" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary







Start Planning NOW!
Abstract Submission for 2018 Annual Meeting is OPEN!

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 20th Annual Meeting March 15-17, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at Marriott Orlando World Center.
This year, we will be making significant changes to the Abstract and Poster Sessions. Submissions will be in two categories: Resident/Fellow and Physician.  Selected posters will be on display forall meeting participants during all breaks and meal times.

The Abstract Committee will select the top 25 for publication in Pain Physician and of those 10 will be selected for Abstract presentation and judging during the Annual Meeting. The top 3 will receive cash prizes.







ASIPP® 2017 Washington Legislative Trip Podcast


Greetings ASIPPians,

Today's episode is about ASIPP® trip to Washington. This annual pilgrimage was targeted to advocacy for our patients, and hopes for deregulation. We all know what that means. This episode includes a number of familiar voices, people, and exciting new additions such as our lobbyist, Jeff Mortier, Congressman Whitfield, and Vanila Singh, MD, an ASIPP® member now serving with Health and Human Services-now isn't that cool? Deep dive into the listen, from the pre-visit briefing, to the morning session, and post-visit commentary. Enjoy!

Click here to listen

ASIPP® and Dr. Hans Hansen Present Stars of IPM Podcast

Dr. Hans Hansen has taken the show on the road and produced one of ASIPP®'s best podcasts. He calls it ‘Stars of ASIPP® and Interventional Pain Management’. Listen to some of the brightest and most engaging physicians involved in ASIPP® and forming the future of interventional pain. Their discussions emcompass their view of ASIPP®, the digitizing of medicine, the opioid crisis, and more. All of it informative and entertaining. Recorded after the ASIPP® 2017 Board Meeting, several physicians were snared by Dr. Hansen to discuss the 5 to 10 year future of interventional pain. They addressed the viability of the specialty in the future. They touched on Regenerative Medicine, Opioid alternatives, and other IPM topics.

Included in the discussion were Dr. Francis Riegler, ASIPP® President, Dr. Aaron Calodney, Past ASIPP® President, Dr. Devi, ASIPP® Board member and Fox Medical Contributor, Dr. Kaylea Boutwell, ASIPP® Board member and Pain & Rehabilitation Specialist, Dr. Sheri Albers, ASIPP® Board member and Radiologist, and maybe a few others. You’ll enjoy the lively discussion and the perception of this diverse group.

Click here to listen



June 2017 ASIPP® Podcast Featuring Dr. Scott E. Glaser and his Approach to Treating Pain

Dr. Hans Hansen, Interventional Pain Physician, President-Elect of ASIPP® and pre-eminent Podcaster has an impromptu discussion with Scott E. Glaser, MD, DABIPP at the ASIPP® 2017 Annual Meeting. Dr. Glaser is a co-founder and President of the Pain Specialists of Greater Chicago and has seen it grow into a preeminent practice in Chicago. He is a regular faculty member for ASIPP® meetings and is currently a Director at Large, ASIPP®. Dr. Glaser discusses his passions for pain treatment and multiple procedures and techniques. We are sure this open ended discussion will leave you enriched as a patient or physician.

Click here for June 2017 Podcast >>>



May 2017 ASIPP® Podcast Featuring Dr. Andrea Trescot Encore Presentation

Andrea Trescot, MD

This is the first in a series of Podcasts produced by Dr. Hans Hansen, President-Elect of ASIPP®. His informative and entertaining approach to podcasts are sure to be a favorite for Interventional Pain Management practitioners. This podcast includes an encore presentation by Dr. Andrea Trescot. Trescot has recently completed a book on a topic that has been a passion of hers for many years: Purple Nerves. Dr. Trescot is an internationally known author and educator. Her insight into Peripheral Nerve Entrapments and other topics are worth a listen. (24 minutes).

Click here for May 2017 Podcast >>>



Follow ASIPP® Podcast

ASIPP® is going to begin releasing more podcasts. You can get lively and informative information on ASIPP® and topices pertinent to Interventional Pain Management. Usually this will be an interview about the topic. Our host is Hans Hansen, MD, President-Elect, ASIPP®. His podcasts are always entertaining, yet educational. And don't forget to follow us. This is an added value of your membership.

Click here for ASIPP® Podcasts >>>



bullet Archived ASIPP Webinar

PART 2. LAST OPPORTUNITY! CMS Quality Payment Program Review 

MACRA-MIPs Webinar Emphasizing Pain Management SCORING & QRUR

This Webinar educates physicians and their managers on how to understand and potentially achieve high scores in the new Quality Payment Program and avoid costly penalties in their Medicare Part B claims. ASIPP members and attendees of Part 1 webinar in January receive a disount.

This webinar will explain and review:

QUALITY PAYMENT PROGRAM (QPP) and clarify questions generated from ASIPP Members

  -  MIPs

  -  Scoring Components of MIP

     - QUALITY, ACI (Advancing Care Information), IA (Improvement Activity), RU (Resource Use)

     - Patient population and effects on coverage


  -  Obtaining an EIDM portal thru Medicare

  -  Overview of Reading a QRUR Report

bullet Archived ASIPP Webinar

Part 1. Webinar On The New CMS Quality Payment Program MACRA-MIPs/APMs Emphasizing Pain Management 2017

The Final Rule of the CMS Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, MIPS, and Alternative Payment Models, APMs, was published on 10/14/16, and is 2,300 pages.  This Webinar educates physicians and their managers on how to understand and potentially achieve high scores in the new Quality Payment Program and avoid costly penalties in their Medicare Part B claims.


bullet 2017 Coding Webinar for Interventional Pain Management

Purchase the highly popular 2017 Coding Webinar archived version and you can watch the webinar at anytime, from anywhere. You will also receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation for printing. And you will receive 1.5 CEUs.


bullet Medicare Overpayments webinar

When Medicare discovers an overpayment of $25 or more, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) initiates the overpayment recovery process by sending an initial demand letter requesting repayment. An Intent to Refer Letter (IRL) is mailed 60 days after the initial demand letter. Now what?

bullet Order Archived ASIPP Webinars!

You can register to view past ASIPP Webinars or order CDs by clicking here.

Your purchase of the archived recorded webinar or CD allows you to view the webinar at anytime, from anywhere, at your convenience. You will still receive presentation handouts and credit hours.




bullet March/April issue of Pain Physician

This month in Pain Physician journal, we are featuring two articles on Health Care in the United States - it's evolution and how the repeal and replace should be handled. These and much more informative manuscripts are found in the March/April issue of Pain Physician.

Click below to view the two featured articles: 

Evolution of US Health Care Reform

Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Standiford Helm II, MD, Ramsin M. Benyamin, MD, and

Joshua A. Hirsch, MD




Find an ASIPP Physician Member

Search by name or location.


If you are an ASIPP Member Physician in good standing and would like to make your customized information available on the ASIPP Dr.Finder, click here.  If you have multiple practice locations, each location must be submitted separately.

By providing this listing, ASIPP is not recommending or endorsing these physicians


bullet View photo gallery of ASIPP's September meeting, Ultrasound for Regenerative Medicine Workshop and Hands-On Cadaver Workshop for IPM Techniques. Click to view.

bullet ASIPP Photo Gallery of Past Meetings Available Here.





bullet Order Your ICD-10-CM eBook

To make life easy and to promote seamless navigation with ICD-10-CM, ASIPP® has developed a comprehensive, practical, ebook for ICD-10-CM coding for interventional pain physicians. This ebook goes beyond basic ICD-10-CM coding and helps to promote seamless navigation through 2016 and beyond. The price is highly reasonable. You can recover the cost of the book by avoiding mistakes in one single case.

Click here to order >>>




Order these IPM Board Review materials which are designed to prepare physicians seeking board certificatin, re-certification, or an in-depth review of the specialty of interventional pain medicine.




Comprehensive and Timely Books

This three-volume set from ASIPP Publishing was created to give clinicians a complete study course to prepare for pain medicine board certification exams, based upon the curriculum of the American Board of Medical Specialties pain medicine examinations. These books take clinicians on a journey through the specialty of pain medicine and interventional pain management, from their origins and history, to the science and research behind methods and techniques, to pharmacology, types of pain, complementary therapies, and interventional and surgical techniques, and much, much more. Culminating with a comprehensive resource of 1,500 sample board exam questions, complete with thorough explanations of the answers, these books will not only help prepare clinicians for their board examination, they will become valuable resources that will be consulted for years to come.

Click here to order books >>>


Comprehensive and Convenient eBooks

The three-volume set from ASIPP Publishing created to give clinicians a complete study course to prepare for pain medicine board certification exams, based upon the curriculum of the American Board of Medical Specialties pain medicine examinations is now available in ebooks. Now you will be able to download the ebook version of these books to hand held devices for easy accessiblity for the mobile world we work in. These books take clinicians on a journey through the specialty of pain medicine and interventional pain management, from their origins and history, to the science and research behind methods and techniques, to pharmacology, types of pain, complementary therapies, and interventional and surgical techniques, and much, much more. Culminating with a comprehensive resource of 1,500 sample board exam questions, complete with thorough explanations of the answers, these books will not only help prepare clinicians for their board examination, they will become valuable resources that will be consulted for years to come.

Click here to order ebooks >>>

Videos on DVD 

Order the Videos and receive 5 days of course video on a set of five DVDs. You can watch them on your computer, save them to your computer, or transport them with you to view somewhere else. And you will be able to load this on your iPad for viewing or just to listen to when you're driving.

Click here to order DVD videos >>>


Videos Online 

Order the online videos and receive 5 days of course video via the Internet. You can watch them on your computer or any computer with Internet access. You will be given a password to access the high quality streaming video of each day.
Click here for sample of video >>> 

Click here to order online videos >>>



bullet Interventional Techniques in Chronic Spinal Pain

With detailed descriptions of practical techniques in interventional pain management this is a must have publication for all interventional pain physicians.

Click to order [ Member ] [Non-member]

All book proceeds go to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

bullet Interventional Techniques in Chronic Non-Spinal Pain is the premier manual ideal for guiding the interventionalist with detailed descriptions of practical techniques in interventional pain management. A CD version is included. Over 400 pages, 300 illustrations, and 30 contributing authors.

Click to order [ Member ] [Non-member]


bullet ASIPP Opioid Guidelines Now Available

Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for responsible opioid prescribing in non-cancer pain are statements developed to improve the quality of care, patient access, treatment outcomes, appropriateness of care, deficiency and effectiveness, and achieve cost containment by improving the costbenefit ratio. The objectives of these guidelines are to provide clear and concise guidelines to physicians to improve patient access and to avoid diversion and abuse. Part 1 of these guidelines describes evidence assessment (1), whereas Part 2 of these guidelines describes guidance for responsible opioid prescribing.

The objectives of opioid guidelines as issued by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) are to provide guidance for the use of opioids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain, to produce consistency in the application of an opioid philosophy among the many diverse groups involved, to improve the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain, and to reduce the incidence of abuse and drug diversion. The focus of these guidelines is to curtail the abuse of opioids without jeopardizing non-cancer pain management with opioids.

Click here to access the online version of the ASIPP Opioid Guidelines >>>




bullet ASIPP Launches ASIPP®/PainPhysician Job Board

The ASIPP/Pain Physician Job Board is where talented and qualified interventional pain management physicians connect with great organizations and some of the best jobs available.

Candidates can browse current vacancies, post an anonymous resume and create new job alerts. Employers can post a job or browse the resume bank to find the right candidate.

Click here to access the Job Board...


bullet IPM Practice Guidelines

"The guidelines are expected to increase patient compliance, dispel miscommunications among providers and patients, manage patient expectations reasonably, and form the basis of a therapeutic partnership between the patient, the provider and payers, " said Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, ASIPP, CEO and Chairman of the Board.


Click on the headline for our articles on evidence-based practice guidelines for interventional techniques in the management of chronic pain. Or go to National Guidelines Clearinghouse for ASIPP's 2009 Interventional Techniques: Evidence-based Practice Guidelines in the Management of Chronic Spinal Pain.

Guidelines By Year: 2009 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2003 | 2001 | 2000




bullet Order Interventional Techniques Brochures for your Practice.

ASIPP Marketing Services has produced a series of informative and illustrative brochures and are making them available to you.

View the brochures before ordering.

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.

Click here for more information and ordering >>>






You can still avoid the 4% Medicare reimbursement penalty from your CMS MACRA MIPS Reporting for 2017

Its not too late to meet the 2017 requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). ASIPP and the National Interventional Pain Management Qualified Clinical Data Registry (NIPM-QCDR) have you covered.

To simply avoid the penalty:

1. Sign up to report via the NIPM-QCDR by December 15. Get started here.

2. Complete the sign up process, and log onto the web-based system

3. Report on one quality measure or clinical practice improvement activity.

Reporting via the NIPM-QCDR is an easy and cost-effective way to avoid the 4% penalty on your Medicare Part B billing.

Take one minute now to get started signing up, and set yourself up for success with CMS reporting this year. Click here to get started.



ASIPP Has Another Successful Legislative Trip to Washington, DC


ASIPP has had a successful legislative trip in Washington D.C. this week. At no other time in the history of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians has it been more important to get involved in advocacy efforts. We are finally seeing the potential for change. After struggling with a deep regulatory tsunami for several years, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for IPM.  

To reach our goals ASIPP has made it's presence known in Washington this week with approximately 70 ASIPP delegates representing 25 states.
The following are the 4 major issues discussed in the congressional visits:


  1. Drastic cuts to ASC reimbursement
  2. Medicare Advantage or Disadvantage Non-coverage Policies
  3. Continued physician payment cuts for various interventional pain management procedures
  4. Making MIPS more friendly with the elimination of meaningless use and any penalties


ASIPP had a planning meeting yesterday and today had speeches and meetings with members of Congress. Scheduled speakers were Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Vanila Singh, MD and Chief Medical Officer, HHS, Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), and Representative Larry Buschon, MD (R-IN). ASIPP members very surprised and excited to welcome Surgeon General Jerome Adams! And there was a successful fundraiser for Chairman Kevin Brady, Ways and Means Committee (taxes, health care, Social Security, Medicare, international trade and welfare). He is a Republican U.S. Representative for the Texas 8th district. He has been a champion in helping put forth multiple issues related to interventional pain management.





Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey With ASIPP® Relief Fund


Hurricane Harvey has devastated much of Southeast Texas with severe flooding. The city of Houston got three times as much rain in just 48 hours as was pumped out of New Orleans during all of Hurricane Katrina. At least 38 people have died in Southeast Texas from the storm, and more than 32,000 were forced into shelters. The need for aid is monumental.
You can join the rebuilding efforts coming together across the country and around the world to help the victims of this devastating flood.
The ASIPP® Relief Fund is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, tax ID#61-1399555 and 100% of your donation will go to national organizations leading the Hurricane Harvey relief operations.
Please click here to fill out your donation form and lend your hand to those terribly in need.





ASIPP Member, Vanila Singh, MD, Named Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS


Vanila Singh, MDWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Vanila M. Singh, M.D., MACM, as Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Chief Medical Officer serves as the primary medical advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health on the development and implementation of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health includes 11 core public health offices, including the Office of the Surgeon General, 12 advisory committees, and 10 regional offices.

Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti, Chairman of the Board and CEO of ASIPP, stated that "Dr. Singh has been a long-time member of ASIPP and is a great asset to the field of interventional pain management." Additionally, Dr. Singh has been active in national medical organizations, serving as the Vice Chair of the National Physicians Council on Health Policy; an editorial board member of the Pain Physician Journal for the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; and a member of the California Medical Association’s (CMA) House of Delegates. She also served on the CMA’s Council on Ethical, Legal and Judicial Affairs, and more recently, as a member of its Subcommittee on Health Information Technology.

We congratulate Dr. Singh on her appointment and wish her the best in her new service to the government and medical field.

(above) HHS Secretary, Thomas E. Price, MD, welcomed Dr. Singh to her new position with an August 25th Tweet.


BREAKING NEWS - August 17, 2017


Decision to Revise the LCD to include Intercostal Neuralgia


Once again, we are seeing what can be accomplished when action is taken at the grassroots level! 

After we sent a letter from the ASIPP membership, as well as the state societies of interventional pain physicians of Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, CMS has made the decision to revise the LCD to include intercostal neuralgia. Their decision came in a letter copied below: 

Dear Dr. Manchikanti,
As requested, we will add ICD-10-CM code G54.8 which should represent intercostal neuralgia to the referenced LCD. The revised LCD will be published for October 1, 2017 due to coding changes related to the annual ICD-10-CM code update.  However, the effective date for the aforementioned ICD-10-CM code will be retroactive to the original effective date of the LCD (i.e., May 1, 2017) which will be noted in the "Revision History Explanation".
Thank you for your interest in the Medicare Program.

Valerie R. Krushinsky
Medical Policy Analyst
Medical Policy Unit
National Government Services, Inc.

So as you see once again, the efforts of ASIPP members and interventional pain physicians across the country have made a major difference and resulted in change that greatly impacts our specialty. 





ASIPP® Chairman and CEO Was Honored At India Conference

Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti, ASIPP® Chairman and CEO, recently lectured and led a special one-day preconference workshop at the International Conference on Recent Advances in Pain (ICRA) 2017 PUNE held in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, India. Pune is located 170 km south of Mumbai. The ICRA-PAIN 2017 international conference on recent advances in pain was focused on ‘From Tears To Cheers’. Dr Manchikanti was honored in Maharashtran tradition, only bestowed upon high level dignitaries, after a stimulating presentation. Dr Manchikanti presented Raj oration on innovations in IPM. CONGRATULATIONS




Fall Deadlines Approaching: Meet Your Quality Reporting Requirements with the ASIPP NIPM-QCDR

The National Interventional Pain Management – Qualified Clinical Data Registry (NIPM-QCDR), a new resource from ASIPP®, is specifically tailored for interventional pain physicians. Your practice can use the NIPM-QCDR to fulfill the 2017 requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Specifically, you can meet MIPS mandates for Qualityand Improvement Activities, and receive credit toward Advancing Care Information.


The NIPM-QCDR combines rich CMS reporting capabilities with the first-ever set of measures specifically designed for interventional pain medicine. Participating in the NIPM-QCDR will make quality reporting more meaningful to your everyday practice, and help you improve care and optimize results.


Upcoming deadlines:

Full reporting: Sign up before November 3 to avoid a downward payment adjustment (penalty), and potentially earn a neutral or positive payment adjustment (bonus), by submitting a partial year or a full year of data.

Minimal reporting: Sign up before December 15 to avoid a downward payment adjustment (penalty) by submitting the minimum amount of data (one measure).

To learn more and get started, visit NIPMQCDR.org/sign-up.


Register to view the free archived June 15 NIPM-QCDR webinar






Interventional Pain Management Reports (IPM Reports) 

is an electronic publication of The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and a Clinical Companion Journal to Pain Physician.
IPM Reports is a peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary journal written by and directed to an audience of interventional pain physicians, clinicians and basic scientists with an interest in interventional pain management and pain medicine.

IPM Reports presents the latest studies, research, and information vital to those in the emerging specialty of interventional pain management - and critical to the people they serve.


Access the current issue at: ipmreportsjournal.com


Current issue highlights: (July 2017, Volume 1, Issue 3)

  1. Opioid-induced Hyperalgesia: Myth or Burgeoning Public Health Crisis?
    Kenneth D. Candido, MD.
  2. Pharmacologic Pain Treatment for Adiposis Dolorosa: A Case Report
    Case Report
    Ankur A. Patel, BS, Arpit A. Patel, DO, and Devang M. Padalia, MD.
  3. Safety and Efficacy of an Outpatient Intrathecal Catheter Trialing Method for Targeted Drug Delivery
    Case Report
    Vipul Mangal, MD, Maged Hamza, MD, and Michael Harned, MD.
  4. Retrograde Ejaculation Following Lumbopelvic Sympathetic Neurolysis – A Case Series
    Case Report
    Ajax Yang, MD, Ryan R. Ramsook, MD, and Corey W. Hunter, MD.
  5. Perioperative Ketamine Infusion is Effective in Reversing Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia
    Case Report
    Xiaomin Liang, MD, Kenneth D. Candido, MD, and Nebojsa Nick Knezevic, MD, PhD.




bullet Important News About ASC Reimbursement Cuts

As ASIPP members, we think you should know about a grave consequence of draconian cuts of 16.3% for epidurals, 25% for facet joint injections, 25% for adhesiolysis, and 16% for sacroiliac joint injections at ambulatory surgery centers starting January 1, 2017.


Many of the ASIPP members are also the owners of surgery centers or are involved in surgery center practices. Please let us know if you own a surgery center, or are significantly involved, because this will  affect you financially. Please send your information or the information of any others you are aware of with ownership in surgery centers to Savannah Gold at sgold@asipp.org. Be sure to include the name of the contact person, name of the surgery center, and any other contact information

We should consider this as a departing gift from the Obama Administration to interventional pain physicians. However, with a new Administration now taking office, we have a possibility of reversing these cuts retroactively and the probability of reinstating the previous reimbursement or improving the reimbursement for 2018.


ASIPP will be assisting in this endeavor; however, the main impetus will be from the Society of Interventional Pain Management Surgery Centers (SIPMS). ASIPP will provide some revenues, as well as personnel support, but not all the revenues. This has to be raised from surgery center society members.

Please let us know your interest in pursuing such an action. Because of the required extensive and prolonged advocacy efforts at the highest levels of Congress and the Administration, our efforts will involve raising significant amounts of revenue.
If you are interested in participating in any activity, please let us know. If you are a surgery center owner, or have significant interest, please complete the enclosed membership dues form. and also ASIPP-PAC form as we do not have a separate PAC for SIPMS.
Please respond as soon as you can.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


bullet Group Purchasing Organization – Join Today

ASIPP has formed a partnership with Henry Schein and PedsPal, a national GPO that has a successful history of negotiating better prices on medical supplies and creating value added services for the independent physician. Working with MedAssets, PedsPal provides excellent pricing on products like contrast media that alleviate some of the financial pressures you experience today. While the cost of contrast media has skyrocketed due to the single dose vial issue, because we have partnered with Henry Schein, this could enable you to purchase Omnipaque 240mg/50 ml for slightly above $4.50.


It will be easy for ASIPP members in good standing to enroll today and begin to realize the savings this partnership can bring. Members can join or see sample prices by going to http://pedspal.org/asipp/default.html  

Click on “view our discounted supplier prices” ( Username:ASIPPmember and Password: Save ) or click on the words "join for free now" and begin saving today!


bullet CMS Publishes Final Rule for Hospital Outpatient Department and ASC Final Payment Rates
As you see below, the news is not good for interventional pain management. Overall both ASCs and hospital outpatient departments are facing significant cuts as high as 11.5% for most commonly performed interventional techniques compared to the proposed rule and 2017 payment rates.
Most importantly it is disheartening to see that they plan to reimburse same amount for surgery centers or HOPDs for epidural injections with or without imaging guidance. There is a significant difference between hospital rates. Hospitals are reimbursed more than 85% higher than ASCs. Please click here to see analysis of interventional pain management for ASCs. Please click here for HOPD. To see the entire group please click here.







The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) /Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) final rule has been released unexpectedly this morning.
Now we can call it meaningful changes instead of meaningless use.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made substantial changes. We are extremely pleased that they have accepted at least part of our recommendation in reference to a 90-day period reporting rather than full year.
We would like to thank all the ASIPP members who signed on the letter with 4,534 signatures and members of Congress who attempted to introduce the bill to obtain these changes, the Doc Caucus who sent the letter requesting a 90-day period, the group of pain organizations who worked together addressing various issues, and numerous other organizations working on this issue.
However, the 90-day period was ASIPP's idea. It really helped us to go to Washington and advocate for our positions.
Here is the summary of MIPS as we read it. We are very optimistic, but again, we are cautiously optimistic.
More good news is in the works for interventional pain physicians on MIPS registries, etc. We will keep you posted.
CMS will create a 90-day reporting period for clinicians reporting in MIPS, the final rule states. The agency is reducing the number of measures to be reported from 11 to five. Providers will have the option of reporting all the dropped measures.
Reporting to public health or clinical data registries will result in a bonus. CMS is also exploring whether to count managing referrals and consults as part of the MIPS reporting.
The final rule also outlines CMS's "pick-your-pace" route to MIPS reporting. Given the wide diversity of clinical practices, the initial development period of the Quality Payment Program implementation would allow physicians to pick their pace of participation for the first performance period that begins January 1, 2017.
(1) Clinicians can choose to report to MIPS for a full 90-day period or, ideally, the full year, and maximize the MIPS eligible clinician's chances to qualify for a positive adjustment. In addition, MIPS eligible clinicians who are exceptional performers in MIPS, as shown by the practice information that they submit, are eligible for an additional positive adjustment for each year of the first 6 years of the program.
(2) Clinicians can choose to report to MIPS for a period of time less than the full year performance period 2017 but for a full 90-day period at a minimum and report more than one quality measure, more than one improvement activity, or more than the required measures in the advancing care information performance category in order to avoid a negative MIPS payment adjustment and to possibly receive a positive MIPS payment adjustment.
(3) Clinicians can choose to report one measure in the quality performance category; one activity in the improvement activities performance category; or report the required measures of the advancing care information performance category and avoid a negative MIPS payment adjustment. Alternatively, if MIPS eligible clinicians choose to not report even one measure or activity, they will receive the full negative 4 percent adjustment.
(4) MIPS eligible clinicians can participate in Advanced Alternative Payment Models ( APMs), and if they receive a sufficient portion of their Medicare payments or see a sufficient portion of their Medicare patients through the Advanced APM, they will qualify for a 5 percent bonus incentive payment in 2019.
(5) Other provisions:
-        Financial and technical assistance (100 million) to small and rural practices
-        Teases that more advanced APMs will be available by January 2017
-        Finalizes most of the APM portions of the proposed rule
-        New estimate is 200 million distributed under MIPS, down from 833 million




bullet ASIPP Has Great Legislative Session in Washington, DC


Approximately 50 members of ASIPP attended a great legislative session in Washington, DC. Members and staff had great visits with many senators and members of the House, including multiple committee chairs. It appears that we are making substantial progress in making changes for MIPS. Following is the proposed language for MIPS. We also have other language for Medicare Advantage Plans. MIPS language is as follows:


  1. Delay the implementation of merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) by one-year, to January 1, 2018, reporting year, retaining 2019 as penalty/bonus year (performance year), and change participation of MIPS for 3 months per year, with 2017 serving as a training year to meet criteria for meaningful use, physician quality reporting system, and value-based payment.


 2.   CMS and Medicare to provide appropriate local coverage determinations (LCDs), based on the integrity manual, utilizing proper evidence.


  •      LCDs must be issued in addition to validated wide-spread problem identified for potentially high dollar or high volume services and requested by providers for coverage issues to be added, to assure beneficiary access to care, or when frequent denials are issued or anticipated.
  •      LCDs must be prepared with input from specific specialty Carrier Advisory Committee (CAC) membership and other CAC resources 
  •      Noncoverage policies must be only issued by CMS with appropriate review process and evidence synthesis with public comment for procedures usually performed with available evidence.
  •      Medicare Advantage Plans must offer a "benefit package" that is at least equal to Medicare's and coverage everything Medicare covers, with or without LCDs.


Click here for a complete copy of the bill we proposed.
At the same time ASIPP was in the halls of the Congress, CMS announced that they will be providing multiple options for implementation of MIPS including an option of delay; however, this does not include all our issues. Consequently, we continue to fight on this issue.
Here are links to the statement from CMS and the Congressional letter:

Another Big Development:
CMS has issued its revised decision on coverage of Percutaneous Image-guided Lumbar Decompression (PILD) procedure which does not remove all the restrictions; however, it expands the coverage. They are asking to perform another cohort CMS approved study. This is some progress, success, and good news, but not the greatest news in the world. Obviously the struggle continues for coverage of this procedure.
Here is a link to the proposed decision memo.

(left) Dr. Manchikanti presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ed Whitfield in his last hours of congressional membership in a heartfelt and almost tearful setting. (right) ASIPP hosted a fundraiser for New Jersey Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.




Remembering a Legend and a Beloved Friend

Dr. Prithvi Raj

Sept. 13, 1931 to Feb. 27, 2016

(Photograph taken after ASIPP distinguished lecture at 2015 Annual Meeting in Florida. Joshua A. Hirsch (moderator), Gabor B. Racz, Devi E. Nampiaparampil, Prithvi Raj, and Laxmaiah Manchikanti.)

It has been a year since we said goodbye not only to a great physician and the Founding Father of Interventional Pain Management, but also to a dear dear friend. Though no longer in our midst, the impact Dr. Prithvi Raj had on the specialty, and in many of our lives, is still deeply felt.

Phulchand Prithvi Raj Borundia, known to most as “Raj” was born in Rajasthan, India. His dreams of medicine led him to Mysore Medical College for medical school, and from there to England, to take a starting position as a house officer in the surgery department in Manchester, England. It was during this time that he met his future bride, Susan Martin, who was training as a nurse, in Darlington.

After finishing his training as an orthopedic surgeon, the young couple decided to move their lives to the United States. Dr. Raj began an anesthesiology residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas under Dr. Pepper Jenkins, who became a great friend and mentor to the young physician. It was at this time an assassin’s bullet took the life of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, which also had a big impact on Dr. Raj.  

His ensuing career took him around the world, as he advanced to become a world-renowned anesthesiologist, and pioneer and innovator in the field of regional anesthesia and pain medicine.  

His legacy is of great magnitude, leaving behind significant research, articles, books, lectures and demonstrations on regional anesthesia and pain management. His service and dedication not only to patients, but also to fellow physicians earned him a cache of awards and honors, including the first Lifetime Achievement Award of ASIPP.  

In his honor, ASIPP, has added the Raj Excellence Award to our annual meeting awards. This year’s award will be presented by Susan Raj and the recipient of this year’s award is Peter Staats. ASIPP will continue to honor Dr. Raj with this award and our commitment to the Raj/Racz Distinguished Lecture Series for as long as ASIPP continues to exist as an organization.  

The loss of our friend, “Raj” with his great wisdom, integrity and kindness, will long be felt.

Click here to view photos showcasing Dr. Raj.

Click here to visit Dr. Raj's web site

Click here to read Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti's tribute article published in Pain Physician 

Additional Sources:

Wikipedia: Phulchand Prithvi Raj Borundia

In Memoriam: P. Prithvi Raj, MD, FIPP 1931–2016

ASRA Mourns the Passing of Dr. P. Prithvi Raj, Founding Father

Dr. Raj CV

Nair L, Gieseck A. P. Prithvi Raj, MD, FFARCS: Regional anesthesia pioneer. Bull Anesth Hist. 2010 Apr; 28(1):7-11.

Phulchand Prithvi Raj, MD, Pioneer in Pain Management, Dies at 84

WIP: Memoriam



bullet ASIPP Announces Patient Education Program

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), a not-for-profit national organization  representing interventional pain physicians, and Medical Media, Inc., dedicated to medical marketing, announced today they have entered into a collaborati on agreement to form Interventional Pain Management  Network, a new patient education program. Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti, ASIPP Chairman of the Board, said,

“Interventional Pain Management Network consists of interactive videos for waiting rooms as an innovative way to provide awareness and understanding of evidence-based and clinically relevant information to the

patient at a time when the patient is in need and receptive to health issues.

Read complete media release >>>



bullet Final Voyage of FDA and MPW Epidural Saga: Victory for Practicing Interventional Pain Physicians


The FDA has now determined that they will not amend the drug safety communication; however, they will not adopt the 17 recommendations made by the MPW (See Letter). This ruling by the FDA is a major victory for practicing interventional pain physicians that avoids micromanagement (FDA citizen’s petition) and the additional bureaucracy created by the MPW. The FDA also published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine which essentially alludes to the same facts as described, and in no uncertain terms, they emphasize the fact that they are not withdrawing the issued warning, but they also were not endorsing the standards from MPW, even though they facilitated the discussion.


Consequently, the epidural saga continues even though this may be the final chapter.





bullet Who is your IPM CAC Representative?

In March 2005, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid mandated that Interventional Pain Management become the 34th medical specialty represented on state Carrier Advisory Committees (CAC), which make local decisions about Medicare coverage. It spite of the great efforts it took to secure this position, many states are still without representation.

It is critical that IPM have representation in every state. Do you know who your representative is? More Information on CACs.

bullet Change Your Specialty Designation
Use the CMS Form to Change your Specialty Designation to 09 - Interventional Pain Management

We are faced with the need to increase our 09 Interventional Pain Management specialty designation. Currently CMS claims there are too few IPM physicians, which negatively affects our reimbursement. Interventional Pain Physicians can now change their specialty code designation to 09 utilizing the CMS form CMS855I - see page 8, section D.

bullet Find Your Elected Officials
Stay on top of the issues affecting interventional pain management, know your elected and appointed officials and contact the media in your area. You can make a difference by getting involved! Find out who represents you on Capitol Hill, go to Capwiz: http://www.asipp.org/Alert.htm





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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
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