" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

December 18, 2013


  1. ASIPP Sends Letter to Cigna with 684 Physician Signatures
  2. 16th Annual ASIPP Meeting Registration Now Open!
  3. ASIPP Cadaver Workshop, Imaging, Fluroscopy and Radiation Safety Course Set in Phoenix Jan 31- Feb. 2
  4. Call for Abstracts: ASIPP Annual Meeting 
  5. 3-Month 'SGR Fix' Passes House
  6. Obamacare Week 10--A Dearth of Enrollment In the States and Continuing Backroom Problems
  7. Opinion: ObamaCare's Troubles Are Only Beginning
  8. MedPAC Considers Inpatient, Outpatient, Long-Term Care Hospital Pay Changes for 2015
  9. Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield's Reimbursement Rates Raise Concerns From Specialists
  10. Opinion: What the New Health Insurance Law Means for My Workers
  11. Contrast Agent May Distort Some MRIs
  12. FDA Greenlights Magnetic Device for Migraine
  13. State Society News
  14. Physician Wanted

cignaASIPP Sends Letter to Cigna with 684 Physician Signatures


Today ASIPP sent a letter to Cigna Coverage Policy Unit Director, Dr. Julie Kessel, commenting on the policy for minimally invasive treatment of back and neck pain (Coverage Policy 0139). Thanks to the many members and non-members alike who agreed to sign onto the letter, we were able to make a huge impact with 684 signatories on this comment letter.


The current policy will have severe restrictions in providing interventional pain management services for their conditions for almost all therapies including epidural injections, facet joint interventions, percutaneous adhesiolysis, and sacroiliac joint injections (see Cigna comment letter for more details).


If Cigna does not respond, to our letter with these hundreds of physician names attached and reverse the policy decision, we will follow with a mass letter writing campaign protesting the decision.


See Cigna Comment Letter


annual16th Annual ASIPP Meeting Registration Now Open!






CMS's Proposed Devastating Cuts For Interventional Pain Management and Onerous Regulations Will Make It Difficult To Practice IPM In The Future! However, we are pleased to announce the agenda for ASIPP's 16th Annual Meeting which handles exactly alll the issues we are facing and will prepare you for the future of healthcare.


Because IPM in Not a Luxury nor Experimental, but Effective and Necessary, this is the one meeting in 2014 that you can't afford to miss.


The 16th Annual Meeting will feature practical, evidence-based, education to help preserve your practice into the future. We believe you will find that this conference is quite different from the majority of other conferences, offering you much, much more than the typical lectures on emerging technologies. We have worked hard to design a meeting for you and your staff that covers the many aspects of your practice in addition to the cutting-edge technologies and research in IPM.




Friday, April 4

The Survival of IPM Physicians under Affordable Care (ObamaCare) featuring, Peter Staats, MD (Chairperson), the Honorable Ben Sass, PhD, Stephen Ward, MB, and Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD


Afternoon Session Topics:

Controversies of Epidural Injections

Emerging Concepts in IPM

Practice Development

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Exhibitor Reception



Saturday, April 5

Manchikanti Distinguished Lectures featuring Joshua Hirsch, MD (Chairperson), Devi E. Nampiaparampil, MD (Dr. Devi), Debra Beaulieu, James H. Diaz, MD, MPH, and Christopher J. Gilligan, MD


Afternoon Session Topics:

Emerging Evidence for Established Techniques

Emerging Aspects of IPM

Practice Management: Fraud and Abuse-Sleeping with the Enemy

Documentation Debacle

Non-Spinal Ultrasound Workshop

Business Meeting and Dinner


Sunday, April 6

Advocacy in IPM: All Politics are Local Co-Chaired by Sudhir Diwan, MD and Peter Staats, MD


In addition to this stellar itinerary, we offer exhibitor interactions, a presidential dinner with congressional speakers, and New Orleans style entertainment.


We encourage you to register today and begin making plans to attend. We hope you will come early or stay over to enjoy all the New Orleans has to offer.


Click HERE to register

phoenixRegister Now for ASIPP Cadaver Workshop, Imaging, Fluroscopy and Radiation Safety Course Set in Phoenix Jan 31- Feb. 2


  ASIPP Is pleased to announce a Cadaver Workshop (Basic, Intermediate, and ABIPP Preparation), February 1-2, 2014 and the Imaging, Fluoroscopy, and Radiation Safety course on January 31, 2014, both in Phoenix, AZ.


The 1-day review course includes didactics on the topic of fluoroscopy. Participants experience a comprehensive and intense learning opportunity, focusing on interventional pain management techniques.


The intensive review course in fluoroscopy is planned as a CME activity for interventional pain physicians-for review, skills improvement or to fullfil state board requirements for CME hours in fluoroscopic interpretation and radiation safety.


After this course, participants should be able to:

- Describe the delivery of multiple aspects of interventional pain management.

- Review multiple areas of interventional pain management including fluoroscopic interpretation and radiation safety

- Demonstrate skills through interactive review of images



Click HERE to register


Click HERE to view brochure


Click HERE for hotel information.


abstractCall for Abstracts: ASIPP Annual Meeting


Abstract submission is now open to  enter your abstract proposal into the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians abstract and poster presentation at the 16th Annual Meeting set for April 4-6, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.


The top 20 abstracts will be published in Pain Physician journal. The top 20 will be selected for Poster presentation during the annual meeting on April 5. The top 5 will be presenting their abstracts during the regular session of all members on Saturday. That evening at the Presidential Awards Banquet, the top three abstract presenters will receive cash prizes.


A final abstract submission deadline is at 5pm Monday, February 17, 2014. Those selected will be notified by March 4, 2014 and will receive free registration to the annual meeting.


Click HERE or a complete set of rules  


Click HERE to submit your abstract.

fix3-Month 'SGR Fix' Passes House


WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed a 3-month patch late Thursday to stabilize physicians' Medicare payments -- delaying dramatic cuts scheduled for 2014 -- while Congress works on a permanent repeal of Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula.


The Senate is expected to take up the temporary patch next week.


Meanwhile, bills to permanently repeal the SGR worked their way through committees in the House and Senate, with further action and possibly votes from the full chambers expected early next year. The bills would repeal the SGR, encourage the use of alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations, combine three quality incentive programs into one, and make numerous other changes to the way Medicare pays for the delivery of healthcare.



MedPage Today

dearthObamacare Week 10--A Dearth of Enrollment In the States and Continuing
Backroom Problems


A few observations after 10 weeks of Obamacare implementation.

The Obama administration released the first two months enrollment figures this week. With HealthCare.gov still struggling in November, the enrollment of 137,000 people in the 36 states was expected. The main event for the federal exchanges will play out in December now that most people can navigate it.

What I found notable in the report was the lack of robust enrollment in the states. In states where the exchange has been running at least adequately for many weeks now, the enrollment numbers are far from what I would have expected.



Health Policy and Market Place

troubleOpinion: ObamaCare's Troubles Are Only Beginning


The White House is claiming that the Healthcare.gov website is mostly fixed, that the millions of Americans whose health plans were canceled thanks to government rules may be able to keep them for another year, and that in any event these people will get better plans through ObamaCare exchanges. Whatever the truth of these assertions, those who expect better days ahead for the Affordable Care Act are in for a rude awakening. The shocks-economic and political-will get much worse next year and beyond. Here's why:


The "sticker shock" that many buyers of new, ACA-compliant health plans have experienced-with premiums 30% higher, or more, than their previous coverage-has only begun. The costs borne by individuals will be even more obvious next year as more people start having to pay higher deductibles and copays.



Wall Street Journal


Access to this article may be limited.

medpacMedPAC Considers Inpatient, Outpatient, Long-Term Care Hospital Pay Changes for 2015


The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission considered draft recommendations to Congress yesterday concerning inpatient, outpatient and long-term care hospital payments in 2015, according to an AHA Newsreport.


The recommendations would reduce or eliminate payment differences between hospital outpatient departments and physician offices for certain procedures and increase hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment rates by 3.2 percent in 2015, according to the report. Currently, Medicare reimburses hospital outpatient departments 80 percent more than freestanding physician clinics for routine evaluation and management office visits.



Becker's Hospital Review

arkansasArkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield's Reimbursement Rates Raise Concerns From Specialists



Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View, fears Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield's new reimbursement payments to specialists will hurt health care in Arkansas.


Starting Jan. 1, ABCBS will pay physician specialists 15 percent less for the same procedures done by non-specialists, such as family practice doctors, for patients who bought policies through the new health insurance exchange, she said. The new fees won't apply to the carrier's current commercial policies or group plans.

Irvin told Arkansas Business last week that she predicts specialists won't want to treat patients who have insurance purchased through the exchange or the physicians won't practice in Arkansas because of the low rates.



Arkansas Business



meOpinion: What the New Health Insurance Law Means for My Workers



After working on our health insurance renewals for more than a month, I finally presented my findings to my workers the first week in December. Like many people, I have never paid much attention to how health insurance works. It was a challenge to understand it and an even bigger challenge to explain it. I needed to find language that conveys the essence of our system without getting too technical. If you are trying to do the same with your employees, the following recap may be helpful.


In America, I told my workers, health insurance pays for three kinds of care: routine, chronic and catastrophic. Under the old system, my company bought a single policy and used it to pay for all three. And as a business owner, I got to choose whatever policy I thought was best but without good information about the various plans that were available. I pretty much went with what my agent told me.



New York Times


contrastContrast Agent May Distort Some MRIs


Repeated use of gadolinium-based contrast agents was associated with increased MRI signal intensity in certain brain regions that could affect the interpretation of scans, Japanese researchers said.


Analysis of MRI scans in 381 patients indicated a significant correlation between the number of previous administration of gadolinium contrast agents and signal intensities in the dentate nucleus (regression coefficient 0.010, 95% CI 0.009-0.011, standardized regression coefficient 0.695) and globus pallidus (regression coefficient 0.004, 95% CI 0.002-0.006, standardized regression coefficient 0.288), according to Tomonori Kanda, MD, PhD, of Teikyo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, and colleagues.



MedPage Today

fdaFDA Greenlights Magnetic Device for Migraine


The Cerena single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation device may be sold for relieving migraine pain, the FDA said late Friday.


In the 201-patient pivotal trial underlying the approval, patients applied the handheld Cerena device to the back of the head and pressed a button to administer two pulses, each approximately 0.9 Tesla and lasting less than a millisecond, 30 seconds apart.


Some 38% of patients reported that migraine pain was eliminated within 2 hours, and 34% were pain-free 24 hours later. In comparison, patients treated with a sham device had 2- and 24-hour response rates of 17% and 10%, respectively, the FDA said. A total of 113 patients experienced a migraine during the study period and were included in the analysis.


MedPage Today

State Society News


WISIPP Plans January Meeting


The Wisconsin chapter of the American Socieity of Interventional Pain Physicians will be Friday, January 24th, 2014, at Andrew's Bar & Restaurant in Delafield.  More details and registration information will be available shortly.


CASIPP Sets Date for Annual Meeting


The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 2014 annual meeting September 12-14 at the Terranea Resort (www.terranea.com) in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.


For more information, go to www.casipp.com





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

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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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