" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

July 24, 2013



  1. How a Secretive Panel Uses Data that Distorts Doctors' Pay AND AMA Responds to Washington Post
  2. Why Medicare Is A Crummy Business Partner
  3. Millions of Opioid Prescriptions Go to 'Doctor Shoppers AND Potential Alternative To Morphine and Other Opioid Pain Medications
  4. Registration Now Open for October Cadaver, Controlled Substance and Practice Management Courses
  5. SGR Repeal Bill Gains Broad Support
  6. Docs Point to Others to Cut Health Costs
  7. 'Star Rating' for Hospital Quality Draws Mixed Reviews
  8. ASIPP Marketing Services Offers Brochures For Interventional Pain Practices
  9. State Society News
  10. Physician Wanted

secretHow a Secretive Panel Uses Data that Distorts Doctors' Pay


The Post chose the outpatient surgery clinics for review because their surgery records for Medicare and private payers were publicly available. The calculations of physician time used by The Post are conservative because they do not include the procedures that the doctors performed at hospitals, where many such doctors also see patients. The counts also exclude secondary procedures performed on a given patient, as well as follow-up visits.


Even so, for this group of doctors, the time estimates made by Medicare and the AMA appear significantly exaggerated.


If the AMA time estimates are correct, then 41 percent of gastroenterologists, 23 percent of ophthalmologists and 17 percent of orthopedic surgeons were typically performing 12 hours or more of procedures in a day, which is longer than the typical outpatient surgery center is open, The Post found in the Florida data.


Please see the following link for the Washington Post article and video pertaining to the RUC.


Washington Post




AMAAMA Responds to Washington Post:


To the Editor,


The Washington Post did a remarkable disservice to readers as they attempted to report on an AMA committee's role in providing cost information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (How a secretive panel uses data that distorts doctors' pay, 7/20/13).


In recent years, the committee has taken the initiative to identify overvalued medical services to help drive cost reduction. To date, they reviewed about 1,300 potentially misvalued services and recommended reductions to 500 previously overvalued services, redistributing $2.5 billion to primary care and other services. The committee is currently reviewing gastrointestinal services, including colonoscopy procedures. That review will be complete next year. But let's not forget that the Medicare physician payment system is ultimately budget-neutral. There is no financial impact if the government accepts a recommendation for increasing a medical service value because any increase is automatically offset by decreasing values assigned to all other services. It also should be noted that the annual growth in Medicare physician services has been at a historical low for each of the last three years - less than 1 percent.


The AMA ensures transparency of the process, making the data and rationale for each committee recommendation publicly available and CMS representatives attend all RUC meetings. And while the committee submits recommendations to CMS for consideration each year, the agency is not obligated to accept them. The general public is also able to comment on individual procedures, and processes are in place to ensure that input from all stakeholders is considered by CMS.


Medicare provides health care coverage for millions Americans, and it's unfortunate the reporter chose to play fast and loose with the facts.



Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D.

President, American Medical Association


AMA Washington Post RUC Fact Sheet

whyWhy Medicare Is A Crummy Business Partner


Medicare unveiled a series of regulations this month that make annual adjustments to various price schedules that set out what the program pays providers.


The proposals confirm why the agency makes for such a crummy business partner.


The new rates will hit some healthcare businesses with cuts of as much as 25%. If the reductions stand, it will throw some providers over a proverbial cliff, disrupting their businesses and ultimately impacting patient care.




millionsMillions of Opioid Prescriptions Go to 'Doctor Shoppers'


Nearly 2% of all US opioid prescriptions, totaling an estimated 4.3 million prescriptions each year and 4% of all opioids by weight, are purchased by patients presumed to be "doctor shoppers," according to a new study.


In the first national estimate of opioid medications obtained in the United States by the doctor shoppers - patients who receive painkiller prescriptions from multiple doctors without informing the doctors of their other prescriptions - researchers found that they obtained, on average, 32 opioid prescriptions per year from 10 different prescribers.


The results are from evaluation of 146.1 million opioid prescriptions dispensed during 2008 by 76% of retail pharmacies. The findings were published online July 17 in the journal PLoS One.



MedScape Today


potentialPotential Alternative To Morphine And Other Opioid Pain Medications


A drug targeting a protein complex containing two different types of opioid receptors may be an effective alternative to morphine and other opioid pain medications, without any of the side effects or risk of dependence, according to research led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings are published in July in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Morphine is still the most widely-used pain reliever, or analgesic, in people with severe pain, but chronic use can lead to addiction and negative side effects such as respiratory issues, constipation, or diarrhea.


Medical News Today


registerRegistration Now Open for October Cadaver, Controlled Substance and Practice Management Courses


 Make your plans today to attend one of the three courses being offered October 4-5 in Denver, CO.


The Cadaver Workshop and Online Video Lectures (Basic, Intermediate, and Comprehensive Interventional

Pain Management Examination Preparation Course) is October 5-6, 2013 | Denver, Colorado


Click HERE to view Cadaver Workshop Brochure


click HERE to register for the Cadaver Workshop.

 Also being offered are: 


Controlled Substance Management:

Click HERE to Register for Controlled Substance Management


Essentials in Practice Management for IPM

Click HERE to register for Practice Management Course


Click HERE to view brochure of Controlled Substance Management and Practice Management courses




The Westin Denver Downtown, 1672 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80202. (303) 572-9100

Reserve rooms early-all unbooked rooms will be released on September 12, 2013.



sgrSGR Repeal Bill Gains Broad Support


WASHINGTON -- Physician groups voiced general support for a bill approved Tuesday by a Congressional subcommittee to replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.


Medical societies agreed that the bill approved by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee strikes a good balance among the physician community's many interests and is a fair transition away from today's fee-for-service Medicare reimbursement system.


However, nearly all also agree the bill is not perfect and more work is needed before a final product is signed into law. They point to the proposal's quality-reporting measures as an example.


MedPage Today

pointDocs Point to Others to Cut Health Costs


Physicians feel that other major players in healthcare -- lawyers, insurance companies, hospitals, drug companies, and patients -- bear greater responsibility for reducing healthcare costs than doctors do, a survey found.


Furthermore, doctors are hesitant to back substantial financing reforms such as eliminating fee-for-service, but they support reducing unnecessary treatments, Jon Tilburt, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues found.



MedPage Today

star'Star Rating' for Hospital Quality Draws Mixed Reviews


Medicare is considering assigning stars or some other easily understood symbol to hospitals so patients can more easily compare the quality of care at various institutions.


The ratings would appear on Medicare's Hospital Compare website and be based on many of the 100 quality measures the agency already publishes.

The proposal comes as Medicare confronts a paradox: Although the number of ways to measure hospital performance is increasing, those factors are becoming harder for patients to digest.


MedPage Today

brochureASIPP Marketing Services Offers Brochures For Interventional Pain Practices

ams brochure

ASIPP Marketing Services has produced a series of informative and illustrative brochures and are making them available to you. These print-ready brochures can be customized for your practice. Brochures include the following topics:


Pain Medicine and Anxiety Medicines
Your and Your Pain
Back Pain
Epidural Injections
Percutaneous Disc Decompression
Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems (coming soon)
Facet Joint Pain
Discography (coming soon)
Vertebroplasty And Kyphoplasty (coming soon)

These customizable brochures include descriptions of pain conditions and procedures, along with accompanying illustrations. The brochures are designed specifically for the interventional pain physician. They can be used to communicate with patients and referral sources in personal settings or via direct mail.

The brochures are supplied in a pdf format. All you have to do is have your printer place your logo and practice information in the designated area. It is a quick and easy way to have the brochures you need in develop patient and referral relations.
 Order Form link:




stateState 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

adsPhysicians Wanted


If you are interested in advertising on the Physicians Wanted page, please contact Holly Long for pricing information
Phone (270) 554-9412 ext. 230
Fax: (270) 554-5394



Click HERE to view Classified Physicians Wanted Ads listed on the ASIPP website.





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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