American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | January 17, 2018
CMS Approves NIPM-QCDR for 2018
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reapproved the NIPM-QCDR for the 2018 reporting year for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the CMS Quality Payment Program (QPP). Clinicians who participate in the NIPM-QCDR through the ASIPP Quality Registry can fulfill all MIPS requirements, and are eligible for potential positive MIPS payment adjustments.
"ASIPP launched the NIPM-QCDR in 2017 to help interventional pain physicians succeed under mandated quality reporting programs like MACRA and MIPS," said Laxmaiah Manchikanti, M.D., Chair, ASIPP Board of Directors. "Receiving approval from CMS as a MIPS reporting registry again in 2018 is, of course, an important milestone for the specialty and society. But more importantly, with the addition of outcomes measures and PROs, we are taking the necessary steps to demonstrate the value of the care we provide."

Now in its second year, the ASIPP Quality Registry and National Interventional Pain Management - Qualified Clinical Data Registry (NIPM-QCDR) is bringing even more utility to interventional pain physicians to help providers and their patients confidentially and securely report real-world outcomes following procedures performed in an office, surgery center, or hospital.

With the introduction patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and performance tracking, physicians who participate in the registry can view real-time results, such as reduction in pain or improvement in functional capacity, across patients within their own group or benchmarked against de-identified results from regional and national peers.
The inclusion of outcomes tracking within the ASIPP registry is essential for physicians to gain the actionable insights needed to improve quality and patient outcomes, and is also valuable for regulatory reporting. 
The ASIPP registry is available to all interventional pain physicians and their patients, not just those participating in clinical trials or MIPS. The data from these real-world outcomes will expand knowledge and understanding of interventional pain management and set the stage for healthier discussions regarding healthcare policy and reimbursement.
"The evolution of the NIPM-QCDR to include outcomes measures and PROs is critically important to advancing care and improving outcomes," said Dr. Manchikanti. "Whether or not you use the NIPM-QCDR for MIPS reporting, you will be able to track your outcomes over time, across various practice settings, and get confidential feedback from patients between office visits."
Providers who participate in the NIPM-QCDR will have the opportunity to maximize their MIPS performance in 2018 and, thus, optimize reimbursement payments in 2020. The NIPM-QCDR supports the Quality, Improvement Activities (IA), and Advancing Care Information (ACI) categories of MIPS. To satisfy the Quality category, providers can select from any of the 11 specialty-specific QCDR measures provided by ASIPP or the general Quality measures provided by CMS.
ASIPP is partnering with ArborMetrix on the NIPM-QCDR. ArborMetrix's suite of features and reports make it easy for physicians to see how they are performing, identify and implement best practices, improve care, and optimize CMS quality reporting and value-based payment. The NIPM-QCDR provides real-time reports available on-demand so physicians have easy access to the information that helps them propel performance and improve care, while avoiding penalties and optimizing potential bonus payments.

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 20th Annual Meeting March 15-17, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at Marriott Orlando World Center.

  •   Multiple topics covering Interventional Pain Management
  • 70+ physician speakers discussing over 125 interventional pain management topics and conducting numerous panel discussions
  • 8 keynote speakers enlightening attendees
  • "Excellence in IPM: Education, Research, and Advocacy"
  • 100+ exhibitors showcasing new IPM products and services
  • A luxurious stay in the stylish rooms and many amenities of Marriott Orlando World Center

Thursday General Session:
Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Today, Tomorrow, and Future of Pain Management
Evidence Synthesis in IPM: Evolution of EBM or Death of Expertise and Truth

Friday General Session:
State of Health Care in the US: Past, Present, and Future
Health Care Advocacy: ASIPP Involvement with Grass Roots Advocacy Find everything you need for a successful stay.
Health Care Reform: A View from Washington

Multiple breakout sessions including: Abstract and Posters; Regenerative Medicine; Resident/Fellows; Compliance, Billing and Coding; and various sessions on interventional techniques

ASIPP Abstract Submission for 2018 Annual Meeting Deadline Feb. 1

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 for all 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.

CMS Issues Guidance on Medicaid Work Requirements
10 states are pursuing such rules for Medicaid recipients
WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled out guidance Thursday for states wishing to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients, declaring that "helping Americans at or near the poverty line improve their lives ... should be a cause that unites us all."
CMS Administrator Seema Verma made the statement during a conference call with reporters to discuss the guidance. Verma noted that 10 states have already applied for so-called 1115 waivers that would allow them to implement work requirements: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin. The requirements would mandate that people in the affected states must be working, enrolled in school or job training, volunteering, or providing care for a family member -- activities referred to as "community engagement" -- in order to remain eligible for Medicaid.
FDA Announces Codeine/Hydrocodone-Containing Cold Medicine No Longer Indicated for Children
According to a new safety communication, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring that changes be made to the labeling of prescription cough and cold medicines containing codeine and hydrocodone.
These changes include limiting the use of these agents to adults ≥18 years old, as well as the addition of new safety information regarding the risks of slowed or difficult breathing, misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose, and death to the  Boxed Warning
Click HERE to view December issue of IPM Reports

Interventional Pain Management Reports is an Open Access online journal, a peer-reviews journal dedicated to the publication of case reports, brief commentaries and reviews and letters to the editor. It is a peer-reviewed journal written by and directed to an audience of interventional pain physicians, clinicians and basic scientists with an interest in interventional pain management and pain medicine. 

Interventional Pain Management Reports is an official publication of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) and is a sister publication of Pain Physician . Interventional Pain Management Reports Interventional Pain Management Reports is an open access journal, available online with free full manuscripts.  

The benefits of publishing in an open access journal that has a corresponding
print edition journal are:  
  • Your article will have the potential to obtain more citations.
  • Your article will be peer-reviewed and published faster than other journals.
  • Your article can be read by a potentially much larger audience compared with traditional subscription-only journals.  
  • Open Access journals are FREE to view, download and to print.

So submit today your:
  • Case Reports
  • Technical Reports
  • Editorials
  • Short Perspectives

Click HERE to submit
House Opioid Task Force has Big Plans for 2018
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans and Democrats joined forces on more than a dozen bills to fight the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic.
The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force's goal is to bring attention to the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic and to advance bills it believes have the potential to gain traction and funding, explained Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), task force co-chair, during a Wednesday press conference.
Webinar: The CMS Quality Payment Program: MACRA– MIPs Final Rule for 2018
The Final Rule of the CMS Merit-Based Incentive Payment System for 2018, MIPS, was published on 11/02/17, and is ~ 1,200 pages. Identified as the Quality Payment Program, QPP, it is extensive in scope to reward or penalize providers for performing certain measures in four performance categories. Last year 2017, the first year of the QPP, was modified and contains changes to the reporting requirements for 2018. The four categories are: (1) Quality (2) Cost (3) Improvement Activities, and (4) Advancing Care Information. The four categories result in a final score of between 0 to 100 points. Depending on the provider's final score, a penalty/reward is assessed, or the provider remains neutral. For 2018 the penalty is 5%. Selecting certain reporting options avoids penalties and even lead to bonus payments on future claims. MIPS replaces PQRS, MU, and the VM (value modifier) programs, but rolls these same programs into the 3 performance categories above and the new category implemented in 2017, Improvement Activities, has been expanded for 2018.

This webinar will explain and review:
•     MACRA – MIPs
–    Components of MIPs, 2018

 QUALITY PQRS), ACI (Advancing Care Information), IA (Improvement Activity), COST (Resource Use)
»    Scoring
–    A comparative report prepared by CMS for attributing the COST of care to physicians and groups used to determine resource use in 2018
–    Obtaining an EIDM portal thru Medicare

WEBINAR DATE: January 25, 2018
TIME: 11:00am-12:30pm CST 
LENGTH: 90 Minutes 
SPEAKER: Deborah H. Tracy, MD, MBA
-Board Certified Anesthesiologist
-Subspecialty Certified Pain Management, ABA
-Board Certified Pain Management, ABIPP
-Diplomat of interventional Pain Practice, WIP

CMS Rolls Out New Bundled Payment Model
BPCI Advanced will start in October
WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing a new voluntary bundled services payment model for Medicare, the agency announced.
"BPCI [Bundled Payment for Care Improvement] Advanced builds on the earlier success of bundled payment models and is an important step in the move away from fee-for-service and towards paying for value," CMS administrator Seema Verma said in a  press release issued late Tuesday afternoon . "Under this model, providers will have an incentive to deliver efficient, high-quality care."
Unlike fee-for-service Medicare, in which providers are paid a separate fee for each service they perform, bundled payment schemes offer a single payment for a particular "episode" of care, which may include just outpatient care, or a hospital stay plus outpatient post-operative care. The earlier BPCI models, some of which began rolling out in 2013, offered participants 48 different episodes of care from which to choose; the new BPCI Advanced model offers 32 different episodes -- 29 inpatient and three outpatient.
Walmart takes on opioid crisis, offering free solution to safely dispose of unused meds
Walmart is taking on the opioid abuse crisis with a safe solution to dispose of unused prescriptions.
The big box retailer says it will become the first national drug chain to offer such a free opioid disposal option at all its pharmacy locations.  
Its DisposeRx solution consists of a small packet with an FDA-safe chemical blend that, when emptied into a pill bottle with warm water, lets patients dispose of any leftover medications in the trash. The medications — they can be powder, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches — are converted into a non-divertible and biodegradable gel.
Epidural Use Takes a Dip, Opioid Deaths Due to Heroin and Fentanyl Increase Astronomically
Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, Amol Soin, MD, Dharam P Mann, MD, Sanjay Bakshi, MD, Vidyasagar Pampati, MSc, and Joshua A. Hirsch, MD published statistics showing decline in utilization of interventional techniques with reductions in reimbursement, with reductions in reimbursement. Opioid prescription reductions, increasing deaths, with increasing heroin and fentanyl correlate with decline in interventional techniques, despite promotion of nonopioid techniques.
In the November/December of Pain Physician, Manchikanti and Joshua Hirsh have assessed with an in-depth look at growth of interventional techniques over the past 17 years. Interesting, they have divided the periods prior to 2009 - enactment of Obamacare, and after 2009, that is, i.e. pre- and post-Obamacare.
This analysis showed overall reduction of interventional techniques from 2009 to 2016 of 0.6% per year; however, startling statistics show the following:
Epidural injections and adhesiolysis procedures declined at an annual rate of 1.7% per 100,000 Medicare population. It appears that there may be slight increase for facet joint interventions, specifically in the cervical spine without substantial increase in the lumbar spine. There is also annual decrease of 2.2% for disc procedures and other types of nerve blocks.
For full manuscript, please see
Click below to view full article pdfs available only online at: 
Bill aims to create Maine drug czar
YORK -- State Rep. Patricia Hymanson said she believes a comprehensive approach is necessary to stop the opioid epidemic in Maine, where an average of more than one person a day is overdosing on illegal and pharmaceutical grade opioids.
Hymanson, D-York, will introduce a bill in this second session of the 128th Maine Legislature to create a new position in the governor’s office to lead the charge to combat the addiction crisis statewide. Because there are no socioeconomic boundaries with this public health emergency, it has impacted many areas of state and local government, and Hymanson said it is imperative that someone have the responsibility to lead, collaborate and help organize all the agencies involved in addressing this problem.
Department of Justice News

Pharmacy Owner, Medical Doctor and Patient Recruiter Convicted in $4.3 Million Pain and Scar Cream Kickback Scheme Against Military Insurance Program
The owner of an Orlando, Florida-area pharmacy, a medical doctor and a patient recruiter were convicted today for their role in a kickback scheme involving pain and scar creams that resulted in the payment of approximately $4.3 million in false and fraudulent claims to TRICARE. TRICARE provides coverage for active duty military and their families, as well as retired veterans.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Eric W. Sporre of the FBI’s Tampa Field Office and Resident Agent in Charge Brooke M. Harris of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DOD-OIG) Defense Criminal Investigative Service made the announcement.
Larry Howard, 53, of Oviedo, Florida; Nicole Bramwell, M.D., 52, of Apopka, Florida; and Raymond Stone, 57, of Orlando, were convicted after a five-day trial of one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks and paying and receiving kickbacks. Howard was also convicted of two counts of paying health care kickbacks, and Bramwell and Stone were convicted of one count each of receiving health care kickbacks. In addition, Howard was convicted of two counts of money laundering.
Michigan Clinic Office Manager Pleads Guilty to $131 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving Unnecessary Prescription of Controlled Substances
A Michigan clinic office manager pleaded guilty today for his role in a health care fraud scheme that involved the unnecessary prescription of controlled substances and that resulted in a $131 million loss to Medicare.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division, Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Chicago Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.
Yasser Mozeb, 35, of Oakland County, Michigan, the office manager of the Tri-County Network, based in Detroit, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks, before U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 31 at 2 pm EST before Judge Hood. 
Second Conspirator Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent Medical Device Scheme
Canadian Resident Sold Laser Devices as Treatment for Scores of Conditions
A second individual pleaded guilty yesterday in connection with a scheme to defraud consumers by selling light-emitting devices as a treatment for more than 200 different diseases and disorders, the Department of Justice announced today.
Irina Kossovskaia, 63, of Ontario, Canada, pleaded guilty in the District of South Dakota to one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead. Kossovskaia faced charges along with Robert “Larry” Lytle and Fredretta Eason relating to her involvement with the devices, known as the “QLaser System.” A fourth individual, Ronald D. Weir, Jr., pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy last February.
According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Kossovskaia and co-conspirators including Lytle and Weir marketed and distributed QLaser devices by falsely claiming that the devices could safely and effectively treat a panoply of medical conditions at home, including cancer, diabetes, autism, HIV, and heart disease. No published clinical or scientific studies supported the use of QLaser devices to treat such serious conditions, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never approved the devices for such use.
State Society News 
April 18-22, 2018
GSIPP 2018 Annual Meeting
Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
Thursday, April 18, 2018 - Sunday, April 22, 2018
The Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

July 19-22, 2018
FSIPP 2018 Annual Meeting, Conference, and Trade Show
Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480

Send in your state society meeting news to Holly Long,
ASIPP | Pain Physician Journal | Phone | Fax | Email