American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | May 22, 2019
MEMPHIS IN JULY: 4 Courses, ABIPP and Competency Exams
July 13 - July 14 | Memphis, TN
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 now offers the only competency certification program for regenerative medicine.
For complete information about the examination requirements and to obtain an application packet, visit or call 270-554-9412 x4217 or by email at

July 13

July 13
July 13-14
July 14
ABIPP Competency Exam

July 13
Combined CSM/CCPM Exam for ABIPP Path
July 13
Competency Exam in Controlled Substance Management

July 13
Competency Exam in Coding, Compliance, and
Practice Management

July 13-14
Regenerative Medicine Competency Exam
July 13-14
Endoscopic Lumbar Decompression Competency Exam

939 Ridge Lake Blvd. | Memphis, TN 38120
The cut-off date for our room block with discounted rates is on June 10, 2019 or until sold out, whichever occurs first.
Scientists Spot Unexpected Player in Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious and misunderstood illness, but researchers may have uncovered at least one key to the disease's origin: insulin resistance.
The new research compared a small group of people with fibromyalgia to two groups of healthy people and noted that a long-term measure of blood sugar levels was higher in the people with fibromyalgia. Insulin resistance develops when the body starts to struggle with breaking down sugar.
To see if treating those higher blood sugar levels might help, the researchers gave people who had blood sugar levels in the pre-diabetic range or higher a diabetes medication called metformin. People taking metformin reported significantly lower pain scores, according to the study.

Classical Music-Based Interventions for Chronic Pain

Exposure to certain classical music pieces may have an analgesic effect in a mouse model of inflammatory pain and be associated with reduced allodynia in a mouse model of surgical pain, according to a study published in Frontiers in Neurology.
In the current study, researchers examined whether antiseizure and analgesic effects of classical music may have beneficial effects in mouse models of pain and epilepsy to explore new opportunities for the development of mobile health technologies and digital therapeutics that may be leveraged for the treatment of these neurological disorders. A playlist with a modular progression of Mozart compositions previously shown to reduce seizures and epileptiform discharges in individuals with epilepsy was used to test the effects of music on mouse models of pain and epilepsy.

More Than Half of US Adults Have Medical Financial Hardship

Medical financial hardship affects more than half of adults in the United States, according to a study published online May 1 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine .
K. Robin Yabroff, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the national prevalence of medical financial hardship. A total of 68,828 adults aged 18 to 64 years and 24,614 aged ≥65 years were identified from the 2015 to 2017 National Health Interview Survey.
The researchers found that 56.0 percent of adults reported any medical financial hardship in the previous year, representing about 137.1 million adults. Hardship was more common in adults aged 18 to 64 years than in those aged ≥65 years in the material, psychological, and behavioral domains (28.9, 46.9, and 21.2 percent versus 15.3, 28.4, and 12.7 percent, respectively). In both age groups, lower educational attainment and more health conditions correlated strongly with hardship intensity. In the younger group, the uninsured were more likely to report multiple domains of hardship than those with some public or private insurance (52.8 versus 26.5 and 23.2 percent, respectively). In the older group, the trend was similar for individuals with Medicare only versus those with Medicare and public coverage or Medicare and private coverage (17.1 versus 12.1 and 10.1 percent, respectively).

Health Canada Policy Position Paper – Autologous Cell Therapy Products

Many emerging autologous 1 cell therapy products may eventually prove to be safe and effective. However, most of these products are currently at the investigational stage of development with an on-going need to gather supporting scientific evidence. In addition, there is uncertainty among some stakeholders on how these products are regulated in Canada and in particular, how the present regulatory frameworks under the Food and Drugs Act (the Act) can provide appropriate oversight of safety, efficacy and quality, while enabling patient access to potentially promising new therapies. 
This paper provides background on autologous cell therapy products, as well as the Canadian and International regulatory context. It addresses specific policy issues related to the regulation of autologous cell therapies, including: 1) The risks posed by autologous cell therapies; 2) The applicable federal product safety rules and how they can be complied with; and 3) The steps that are being taken by the regulator to assist in the development of these therapies.

Surgeons' Group Backs Mandatory Age-Based Cognitive Testing
Should be part of broader "career transitioning" plan, says Society of Surgical Chairs

Surgeons should be required to undergo cognitive and psychomotor testing "by at least age 65," according to a group representing surgical department heads.
The Society of Surgical Chairs (SSC) -- a division of the American College of Surgeons -- called for mandatory screening in a guideline appearing in JAMA Surgery .
The group's recommendation comes amidst a growing national debate over whether cognitive testing should be required for all physicians based solely on their age. As MedPage Today reported recently , some institutions are already moving ahead with such policies, against complaints that it's age discrimination .

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

Opinion: How the Trump prescription for drug prices transparency could make health care well again

When it comes to the prescription drugs America use, too often money is the last thing consumers think about. Formulaic prescription drug ads are part of the reason why. 
Suffer from blood clotting or find yourself at an elevated risk of stroke due to an irregular heartbeat? Then Eliquis is your answer. Got moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis or Crohn’s disease? Then talk to your doctor about Humira.
Most ads involve an attractive protagonist whose otherwise idyllic life is interrupted by a specific, serious but treatable condition. Resolution to the protagonist’s problem, as well as a resumption of the ad’s narrative arc, comes in the form of medication. The protagonist then gets back to his or her enriching and meaningful pursuits — say biking along the Pacific Coast or cooking with a loved one — while a narrator runs through the potential side effects. 

Efforts Needed to Ensure Publication of All Clinical Trials

HealthDay News — Efforts are needed to ensure all completed large trials are reported, according to a research letter published online May 7 in the Annals of Internal Medicine .
Athina Tatsioni, M.D., from the University of Ioannina School of Health Sciences in Greece, and colleagues examined the extent of preregistered randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that were unpublished and lacked reported results more than 46 months after completion.
The researchers found that 60 of 146 large RCTs without main publications listed or results posted on as of April 2016 had in fact been published by that time. Eighty-four trials were unreported; of these, 14 were published by January 2019. Results of three other trials were identified after contacting investigators. The remaining 67 trials had a median enrollment of 765 participants and were unreported for a median of nine years after completion; the trials included a total of 87,883 participants. Most trials recruited adults, and 55 trials assessed pharmacologic interventions.

Take this app: tech firms tackle opioid crisis with software

Technology firms are taking aim at the opioid crisis and related health problems with a new class of treatments -- digital therapeutics -- delivered by smartphone.
These new treatments, backed by medical research and offered by prescription, are seen as potential ways to supplement, and in some cases replace, pharmaceuticals to treat addiction and an array of other mental and physical health issues.
Smartphone technology may be well-suited to behavioral therapy for addiction, depression and other disorders by making treatment more accessible and trackable by medical professionals, researchers say.

2019 MIPS Reporting? Start Now.
MIPS-eligible clinicians must report a full year of data. Don’t fall behind – keep up with NIPM-QCDR.
MIPS 2019 has brought larger payment adjustments and greater reporting requirements, including a 365-day performance period for the Quality and Cost categories. The sooner you start your MIPS reporting for 2019, the better.
Sign up today to use ASIPP’s NIPM-QCDR for MIPS.
This powerful tool makes MIPS reporting easy through the use of our new patient-reported outcomes measures for 2019, which ease the burden on providers and reduces costly EMR integration.

Get started today at

Pain Physician
March/April 2019 Issue Features

Systematic Review
Ian D. Coulter, PhD, Cindy Crawford, BA, Howard Vernon, DC. PhD, Eric L. Hurwitz, DC. PhD, Raheleh Khorsan, PhD, Marika Suttorp Booth, MS, and Patricia M. Herman, ND, PhD

Systematic Review
Nitika Sanger, HBSc, Meha Bhatt, MSc, Nikhita Singhal, BHSc, Katherine Ramsden, MD, Natasha Baptist-Mohseni, BSc, Balpreet Panesar, BSc, Hamnah Shahid, BASc, Alannah Hillmer, BSc, Alessia D'Elia, BSc, Candice Luo, BHSc, Victoria Rogers, BSc, Abirami Arunan, HBSc, Lola Baker-Beal, BSc, Sean Haber, BSc, Jihane Henni, BSc, Megan Puckering, BSc, Sunny Sun, BSc, Kim Ng, BSc, Stephanie Sanger, MLIS, Natalia Mouravaska, MD, M. Constantine Samaan, MD, Russell de Souza, ScD, Lehana Thabane, PhD, and Zainab Samaan, PhD

Randomized Trial
Doo-Hwan Kim, MD, Myung-Su Lee, MD, Sookyung Lee, MD, Syn-Hae Yoon, MD, Jin-Woo Shin, MD, PhD, and Seong-Soo Choi, MD, PhD

Randomized Controlled Trial
Neerja Bharti, MD, John Sujith, MD, Navneet Singla, Mch, Nidhi B. Panda, MD, and Indu Bala, MD.

The rise and fall of Laser Spine Institute: A timeline

From its origins as a single operating room facility to its peak as a national spine-focused orthopedic chain, Tampa, Fla.-based Laser Spine Institute performed about 100,000 surgical procedures before a rash of lawsuits and cash flow issues eventually caused it to shut down and cease all clinical operations March 1.
Here is a timeline of coverage on Laser Spine Institute's journey:
2005: Laser Spine Institute opens in 2005, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
2007: LSI opens locations in Arizona, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.
2007-18: Several entities sue Laser Spine Institute, including most notably Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea, who alleges Laser Spine performed a series of ineffective procedures that cost him $50 million.

Whistleblower Physician Exposes Medicare Fraud in Two Pain Management Clinics; Feds Settle for $3.3M
The National Spine and Pain Centers (NSPC) and Physical Medicine Associates (PMA) have agreed to pay a $3.3M to settle government claims that the two pain management clinics committed Medicare Fraud, violating the False Claims Act.
A former PMA employee and whistleblower provided the Department of Justice with evidence that both companies were submitting false claims to Medicare. As a healthcare company that is eligible for federal reimbursement for some treatments and services, NSPC and PMA can submit claims to Medicare on behalf of their patients. At issue were the medical services and urine drug tests the clinics provided. The whistleblower determined that some urine drug tests were unnecessary for treatment and a violation of Stark Law, which limits companies from referring patients to other medical providers that share a financial relationship. Additionally, NSPC and PMA allegedly reported Medicare claims for medical services not performed by physicians, and instead performed by physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Louisiana Spine & Sports physician sentenced to 37 months in prison for Medicare fraud, to pay $254,962

A Louisiana-based pain physician who pleaded guilty to committing Medicare fraud was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution, according to Magnolia State Live .
Three things to know:
1. John Eastham Clark, MD, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $254,962.80 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicare.
2. Dr. Clark also was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release, after his prison sentence is complete.
3. Dr. Clark was co-owner of Louisiana Spine & Sports in Baton Rouge, and from June 2005 to March 2015 he admitted to working with his billing supervisor to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare. The pair coded procedures as though they took place on a separate day from the patient's office visit, when in fact the procedures took place the same day.

  West Virginia Physician Pleads Guilty to Drug Charge

A Morgantown, West Virginia, physician pleaded guilty to obtaining controlled substances by fraudulently writing prescriptions using colleagues’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) numbers and presenting stolen driver’s licenses to pick up fraudulently prescribed controlled substances from Morgantown area pharmacies for his personal use, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Bill Powell of the Northern District of West Virginia.
Chad Poage, D.O., 35, pleaded guilty to one count of acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi of the Northern District of West Virginia. 
Poage was an orthopedic surgeon who worked in a practice with locations in Morgantown and Fairmont, West Virginia. As part of his guilty plea, he admitted that, from November 2015 to March 2018, he wrote 30 fraudulent prescriptions for a total of approximately 1,330 50-milligram tablets of Tramadol, 420 5-milligram tablets of Diazepam, and 50 30-milligram tablets of acetaminophen-codeine no. 3, all for his own use. Poage further admitted that on each of the 30 prescriptions, he either wrote colleagues’ DEA registration numbers without their authorization or wrote the prescription out to a patient knowing that he would pick up the prescribed medication for his own use. Poage admitted that on multiple occasions, he presented stolen driver’s licenses when picking up fraudulent prescriptions from pharmacies. 
Baton Rouge Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Fraudulent Billing Scheme
A Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based doctor was sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release today for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care insurers.  
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin of the Middle District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office made the announcement. 
John Eastham Clark, M.D., 66, of Baton Rouge, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick of the Middle District of Louisiana, who also ordered Clark to pay $254,962.80 in restitution. In February 2019, Clark pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. 

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