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" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary
 

August 17, 2011

 

  • Humana Changes Policy Regarding Facet Joint Injections
  • Comprehensive Pain Management/IPM Review Books Now Available
  • HIPAA Security Changes to Be Addressed in Upcoming Webinar
  • Early Registration Discounts for September Spinal Cord Stimulation Course End Aug. 24
  • Price Gouging Spikes Drug Costs Up to 4500%, Purchasing Group Says
  • HHS Cutting Red Tape to Speed Clinical Trials
  • Videos of 12th Annual ASIPP Meeting Available on ASIPP CAST
  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Key Part of ACA
  • Physician Organizations Fight States' Proposed Cutbacks to Medicaid
  • Doctors Sue HHS, CMS Over 'Secretive' Payment Committee
  • Addiction Now Defined as Brain Disorder, Not Behavior Issue
  • Oxycodone Painkiller Deaths in Florida Keep Climbing
  • Revealing their Medical Errors: Why Three Doctors Went Public
  • Time to Trash Your Org Chart?
  • Justice Department Issues Subpoenas to Merck Over Drug Marketing
  • Drug Shortages Set to Reach Record Levels
  • Physician Interaction with Insurers Costs Nearly 4 Times More in U.S. than in Canada
  • Physicians Wanted

  • Humana Changes Policy Regarding Facet Joint Injections
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    We have received some good news from Humana. In response to our letter on June 2, 2011, Humana has updated its Medical Coverage Policy Injections for Pain Injections. Effective 7/28/2011, they have changed coverage of Facet Joint Injections during the Therapeutic phase to:

     

    • If the diagnostic phase is completed, the frequency of injections must be at least two months apart during the therapeutic phase, provided the patient has at least a 50% reduction in pain and/or symptoms for six weeks; AND
    • Total of FOUR therapeutic facet injections per region per calendar year may be performed only upon return of pain and/or deterioration in function and only when responsiveness to prior injections has occurred.

    Coverage determination for Sacroiliac Joint Injections has also changed to 50% relief in therapeutic phase and a total of four therapeutic injections per rolling calendar year.

    We are thankful to Humana for making these important changes..

    Read all of the policy HERE


    Comprehensive Pain Management/IPM Review Books Now Available
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    This 3-volume project was undertaken, based on the curriculum for the ABMS pain medicine examination. The task was more difficult than writing a standard textbook. While providing comprehensive description of the literature, this project also attempts to provide readable, easily understandable information.

    Due to the nature of this difficult and extensive project, the information has been divided into three books:

    • Foundations of Interventional Pain Management and Pain Medicine: A Comprehensive Review
    • Clinical Aspects of Interventional Pain Management and Pain Medicine: A Comprehensive Review
    • Interventional Pain Management and Pain Medicine: Board Review and Self-Assessment

    Books are available individually or as a set. They are also available on CD.

    Individual Book:
    Foundations, Clinical Aspects, or Board Review Self-Assessment · Hard copy - $200 plus shipping · CD- $150 plus shipping

    3 Book Volume:
    Foundations, Clinical Aspects, and Board Review Self-Assessment · Hard copy - $500 plus shipping ·CD - $300 plus shipping

    3 Books with CDs:
    Foundations, Clinical Aspects, and Board Review Self-Assessment · $650 plus shipping

    Order Today!

    HIPAA Security Changes to Be Addressed in Upcoming Webinar
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    The government has been steadily ratcheting up its enforcement of the HIPAA Security regulations. Recent cases for HIPAA violations have led to imprisonment and significant fines. For example, the UCLA Health System recently paid over $865,000.00 to resolve government allegations that employees gained unauthorized access to patient records. According to a recent government study, failure to have appropriate security safeguards in place was the second most common HIPAA violation.

    Physician compliance with the HIPAA Security regulations, including documentation of compliance, is mandatory. ASIPP has made it easy for its members to comply by commissioning a handbook that puts the tools needed for compliance into your hands in an easy to understand format.

    The author of the handbook, Vicki Myckowiak, will be speaking about HIPAA Security and the handbook at a webinar on Tuesday, August 30 at 11 am CST. With your registration for the webinar, you will receive a free CD on HIPAA.

    Both the CD and webinar contain information on the hows and whys of HIPAA security along with sample policies and helpful worksheets. The goal is for an IPP to be able to walk through the HIPAA security requirements and implement a program that meets the rules but also fits his/her practice.

    To register, click HERE

    To register for the webinar, click HERE

    HIPAA Webinar and Free CD

    Early Registration Discounts for September Spinal Cord Stimulation Course End Aug. 24
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    The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) is pleased to bring you the most focused and comprehensive review course in spinal cord stimulation. We invite you to attend this didactic and hands-on cadaver workshop on September 9-10, 2011 in Memphis, TN.

    This in-depth review course and comprehensive spinal cord stimulation cadaver workshop will cover all the important aspects of these techniques and provide a comprehensive overview of the subject, with extensive case discussions, and interaction with the faculty. It is planned as a CME activity to prepare physicians seeking credentialing and as an in-depth review of spinal cord stimulation. During this three-day event, you can improve existing skills and learn new skills.

    The seminar will be conducted at the Hilton Memphis and the world renowned Medical Education and Research Institute (MERI) in Memphis, TN. Make your plans early to attend. Early registration discounts end Aug. 24.

    Click HERE to view brochure.

    Register Today!

    Price Gouging Spikes Drug Costs Up to 4500%, Purchasing Group Says
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    Unscrupulous companies are engaging in price gouging of scarce, life-saving drugs on the so-called "grey market," with markups averaging 650% but as high as 4,500% before they even get to the hospital.

    Those are among the findings of Premier Healthcare Alliance, a quality improvement and purchasing organization with 2,400 hospital and other provider members. Premier spoke about its report on the findings in a briefing with U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT) and Bona Benjamin of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

    Health Leaders Media

    HHS Cutting Red Tape to Speed Clinical Trials
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    Wide-reaching changes announced by the Dept. of Health and Human Services would speed up the process of approving and monitoring federally funded clinical trials.

    The plans, which represent the first substantive revisions to the country's human-research subjects regulations since they were adopted three decades ago, could help ease the regulatory burden faced by the estimated 30,000 U.S. physicians who act as clinical investigators.

    When the federal rules were adopted in 1981, nearly all U.S. clinical trials took place in academia. But a wave of commercialization, driven in part by the high costs of bureaucracy, has pushed about 70% of them to community-based settings, according to the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development in Boston. The center says that nearly half of Food and Drug Administration-regulated trials now take place outside the U.S., where costs are cheaper, due partly to a lighter regulatory burden.

    AMA news

    Videos of 12th Annual ASIPP Meeting Available on ASIPP CAST
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    ASIPP is pleased to bring you view videos of some lectures from the 2011 Annual Meeting on ASIPP CAST.

    Click on the lectures below to view:

    ASIPP's 13th Annual Meeting, Legislative Session and Capitol Hill Visits concluded on Get a glimpse of the 13th Annual meeting by viewing the Fellows/Residents presentation at the following address http://www.ustream.tv/channel/asipp-rfs-annual-meeting-lecture-series-2011

    Click HERE for a complete list of the 2011 ASIPP Meetings and Courses.

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    Appeals Court Strikes Down Key Part of ACA
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    WASHINGTON -- The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional, but that the rest of the law can stand, dealing the biggest blow to date for the ACA and the Obama Administration.

    The 2-1 decision starkly contrasts with a June decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled the individual mandate is constitutional.

    The individual mandate is "breathtaking in its expansive scope" and overreaches to penalize those who have no intention of ever buying insurance, in violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, wrote 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judges Joel Dubina and Frank Hull.

    Medpage Today

    Physician Organizations Fight States' Proposed Cutbacks to Medicaid
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    Washington -- Physician organizations, patient advocates and others are calling on the Obama administration to reject at least three recently submitted state Medicaid reform requests that they say could restrict access to care.

    California, Florida and Utah recently submitted waiver requests to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to permit larger co-pays and other fees for Medicaid enrollees, among other significant changes. The states are pursuing different reform ideas, but all are seeking additional flexibility to rein in costs.

    AMA news

    Doctors Sue HHS, CMS Over 'Secretive' Payment Committee
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    Six primary care physicians from Georgia have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that a committee of volunteer physician-advisors that recommends reimbursement rates for Medicare procedures and services is secretive and skewed toward medical specialists.

    The physicians, all from the Center for Primary Care in Evans, GA complain that for nearly 20 years the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have relied on the "specialist-dominated" Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) for reimbursement advice.

    HealthLeaders Media

    Addiction Now Defined as Brain Disorder, Not Behavior Issue
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    Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, experts contend in a new definition of addiction, one that is not solely related to problematic substance abuse.

    The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) just released this new definition of addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts.

    "At its core, addiction isn't just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It's a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas," said Dr. Michael Miller, past president of ASAM who oversaw the development of the new definition. "Many behaviors driven by addiction are real problems and sometimes criminal acts. But the disease is about brains, not drugs. It's about underlying neurology, not outward actions."

    MSNBC

    Oxycodone Painkiller Deaths in Florida Keep Climbing
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    Overdose deaths from the narcotic painkiller oxycodone and other prescription drugs marched higher last year throughout the state, but showed signs of peaking in South Florida.

    Gov. Rick Scott, at a news conference on Monday, predicted that law enforcement crackdowns and legislative actions would help dry up Florida's oxycodone supply and prevent deaths this year.

    Sun Sentinel

    Revealing their Medical Errors: Why Three Doctors Went Public
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    In September 2010, Kimberly Hiatt made a medical error. The critical care nurse at Seattle Children's Hospital miscalculated and gave a fragile 8-month-old baby 1.4 grams of calcium chloride, 10 times the correct dose of 140 milligrams.

    The mistake contributed to the death of the child and led to Hiatt's firing and an investigation by the state's nursing commission. In April 2011, devastated by the loss of her job and an infant patient, Hiatt committed suicide.

    Hiatt, who had worked as a nurse for more than two decades, was another in a long line of "second victims" of medical error, the term used in medical literature to describe physicians and other health professionals who often feel guilty and depressed after adverse events. Many physicians and other health professionals hold themselves to a standard of perfection, and when things go wrong, they feel alone.

    AMA news

    Time to Trash Your Org Chart?
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    It's a new era in the business of healthcare. How do we know?

    Start with a payment system that is changing dramatically, forcing healthcare providers from hospitals to the smallest physician practices to change from a volume- to a value-based model. Mix in some volatility in a business that faces thin margins in the best of times and you have the ingredients for a major shakeup. And restructuring of duties, talents, and reporting structures are happening not only at the frontline and middle management level, but also all the way up to the C-suite.

    That's how we know.

    HealthLeaders Media

    Justice Department Issues Subpoenas to Merck Over Drug Marketing
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    The Justice Department has issued a subpoena to Merck & Co. to investigate the marketing of three drugs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

    The DOJ is seeking information about the marketing and selling activities for Temodar, PegIntron and IntronA from 2004-present. The drugs were marketed by Schering-Plough for most of that time - a company Merck acquired in 2009.

    Temodar sales totaled $481 million for the first six months of 2011. PegIntron generated $319 million and Intron A had $96 million in sales in that time, according to the report.

    Becker's ASC Review

    Drug Shortages Set to Reach Record Levels
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    Monika McBride has acute myeloid leukemia, a life-threatening blood cancer that requires six months of intensive chemotherapy. Three days before her third treatment, however, a nurse called to cancel her appointment: Her doctor had run out of the drug. Doctors, hospitals and patients across the USA are grappling with a record number of drug shortages, causing them to delay treatment, postpone surgery or make do with costlier and less effective substitutes.

    "I thought, 'Maybe this is it. I'm done. I won't have any more chemo,'" says McBride, 55, of Victor, Idaho. "I didn't want to stress about it, because I believe stress could make the cancer worse. I thought, 'I'm just going to give it up to God.'" Hospitals are running out of drugs used in everything from cancer to surgery, anesthesia and intravenous feeding, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

    So far this year, 180 drugs have been in short supply. Virtually all U.S. hospitals say they've been affected, and 82% say the problem has delayed care for patients, says the American Hospital Association.

    USA Today

    Physician Interaction with Insurers Costs Nearly 4 Times More in U.S. than in Canada
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    The price of a multipayer environment for U.S. physicians is costing nearly four times that of interacting with insurers compared with their colleagues in Canada, according to a study posted Aug. 3 on the Health Affairs website.

    The per-physician cost of dealing with payers was $22,205 a year in Canada and $82,975 in the U.S., according to the study. If physicians in the U.S. could spend only what Canadian doctors spend, they would save about $26.7 billion a year, the authors estimated. Researchers studied 423 Ontario physicians for the latest study, then did a side-by-side comparison with totals they found in a survey of U.S. physicians, published in Health Affairs in May 2009.

    AMA news

     
     
     

    Physicians Wanted
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    Visit the ASIPP Web site to find available positions for IPM physicians.

    Physicians Wanted

     


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    American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
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    Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394
    E-mail asipp@asipp.org