or her guilt. In other words, the prosecution does not have to prove mens rea, or that the defendant had a guilty mind and intended to commit a criminal act, in order to convict.


 Palm Beach Post


fedsFeds: Sebelius violated federal law by campaigning for Obama


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated federal law when she campaigned this winter for President Obama, federal investigators announced Wednesday.


Sebelius broke the law by making "extemporaneous partisan remarks" during a speech in February at a Human Rights Campaign Event in Charlotte, N.C., according to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). She made the comments in the city that would later host the Democratic National Convention.


"One of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November, he continues to be president for another four years," Sebelius said, according to the agency and reported first by The Hill newspaper.



 National Review


methMethadone: Controlled doses sold for cash on the streets


By 19, after suffering two injuries for which he was prescribed narcotic painkillers such as Lortab and Oxycontin, Hermantown High School graduate Daniel Stanius was addicted to opiates.


"I started graduating to stronger ones," he said. "By 23, I was a real heavy user."


By 26, Stanius was serving a nine-month sentence at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center for illegally possessing methadone, which, he told the News Tribune, had become "my drug of choice."



Duluth News Tribune


regionalThe Regional Impact of the Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Payment Reductions


In July, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of the Medicare payment reductions as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The cuts are estimated to be $716 billion between 2013 and 2022, say Robert Book, senior research director at HSI Network, and Michael Ramlet, director of health policy at the American Action Forum.There are several changes to payment rates and payment rules:

  •  The ACA decreases annual updates to Medicare's payment rates in the Medicare Fee-for-Service program by $415 billion.
  •   Furthermore, the ACA reduces payment in the Medicare Advantage program by $156 billion.
  • Additionally, the ACA reduces disproportionate share hospital payments by $31 billion and $25 billion from the Medicare program.
  •  Finally, the ACA reduces Medicare spending through provisions such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board by $114 billion.






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