" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

September 18, 2013


  1. Health Law Faces Skepticism
  2. 4 ways Obamacare insurance exchanges could change healthcare
  3. Public Often Clueless About Medicare
  4. Kentucky Officials Promote Health Law Where Skepticism Runs Deep
  5. Walgreen to Give Workers Payments to Buy Health Plans
  6. U.S. Faces Long-Term Care Crisis, Report Says
  7. The 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook
  8. CDC Sounds Alarm on Drug-Resistant Bugs
  9. 53% of Doctors Still Self-Employed
  10. Physician Alignment in the New Shared Risk Environment
  11. Layoffs coming to Cleveland Clinic in plan to reduce budget by $330 million
  12. Medical-Price Inflation Is at Slowest Pace in 50 Years
  13. Codeine linked to increased pain sensitivity
  14. Spotlight Case: The Pains of Chronic Opioid Usage
  15. State Society News
  16. Physician Wanted
lawHealth Law Faces Skepticism


New poll results show the depth of the Obama administration's challenge on the eve of the rollout of the federal health law's core provisions, as many Americans say they don't understand the law and don't think it will help them.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that even those lacking health insurance, who are supposed to be the law's biggest beneficiaries, generally believe it wouldn't do them much good.


Overall, nearly 70% of poll respondents said they didn't understand the health-care overhaul passed by Democrats in March 2010 or only understood a part of it. Only 31% said they thought the overhaul was a good idea, with 44% saying it was a bad idea and 25% saying they didn't have an opinion or weren't sure.


Wall Street Journal


Access may be limited to this article.

exchange4 ways Obamacare insurance exchanges could change healthcare


Oct. 1 looms as the official kick-off date for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare.

On that date, consumers may begin shopping for insurance via one of ObamaCare's key components - health insurance exchanges. The exchanges will be open to individuals, families, and businesses with 50 or fewer employees.


As of early September, 16 states and Washington, D.C., are planning to run their own exchanges, 7 states are planning partnership exchanges with the federal government and 27 states will default to federally run exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Health insurance exchanges - and more broadly the ACA - will bring big changes for consumers and insurers, according to a recent viewpoint in the New England Journal of Medicine written by Henry Aaron, PhD, of the Brookings Institution, and Kevin Lucia, JD, of Georgetown University.


Medical Economics


cluelessPublic Often Clueless About Medicare


Policymakers need to create an educational campaign to help the public understand how Medicare works financially, according to several health policy experts.


Because of a high level of misunderstanding about Medicare's financing, lawmakers in Congress are hesitant to enact changes to the program fearing voter backlash, Bob Blendon, ScD, and John Benson, MA, both of Harvard University, wrote in a special report in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine.


For example, public opinion polls show that poor government management (30%), fraud and abuse (24%), and excessive charges by hospitals (23%) were top reasons voters cited for Medicare's rising costs. Meanwhile, the cost of new drugs and treatments was the lowest-ranked reason, with 6% of respondents citing it.


MedPage Today


KyKentucky Officials Promote Health Law Where Skepticism Runs Deep


PIKEVILLE, Ky.-Rebecca Kimberlain, a 44-year-old paralegal who doesn't have health insurance and never goes to the doctor for checkups, said that if she had a medical condition, "I wouldn't know about it." So as she walked around the Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days festival here over Labor Day weekend, a health-care booth caught her eye.


Staffers promoting the state's health-insurance marketplace, which is dubbed kynect and scheduled to debut Oct. 1 as part of the federal health-care law, explained that Ms. Kimberlain likely would qualify for subsidies to pay for a private plan or perhaps for Medicaid coverage.


"I have not heard about this at all," said Ms. Kimberlain, who lives in Pikeville, a rural Appalachian town. "It sounds very interesting to me." She worried, though, whether the subsidies would be enough, as she can't afford to pay more than $100 a month.


Wall Street Journal


Access may be limited to this article.


walgreensWalgreen to Give Workers Payments to Buy Health Plans


Rising health-care costs and a climate of change brought about by the new federal health law are prompting American corporations to revisit the pact they've long had with employees over medical benefits.


Walgreen Co. WAG +0.26% is set to become one of the largest employers yet to make sweeping changes to company-backed health programs. On Wednesday, the drugstore giant is expected to disclose a plan to provide payments to eligible employees for the subsidized purchase of insurance starting in 2014. The plan will affect roughly 160,000 employees, and will require them to shop for coverage on a private health-insurance marketplace. Aside from rising health-care costs, the company cited compliance-related expenses associated with the new law as a reason for the switch.


Wall Street Journal


Access may be limited to this article.

facesU.S. Faces Long-Term Care Crisis, Report Says


The U.S. is facing a long-term-care crisis and needs to do a better job of preparing for it, a new congressional report says.


Government agencies should work quickly to better harness public and private resources to best provide and pay for long-term care as 78 million baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, head into old age at the same time many of their parents are living into their 80s and 90s, according to the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which released a series of recommendations Friday for dealing with the problem.


More than 12 million Americans now rely on long-term care services in their homes, communities or institutions to perform what are called daily living activities, such as eating and bathing, according to the commission.


Wall Street Journal


Access may be limited to this article.

budgetThe 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook


Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar. Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy's annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007. If current laws generally remained in place, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next several years, CBO projects.


After that, however, growing deficits would ultimately push debt back above its current high level. CBO projects that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy (see the figure below). Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.



CBO Budget: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44521-LTBO_0.pdf




cdcCDC Sounds Alarm on Drug-Resistant Bugs


ATLANTA -- Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to the CDC.


And without concerted action, "the medicine chest will be empty" when doctors attempt to treat such infections, CDC director Thomas Frieden, MD, told reporters.


"If we are not careful," Frieden said, "more and more patients will be thrust back to a time before we had effective drugs."


CDC Report: http://www.cdc.gov/features/AntibioticResistanceThreats/index.html



MedPage Today

self53% of Doctors Still Self-Employed


While data shows there's been an uptick in hospital employment for physicians, more than half still work for themselves, an AMA survey finds. The number of physicians in solo practice, however, has dropped.

Conventional wisdom says physicians in private practice are a dying breed.


The narrative says physicians are flocking to employed arrangements with hospitals and larger physician practices as health reform and compensation models push the healthcare industry away from fee-for-service and toward economies of scale, quality outcomes and population health.


An American Medical Association report released this week, however, suggests that the demise of private practice physicians may be overstated [PDF]. "To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of private practice medicine have been greatly exaggerated," AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said in prepared remarks.



HealthLeaders Media


riskPhysician Alignment in the New Shared Risk Environment


This Intelligence Report offers proprietary survey results on critical topics in healthcare, powered by the HealthLeaders Media 6,200+ member Council. The report is available in premium, buying power, and complimentary versions. Decide which is right for you:


COMPLIMENTARY - is designed for those seeking quick access to expert insights on industry trends. The summary version is a synopsis of the report results. The full version, provided courtesy of MedSynergies, Inc., contains a detailed overview of the report results. A brief registration is required.

HealthLeaders Media



priceMedical-Price Inflation Is at Slowest Pace in 50 Years


Medical prices are rising at their slowest pace in a half century, a shift in the health-care industry that could provide relief to government and businesses' budgets while also signaling consumers are being left with a larger share of the bill.


Prices of some medical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, vary greatly. Shown, patients recovering from such surgeries in Delaware.


The prices paid for medical care in July rose just 1% from a year earlier, the slowest annual rate of growth since the early 1960s, according to Commerce Department data. Health-care increases now trail overall inflation, which itself has been historically slow in recent years.


Wall Street Journal


Access may be limited to this article.

layoffsLayoffs coming to Cleveland Clinic in plan to reduce budget by $330 million


CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Clinic has told workers they will be laying off an unspecified number of employees as part of an overall, sweeping cost-reduction plan.


Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove discussed the looming cuts and changes in a Wednesday morning all-employee meeting.


Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil denied circulating rumors that employees were told there would be 3,000 jobs cut.

She said any layoffs will be part of a multi-year plan to cut $330 million from the Clinic's budget.




codeineCodeine linked to increased pain sensitivity



Frequent and large does of codeine may increase sensitivity to pain and fail to offer the same relief as morphine, according to a study presented at the 2013 International Headache Congress in the US.


Researchers from the Discipline of Pharmacology at The University of Adelaide in Australia conducted what they say is the world's first experimental study to compare both codeine and morphine in order to determine their pain-relieving and pain-increasing effects.



Medical News Today


spotlightSpotlight Case: The Pains of Chronic Opioid Usage


Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti and R. Joshua A. Hirsch were fetured on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website hosted by the US Department of Health and Human Services.


The invited commentary fulfilled the following objectives:

  • Describe the appropriate initial assessment of patients with chronic non-cancer pain.
  • List the most common errors made in prescribing opioids for non-cancer pain.
  • Outline appropriate monitoring for patients prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain.
  • Appreciate the need to risk stratify patients on opioids for non-cancer pain. 

Read the spotlight case .



State Society News



CASIPP Meeting Begins This Friday


The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians' 4th Annual Meeting starts this Friday, September 20 thru Sunday, September 22. It will take place at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.


There is still time to register online at www.casipp.com


Onsite registrations are also welcome. Don't miss out on this informative and exciting state meeting!


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.




All contents Copyright © 2008
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