American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | April 4, 2018

Medicare Finalizes Plan to Reduce High Dose Opioids
Under new rules released today for the 2019 Medicare Part D prescription drug program, a ceiling for opioid doses will be established at 90mg morphine equivalent units (MME). Any prescription at or above that level would trigger a “hard safety edit” requiring pharmacists to talk with the prescribing doctor about the appropriateness of the dose. If satisfied with the explanation, the pharmacist could then override the edit and fill the prescription.
CMS said this “tailored approach” to opioid prescriptions was needed to address what it called “chronic opioid overuse” at the pharmacy level and to encourage support for the CDC’s 2016 opioid prescribing guideline.

The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over The DEA
In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets.
By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives, more than three times the number of U.S. military deaths in the Vietnam War. Overdose deaths continue to rise . There is no end in sight.
Extortion Scam Targeting DEA Registrants
DEA is aware that registrants are receiving telephone calls and emails by criminals identifying themselves as DEA employees or other law enforcement personnel. The criminals have masked their telephone number on caller id by showing the DEA Registration Support 800 number. Please be aware that a DEA employee would not contact a registrant and demand money or threaten to suspend a registrant’s DEA registration. 
If you are contacted by a person purporting to work for DEA and seeking money or threatening to suspend your DEA registration, submit the information through “ Extortion Scam Online Reporting ” posted on the DEA Diversion Control Division’s website, .
ASIPP ® 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting A Success!
The 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting was in collaboration with the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. It was held in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Marriott Orlando World Center. Nearly 975 people attended the meeting with a record number of vendors filling the exhibition hall. Click here for Photo Gallery .

Please make plans to join us for next year’s
Annual Meeting May 3-5, 2019 at Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas.
Essentials of Interventional Techniques in Managing Chronic Pain Available for Order!
  • Comprehensive textbook of interventional techniques in managing chronic pain
  • Covers spinal interventional techniques, peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic interventional techniques, soft tissue and joint injections and implantables
  • Step-by-step guidance backed up by the latest evidence

This comprehensive review covers the full and latest array of interventional techniques for managing chronic pain. Chapters are grouped by specific treatment modalities that include spinal interventional techniques, nonspinal and peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic interventional techniques, soft tissue and joint injections, and implantables. Practical step-by-step and evidence-based guidance is given to each approach in order to improve the clinician's understanding. Innovative and timely, Essentials of Interventional Techniques in Managing Chronic Pain is a critical resource for anesthesiologists, neurologists, and rehabilitation and pain physicians.

Opioids vs Nonopioid Medications for Chronic Back, Knee, and Hip Osteoarthritis Pain

Opioids and nonopioid analgesics were found to provide similar improvements in pain-related function over a 1-year period in patients with chronic back pain or knee or hip osteoarthritis pain, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For this randomized trial ( identifier: NCT01583985), a total of 240 patients with chronic back pain or knee or hip osteoarthritis pain were recruited from Veterans Affairs primary care clinics.

Jury finds Laser Spine Institute liable for patient's death; patient's family awarded $20M

After less than 90 minutes of deliberation, a Chester County, Pa., jury found Wayne, Pa.-based Laser Spine Institute and anesthesiologist Glenn Rubenstein, MD, liable for a patient's death following spine surgery, The Legal Intelligencer reports.

What Happened to the Untreated Chronic Pain Crisis?

Simply stated, nothing has happened to the untreated chronic pain crisis. The same percentage of patients from the population still suffer from chronic, unrelenting pain. The only difference is this: We now know that one treatment option, when taken to the extreme, is not the simplistic solution that we had hoped for and were led to believe.

In retrospect, simplistic is a nice adjective along with delusional, foolish or academically corrupt to describe the belief that any human condition can be alleviated with a known addictive substance. How the pain management experts were able to dissociate from the accumulated knowledge of both medical experts and laypersons of the dangerous nature of opioids is beyond understanding.

The room block cut-off date has April 12, 2018 or until sold out, whichever occurs first.

On Key Enhancements to ASIPP ® NIPM-QCDR

Understand and adjust your performance to improve patient outcomes. Join the NIPM-QCDR team for a webinar outlining key enhancements to ASIPP's NIPM-QCDR for 2018. The presenters will share how the registry is bringing even more utility to interventional pain management to help you and your patients confidentially and securely report real-world patient outcomes following procedures performed in an office, surgery center, or hospital. You will receive a preview of new features and reports coming to the registry - including patient-reported outcomes - that will help you understand and adjust your performance to improve patient outcomes. Plus, learn about how the NIPM-QCDR can help you easily and satisfactorily meet CMS requirements and optimize reimbursements this year.
April 11 | 2pm ET
Presenters :
Spencer Heaton, M.D., M.B.A.
Lukasz Paszek, M.B.A.

Opioid-Related Overdoses May Be Underestimated (NPR)
Death certificates often omit information

Opioid overdose deaths may be significantly underestimated, according to an NPR report on information included in death certificates.

Many death certificates list overdose as the cause without naming the drugs involved. Based on death certificates, the CDC reported 42,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. But Christopher Ruhm, PhD, at the University of Virginia suggested the real number was actually closer to 50,000.
Pain Management Practices Urged to Adopt New Technologies

Las Vegas—Mobile health applications, which improve patient–practitioner communications and facilitate remote assessment and intervention, can extend the reach and efficiency of pain management clinics, according to researchers.

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield adopts new opioid standard — 3 things to know

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association National Council of Physician and Pharmacist Executives adopted a standard that opioids should not be prescribed as first or second lines of pain therapy in most situations.

March/April 2018 Issue Features

Systematic Reviews
  • Discography in Chronic Spinal Pain
  • Neuropathic Pain in Acute and Subacute Neuropathies
  • Vitamin D Supplementation for Low Back Pain
Comprehensive Review
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Review
Randomized Trials
  • Fluoroscopic Guided Radiofrequency of Genicular Nerves
  • Effects of a Sustained Release Formulation of Sodium Nitrite on Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency in an Animal Model of Neuropathic Pain
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment for Chronic Post-Surgical Orchialgia

Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist Sentenced to 160 Months in Prison for $4.3 Million Pain and Scar Cream Kickback Scheme Against Military Insurance Program

The owner of an Orlando, Florida-area pharmacy, who was also a licensed pharmacist, was sentenced today for his 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 members 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 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 B. Howard, 53, of Oviedo, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron for the Middle District of Florida to serve 160 months in prison and ordered to forfeit over $4.3 million as proceeds of the crime. Howard was also ordered to forfeit two properties, worth approximately $340,000, that he purchased with the proceeds of the crime, and two cashier’s checks worth $25,000 each. The judge also ordered Howard to pay $4.3 million in restitution to the federal military health insurance program.
State Society News 
June 9-10, 2018
Midwest Societies of Interventional Pain Management Meeting
State Societies from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Iowa .
Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago

April 18-22, 2018
GSIPP 2018 Annual Meeting
Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
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