" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

February 20, 2013


  1. ASIPP Member Defends ASIPP Guidelines
  2. ASIPP Offers Pain Medicine and Anxiety Medicines Brochure to Members
  3. Opioid Overdose Deaths Topped 16,000 in 2010
  4. Should All Women Over 40 Get Annual Mammograms?
  5. Should States Opt Out of the Health Law's Medicaid Expansion?
  6. 'I Don't Smoke, Doc,' and Other Patient Lies
  7. Patients at Risk from Junior Doctors Working 100 Hour Weeks: GMC
  8. Public Can See Pharma Payments to Doctors Starting in 2014
  9. Physicians Entangled in Tainted Drugs Lawsuits
  10. CBO Budget Projections for 2013-2023
  11. Employers Unaware of ACA Compliance Cost on Group Health Benefits
  12. Drug Costs to Rise Up to 4 Percent in 2013
  13. No Pain, Please, We're British
  14. State Society News
  15. Physician Wanted  

brochureASIPP Offers Pain Medicine and Anxiety Medicines Brochure to Members

ASIPP Marketing Services will be releasing a series of Interventional Pain brochures for purchase in the near future.


At this time ASIPP is offering a Pain Medicine and Anxiety Medicines brochure that you can tailor to your practice and make available to your patients and referring physicians.


There are two ways to receive the brochure: 

  • Have ASIPP print the brochures with your practice information, then mailed to you or
  • Have the brochure materials sent to your printer and they can print and deliver them to you.


Either option offers an inexpensive and effective way to ommunicate Medication Information to your patients and promote your practice. Bruchures are copyrighted by ASIPP.


Contact Ray Lane via email at rlane@asipp.org for ordering information.

opioidOpioid Overdose Deaths Topped 16,000 in 2010


Continuing a trend that began more than a decade ago, 16,651 people died of overdoses involving prescription narcotic painkillers in 2010, the most recent year that data was available, according to researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 1999, there were 4,030 such deaths involving opioids.


"This analysis confirms the predominant role opioid analgesics play in pharmaceutical overdose deaths, either alone or in combination with other drugs," CDC researchers wrote in a report in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.



JS Online


mammoShould All Women Over 40 Get Annual Mammograms?


It's one of the leading causes of death among women. But how often should we check for it?


Breast-cancer screenings are one of the most hotly debated issues in health care. A large part of the medical establishment agrees with the long-held view that annual mammograms are a necessity and should be routine for women over 40. That way, any abnormalities can be spotted and dealt with as early as possible.


But a growing chorus of critics argue the tests aren't as useful as they're made out to be. Increasingly effective treatments have made it less necessary to spot trouble early, they say. And, they argue, the screenings create too many false positives-and find too many "cancers" that will never matter to women, leading not only to unnecessary anxiety but also unnecessary treatment.


Wall Street Journal


optShould States Opt Out of the Health Law's Medicaid Expansion?


The Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. But that just moved the fighting to a new arena: the states, some of which are saying they won't participate in a key measure of the law.


Part of the court's decision made it easier for states not to participate in expanding Medicaid benefits to subsidize health-care coverage for a broader swath of poor Americans. Under the law, states can expand Medicaid eligibility to people who have incomes of up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Washington has said it would pick up the entire cost of the coverage expansion for the first three years, and at least 90% of the cost afterward.


But while that leaves only a small share for states to pay, many states have argued it still leaves too much, given tight state budgets. Medicaid eligibility rules currently vary significantly by state. Some governors-so far, all of them Republicans-say their states will opt out. Other states say they plan to proceed.


Wall Street Journal



smoke'I Don't Smoke, Doc,' and Other Patient Lies


It's a rule many residents learn in training. If a patient says he has four drinks a week, consider it eight. The same for cigarettes and illicit drugs, doctors say.


The not-so-subtle message underlying the practice: patients lie.


"It's just human nature that patients want to please doctors," says Kevin R. Campbell, a cardiologist in Raleigh, N.C.

"I've had patients say they quit smoking and yet they come in smelling like tobacco," he adds. "I can throw pills and drugs at patients all day long but if they're still continuing to smoke and that sort of thing it's just not going to help."


Wall Street Journal

juniorPatients at Risk from Junior Doctors Working 100 Hour Weeks: GMC 


Patients are being put at risk by exhausted junior doctors working 100 hours a week, the General Medical Council has warned, because the European rules on working hours are not working.


Research carried out for the doctors' regulator has found the cut to junior doctors hours has not stopped the culture of excessive shifts with little rest.


Junior doctors are supposed to work a maximum of 48 hours per week, averaged over 26 weeks but this can still mean they work 13-hour shifts at a time often for days in a row, it was found.


The Telegraph

pharmPublic Can See Pharma Payments to Doctors Starting in 2014


Revisions in the final transparency rule will give physicians more time to resolve payment amounts and won't require disclosure of indirect pay from accredited education programs


Washington After numerous missed deadlines, new regulations require that data on the payments and gifts that drug and medical device companies make to physicians will become available publicly in a searchable database beginning in September 2014.


The long-awaited final rule for the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act - a 2010 law requiring financial ties between manufacturers and medicine to be disclosed - was released on Feb. 1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services addressed several issues pertaining to the reporting of fees, meals, travel expenses and other transfers of value. Those issues were raised by the American Medical Association and other organized medicine groups over an earlier proposed version of the rule. For instance, CMS will allow doctors additional time to resolve disputes over any inaccurate data and will not require certain indirect payments from continued medical education programs to be reported on the database.


AMA news

taintedPhysicians Entangled in Tainted Drugs Lawsuits


A deadly meningitis outbreak involving tainted steroid shots that has killed at least 45 people and sickened nearly 700 more has led to an explosion of lawsuits against the compounding pharmacy linked to the infections. But with the New England Compounding Center now in bankruptcy, patients and their families are searching for alternative legal relief - such as from the physicians who prescribed the injections.


So far, several New Jersey doctors face lawsuits because of the outbreak, and legal experts expect hundreds more suits against doctors, clinics and hospitals connected to the outbreak. Patients have sued doctors successfully in the past after being injured by medical products under claims such as failure to warn, medical negligence and product liability. The suits can mean faster and larger payouts for plaintiffs than those against drug or device makers.



AMA news

cboCBO Budget Projections for 2013-2023


CBO released updated Budget and Economic projections for 2013-2023. Under the projections, the cost of repealing the SGR has dropped dramatically due to lower than expected growth in Medicare physician spending. The new cost of freezing payments for ten years is $138 billion, more than $100 billion less than the previous projection. (The ten year freeze is not the preferred policy outcome, but rather a baseline used for making an apples to apples comparison to previous projections.)


The relevant text of the CBO report is pasted below. Now is the time to redouble our efforts and make a strong push for SGR repeal as soon as is possible.



Medicare's Payments to Physicians

Under current law, spending for Medicare is constrained by a rate-setting system-called the sustainable growth

rate-that has existed for several years to control the fees physicians receive for their services. If the system is

allowed to operate as currently structured, physicians' fees will be reduced by about 25 percent in January 2014 and will increase by small amounts in subsequent years, CBO projects. If, instead, lawmakers override those scheduled reductions-as they have every year since 2003-spending on Medicare might be greater than the amounts


projected in CBO's baseline. For example, holding payment rates through 2023 at the levels they are now would

raise outlays for Medicare (net of premiums paid by beneficiaries) by $14 billion in 2014 and about $138 billion

(or about 2 percent) between 2014 and 2023.21 The effect on Medicare (and on the deficit) of making such a

change would depend on whether lawmakers offset the effects of the change, as they often have done in the past,

with other changes to reduce deficits.


21. The estimated cost of holding payment rates constant is much lower relative to this baseline than was the case under previous CBO baselines, primarily because of lower spending for physicians' services in recent years. Under the sustainable growth rate, future payment updates depend on the difference between spending in prior years and spending targets established in law. Actual spending has been lower than projected-and lower than the spending targets inherent in the sustainable growth rate-for the past three years. Because actual spending has been lower than spending targets, CBO now estimates that payment rates will increase beginning in 2015. Those higher payment rates narrow the difference between growth under current law and a freeze at current levels, thereby reducing the estimated cost of restricting

the payment rates.

groupEmployers Unaware of ACA Compliance Cost on Group Health Benefits


NEW YORK - More than half of employers have not calculated the cost and impact of healthcare reform on their benefit packages for employees, even though most employers want to avoid cost increases for their group health plans, according to a survey released by the Willis Human Capital Practice, a unit of insurance broker Willis Group Holdings.


The Health Care Reform Survey 2013 outlines employers' perceptions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their planned responses to healthcare reform measures.


 Healthcare Finance News

costsDrug Costs to Rise Up to 4 Percent in 2013


MEMPHIS, TN - The rise in drug costs to clinics and hospitals is slowing in 2013 compared with previous years, although costs for medications will still increase by as much 4 percent.


Wider availability of less expensive generic products is a primary driver in moderating drug costs, according to a report released Friday in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).



Healthcare Finance News

britishNo Pain, Please, We're British


London (CNN) -- In the 23 years since he tried to break up a robbery in central London, Ian Semmons hasn't spent a day without severe pain.


The fight left Semmons with multiple fractures, including a broken back and two shattered ankles. He had a head injury so severe, doctors put him in a coma and kept him there for a month to control the swelling in his brain.

"I spent nine months in hospital and then 12 months in a rehabilitation center, where I was basically rebuilt," Semmons says. "But nothing was done to treat my pain."



defendASIPP Member Defends ASIPP Guidelines



Pain Medicine News has published a commentary written by ASIPP member Sanford Silverma. His letter to the Pain Medicine News' editor was in response to a November 2012 article about ASIPP's updated Opioid Guidelines, "Interventionalist Group Releases Updated Opioid Guidelines."


Click below to read Dr. Silverman's apt response which was included in the January edition.

Silverman Letter to the Editor


Below is a link to  read the original commentary.

 PMN Article on ASIPP Guidelines




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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
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