" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

January 2, 2013



Medicare Doctor Pay Freeze Until 2014 - 26.5% Cut Averted; 2% Sequester Postponed for 2 Months


After much drama ending a climactic fiscal showdown in the final hours of the 112th Congress passed and President signed legislation on fiscal cliff tax deal.


This measure averts the 26.5% cut in Medicare reimbursement mandated by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Further, as part of the deal since all sequestered cuts have been postponed for 2 months, which delays the proposed 2% cuts in reimbursements until March 1.


By no means are we out of the woods. We still face major issues. We believe that interventional pain management is still in danger of falling over the real cliff. We are just hoping to make into a slope.


Here is the link to 2013 Physician Payment rates :

clifASIPP Asks CMS to take Epidural Injections off NCD List


ASIPP Has learned that facet joint injections have been dropped from the potential National Coverage Decision (NCD) list. That is a great relief and certainly something to celebrate. But the uphill battle to get epidural injections removed has begun.


On behalf of ASIPP, the Executive Committee sent a letter to CMS on Monday, Dec. 17 asking them to remove epidural injections from the list.


ASIPP is also working with the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) to get neurostimulators off the list as well. ASIPP continues to work aggressively through Congress and vows to will continue to use our influences, relationships, and everything within our power to avoid this potential disaster.


We want to thank all of the members who have responded to our appeal for help. This is proof of just how much we can accomplish when we all pitch in and unite as one. Let's keep the momentum going into 2013!


Read Letter Here

phoenexPhoenix in February: ASIPP Offers Three Different Courses


phoenix cadaver  

ASIPP is pleased to announce a new course curriculum for its Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop scheduled Feb. 16, 17 in Phoenix, AZ


The course will feature three levels: basic, intermediate and comprehensive IPM exam prep with up to 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

Book now through Jan. 15 and enjoy ASIPP's special room rates at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort .


This 1½-day workshop is designed for interventional pain physicians, for a review, skills improvement, or to assist in preparation for Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination qualifications. ASIPP offers the most in-depth, comprehensive, and individualized programs available in interventional pain management, featuring maximum hands-on training with cadavers in a state-of-the-art facility and maximum ability to interact with other participants. Participants will experience a comprehensive and intense learning opportunity, focusing on interventional pain management techniques.

  • Each cadaver station is limited to a maximum of 7 participants.
  • Participants can choose the level of participation: basic, intermediate, or Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination Preparation Course.
  • C-arms and state-of-the-art equipment are utilized in this course. Participants are requested to dress in casual attire or scrubs. Leaded aprons and thyroid shields will be provided. However, participants are advised to bring their own protective eyewear.
  • Participants will be provided with 7 video lectures relevant to the course material

 Brochure: http://www.asipp.org/documents/0213-cadaver.pdf




Click HERE to Register.



ASIPP is also offering two other courses, Feb. 15-17, 2013 :

phoenix csm 



These two-day comprehensive review courses are planned as a CME

activity to prepare for competency certification or an in-depth review in

areas of What You Need to Know in Controlled Substance Management

and Essentials in Practice Management in IPM. This review course

is based on the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians'

specifications for competency certification examinations.


CSM course objectives

  • * Review basic science and core concepts
  • * Discuss pharmacology
  • * Identify clinical use and effectiveness
  • * Identify substance abuse
  • * Discuss topics with documentation, regulatory issues,
  • legal issues, and ethical issues


CCPM course objectives:

  • * Discuss documentation
  • * Review practice management topics
  • * Discuss coding and billing
  • * Examine compliance issues

Click HERE for brochure


Click HERE to register for Essentials in Practice management course


Click HERE to register for Controlled Substance Management Course

expertASIPP Expert Training Series Jan. 17-18


We are pleased to announce a new and personalized training opportunity. The first ASIPP Expert Training Series will take place on January 17 &18, 2013. This is an exceptional educational experience on a variety of interventional pain topics that provides a unique opportunity for a group limited to 4 physicians that will spend two full days training exclusively on one specific interventional procedure. The course series provides a full day in the operating room observing the expert instructor performing the particular interventional procedure on several patients. The January 17 &18 course will cover neurostimulation with IPM expert, Frank Falco, MD, in Elkton, MD.


The course features a dinner/didactics session on the first night and lunch/didactics on both days. The second day is a full 8 hours of cadaveric training on the interventional procedure with 2 attendees per cadaver side by side with the expert instructor. Attendees will be able to interact with the expert instructor, staff, and patients during the course. Attendees will receive at the end of the second day a certificate of course attendance with 20 CME credits.


This course is limited to only 4 physicians so act fast!


To Register and for more information click here.


dirtyDirty Medical Needles Put Tens of Thousands at Risk in USA


When seven people arrived at a Delaware hospital in March with drug-resistant MRSA infections, the similarities were alarming.


All of the patients had the same strain of MRSA, all had the infections in joints, and all had gotten injections in those joints at the same orthopedic clinic in a three-day span. State health officials found that the clinic had injected multiple patients with medication from a vial that was meant to be used only once, spreading the MRSA bacteria to a new patient with each shot.


A month later, three patients in Arizona were hospitalized with MRSA infections, also following shots at a pain clinic. Again, state and county health officials tied the cases to the injection of multiple patients from a single-dose vial. A fourth shot recipient died; investigators noted that MRSA "could not be ruled out" as a cause.

In July, more than 8,000 patients of an oral surgeon in Colorado were advised to get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and hepatitis after state health investigators found that his office reused syringes to inject medication through patients' IV lines. Six patients have tested positive for one of the diseases.



USA Today


oigOIG Report Indicates CMS Facing Roadblocks in EHR Oversight


The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released a report last week that found that CMS is facing significant obstacles in its oversight of the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive program. The report, titled Early Assessment Finds that CMS Faces Obstacles in Overseeing the Medicare EHR incentive program, highlights the program's vulnerability to "paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet the meaningful use requirements."


Among other recommendations, the Inspector General's report suggested that CMS take extra steps in collecting "documentation from selected professionals and hospitals prior to payment to verify the accuracy of their self-reported information and issue guidance with specific examples of documentation that professionals and hospitals should maintain to support their compliance."


CMS is expected to provide physicians and other providers nearly $6.6 billion in payments between FY 2011 and FY 2016 to adopt electronic health records that meet the goals of the program. To qualify for incentive payments, providers must demonstrate that the systems lead to better patient care or "meaningful use."


Click HERE  to read Full report:

demandDemand Rises for CME Linked to Physician Quality Improvement


As physicians face increasing pressure to demonstrate performance improvement, more are utilizing a model of continuing medical education that gives them tools to assess the care they provide patients, and make measurable enhancements.

The concept of Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education was introduced in the early 2000s, and the model has expanded significantly since then. In 2011, 44,275 physicians and 7,492 nonphysician health professionals participated in 502 PI CME activities offered in the U.S., according to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education. That's a steep increase from the 744 physicians and 175 nonphysician health professionals who participated in 22 PI CME activities offered just six years earlier.


AMA news


chiroTennessee Rejects Chiropracter Pain Surgery Center


A proposal for a chiropractor owned pain surgery center was rejected by the Tennessee CON Board, after hearing arguments from Tennessee physicians. TNSIPP President Graf Hilgenhurst and members Damon Dozier and Joe Browder forcefully made the case against the chiropractor owned facility, voicing concerns about a non-physician employing doctors to perform procedures that he would not be qualified to perform himself.


Further concern was raised because of this clinic's long history of using mid-level providers and family practitioners to perform injections in the past.


The CON board was unanimous in it's decision, strengthening the position of interventional pain physicians in Tennessee. This victory underscores the cooperative effort between TNSIPP, the Tennessee Medical Society, and the Tennessee Society of Anesthesia.

floridaFlorida 'Pill Mill' Crackdown Sets Off a Rush Into Georgia


TUCKER, Ga.-After his Florida used-car dealership failed two summers ago, Jeffrey Gonzalez decided to switch careers. So he moved to Georgia and opened a clinic prescribing opioid painkillers.


He picked this Atlanta suburb because while Florida law stipulates that only doctors can own such facilities, Georgia imposes no such restrictions. Within a few months, Mr. Gonzalez was open for business. To staff up, he hired two physicians through a Craigslist ad. His lead doctor wasn't a pain specialist, but a gynecologist.

"The laws are minimal at best," said Mr. Gonzalez, 46 years old. "We had a green light from every agency that we spoke to."



Wall Street Journal

recallRecall of More Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen Tablets


Dec. 26, 2012 -- More lots of the combination painkiller hydrocodone-acetaminophen are being recalled by Mylan Institutional. The new alert follows a nationwide recall of 101 lots of the drugs issued by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals that occurred earlier this month.


The FDA says the newly recalled lots were manufactured by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals and were repackaged and distributed by Mylan Institutional. The three lots include:

  • 3037841
  • 3040859
  • 3042573

The recalled bottles are supposed to contain tablets made up of 10 milligrams of hydrocodone and 500 milligrams of acetaminophen. But they are being recalled because the tablets may contain higher amounts of acetaminophen or hydrocodone than indicated on the label.







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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
81 Lakeview Drive, Paducah, KY 42001
Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
E-mail asipp@asipp.org