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American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians News  | March 2, 2016
  1. ASIPP Mourns Loss of Founding Father Dr. Prithvi Ra
  2. ASIPP 2016 Annual Meeting Offers World Class Program to Fill You in on Latest Advances 
  3. Our keynote speaker on selling health insurance across state lines: Robert Laskowski 
  4. Stop ICD-10 Disasters with Cash Flow Disruptions and Denials with Seamless Navigation By Ordering ICD-10-CM Pocket Book for Interventional Pain Physicians
  5. Tennessee House Passes Bill to Preserve ABIPP  
  6. CMS Allows More Time to Seek Meaningful Use Exemption 
  7. Listen to February ASIPP® Podcast 
  8. Feast or Famine: The World's Opioid Gap 
  9. Characteristics Predictive of Opioid Nonadherence 
  10. Blue Cross Plans Hit Hard By Obamacare Losses 
  11. SAMHSA Proposes First Revisions to Substance Abuse Medical Record Privacy Rules in Almost Three Decades
  12. Obama administration backs off on ACA rules for 2017 health plans 
  13. Poll: Only 15 percent say they have benefited from ObamaCare 
  14. State Society News 
  15. Physician Wanted 
ASIPP Mourns Loss of Founding Father Dr. Prithvi Raj
Dr. P. Prithvi Raj passed peacefully away at home on Saturday, the 27th of February, at the age of 84, surrounded by his family.
As you all know, Dr. Raj was the founding father of interventional pain management. He was a mentor to many and trained over 1000 physicians including ASIPP's President-elect, Dr. Aaron Calodney. He touched almost every pain physician's life and millions of patients across the globe.
Dr. Raj was a world-renowned anesthesiologist and pioneer in the field of regional anesthesia, setting standards for care worldwide. He began his medical training at Mysore Medical College in India and his illustrious career took him around the world. His significant research, many articles, books, lectures and demonstrations on regional anesthesia and pain management proved him to an international leader in the field. He is a founding member of American Society of Regional Anesthesia, Texas Pain Society, and the World Institute of Pain.
Dr. Raj was dedicated to advancing the education and training of the next generation of pain management physicians. Throughout his years, he spread his knowledge to countless pain physicians to fight pain and suffering.  He has earned numerous awards and honors, including the first Lifetime  Achievement Award of ASIPP. In addition, ASIPP named the Raj-Racz distinguished lecture series after him in 2014.
He was a man of great wisdom, integrity, and kindness. He will be missed greatly by many.
He is survived by his loving wife Susan, (nee Martin), children Mark (Jennifer), Maya (Steve) Andreadis, and Sarah (Nino) Rosso. He was loved by his seven grandchildren, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.  Born in India, he worked and lived in England, Norway and several cities in the United States, eventually retiring in Cincinnati where he founded the University of Cincinnati Pain Clinic from 1979 to1986.  He was fortunate to have forged long lasting friendships all over the globe.

Click HERE to view photos showcasing Dr. Raj.

Service information: 
ASIPP® 2016 Annual Meeting Offers World Class Program to Fill You in on Latest Advances

As you know, ASIPP® has been on the forefront in educating us in many areas on interventional pain practice. For ASIPP®, education is a mission. The topics and speakers are very carefully selected to focus on the development of safe, high quality, cost effective and evidence based practice of interventional pain management.

The research and clinical implications of PRP and stem cells will change the way we practice medicine in the 21st century. There is an extraordinary session on advanced regenerative medicine. In the last few decades, the invention of multiple spinal devices and cages have not improved the outcomes in spinal surgeries. It is high time we focus on minimally invasive spinal procedures, and you will learn evolving concepts of endoscopic disc decompression and spinal endoscopy.

Important topics are as follows:
Raj-Racz Distinguished Lecture Series
Evolving Concepts of Endoscopic Disc Decompression
Albert Telfeian, MD, PhD - Keynote
Interventional Pain Management: The Time of our Lives
Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD - Keynote

Manchikanti Distinguished Lecture
Strategies for the Survival of Independent Practice in the Era of Regulation and Empowered Insurance and Hospital Industry
Robert Laszewski - Keynote
The Current Landscape of Regenerative Medicine  
William D Murrell,  MD - Keynote

Application of Regenerative Medicine in Spinal Pain
Kenneth Pettine, MD - Keynote
Pathophysiology of Controlled Substance Use, Overuse, Abuse, Dependency Addiction
Susan Blank, MD - Keynote

Our Keynote Speaker on Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines: Robert Laskowski

In a recent article, Robert Laskowski our keynote speaker, and an expert in health care  writes the impact of selling health insurance across state lines. He describes this as a really dumb idea.  He writes any candidate that suggests such a scheme only shows 

"Any candidate that suggest such a scheme  only shows how unsophisticated he and his advisors are when it comes to understanding how the insurance  markets really work or could work."  

He made the comments to insurance brokers and consultants in DC last week.

It was published in Health and Marketplace blog.  He also suggested that this is nothing more than an attempt to take the market back to the days of cherry picking risk - figuring out how to sell policies to only the healthy people. If this were ever enacted, it would only serve to shuffle the healthy people into one set of health insurance policies and the sick into another, thereby driving down costs for healthy, and in return just driving costs up for sick - and accomplishing nothing toward fundamentally making insurance cheaper. The article describes the number of problems related to this plan and also multiple issues related to state regulations and ability to sell insurance across the state lines already.

Stop ICD-10 Disasters with Cash Flow Disruptions and Denials with Seamless Navigation By Ordering ICD-10-CM Pocket Book for Interventional Pain Physicians
While it is easy to say that your EMR will convert all the ICD-10-CM codes, it is extremely difficult to know what codes are covered and which way is accurate for converting existing codes.
Have you ever thought about a patient with spondylosis with radiculopathy presenting for an epidural injection which later will be denied?
Have you ever thought about using the post surgery syndrome code for cervical and lumbar epidural injections and receiving a denial?
Have you ever thought about how to code a patient with disc herniation at one or 2 levels with associated radiculopathy? Would you code it as disc herniation and radiculopathy or disc displacement with radiculopathy? If you code it with 2 separate codes of disc herniation and radiculopathy, it will be inappropriate and your treatment will be denied.
There are numerous intricacies in navigating to ICD-10.
ASIPP's ICD-10-CM pocket book clearly shows multiple ways of preventing disasters:
  • Steps to correct coding
  • Intricacies of ICD-10-CM coding
  • Navigation from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM
  • Chapters where interventional techniques clearly show the codes covered by Medicare carriers and recommended codes in order of preference.
What are you waiting for?
This book is 5.25 x 8.25 and can easily be placed in your jacket or any carrying case. For only $400 you will receive both the electronic and paper versions. You can recover your cost by avoiding mistakes in just one single case.
Order immediately to avoid any future losses. Get it for yourself and get copies for all your partners and staff. Multiple copies can be transferred to your EMR and save you money.
Also take a 10% discount for 5-9 copies or a 20% discount for 10 copies or more.

Tennessee House Passes Bill to Preserve ABIPP 

Tennessee House Bill 1982 was introduced, by Rep. Robert Ramsey (REP-TN) with language that would have removed "Certification" by the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians/Part 1 as a path to becoming a "Pain Management Specialist" for the purpose of being Medical Director of a pain management clinic in TN after June 30, 2016.

Senator Briggs, who introduced the Senate legislation, came up with a compromise, and offered upping the credentials to ABIPP from Part I only to both Parts I and II. This compromise will continue ABIPP certification for pain clinic directorship. The Senate bill passed the initial Senate Health Subcommittee hearing, which was attended by Drs. Graf Hilgenhurst, Donald Jones, and ABIPP Executive Director, Mark Boswell.  The bill was then presented to and passed in the Senate

This Tuesday HB 1982 with the amended language preserving ABIPP diplomates' qualifications as fulfilling the requirements to classify them as a "pain management specialist" as this relates to pain clinics in the state of Tennessee went before House Committee and was passed. Dr. Donald Jones testified on behalf of ABIPP. The bill is now ready for passage in the House and it is expected to pass with not complications.  
We are very grateful to our leadership team in Tennessee with Graf Hilgenhurst, MD, as the President of Tennessee Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, Donald Jones, MD, as active practitioner, and finally Executive Director of ABIPP, Mark Boswell, MD, PhD, who travelled to Nashville to present the case. Apart from the extensive involvement, negotiations, and work performed by Graf Hilgenhurst and Don Jones, grassroots support is the most essential part.
We also thank Senator Hutchison and Jeff Mortier for rapidly garnering support for our issue, as well as members of some of the congressional delegations from Tennessee who have made multiple calls in support of our position on ABIPP.

CMS Allows More Time to Seek Meaningful Use Exemption
CMS logo The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Friday that it would give providers and hospitals more time to submit hardship exception forms for opting out of the Meaningful Use program.

The new deadline will be July 1, 2016, for all applicants. The initial cutoff was March 15 for eligible providers and April 1 for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare. The agency has also made new "streamlined" forms available. Providers and hospitals must meet certain criteria to qualify for the exemptions.

Listen to February ASIPP® Podcast

In this edition of the ASIPP Podcast we'll have part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Hans Hansen about handling difficult patients. In the news segment we'll hear about a painkiller more potent than morphine, but much safer; we'll find out which medical specialty pays the most; a new study that hopes to answer the question if there is a  relationship between pain and the weather and much more; and we'll discover what singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has to do with medical publishing.
Click Here for Podcast

Feast or Famine: The World's Opioid Gap
Opioids remain one of the most valuable tools for relieving chronic and acute pain, yet the World Health Organization estimates that more than 5 billion people worldwide live in countries with little or no access to opioid pain management. This includes millions of people suffering from terminal cancer and acute illnesses. 1
In a 2014 review of availability and utilization of opioids for pain management, published in The Ochsner Journal, the authors noted that 6 developed countries accounted for 79% of the world's opioid consumption. They also noted that severe and chronic pain adversely affects more lives worldwide than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. 2

Characteristics Predictive of Opioid Nonadherence
Research presented at the 32nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) revealed that nonadherence to prescribed opioid treatment is common and varies with different patient characteristics.
Characteristics that predicted opioid nonadherence included gender, age, and type of insurance.

"Urine drug monitoring allows the provider to identify potential nonadherence early in treatment. Nonadherence does not always mean abuse, misuse, or diversion," Patricia Woster, PharmD, from Ameritox told Clinical Pain Advisor. "The patient may be experiencing side effects of the drug and therefore not taking the medication as prescribed, or the medication may not be alleviating the pain so the patient is not taking the medication."

Blue Cross Plans Hit Hard By Obamacare Losses
The nation's Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans have fared worse than publicly traded health insurance companies on the new health insurance exchanges, with many of these plans losing hundreds of millions of dollars last year on individual policies sold under the Affordable Care Act.

A new report from Fitch Ratings, which looked at earnings of  nearly three dozen Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, showed 23 had a decline in earnings and 16 had a net loss   , largely related to losses from policies sold to newly insured Americans who bought subsidized individual policies on public exchanges.  There were 23 Blue Cross companies that reported a "collective $1.9 billion decline in earnings"   for the first nine months of 2015, and 16 of those companies had net losses.

SAMHSA Proposes First Revisions to Substance Abuse Medical Record Privacy Rules in Almost Three Decades
On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  published proposed revisions   to the rules governing the confidentiality of substance abuse treatment records found in 42 C.F.R. Part 2. The rules apply to any federally assisted drug or alcohol abuse program (as defined by the regulations) (each a Part 2 Program). These proposed changes mark the first time the regulations have been subject to revision since 1987. The rules already provide more stringent protections for substance abuse treatment records than exist for other medical records under most health privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The proposed revisions are part of an effort to modernize the regulations to facilitate information exchange within new integrated health care models that rely on the sharing of health care information, while still addressing the privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder. SAMHSA will accept comments on the proposed rules until April 11, 2016.

Obama administration backs off on ACA rules for 2017 health plans
In a major win for the industry, health insurers will not be forced to have minimum quantitative standards when designing their networks of hospitals and doctors for 2017, nor will they have to offer standardized options for health plans.

The CMS 
released a sweeping final rule (PDF)   Monday afternoon that solidifies the Affordable Care Act's coverage policies for 2017. The agency  proposed   tight network adequacy provisions and standardized health plan options in November, which  fueled antipathy   from the health insurance industry. 

Poll: Only 15 percent say they have benefited from ObamaCare
Just 15 percent of people say they have personally benefited from ObamaCare, although more than one-third believe it has helped the people of their state, according to a poll released Monday.

Most Americans - a total of 56 percent - say they haven't felt directly affected by the Affordable Care Act. Among those who have felt affected, more people say the law has hurt them than helped them, according to polling by National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


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State Society News

Mark your calendar: GSIPP 12th Annual Pain Summit meeting set
The Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physician have set their meeting dates for 2016.
GSIPP 12th Annual Pain Summit
April 22-24, 2016
The Ritz Carlton Lodge Reynolds Plantation
Greensboro, Georgia

FSIPP Meeting May 20-22, 2016
The Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its annual meeting in 2016 on May 20-22. 
The 2016 Annual Meeting, Conference and Trade Show Interventional Pain Management: 
A Diagnostic and Therapeutic Pathway to Restoration of Function
 will be held at the  Orlando World Center Marriott,
8701 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821
FSIPP is also offering 2 concurrent programs:
  • Safe Opiate Prescribing Course - no charge, but you need to be registered for the annual meeting.
  • The Business of Pain Course on Saturday, May 21 - $150.00
To register online, please select from the choices below.
2016 FSIPP Members
Early Registration Rate: $449.00 through 4/1/2016

(Late Registration Rate: $525.00 after 4/1/2016)

CASIPP Meeting November 11-13, 2016
Early Bird Registration is Open for the California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians annual meeting. T he meeting is set for Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016  at the exquisite Bacara Resort & Spa,  Santa Barbara , California. 

Please send your State Society meetings and news to: Holly Long at hlong@asipp.org


Physicians Wanted


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