American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians News  | November 23, 2016
  1.  No More Interventional Techniques in Oregon - Soon It May Be Coming to the Rest of the Country 
  2. ASIPP Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for Interventional Pain Management is Progressing 
  3. Save the Date! Regenerative Medicine Course Scheduled for March 3-5 in Memphis: Limited Enrollment  
  4. Save the Date! Lumbar Endoscopic Spinal Decompression Course set for March 3-5, Memphis: Enrollment Limited to 20  
  5. 2017 Coding for IPM Webinar set for Dec. 16 
  6. ABIPP Certification Made Simple: June Dates Set
  7. Why Trump won't change MACRA much 
  8. The Way To Get A New Health Law Is To Create A Crisis, Policy Consultant Says : NPR 
  9. Start Planning NOW! ASIPP to Begin Accepting Abstracts for 2017 Annual Meeting
  10. Why We Should Care About Physician Debt
  11. Surgeon General: Addiction Not a 'Moral Failing'
  12. Risks & Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  13. What does the Trump presidency imply for healthcare and healthcare IT?
  14. Fentanyl Billionaire Comes Under Fire as Death Toll Mounts From Prescription Opioids
  15. State Society News 
OregonNo More Interventional Techniques in Oregon - Soon It May Be Coming to the Rest of the Country

The Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission, without fanfare and without even looking at the literature appropriately, is eliminating coverage for what appears to be ALL  spinal interventional techniques, now or in the next few months. They have issued draft coverage guidance strongly recommending against coverage for epidural, facet joint, medial branch, and sacroiliac joint injections for low back pain, regardless of etiology.
It is time to mobilize our forces across the nation. As you all know, this is based on the inappropriate evidence synthesis that was performed with intellectual bias by Chou et al from an organization which is facing extinction in its own - the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Please see the letter  we have drafted for presentation to the Oregon Health Authority. The comment period ends on December 9, 2016. We encourage you and every provider in your practice to submit all your signatures including your name, title, city and state, as soon as possible, no later than December 6, to Savannah Gold at

We will be enclosing an extensive citations list apart from this letter.
qcdrASIPP Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for Interventional Pain Management is Progressing
So far over 110 practitioners have expressed interest to join this historic registry to meet criteria of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System to avoid penalties and reap bonuses and also provide an outcome registry to show how interventional pain management is effective.
As we have seen over the past several months, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has taken many turns. We have written a comment letter with 4,534 signatures and also went to Washington. We made great strides.
While MIPS requirements have been substantially relaxed in reference to penalties, we need to focus on making bonuses and also putting ourselves into exceptional categories which may yield bonuses of over 20% in the beginning.
To achieve this, the major tool is to publish measures excessively than required and follow through Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) registry.

The advantage of QCDR registry will be not only that we will use many of the existing measures, but also we have to incorporate multiple interventional pain management specific measures to show the outcomes. Thus, this registry will not only meet the criteria for MIPS, but will also provide us with outcome measures across the nation.
Consequently, the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) is developing a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) alongside our technology and analytics partner ArborMetrix. Our goal is for ASIPP to be a QCDR for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for 2017 and beyond, as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) transitions to MIPS.

Why is ASIPP developing a QCDR?
As ASIPP has communicated over the past several months, the existing measures and reporting options available through CMS are not adequate for our specialty. They do not reflect the procedures and nuances of interventional pain management. The QCDR we are developing will provide ASIPP members the ability to meet CMS quality reporting requirements through MIPS while utilizing measures specific to the specialty.
Why do I need to participate in a QCDR?
Participating in a QCDR is one way to meet requirements mandated to you by CMS under MIPS. In 2017, if you are a solo practitioner, in a group practice, or work as a consultant, and you bill Medicare Part B, you are required to report through MIPS. Doing so will allow you not only to avoid negative payment adjustments but also potentially to receive gains in 2019 for reporting in 2017.

What are the benefits of participating in the ASIPP QCDR?
  • You will be able to report on the specialty-specific measures ASIPP is developing. These measures will be more relevant, clinically appropriate, outcomes oriented, and meaningful to interventional pain physicians than general measures defined through MIPS. They will also help drive meaningful quality improvement in the specialty.
  • You will meet CMS requirements for reporting in 2017 to avoid penalties of up to 4% of your Medicare reimbursements and the specialty-specific measures will give you a better chance to optimize incentives (even leading to exceptional performer) and avoid penalties under MIPS.
  • You will be better prepared for CMS quality reporting in future years when penalties and incentives get even larger. By 2022, the impact on your CMS payments will range from a penalty of 9% to incentives of upwards of 9% (may be as high as 21 - 30%), depending on your reporting performance.
How do I enroll in the ASIPP QCDR?
The first step is to let us know you are interested by replying to this email. Once we have garnered enough interest, we will be in contact with details of the enrollment process. Participating in the ASIPP QCDR will be $500 per year for physician for ASIPP members, $750 for non-members. For physician assistants and nurse practitioners the cost is 20% less (i.e., $400 for members or $600 for non-members).
What is the timeline for participation?
ASIPP must enroll at least 200 physicians in our QCDR by November 30, 2016 to meet this initial milestone.
Where can I find additional information about QCDR participation?
The CMS website has information on QCDR. We will be making more ASIPP-specific information available soon.

Will administer in June

The American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (ABIPP) has developed certification programs that recognize accepted levels of knowledge and expertise in the interventional pain management profession, with the goal of improved patient care. Hundreds of qualified physicians have made the commitment to become ABIPP certified. ABIPP is recognized in 11 states. Ten states have no statutes governing specialty boards. Approval is pending in remaining states.
ABIPP is a Specialty Board providing certifications in the following areas:
Board Certification in Interventional Pain Management
Either with ABMS pain medicine board certification or ABMS primary certification only
Competency Certification in:
  • Interventional Pain Management
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Controlled Substance Management
  • Coding, Compliance, and Practice Management
  • Fluoroscopic Interpretation and Radiological Safety
  • Endoscopic Spinal Decompression

More information:

Click HERE for more information and to register.
macraWhy Trump won't change MACRA much
Just a week after the election changes are already starting to take place in Washington in advance of the transition from President Obama to the administration President-elect Donald Trump is assembling. Physicians and healthcare executives are asking what impact, if any, the Trump Administration might have on the upcoming compliance with the final regulations under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Experts who spoke with Healthcare IT News said the MACRA regulation issued Oct. 14 and designed to change how healthcare providers are reimbursed under Medicare will remain largely intact. 

Not only did MACRA enjoy wide bipartisan support at its passage, but the concepts behind it were originated by Republican members of Congress more than a decade ago, said Justin Barnes, a partner at iHealth.
NPRThe Way To Get A New Health Law Is To Create A Crisis, Policy Consultant Says : NPR
Steve Inskeep talks to health policy consultant Robert Laszewski about the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans vow to repeal and replace. Laszewski had a long career in the insurance industry.

Click HERE for story
Start Planning NOW!
ASIPPĀ® Abstracts Submission for 2017 Annual Meeting OPEN
Registration will be open for Abstract Submissions is now available.
The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 19th Annual Meeting April 20-22 in Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace.
This year, we will be making significant changes to the Abstract and Poster Sessions. Submissions will be in two categories: Resident/Fellow and Physician.  Selected posters will be on display forall meeting participants during all breaks and meal times.
The Abstract Committee will select the top 25 for publication in Pain Physician and of those 10 will be selected for Abstract presentation and judging during the Annual Meeting. The top 3 will receive cash prizes.

debtWhy We Should Care About Physician Debt

In a time of rising healthcare costs, it's hard to talk about the financial strife of physicians, who as a whole over time do very well financially. We see the bills from our doctor's office, and it's hard to imagine why anybody would complain about the upfront investment of a medical education, when the payoff seems so good.

Many recent articles make the case for why becoming a physician is not actually a sound financial plan, highlighting decreases in physician salaries, the opportunity cost of the years in training, and the income ceiling relative to those in prominent other professional positions. Despite this, a reliable six-figure salary is not one to scoff at, and the public is hardly going to crusade against reimbursement cuts for physicians or rally for better physician pay the way that they (rightfully) do for teacher pay.

addictionSurgeon General: Addiction Not a 'Moral Failing'
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, issued a landmark report, "Facing Addiction in America," early Thursday highlighting the scope of the nation's drug and alcohol problem, examining the science, and demanding an evidence-based, integrated public health response.

"[W]hile addiction has been a problem for centuries, what's different now is that we have the tools to address it, and now is when we have to marshal the resources and the will to do so," Murthy said on a press call Thursday morning.

risksRisks & Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Blocks
The use of peripheral nerve blocks (PNBs) in multimodal analgesia has increased in hospital and ambulatory settings, and the technique confers multiple benefits. In addition to improved postoperative pain and more rapid recovery, PNBs are also associated with reductions in opioid use and the average length of hospital stay. 1

In a qualitative review published in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, anesthesiologists from several US universities examined the risks and benefits of single-shot PNBs (sPNBs) and continuous PNBs (cPNBs) using a perineural catheter. 2

Clinical Pain Advisor
itWhat does the Trump presidency imply for healthcare and healthcare IT?
Many organizations have asked me to comment on the impact of the Trump Presidency on healthcare and healthcare IT. I served the Bush administration for four years and the Obama administration for six years. I know that change in Washington happens incrementally. There is always an evolution, not a revolution, regardless of speechmaking hyperbole.
What am I doing in Massachusetts? I'm staying the course, continuing my focus on social networking for healthcare, mobile, care management analytics, cloud, and security while leaving the strategic plan/budget as is.

FentanylFentanyl Billionaire Under Fire as Opioid Death Toll Mounts 

Employees of John N. Kapoor's Insys Therapeutics bribed doctors to prescribe large, off-label doses of painkiller, prosecutors charge. 
Before they were arrested last year, Alabama doctors John Couch and Xiulu Ruan were prized customers of Insys Therapeutics Inc., maker of a powerful and highly addictive type of synthetic opioid known as fentanyl.



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State Society News

OHSIPP Meeting
August 25-27, 2017
The Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (OHSIPP) has set the dates for it
S 2017 meeting. Dates are Friday Aug 25 thru Sunday Aug 27, 2017.
The meeting will be held in Cincinnati at the Westin Hotel, 21 E 5th St , at Fountain Square .
Contact Michelle Byers for more information
Please send your State Society meetings and news to: Holly Long at



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