" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

August 7, 2013



  1. Comment Posted on Epidural Corticosteroid Injection article in Annals of Internal Medicine
  2. Hospital Layoffs on the Rise: 4 Best Practices for Hospitals Facing the Last Resort
  3. Berwick: Zapping Overtreatment, Costs Takes 'Courage'
  4. One Year In, Landmark Prescription Drug Bill Shows Huge Impact
  5. Childhood Obesity Declines in Some States
  6. Where Obamacare Premiums Will Soar
  7. How to Get Tax Breaks for Your Medical Practice
  8. FDA Grants Priority Review to Mallinckrodt's New Pain Drug
  9. Healthcare spending slows: But why?
  10. For Some Post-Op Care, a Phone Call May Be All That's Needed
  11. FDA issues warning about acetaminophen and skin reactions
  12. State Society News
  13. Physician Wanted

commentComment Posted on Epidural Corticosteroid Injection article in Annals of Internal Medicine


Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti, Dr. Frank JE Falco and Dr. Joshua Hirsh submitted a comment regarding a manuscript titled "Epidural Corticosteroid Injections in the Management of Sciatica Epidural corticosteroid injections in the management of sciatica" by Pinto et al (Ann Intern Med 2012;157:865-877).


The comment has been posted along with the manuscript in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.


Click HERE to read comment.


Click HERE to read manuscript abstract.

layoffHospital Layoffs on the Rise: 4 Best Practices for Hospitals Facing the Last Resort


Large layoffs and workforce reductions have become more common at hospitals and health systems across the country, regardless of size or for- or nonprofit status.


Through July this year, several organizations have laid off dozens and cut hundreds more jobs through attrition. For example, St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis cut roughly 865 jobs, Denver Health plans to eliminate 300 jobs through layoffs, attrition and reduction in new hires, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., cut more than 300 members from its staff. In one of the biggest layoffs so far, Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division laid off 2,340 employees in its 2012-13 fiscal year, which ended June 30.


Most hospitals turn to layoffs as a last resort, so the rash of layoffs signifies the dire financial situation provider organizations are in across the country. "Hospitals don't like to lay people off," says Ken Perez, a healthcare policy expert. "It's not a preferred strategy. Evidently, the leadership of these organizations felt that they had to make a move now in order to financially make it through 2013."



Becker's Hospital Review


berwickBerwick: Zapping Overtreatment, Costs Takes 'Courage'


The former acting head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services lauds efforts such as the Choosing Wisely campaign, which aim to reduce medical interventions "for which the risks outweigh the benefits."


At the American Hospital Association's Leadership Summit last week, Don Berwick, MD, called out the "11 scary monsters" lurking under the healthcare industry's bed. Can you guess which one he says is the worst one of all, the Godzilla thwarting improvements to quality care?


Pat yourself on the back if you said "excess," or "overtreatment." These are drugs, tests, or procedures that "don't help, but subject people to risk." Berwick, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, says spending on American healthcare is 40% more than it needs to be.



HealthLeaders Media

yearOne Year In, Landmark Prescription Drug Bill Shows Huge Impact


FRANKFORT, Ky. - One year after landmark legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse took effect, Governor Steve Beshear credited the bill with closing non-compliant pain management clinics and reducing the number of prescriptions for heavily-abused controlled substances.


Plus, for the first time in a decade, the number of deaths blamed on prescription overdoses has declined.

House Bill 1 (HB1), signed into law by Gov. Beshear last spring, included multiple elements to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and to enhance law enforcement's tools to investigate illegal prescribing practices.





obesityChildhood Obesity Declines in Some States


The problem of childhood obesity, long among the country's most intractable and vexing health issues, is at last showing signs of turning the corner.


The obesity rate for low-income preschool-age children declined between 2008 and 2011 in 19 of 43 states and territories measured, federal data showed on Tuesday.


This followed a leveling off of childhood obesity rates in recent years, a generation after they began a climb to levels that alarmed pediatricians and public-health experts and prompted national campaigns to bring the rate down.


Wall Street Journal


Wall Street Journal is a subscription-based journal, so some content might not be available.

soarWhere Obamacare Premiums Will Soar


Get ready to shell out more money for individual health insurance under Obamacare ... in some states, that is.

While many residents in New York and California may see sizable decreases in their premiums, Americans in many places could face significant increases if they buy insurance through state-based exchanges next year.


That's because these people live in states where insurers were allowed to sell bare-bones plans and exclude the sick, which has kept costs down. Under Obamacare, insurers must offer a package of essential benefits -- including maternity, mental health and medications -- and must cover all who apply. But more comprehensive coverage may lead to more expensive insurance plans.


Yahoo Finance


breakHow to Get Tax Breaks for Your Medical Practice


Constructing a new medical facility or hiring new employees might seem like a daunting and expensive undertaking for many physicians. But those tasks could become a little more feasible if they take advantage of the many federal, state and local incentives available to help developers, including physicians, substantially reduce taxes and slash their building, equipment and hiring costs.


In some cases, getting financial help can be as easy as filling out a form and building in the right location. Obtaining other financial incentives, such as tax abatements from local communities, can be complicated and time-consuming, often requiring a lawyer or other adviser to help wade through the political and bureaucratic waters.


The trick is to know where to look, whom to talk to and when to act. Some programs have specific deadlines. Others have limited funding.



AMA news


grantFDA Grants Priority Review to Mallinckrodt's New Pain Drug


St. Louis-based Mallinckrodt announced that the FDA has granted priority review to its new pain drug MNK-795.

MNK-795 is a controlled-release oral formulation of oxycodone and acetaminophen that has been studied for the management of moderate to severe acute pain.


The FDA grants priority review to drugs that offer significant improvements in the safety or effectiveness of a treatment when compared to standard applications.



Becker's ASC Review


slowHealthcare spending slows: But why?


The apparent slowdown of the growth of healthcare spending has been noted by many in the healthcare industry, the policy world and economists. But what is causing it and how long it will last is unknown.

The White House weighed in late in July with a blog by Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. In his post, he highlighted the evidence indicating healthcare cost growth has slowed and the ACA's role in that slow down.

Among the evidence he cited:

  • Recent prices for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) on healthcare goods and services rose at its slowest rate in nearly 50 years, at 1.1 percent over the 12 months ending in May.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects combined Medicare and Medicaid spending to be about $200 billion lower in 2020 than what it forecast three years ago.
  • From 2009 to 2011, nationwide real per capita health expenditures grew at the slowest pace since reporting began in 1960.
  • In 2012, premium growth for employer-sponsored insurance was at its lowest rate - 3 percent - since the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey started in 1996.

 Healthcare Finance News


post-opFor Some Post-Op Care, a Phone Call May Be All That's Needed


New research is posing the question of whether the most productive visit after certain surgeries or procedures is one in which the patient, by design, doesn't show up at the doctor's office.


A study posted online July 10 in JAMA Surgery found that open hernia repair or laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients who followed up their surgery with a phone call instead of a doctor's visit had the same rate of complications of those who showed up at the office - none for the hernia patients and a small rate for the cholecystectomy patients.


Almost all patients who did their follow-ups by phone said they were very satisfied with the experience. Most of them, given the option, asked for phone calls over personal visits, with 71% of 115 hernia patients and 90% of 26 cholecystectomy patients electing to get a phone call.


AMA news


acetaminophenFDA issues warning about acetaminophen and skin reactions


(CNN) -- The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers on Thursday that popular pain reliever acetaminophen may cause serious skin reactions in some people.


The FDA will now require a warning about the skin conditions to be added to the labels of prescription drug containing acetaminophen and will ask manufacturers of acetaminophen products to add warnings to their over-the-counter medications.


Acetaminophen is found in numerous prescription and over-the-counter products designed to treat pain and reduce fever.







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