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" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary
 

September 7, 2011

 

  • HHS Bolsters Scrutiny of Researchers' Drug Industry Ties
  • CMS Announces 2011 Electronic Prescribing (ERX) Incentive program Final Rule
  • Register for November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop
  • Opinion: Doctors Will Remain a Target Until They Wake Up
  • Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions Expected to Increase by 85%
  • Too Few Health Professionals Getting Flu Shots
  • Medicare Unveils Bundled Payment Models to Start in 2012
  • U.S. Job Growth Stalled In August, But Healthcare Hiring Continues To Rise
  • Consumer Reports Gives Tips on Price Haggling with Doctors, Hospitals
  • State Society News
  • Physicians Wanted

  • HHS Bolsters Scrutiny of Researchers' Drug Industry Ties
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    Physician researchers receiving federal grants will have stricter conflict-of-interest rules to follow starting in August 2012.

    The first change to Dept. of Health and Human Services regulations in this area since 1995 comes in response to widely reported cases of federally funded researchers failing to disclose millions in pay from medical industry firms. Researchers soon must publicly disclose any industry payments, stock holdings and equity interests of more than $5,000 during the previous year. Their academic institutions will have to file plans with the funding agency explaining how they are managing conflicts of interest posed by such financial relationships.

    AMA news


    CMS Announces 2011 Electronic Prescribing (ERX) Incentive program Final Rule
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    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Changes to the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program for Calendar Year 2011.

    Background: Section 132 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) required the Secretary to establish a new reporting program for eligible professionals who are successful electronic prescribers as defined by MIPPA, beginning on January 1, 2009. While the eRx Incentive Program has similarities in structure and processes to the Physician Quality Reporting System (formerly the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative or PQRI), this program is a separate program with distinct reporting requirements and associated incentive payments and payment adjustments. In addition to the electronic prescribing incentive payment, MIPPA called for a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment adjustment that will apply beginning in January 2012 to eligible professionals who are not successful electronic prescribers, as defined in the Calendar Year (CY) 2011 MPFS final rule.

    2011 MPFS final rule. For eligible professionals who are subject to the 2012 eRx payment adjustment, the fee schedule amount for covered professional services furnished by eligible professionals during the year shall be 1 percent less than the fee schedule amount that would otherwise apply for 2012. The potential MPFS reductions in the future are a 1.5 percent reduction for 2013 and 2.0 percent reduction for 2014.

    CMS

    Register for November Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop
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    Register today to attend the Nov. 11-13 Comprehensive Review Course and Cadaver Workshop for Basic, Intermediate, and Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination Preparation course review.

    This 2½-day review course and workshop is designed for interventional pain physicians, for a review, skills improvement or to assist in preparation for Comprehensive Interventional Pain Management Examination qualifications.

    ASIPP offers the most in-depth, comprehensive, and individualized programs available in interventional pain management, featuring maximum hands-on training with cadavers in a state-of-the-art facility and maximum ability to interact with other participants.

    Early Bird - On or before October 18, 2011. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Memphis and the MERI Center in Memphis, TN,

    click HERE to view brochure.

    Register now!

    Opinion: Doctors Will Remain a Target Until They Wake Up
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    It never ceases to astonish me how ill informed my colleagues are about what is currently going on in healthcare. I recently sat in a board meeting of a physician- hospital organization and the topic being discussed was accountable care organizations (ACOs). The doctor sitting next to me leaned over and asked me what an ACO was. This is a board member representing 800 physicians in contract negotiations with insurance companies!

    Unfortunately, he is not an outlier. Too many of us just show up for work and then go home at the end of the day. I might be describing you. Unless doctors take an interest in the business and politics affecting medicine, they will have no one to blame when their autonomy is lost, when their income suffers, and when their patients are placed at risk. It is not sufficient just to educate oneself about these issues. Actions also need to be taken. Most doctors have the false assumption that their specialty organizations and state medical societies are watching out for them and they don't need to do anything on their own- but they would be wrong. These organizations focus on concerns affecting only a small group of doctors and consequently, our profession is fragmented and vulnerable to insurance companies, the federal government, hospitals and other interests that take advantage of doctors. The American Medical Association should be watching our flank but instead, they are just as bad as other special interests that prey on physicians because they seek to maintain their financial and political power.

    Physicians News Digest

    Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions Expected to Increase by 85%
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    Given the number of federal healthcare fraud prosecutions from the past eight months, the total is expected to expand by 85 percent over last year due to the Obama administration's intense focus on fraud-fighting, according to a USA Today report.

    Statistics released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a non-partisan group, show there have been 903 prosecutions so far this year - a 24 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2010. Compared to five years ago, prosecutions have grown by 71 percent.

    Department of Justice officials said the increase is partially due to a couple of large busts, such as the largest take-down to date, which brought in 111 people for fraud in February.

    Task force convictions have also increased, according to the DOJ. There were 23 trial convictions for Medicare fraud in 2010. So far, in the first eight months of this year, the task force has seen 24.

    Becker's ASC review

    Too Few Health Professionals Getting Flu Shots
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    In many ways, experts consider the 2011-12 influenza season off to a good start. Manufacturers, who are expected to produce a record number of seasonal flu vaccine doses, have not reported delays. Vaccine is arriving in physician offices across the country. And this year's flu season is expected to be typical, similar to last season.

    But experts worry that not enough health professionals and others who have contact with patients will get the flu vaccine.

    Data show that 63.5% of health care personnel were vaccinated against influenza during the 2010-11 season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of 1,931 health care workers in the Aug. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That is a slight increase from the 61.9% who received the seasonal flu vaccine during the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009-10.

    AMA news

    Medicare Unveils Bundled Payment Models to Start in 2012
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    Washington -- Physicians and hospitals will be collaborating to bid on providing high-quality, low-cost inpatient and postdischarge care to Medicare patients under a new payment option starting in 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said.

    Hundreds of interested hospitals and groups of physicians are expected to coordinate patient care under the new bundled payment initiative. Bundling payments is one of several models that physicians in organized medicine have encouraged the Medicare agency to use in place of traditional fee for service.

    AMA news

    U.S. Job Growth Stalled In August, But Healthcare Hiring Continues To Rise
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    WASHINGTON - While the U.S. economy experienced practically no job growth in August, the healthcare sector continued to buck the national trend, as the industry added 29,700 positions.

    Over the past 12 months, healthcare industry employment has grown by 306,000 jobs.

    Healthcare Finance News

    Consumer Reports Gives Tips on Price Haggling with Doctors, Hospitals
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    YONKERS, NY - As "consumerism" is taking an increasing role in controlling healthcare costs, Consumer Reports will publish a story in its October issue detailing strategies consumers can use to haggle for lower prices with doctors and hospitals.

    "The last thing most patients want to do is haggle with their doctors, but a little bit of negotiating can go a long way," said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center in a press release. "It's also important to know that there are tremendous variations in healthcare costs - knowing this can help a consumer get a hand up and politely insist on the fairest possible price."

    Being prepared to negotiate price is increasingly important in the face of rising healthcare costs. According to Consumer Reports Index, a gauge of the health of the U.S. economy, more than 16 percent of Americans are not able to afford their healthcare bills.

    Healthcare Finance News

    State Society News
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    KSIPP Plans Annual Meeting, Oct. 22


    KSIPP is hosting its annual meeting from 10 am to 5 pm Oct. 22 at the Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green,KY. Click HERE for brochure.

    The meeting is open to Kentucky and Indiana members. Cost is $75 for active members, $100 for non members, $50 for associate members or non-physician, non-members; and no cost for fellows.

    Participants can earn up to 5 CME credit hours. Discussions will include an introduction to KASPER and a presentation by the Drug Enforcement Agency. A meeting of the Kentucky Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Board of Directors will follow the review course sessions. Lunch will be provided, but participants must reserve their seat and let organizers know which entrée they prefer: sautéed chicken or grilled vegetables. For more information, call Connie Smith at , 270-554-9412.

     

     


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    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