" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

August 21, 2013



  1. Today's Obamacare Triump: UPS Drops Coverage for 15,000 Spouses
  2. Public Citizen: Malpractice payouts hit record lows
  3. AHRQ Names Kronick as New Director
  4. States Wrestle With How to Label Pot
  5. FDA Issues Guidelines on Wireless Medical Devices
  6. OxyContin Maker Closely Guards its List of Suspect Doctors
  7. Nurse Practitioners Seek Right To Treat Patients on Their Own
  8. Many Health Insurers to Limit Choices of Doctors, Hospitals
  9. FDA Too Slow to Act on Pharmacy, Public Citizen Charges
  10. Physician salaries projected to increase
  11. How physicians can ensure context in the medical record
  12. Pain-Wise a Great Resource for Patients and Doctors
  13. State Society News
  14.  Physician Wanted

todayToday's Obamacare Triump: UPS Drops Coverage for 15,000 Spouses


"If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what." - Barack Obama, July 2009


Today's ObamaCare triumph is the announcement by United Parcel Service that it will drop working spouses from its health care plan, loudly and repeatedly citing the Affordable Care Act as the reason.


The move is projected to save UPS $60 million per year. The company's letter to employees repeatedly cites the Affordable Care Act as a major factor in the decision, describing how a number of its provisions would increase corporate costs to unacceptable levels.

Human Events

malpracticePublic Citizen: Malpractice payouts hit record lows


Malpractice lawsuit awards are at an all-time low, according to an analysis from the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen.


But the news isn't all good. Despite the fact that malpractice awards fell 28.8% between 2003 and 2012, the drop in payments isn't translating into a decline in overall health care costs or improvements in safety, according to Public Citizen.


Examining data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, Public Citizen found that in 2012, both the number of awards (9,379) and the amount of those payouts ($3.1 billion) was the lowest on record, once adjusted for inflation. In 2012, the average payment was about $335,000.

Internal Medicine News



ahrqAHRQ Names Kronick as New Director


WASHINGTON -- Health reform researcher Richard Kronick, PhD, will become the new director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) after longtime director Carolyn Clancy, MD, leaves the post later this month.


The announcement was made public in the agency's daily afternoon electronic newsletter.

Kronick joined the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January 2010 as deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and oversaw the Office of Health Policy.



MedPage Today

wrestleStates Wrestle With How to Label Pot


Under Colorado's new recreational-marijuana law, all retail pot products-from joints to laced brownies-will have to be labeled according to their potency starting next January.


But pot growers are running into a hurdle: There are no state or industry standards to test marijuana for tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance mainly responsible for its high-inducing properties.


Wall Street Journal



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fdaFDA Issues Guidelines on Wireless Medical Devices


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released final guidelines on the design, testing and use of radio-frequency (RF) wireless medical devices. Although it doesn't promulgate legally enforceable responsibilities, the document is intended to guide both device manufacturers and healthcare providers toward the safe and secure use of wireless medical devices.


Covered are devices "that are implanted, worn on the body or other external wireless medical devices intended for use in hospitals, homes, clinics, clinical laboratories, and blood establishments." The FDA document has no relation to the impending guidance from the agency about how it will regulate apps that turn smartphones and tablets into medical devices.


Health Leaders Media


oxycontinOxyContin Maker Closely Guards its List of Suspect Doctors


Over the last decade, the maker of the potent painkiller OxyContin has compiled a database of hundreds of doctors suspected of recklessly prescribing its pills to addicts and drug dealers, but has done little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities.


Despite its suspicions, Purdue Pharma continued to profit from prescriptions written by these physicians, many of whom were prolific prescribers of OxyContin. The company has sold more than $27 billion worth of the drug since its introduction in 1996.


Purdue has promoted the idea that the country's epidemic of prescription drug deaths was fueled largely by pharmacy robberies, doctor-shopping patients and teens raiding home medicine cabinets. The database suggests that Purdue has long known that physicians also play a significant role in the crisis.



LA Times



nurseNurse Practitioners Seek Right To Treat Patients on Their Own


Nurse practitioners in five states are fighting for the right to treat patients without oversight from doctors, as they can in many parts of the country.


The battle is particularly pitched in California, where a bill that would let some nurse practitioners do their work independently passed a key legislative committee this week. California doctors strenuously oppose the idea, arguing that it could jeopardize patient safety.


Wall Street Journal


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llimitMany Health Insurers to Limit Choices of Doctors, Hospitals


This fall, Indiana's new online health-insurance marketplace will present some tough choices for consumers like John Nowak, who will be able to pick a plan from his current insurer-or go for one that includes his primary-care doctor.


That is because Mr. Nowak's current insurer won't include Indiana's biggest health-care provider, 19-hospital Indiana University Health, in the plans it sells on the consumer exchange. If Mr. Nowak buys a new exchange plan from WellPoint Inc.'s WLP -0.41% Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, he will generally have to pay the cost out of his own pocket if he sees the system's doctors, because they aren't in the network.



Wall Street Journal



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slowFDA Too Slow to Act on Pharmacy, Public Citizen Charges


WASHINGTON -- The FDA should have closed a Texas compounding pharmacy in March shortly after inspectors found sterility problems, an action that would have prevented the recent hospitalization of 15 patients, public health advocates charged Wednesday.


In fact, Speciality Compounding in Cedar Park, Texas, is one of 50 compounding pharmacies the FDA has identified as having "significant objectionable conditions" despite only 16 such entities initiating a recall or being the subject of the agency enforcement action, consumer watchdog Public Citizen said.


MedPage Today




salaryPhysician salaries projected to increase


Specialty and primary care physicians can expect slight salary increases in 2014 says consulting firm, the Hay Group.


In its 2013 Physician Compensation Survey, the consulting firm predicts physicians' median salary will increase 2.4 percent in 2014. Doctors in group-based practices can expect to see larger pay increases (3.7 percent) than those in hospital-based settings (2.2 percent).



Healthcare Finance News


ensureHow physicians can ensure context in the medical record


The digitization of medical records has given physicians opportunities to do much more with their patients' records than they were able to do with them in paper form. But have electronic health records lessened the opportunity for the record to be viewed in the appropriate context?


Experts say the most useful patient record will strike a good balance between structured data (data readable by a computer) and a physician's narrative. This balance is sometimes hard to strike, however, as many electronic health records focus on creating templates meant to capture the structured data.



AMA news


painwisePain-Wise a Great Resource for Patients and Doctors


 Pain-Wise is a patient and Medical Professional's guide to simplifying the confusing and often overwhelming process of finding the appropriate treatment for chronic pain.


Written by three ASIPP Member doctors with years of experience in pain management, Pain-Wise teaches the basics of how pain works, explains different interventional pain therapies in layman's terms, and helps a patient communicate with their doctor. Doctors have found Pain-Wise to be a strong tool in creating a meaningful dialogue with their patients.

Click here to buy cases
Click here to buy single copies.



State Society News



CASIPP Plans Fall Meeting
The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 4th Annual Meeting this September 20-22 at the Terranea Resort  in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Interested physicians can register online at www.casipp.com



NY/NJ Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians Schedule Symposium


Registration is now open for the Pain Medicine Symposium, 2013, which is set for Thursday, November 7, 2013-Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey City.


Following the great success of the 2012 program, this program again will be a joint effort between the New York and New Jersey Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians. The curriculum is presented by Course Directors: Sudhir Diwan, MD and Peter Staats, MD.


Speakers will be Sanjay Bakshi, MD, Sudhir Diwan, MD, and Peter Staats, MD.


Click here to register for the NYNJSIPP Pain Symposium.


Click HERE for more information.




* Please send in your State Society meeting news to:
 Holly Long at hlong@asipp.org

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Phone (270) 554-9412 ext. 230
Fax: (270) 554-5394



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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
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