" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary

January 8, 2014


  1. 6 Things Docs Should Know About the ACA
  2. Putting the Uninsured on Medicaid Doesn't Cut ER Visits
  3. Pay and Practice: Key Healthcare Dates for 2014
  4. Costs to manage pain will go up under Obamacare
  5. Health Spending Up, but % of GDP Falls
  6. Bill giving insurers less say in painkiller prescription process advances
six6 Things Docs Should Know About the ACA


WASHINGTON -- It's a given that several million people will have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act -- roughly 3.9 million in Medicaid and more than 2.1 million in private insurance, according to the Obama administration. Those numbers are sure to grow as open enrollment continues through the end of March.


But there are other ACA-related issues America's physicians need to concern themselves with besides the increased number of people with health insurance.


MedPage Today reached out to a handful of experts to see what they think doctors should know and be aware of as the law's coverage expansion starts.



MedPage Today

puttingPutting the Uninsured on Medicaid Doesn't Cut ER Visits


Some supporters of President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul say that putting uninsured Americans on Medicaid will reduce costly emergency-room visits by giving them more access to care in other settings.

But a new study found the reverse: A group of 10,000 low-income Oregon residents who recently obtained Medicaid coverage visited ERs 40% more often than those without insurance.


The new Medicaid recipients used ERs more often for all kinds of health issues, including problems that could have been treated in doctors' offices during business hours, according to the study published Thursday in the journal Science. Earlier studies had found the same patients used more of other medical services as well.



Wall Street Journal


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payPay and Practice: Key Healthcare Dates for 2014


WASHINGTON -- The coming year will usher in some monumental changes in the world of healthcare, and we have the dates to prove it.


Whether they are dealing with ICD-10, further rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or the "meaningful use" program for electronic health records, clinicians should note these key dates in 2014. Pay especially close attention to late March and early October.



MedPage Today


costsCosts to manage pain will go up under Obamacare


The federal government took a dangerous step backwards late last month that will not only cost taxpayers more, it will eventually lead to the broader use of narcotics and other pain medications.


Under proposed rules related to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued proposed guidelines earlier this summer. Those proposed guidelines offered some cuts in payments for interventional pain management practices.

Fair enough. The cuts were tough, they were bad policy, but they were bearable.



Sun Sentinel


spendingHealth Spending Up, but % of GDP Falls


WASHINGTON -- The percentage of the overall economy devoted to health spending fell slightly in 2012 -- from 17.3% in 2011 to 17.2% -- even as healthcare continued its trend of slow growth, government economists said Monday.


It was the first time the percentage of gross domestic spending on healthcare has fallen since 1997, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary said Monday in its annual health spending report.


Overall, national health spending increased by 3.7% in 2012 -- roughly the same as the 3.8% to 3.6% spending growth experienced annually between 2009 and 2011, according to the CMS report published Monday in Health Affairs. All 4 years have been the slowest rates ever recorded in the 53-year history of CMS' National Health Expenditure Accounts report.



MedPage Today

billBill giving insurers less say in painkiller prescription process advances


State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) says that when it comes to pain medication, doctors, not insurers, should have the final say on what brands and dosages should be prescribed to patients.


That's why Weinberg's a primary sponsor on a bill advanced Monday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee that would limit the abilities of insurers to require patients to treat pain through step therapy or fail-first protocols.

"I want my doctor to be in charge of my medical care," Weinberg said.


NJ Biz




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