" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

March 20, 2013


  1. Rand Paul: 'Seriously' Weighing 2016 Bid
  2. The End of Fee-for-Service in 5 Years?
  3. EHR User Satisfaction Decreasing, According to Study
  4. Risk of Deadly TB Exposure Grows Along U.S.-Mexico Border
  5. Jury Awards $8.3 Million Over J&J Hip Implants
  6. Patient Dilemma: Treat Hepatitis C Now or Hold Out?
  7. Can You Afford to Get Older?
  8. FDA Strengthens Warnings On Pfizer Antibiotic
  9. My Cure for Sick NHS, by David Cameron's New Health Tsar Don Berwick
  10. Get on the List: Join ASIPP's Dr. Finder
  11. Doctor Extends Good Bedside Manner to Debt Collection by Starting Debt M.D.
  12. State Society News
  13. Physician Wanted 

randRand Paul: 'Seriously' Weighing 2016 Bid


  Before Thursday, Rand Paul - tea party firebrand - hadn't vaulted into the top tier of Republican power players.


But all that seemed to change this week. The Kentucky Republican senator showed serious clout by holding a 13-hour filibuster to delay the confirmation of President Barack Obama's candidate to head the CIA, John Brennan.


Paul himself seemed to appreciate that this was an important moment for himself, confidently acknowledging to POLITICO in an interview that he was "seriously" considering running for president in 2016.



endThe End of Fee-for-Service in 5 Years?


The stand-alone fee-for-service payment could disappear by the end of the decade if a plan newly released by the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform (NCPPR) is followed. The commission's members have issued a report they say details a series of sweeping recommendations aimed at reining in health spending and improving quality of care by fundamentally changing the way doctors are paid.


Chaired by former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president Steven A. Schroeder, MD, with former Senator Majority leader Bill Frist, MD, as honorary chairman, the NCPPR is urging a transition over 5 years to a blended payment system that it says will yield better results for both public and private payers, as well as patients.


"We can't control runaway medical spending without changing how doctors get paid," Dr. Frist says. "This is a bipartisan issue. We all want to get the most from our healthcare dollars, and that requires re-thinking the way we pay for healthcare."


Medical Economics


ehrEHR User Satisfaction Decreasing, According to Study


Satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators, according to survey results released by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and AmericanEHR Partners in a presentation, "Challenges with Meaningful Use: EHR Satisfaction & Usability Diminishing," at the 2013 HIMSS Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.


Overall, user satisfaction fell 12% from 2010 to 2012. Users who are "very dissatisfied" increased 10% during the same time period.


"Dissatisfaction is increasing regardless of practice type or EHR system," says Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads the ACP's medical practice, professionalism and quality division. "These findings highlight the need for the meaningful use program and EHR manufacturers to focus on improving EHR features and usability to help reduce inefficient work flows, improve error rates and patient care, and for practices to recognize the importance of ongoing training at all stages of EHR adoption."


Medical Economics



riskRisk of Deadly TB Exposure Grows Along U.S.-Mexico Border


TIJUANA, Mexico-He was like many people in their early 20s, at least the type with spiky black hair and two lip rings. Four years ago, while living in this teeming border city, Gonzalo Garcia says he spent free time in the U.S., to shop, meet girls, and "hang out." He had no idea he was developing a potentially deadly form of tuberculosis.


Exactly how long he had it will never be known. He says he started losing weight and becoming tired and tried to get help. But it took a year before a doctor finally figured out what was wrong: He had a drug-resistant strain of TB. "Many doctors said I was just fine," said Mr. Garcia, sitting in the clinic where he was cured.


To this day, it isn't clear if he infected anyone on either side of the border while he was contagious. But his tale illustrates a nagging concern among health officials who say the 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico could become a breeding ground for one of the hardest forms of TB to treat. Already, both California and Texas, as well as some states on the Mexico side of the border, have unusually high rates of drug-resistant TB.


"This is a very hot region" for drug-resistant TB, said Rafael Laniado-Laborin, chief of Tijuana General Hospital's tuberculosis clinic and laboratory, who has had an influx of new patients recently-including one who recently returned from the U.S. and is in the middle of treatment. With tuberculosis of any form, people can get around until the disease is quite advanced. "You will go and work and move around," he said. "You will transmit the disease before you know you're sick."


Wall Street Journal

juryJury Awards $8.3 Million Over J&J Hip Implants


A court jury in Los Angeles on Friday awarded $8.3 million in damages to man who said he was injured by Johnson & Johnson's JNJ +0.57% all-metal hip implants, which the jury found were designed defectively.


The verdict ended the first case to go to trial of about 10,750 product-liability lawsuits against J&J's DePuy unit, which manufactured the ASR XL hip-replacement devices.


After a five-week trial, the jury in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County also rejected the plaintiff's claim that DePuy failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with ASR XL, J&J said Friday. The jury declined to award punitive damages.



Wall Street Journal

patientPatient Dilemma: Treat Hepatitis C Now or Hold Out?


Janie Munesue, who works at a dance studio in Illinois, is holding out for new hepatitis C drugs, in part, because current treatments would hurt her active lifestyle.


Being diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease usually triggers immediate treatment. But a growing number of people infected with hepatitis C are putting off therapy, choosing instead to roll the dice and wait for a new generation of drugs to become available.


The new drugs, which could begin hitting pharmacies in a year or two, promise to cure hepatitis C more effectively and with far fewer harsh side effects than the current regimen of medications. The disease, which attacks the liver, often progresses slowly, giving certain patients leeway in when to seek treatment. And doctors regularly monitor these patients to check if the disease has significantly worsened. Up to four million Americans are estimated to be infected with the hepatitis C virus.


Wall Street Journal

affordCan You Afford to Get Older?


As long-term-care insurance costs spiral higher, you might wonder if it makes sense to keep your coverage.

Premiums for many policyholders have doubled over the past three years. Depending on a policy's features and your age, long-term insurance can cost $4,000 to $6,000 a year or more.


Yet dumping an existing policy is painful. You will lose perhaps tens of thousands of dollars in premiums paid over the years. And as you get older, you are statistically more likely to need long-term care.



Wall Street Journal

FDAFDA Strengthens Warnings On Pfizer Antibiotic


 WASHINGTON-The U.S. Food and Drug Administration strengthened warnings on Pfizer Inc.'s PFE -1.10% antibiotic Zithromax, saying there is a small chance the product may trigger a potentially fatal, irregular heart rhythm.

Zithromax is a commonly used antibiotic that is also available as a generic drug, azithromycin.


The FDA posted a notice on its website Tuesday, stating that the drug label for azithromycin has been updated to warn that the product cause changes in the heart's electrical activity, which in turn can cause abnormal heart rhythms.


The agency said patients who are at higher risk of developing heart-related electrical problems include those with existing heart trouble, those with low blood levels of potassium or magnesium and people with a slower-than-normal heart rate.



Wall Street Journal

cureMy Cure for Sick NHS, by David Cameron's New Health Tsar Don Berwick



In his first interview with a British newspaper since his appointment, Professor Don Berwick said that trust in the health service would only be restored by instilling a new culture that tolerates not "a single injury".


He said that he believed the NHS could be transformed into the safest health care system in the world.

It should aspire to being as safe as the aviation industry, he said, arguing: "The sky's the limit."


Prof Berwick, who used to advise Barack Obama, said wholesale changes to the "attitude or culture" of the NHS were needed if this was to happen.



The Telegraph



finderGet on the List: Join ASIPP's Dr. Finder


 If you are an ASIPP member in good standing and want to make your customized information available on ASIPP Dr. Finder, please CLICK HERE and fill out our easy-to-use form to list your practice.


The form requires your name with full credentially, address, city, state, zip code and your choice of business phone number, fax number and web site.


If you are looking for an ASIPP Physician member, you can search by name or by location.



Please note that by providing this listing, ASIPP is not recommending or endorsing these physicians.


Please send any questions on ASIPP Dr. Finder to asipp@asipp.org.

debtDoctor Extends Good Bedside Manner to Debt Collection by Starting Debt M.D.



Any patient will tell you that a good bedside manner is just as important as solid medical credentials. As far as Dr. Hubert Fu is concerned, that extends as much to the practice of debt collection as it does to the practice of medicine.


Hoping for a kinder and gentler experience for both patient and physician, Fu co-founded Debt M.D., a collection service that operates on a philosophy of patient respect. It is a unique debt collection model, and one that is drawing quick attention. Debt M.D. is also believed to be the only physician-owned and -operated collection agency in the country.



Healthcare Finance News





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