July 24, 2013
How 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
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
Please see the
following link for the Washington Post article and video pertaining to the
AMA Responds to
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'
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,
President, American Medical
AMA Washington Post RUC Fact
Why 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.
Millions 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
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.
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,
Open for October Cadaver, Controlled Substance and Practice Management
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
Pain Management Examination
Preparation Course) is October 5-6, 2013 | Denver,
Click HERE to view Cadaver
click HERE to register for the
Also being offered
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,
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Reserve rooms early-all
unbooked rooms will be released on September 12, 2013.
SGR Repeal Bill
Gains Broad Support
Physician groups voiced general support for a bill approved Tuesday by a
Congressional subcommittee to replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR)
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
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
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
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
Marketing Services Offers Brochures For Interventional Pain
ASIPP Marketing Services has
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CASIPP Plans Fall
The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 4th
Annual Meeting this September 20-22 at the Terranea Resort
Palos Verdes, CA.
Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians Schedule Symposium
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
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
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
* Please send in your
State Society meeting news to:
Holly Long at email@example.com
If you are
interested in advertising on the Physicians Wanted page, please contact Holly Long for pricing information
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