American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | December 12, 2018
One Day Ultrasound Course February 21, 2019
Orlando, FL
3 Choices in February!
Review Courses and Cadaver Labs
Feb 22-24 2019, Orlando, FL
Boarded to Death: Physicians Sue the ABIM

On Thursday 6 December 2018 in the Federal District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania, a class action lawsuit on behalf of over 100,000 internal medicine physicians was filed against the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) by four internists.
The plaintiffs brought the action pursuant to the Clayton Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 15 and 26 to recover treble damages, injunctive relief, costs of the suit, and reasonable attorney’s fees arising from violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act (28 U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2). The suit alleges that there is illegal tying of the ABIM’s initial board certification product to its maintenance of certification® (MOC®) product in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and illegal monopolization and monopoly maintenance in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The suit claims that after the ABIM's attempts to sell a voluntary "Continuous Professional Development" accolade program failed to recruit enough physician interest, the ABIM created a wholly new market product for itself, time-limited board certification (later branded as "Maintenance of Certification®" or MOC®), forcing physicians to purchase this product or lose their specialty certification. It also alleges ABIM induced hospitals and related entities, insurance companies, medical corporations, and other employers to require internists to be ABIM-certified to obtain hospital consulting and admitting privileges, reimbursement by insurance companies, employment by medical corporations, malpractice coverage, and other requirements of the practice of medicine. As an indication of ABIM's illegal tying and monopoly maintenance, the suit claims, is that the ABIM is able to charge inflated monopoly prices for MOC®, increasing the fees it generates from MOC® 276% since 2000. Each of the plaintiffs have claimed substantial harm caused by MOC®.

Abstract Submission Open!

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for the 2019 ASIPP Annual Meeting Abstract and Poster Contest. The top 10 abstracts selected by our panel will be presented at the annual meeting. The top 25 abstracts will be presented as electronic posters in view for all our attendees.

Click HERE to submit. Deadline is Feb. 18

Drug Overdose Mortality Rates Rising in the United States

Drug  overdose mortality  rates are on the rise in several countries, particularly the United States, according to a study published in the  Annals of Internal Medicine .
Investigators examined data from the World Health Organization Mortality Database for the 2001 to 2015 period on the annual number of deaths due to  drug overdose  by country, year, age, and sex. Overdose deaths were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, codes for mental and behavioral disorders due to substance use (F11 to F16 and F19), and poisoning by external causes (accidental poisoning [X40 to X44], internal self-poisoning [X60 to X64 and X85], and poisoning of undetermined intent [Y10 to Y14]). Data analyzed was for individuals age 20 to 64 in an effort to focus on premature mortality. The data of individuals from 13 countries were analyzed: Australia, Chile, Denmark, England, Wales, Estonia, Finland, German, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United States.

Opioids: Clinician Concern and Prescribing Practices

Clinicians who are highly concerned about  opioid misuse , addiction, and psychological dependence may be more confident but also more reluctant to prescribe opioids, according to a recent study published in  Pain Medicine .
To evaluate the association between a clinician's degree of concern over opioid-related issues and his or her prescribing practices, researchers conducted a web-based survey of 961 clinical staff members at the Mayo Clinic. Based on responses to questions related to opioid misuse, physiologic dependence, and potential for addiction, participants were considered to be highly concerned or less concerned.
Of the 720 nonresident clinicians who reported prescribing opioids, 637 reported concern for at least 1 opioid-related issue, with 75.2% being highly concerned. Compared with those deemed less concerned, highly concerned clinicians were found to be more confident  prescribing opioids  (risk ratio [RR], 1.34; 95% CI, 1.08-1.67), but they tended to be more reluctant to do so (RR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.25). 

CMS: Health Spending Growth Slowed to 3.9% in 2017
Deceleration from previous 2 years

WASHINGTON -- National health spending rose 3.9% in 2017 -- a slower growth rate than the previous 2 years -- mainly due to a slowdown in use and intensity of hospital care, physician and clinical services, and prescription drugs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Thursday.
Spending reached $3.5 trillion, but grew more slowly than in 2016, when it increased by 4.8%, or 2015, when it grew by 5.8%, according to Anne Martin, lead author of the report and an economist in the National Health Statistics Group at CMS's Office of the Actuary, who spoke on a phone call with reporters. The 2017 health spending growth of 3.9% is lower than the 4.2% increase the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017; healthcare's share of the GDP was 17.9%, similar to 2016.

WEBINAR DATE: December 18, 2018
TIME: 7:00pm-8:30pm ET 
CREDIT: 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™  
LENGTH: 90 Minutes 
SPEAKER: Sairam Atluri, MD

Regenerative Medicine is revolutionizing the field of Pain Management. "Stem Cells" has become the new buzz word among patients who are actively seeking non-traditional approaches for pain relief. Although regenerative procedures are not covered by insurance, many patients are willing to pay out of pocket for these game changing procedures. 

Evidence in the literature is favorable to date, and practice-based evidence is strong. Performed by the right hands and by following the FDA guidelines, these procedures can potentially be life changing for your patients.

This CME activity will review the latest research in Regenerative Medicine and discuss how it might best be incorporated into your pain management practice.

Participate in this webinar to learn the latest evidence-based information about Regenerative Medicine and how to seamlessly add this new technology to your practice!

Dr. Atluri is a pioneer of stem cell therapy in the Cincinnati area. He is one of the very few in the country performing intra-discal and subchondral stem cell procedures to treat back pain and joint pain. He gives national talks teaching other physicians about stem cell therapy. He is also a co-editor of one the largest text books about Regenerative medicine.   He is certified in Regenerative Medicine by American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.
Physician Responsibility to Combat "Fake News" in Medicine
The Internet harbors a seemingly infinite expanse of false information. Each day rumors and “fake news” are passed off as facts. As a result, many people — either consciously or unconsciously — seek out evidence that supports their own views.
It is easy to see how inaccurate information from the web can play a damaging role in patients' well-being. Now more than ever, healthcare professionals must be thoughtful when correcting false harmful misinformation for their patients.

Fault Found (Again) With Conflict-of-Interest Disclosures in Journals
Even in top publications, many authors fail to disclose relevant financial relationships

One is dean of Yale's medical school. Another is the director of a cancer center in Texas. A third is the next president of the most prominent society of cancer doctors.
These leading medical figures are among dozens of doctors who have failed, in recent years, to report their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their studies are published in medical journals, according to a review by  ProPublica  and  The New York Times  and  data from other  recent research .

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

Six Detroit-area doctors charged in $500M opioid scheme

Detroit — Six doctors were charged in an unsealed indictment Thursday with cheating Medicare and Medicaid out of almost $500 million and fueling the nation's opioid epidemic by illegally prescribing more than 13 million doses of prescription pain medication.
The dollars and drugs involved make the alleged health care fraud conspiracy one of the largest in Michigan history, and one of the largest nationwide.
The scheme was focused within three pain clinics in Macomb County. They are The Pain Center USA in Warren and Eastpointe, and Interventional Pain Center in Warren.
The three clinics were owned and operated by Dr. Rajendra Bothra, 77, of Bloomfield Hills, a surgeon, humanitarian and politician. In 1999, Bothra was presented with the highest civilian honor bestowed in India, known as the Padmashri.

Chicago ASC physician convicted in $3.5M billing fraud scheme: 5 things to know

Paul Madison, MD, was convicted of healthcare fraud, aggravated identity theft and lying about medical treatment delivery after directing staff to fraudulently bill for procedures at the surgery center where he practiced, according to a Chicago Sun Times  report .
Here are five things to know:
1. Dr. Madison, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist at Watertower SurgiCenter in Chicago, was convicted of ordering staff to fraudulently bill for surgeries that weren't performed from 2005 to 2009.
2. Under his direction, Dr. Madison's staff fraudulently billed for more than $3.5 million and wrongly received $783,000, according to an FBI report. 
3. In 2007, Illinois state regulators discovered the fraud and at that time Dr. Madison directed staff members to destroy records and lie to investigators, according to the report.
4. Initially indicted in 2012, a federal jury convicted Dr. Madison last week of six counts of healthcare fraud, three counts of lying about medical treatment and two counts of aggravated identity theft, according to the report. He will be sentenced in March 2019.
5. Dr. Madison's maximum sentence is 79 years in prison.

Olympus Medical Systems Corporation, Former Senior Executive Plead Guilty to Distributing Endoscopes After Failing to File FDA-Required Adverse Event Reports of Serious Infections
Olympus Medical Systems Corporation (Olympus) and a former senior executive in Japan pleaded guilty today in Newark, New Jersey, to failing to file required adverse event reports involving infections connected to duodenoscopes, and to continuing to sell the duodenoscopes in the United States despite those failures, the Justice Department announced today.
Olympus, which is located in Tokyo, Japan, and Hisao Yabe, 62, of Japan, both entered guilty pleas before U.S. District Court Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark Federal Court: Olympus to three counts, and Yabe to one count, of distributing misbranded medical devices in interstate commerce in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). 
Judge Chesler also imposed sentence on the company today – fining Olympus $80,000,000 and ordering $5,000,000 in criminal forfeiture, consistent with a plea agreement between Olympus and the Justice Department. Olympus must also abide by an agreement with the Justice Department requiring Olympus to enact extensive compliance reforms.


Former Director of Healthcare Services Company Charged in Alleged $300 Million Investment Fraud Scheme
The Defendant And His Co-Conspirators Allegedly Inflated Company’s Value and Revenue to Defraud Investors
A former member of the board of directors of a publicly traded healthcare services company was arrested at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport over the weekend for allegedly participating in a wide-spread scheme to defraud investors and others out of hundreds of millions of dollars in connection with a merger transaction designed to convert the company into a private entity, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey announced. 
Pavandeep Bakhshi, 41, of the United Kingdom, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud. Bakhshi was arrested Saturday evening at JFK Airport after arriving on a flight from London. Bakhshi’s initial court appearance is today at 2:30 p.m. EST before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre for the District of New Jersey.


South Florida Pharmacy Owner Sentenced to Almost Four Years in Prison for Role in $2.5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
An owner of a now-defunct Miami pharmacy was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for his participation in a scheme that caused Medicare to pay $2.5 million in false and fraudulent claims for prescription drugs that were never purchased. 
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Shimon R. Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.
Gregory Sanchez, 44, of Miami Lakes, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro of the Southern District of Florida. Judge Ungaro also ordered Sanchez to pay $2,507,942 in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-conspirators, and to forfeit the same amount. Sanchez pleaded guilty in September 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Sanchez was an undisclosed co-owner of Med Health Equipment, LLC (Med Health), which purported to operate as a pharmacy. Sanchez admitted that he and his co-conspirators used Med Health to fraudulently bill Medicare by submitting claims for prescription drugs that Med Health never purchased and never dispensed. To carry out the fraudulent scheme, Sanchez and his co-conspirators paid and caused the payment of kickbacks to patient recruiters in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries to Med Health. As a result of fraudulent claims submitted in connection with the scheme, Medicare paid Med Health approximately $2.5 million, Sanchez admitted.  


Drug Maker Actelion Agrees to Pay $360 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability for Paying Kickbacks
Pharmaceutical company Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc. (Actelion), based in South San Francisco, California, has agreed to pay $360 million to resolve claims that it illegally used a foundation as a conduit to pay the copays of thousands of Medicare patients taking Actelion’s pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs, in violation of the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today. 
When a Medicare beneficiary obtains a prescription drug covered by Medicare, the beneficiary may be required to make a partial payment, which may take the form of a copayment, coinsurance, or a deductible (collectively “copays”). These copay obligations may be substantial for expensive medications. Congress included copay requirements in the Medicare program, in part, to serve as a check on health care costs, including the prices that pharmaceutical manufacturers can demand for their drugs. 
Under the Anti-Kickback Statute, a pharmaceutical company is prohibited from offering or paying, directly or indirectly, any remuneration—which includes money or any other thing of value— to induce Medicare patients to purchase the company’s drugs. This prohibition extends to the payment of patients’ copay obligations. 


State Society News 

July 12-14, 2019
GSIPP 2019 - 15th Annual Meeting & Pain Summit
The Cloister Hotel at Sea Island
Sea Island, GA
For more information, contact Karrie Kirwan at or Tara Morrison at or 770-613-0932.

July 26-28, 2019
PAIN 2019
West Virginia Society of Pain Physicians
Loews Miami Beach, FL

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