February 20, 2013
ASIPP Offers Pain
Medicine and Anxiety Medicines Brochure to Members
ASIPP Marketing Services will
be releasing a series of Interventional Pain brochures for purchase in the near
At this time ASIPP is offering a
Pain Medicine and Anxiety Medicines brochure that you can tailor to your
practice and make available to your patients and referring physicians.
There are two ways to receive the
- Have ASIPP print the brochures with your practice information, then mailed
to you or
- Have the brochure materials sent to your printer and they can print and
deliver them to you.
Either option offers an
inexpensive and effective way to ommunicate Medication Information to your
patients and promote your practice. Bruchures are copyrighted by ASIPP.
Contact Ray Lane via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org for ordering information.
Deaths Topped 16,000 in 2010
Continuing a trend that
began more than a decade ago, 16,651 people died of overdoses involving
prescription narcotic painkillers in 2010, the most recent year that data was
available, according to researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
In 1999, there were 4,030
such deaths involving opioids.
"This analysis confirms the
predominant role opioid analgesics play in pharmaceutical overdose deaths,
either alone or in combination with other drugs," CDC researchers wrote in a
report in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Should All Women
Over 40 Get Annual Mammograms?
It's one of the leading
causes of death among women. But how often should we check for it?
are one of the most hotly debated issues in health care. A large part of the
medical establishment agrees with the long-held view that annual mammograms are
a necessity and should be routine for women over 40. That way, any abnormalities
can be spotted and dealt with as early as possible.
But a growing chorus of
critics argue the tests aren't as useful as they're made out to be. Increasingly
effective treatments have made it less necessary to spot trouble early, they
say. And, they argue, the screenings create too many false positives-and find
too many "cancers" that will never matter to women, leading not only to
unnecessary anxiety but also unnecessary treatment.
Wall Street Journal
Should States Opt
Out of the Health Law's Medicaid Expansion?
The Supreme Court ruled the
Affordable Care Act is constitutional. But that just moved the fighting to a new
arena: the states, some of which are saying they won't participate in a key
measure of the law.
Part of the court's
decision made it easier for states not to participate in expanding Medicaid
benefits to subsidize health-care coverage for a broader swath of poor
Americans. Under the law, states can expand Medicaid eligibility to people who
have incomes of up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Washington has said it
would pick up the entire cost of the coverage expansion for the first three
years, and at least 90% of the cost afterward.
But while that leaves only
a small share for states to pay, many states have argued it still leaves too
much, given tight state budgets. Medicaid eligibility rules currently vary
significantly by state. Some governors-so far, all of them Republicans-say their
states will opt out. Other states say they plan to proceed.
Wall Street Journal
'I Don't Smoke,
Doc,' and Other Patient Lies
It's a rule many residents
learn in training. If a patient says he has four drinks a week, consider it
eight. The same for cigarettes and illicit drugs, doctors say.
The not-so-subtle message
underlying the practice: patients lie.
"It's just human nature
that patients want to please doctors," says Kevin R. Campbell, a cardiologist in
"I've had patients say they
quit smoking and yet they come in smelling like tobacco," he adds. "I can throw
pills and drugs at patients all day long but if they're still continuing to
smoke and that sort of thing it's just not going to help."
Wall Street Journal
Patients at Risk
from Junior Doctors Working 100 Hour Weeks:
Patients are being put at
risk by exhausted junior doctors working 100 hours a week, the General Medical
Council has warned, because the European rules on working hours are not working.
Research carried out for
the doctors' regulator has found the cut to junior doctors hours has not stopped
the culture of excessive shifts with little rest.
Junior doctors are supposed
to work a maximum of 48 hours per week, averaged over 26 weeks but this can
still mean they work 13-hour shifts at a time often for days in a row, it was
Public Can See
Pharma Payments to Doctors Starting in 2014
Revisions in the final
transparency rule will give physicians more time to resolve payment amounts and
won't require disclosure of indirect pay from accredited education
numerous missed deadlines, new regulations require that data on the payments and
gifts that drug and medical device companies make to physicians will become
available publicly in a searchable database beginning in September
The long-awaited final rule
for the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act - a 2010 law
requiring financial ties between manufacturers and medicine to be disclosed -
was released on Feb. 1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
addressed several issues pertaining to the reporting of fees, meals, travel
expenses and other transfers of value. Those issues were raised by the American
Medical Association and other organized medicine groups over an earlier proposed
version of the rule. For instance, CMS will allow doctors additional time to
resolve disputes over any inaccurate data and will not require certain indirect
payments from continued medical education programs to be reported on the
Entangled in Tainted Drugs Lawsuits
A deadly meningitis
outbreak involving tainted steroid shots that has killed at least 45 people and
sickened nearly 700 more has led to an explosion of lawsuits against the
compounding pharmacy linked to the infections. But with the New England
Compounding Center now in bankruptcy, patients and their families are searching
for alternative legal relief - such as from the physicians who prescribed the
So far, several New Jersey
doctors face lawsuits because of the outbreak, and legal experts expect hundreds
more suits against doctors, clinics and hospitals connected to the outbreak.
Patients have sued doctors successfully in the past after being injured by
medical products under claims such as failure to warn, medical negligence and
product liability. The suits can mean faster and larger payouts for plaintiffs
than those against drug or device makers.
Projections for 2013-2023
CBO released updated Budget
and Economic projections for 2013-2023. Under the projections, the cost of
repealing the SGR has dropped dramatically due to lower than expected growth in
Medicare physician spending. The new cost of freezing payments for ten years is
$138 billion, more than $100 billion less than the previous projection. (The ten
year freeze is not the preferred policy outcome, but rather a baseline used for
making an apples to apples comparison to previous projections.)
The relevant text of the
CBO report is pasted below. Now is the time to redouble our efforts and make a
strong push for SGR repeal as soon as is possible.
Medicare's Payments to
Under current law, spending
for Medicare is constrained by a rate-setting system-called the
rate-that has existed for
several years to control the fees physicians receive for their
services. If the system is
allowed to operate as
currently structured, physicians' fees will be reduced by about 25
percent in January 2014 and will increase by small amounts in
subsequent years, CBO projects. If, instead, lawmakers override
those scheduled reductions-as they have every year since
2003-spending on Medicare might be greater than the
projected in CBO's
baseline. For example, holding payment rates through 2023 at the
levels they are now would
raise outlays for Medicare
(net of premiums paid by beneficiaries) by $14 billion in 2014 and
about $138 billion
(or about 2 percent)
between 2014 and 2023.21 The effect on Medicare (and on the
deficit) of making such a
change would depend on
whether lawmakers offset the effects of the change, as they often
have done in the past,
with other changes to
21. The estimated cost of
holding payment rates constant is much lower relative to this
baseline than was the case under previous CBO baselines, primarily
because of lower spending for physicians' services in recent years.
Under the sustainable growth rate, future payment updates depend on
the difference between spending in prior years and spending targets
established in law. Actual spending has been lower than
projected-and lower than the spending targets inherent in the
sustainable growth rate-for the past three years. Because actual
spending has been lower than spending targets, CBO now estimates
that payment rates will increase beginning in 2015. Those higher
payment rates narrow the difference between growth under current
law and a freeze at current levels, thereby reducing the estimated
cost of restricting
of ACA Compliance Cost on Group Health Benefits
NEW YORK -
More than half of employers have not calculated the cost and impact of
healthcare reform on their benefit packages for employees, even though most
employers want to avoid cost increases for their group health plans, according
to a survey released by the Willis Human Capital Practice, a unit of insurance
broker Willis Group Holdings.
The Health Care Reform
Survey 2013 outlines employers' perceptions regarding the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their planned responses to healthcare reform
Healthcare Finance News
Drug Costs to Rise
Up to 4 Percent in 2013
TN - The rise in drug costs to clinics and hospitals is slowing in
2013 compared with previous years, although costs for medications will still
increase by as much 4 percent.
Wider availability of less
expensive generic products is a primary driver in moderating drug costs,
according to a report released Friday in the
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, published by the
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Healthcare Finance News
No Pain, Please,
(CNN) -- In the 23 years since he tried to break up a robbery in
central London, Ian Semmons hasn't spent a day without severe pain.
The fight left Semmons with
multiple fractures, including a broken back and two shattered ankles. He had a
head injury so severe, doctors put him in a coma and kept him there for a month
to control the swelling in his brain.
"I spent nine months in
hospital and then 12 months in a rehabilitation center, where I was basically
rebuilt," Semmons says. "But nothing was done to treat my pain."
Member Defends ASIPP Guidelines
Medicine News has published a commentary written by ASIPP member Sanford
Silverma. His letter to the Pain Medicine News' editor was in response to a
November 2012 article about ASIPP's updated Opioid Guidelines,
"Interventionalist Group Releases Updated Opioid Guidelines."
below to read Dr. Silverman's apt response which was included in the January
Silverman Letter to the Editor
is a link to read the original commentary.
PMN Article on ASIPP Guidelines
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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394