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" The Voice Of Interventional Pain Management "

celebrating our 10th anniversary
 

January 29, 2014

 

  1. Draconian cuts: Physicians and patients send more than 62,000 letters to the Hill: Congress responds with overwhelming support
  2. ASIPP Sends more than 62,000 Letters to the Hill
  3. Cancer painkiller mixed with heroin blamed for 22 Pennsylvania deaths
  4. Pay and Practice: Semi-Permanent SGR Repeal?
  5. IV Saline in Short Supply
  6. ICD-10 and the fraud problem
  7. Amid reform clouds, ratings agency rethinks forecast for insurers
  8. Shortage of Norepinephrine Hampers Sepsis Management

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lettersDraconian cuts: Physicians and patients send more than 62,000 letters to the Hill: Congress responds with overwhelming support

 

 

As you all know, the comment period ended yesterday which means we have completed Round

1 in our fight to reverse the draconian 2014 IPM reimbursement cuts. We ended up with a total

of more over 12,500 letters sent to CMS and over 62,000 total letters to multiple members of

the Congress through ASIPP. There were likely hundreds more sent outside of the Capwiz site, however, we cannot verify any of these.

 

ASIPP sent a comment letter yesterday. Read

 

 In all we gained a total of 13 letters of support; seven (7) letters from the senate with nine (9)

Senators and seven (7) letters from the house with a total of 33 signatories.

The following is a listing of the Congressional letters we have received to date along with the links the letters:

 

 

Senate

House

1. John Boozman and Mark Pryor,

1. Ed Whitfield, signed by twenty 20

Members of the House,

2. Rand Paul,

2. Dr. Caucus letter signed by 9 Members

and others working in multiple committees,

3.Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy,

3 Brett Guthrie ,

4. Mary Landrieu,

4. Pete Olson,

5. David Vitter, and

5. Renee Ellmers, and

6. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell,

6. Rodney Davis

7. Roy Blunt

 

 

 

 

Of course, CMS has not yet made a decision. They stated early in the process that they will make

the decision until after the comment period ends. We will have to wait and see on their decision.

Now we begin Round 2 where our advocacy efforts continue through communication

with legislators and CMS. While the comment period has closed, Congress will still be

communicating with CMS asking for justification and answers. If necessary we will travel to Washington in this fight.

 

We are hoping for the best and will keep you posted. In the meantime, please encourage your

friends and colleagues to register for the Annual Meeting. Regardless of the outcome, this

will provide essential information for our survival.Remember, IPM is not a luxury nor

experimental, but effective and necessary.

 

SAVE IPM FUND

 

 

ANNUAL MEETING

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cancerCancer painkiller mixed with heroin blamed for 22 Pennsylvania deaths

 

Dr. Karl Williams says he normally sees three or four deaths from drug overdoses in a typical week as the chief medical examiner in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.

 

In the past week, he saw 15 -- men and women, of various ethnicities, ranging in age from 22 to 53. All of them appear to have been heroin users who instead received a mix of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful narcotic used to treat cancer patients' pain, Williams told CNN.

 

"This is pretty clearly somebody manufacturing fentanyl and selling it as heroin," Williams said.

 

 

CNN

 

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payPay and Practice: Semi-Permanent SGR Repeal?

 

WASHINGTON -- It sounds like an oxymoron -- semi-permanent repeal -- but some former Medicare administrators are suggesting it as a solution to permanently repealing Medicare's much-hated sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula.

 

Their idea is a 5-year SGR suspension, which fits somewhere in between familiar 1-year patches and a permanent repeal Congress is working toward now. Essentially, the idea is to take the 10-year SGR repeal legislation that various congressional committees are working on now and implement only the first 5 years.

 

A 5-year suspension of SGR would be cheaper for Congress to finance as opposed to a permanent repeal, said Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2004 to 2006. A repeal is considered permanent if it's funded for at least 10 years.

 

 

MedPage Today

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salineIV Saline in Short Supply

 

Hospitalists across the country are reporting a shortage of IV saline solution, blaming manufacturing problems and increased demand from a harsh flu season.

 

The FDA said in a drug safety communication that it's aware of the shortage and is working with three manufacturers -- Baxter, Hospira, and B. Braun Medical -- to "preserve the supply of these necessary products."

Millions of bags of IV saline solution are used each week, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists called it a "critical shortage" in its notice to healthcare providers, urging doctors to follow conservation strategies.

 

 

MedPage Today

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icd10ICD-10 and the fraud problem

 

 

No one likes fraud and abuse. That's what led to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) fraud prevention system (FPS). It uses ICD data to identify patterns that could identify fraud.

 

Except on Oct. 1, the data FPS uses is going to be based upon ICD-10 coding. Unless CMS has a massive dual coding effort, it's not going to be able to match ICD-9 patterns with ICD-10 data.

 

They will figure it out eventually. But there's going to be a time that very legitimate claims will be flagged as possible fraud.

 

 

Healthcare Finance News

 

 

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amidAmid reform clouds, ratings agency rethinks forecast for insurers

 

Continued uncertainty and regulatory surprises in the evolution of the Affordable Care Act have prompted Moody's to change its outlook of the health insurance industry for the worse, but not for every company.

 

The financial ratings agency dampened its outlook for insurers from "stable" to "negative," citing the ongoing, and at times on-the-fly, implementation of the vast ACA and the unknown impacts of the public health insurance exchanges.

 

"While we've had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change," Stephen Zaharuk, Moody's senior VP and author of the report, said in a media release.

 

Healthcare Finance News

 

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shortageShortage of Norepinephrine Hampers Sepsis Management

 

 

A national shortage of norepinephrine has critical care clinicians scrambling for alternative drugs to help treat patients with sepsis.

 

Norepinephrine is a key drug in the treatment of sepsis, which affects approximately three in 1,000 hospital patients (Crit Care Med 2001;7:1303-1310).

 

Norepinephrine is not a drug that can be easily replaced, said Peter J. Papadakos, MD, professor in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, which is feeling the pinch. "It's as if there were a national shortage of oxygen."

 

 

Anesthesiology News

 

 

 


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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians ®
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