American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | March 20, 2019
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ABIPP Part 1 Chicago, June 9
June 9 | Chicago, IL
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.
Register before March 30, 2019. Fee only $1,000.
April 1 to April 15, 2019, fee is $2,000
April 16 to April 30, fee is total of $3,000
No registrations after April 30
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 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.

Register before March 30, 2019. Fee only $1,000.

April 1 to May 30, 2019, fee is $2,000

May 1 to May 30, fee is total of $3,000

No registrations after May 30.

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.
ASIPP Liability Insurance Program - with average premium reductions of 35%  

The ASIPP malpractice insurance program is up and running. Practices who have signed up are realizing tremendous savings - some as high as 60K per year. The program is specifically tailored to interventional pain management and works with multiple top rated carriers to secure the best rate and coverage.
ABIPP practices will be eligible for additional discounts off the ASIPP rate. The program along with the insurance carrier will be offering additional education and risk management programs specific to interventional pain management.
To proceed with this further and obtain the best rates possible please reach out to the insurance program broker & administrator.
Tom Wierzbowski
Willow Risk Advisors
 Ph –  267-448-5091 (Direct Line)
 Cell –  267-884-2729
Regenerative Medicine and Antithrombotic Guidelines Now Available

Responsible, Safe, and Effective Use of Biologics in the Management of Low Back Pain: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) Guidelines

Responsible, Safe, and Effective Use of Antithrombotics and Anticoagulants in Patients Undergoing Interventional Techniques: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) Guidelines

Stem $ell$: clinic marketeers dangle big bucks to docs

Over the last couple of years the marketing of unproven clinic injections of non-FDA-approved stem cells seems in open-throttle mode.
What used to just be on the web here and there is now on billboards, newspapers, flyers, infomercials, and on TV. It’s possible that millions of dollars are being spent yearly on advertising this stuff, which means far more than that huge amount is being taken in as revenue by clinics and their associated businesses such as marketing firms.
But there’s a different and growing level to this advertising in the form of heavy marketing directly to physicians and chiropractors. Suppliers of unproven “stem cell” products are dangling big dollar signs (literally in some cases) in front of those providers who have practices full of patients who might become customers. The main gist here seems to me to be, “Doctor, you can make a ton of money selling our stem cell product to your patients.”

Involve Docs in Using Health Data, Expert Tells Health Insurers

WASHINGTON -- All the healthcare data being collected on patients won't do any good unless it's funneled to doctors and other clinicians who can act on it, Dan Mendelson, founder of consulting firm Avalere Health, told health insurance executives gathered here.
"We have the [patient] data; we can look at cohorts, do predictive analytics ... to predict where patients are likely to get in trouble and how to engage [them] in a cost-effective way," Mendelson said Wednesday at a health policy conference sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans. "But it's not enough to have the information; you have to have a connection to physicians who are actually touching the patients ... That targeted intervention is really necessary to reap the benefits of the data. Data without intervention is a science experiment."

Tramadol as First-Line Therapy for OA May Be Associated With Greater Mortality

Tramadol binds µ-, δ-, and κ- opioid receptors with low affinity, and acts as an inhibitor of norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake.
Treating osteoarthritis (OA) in older patients with tramadol, which binds µ-, δ-, and κ- opioid receptors with low affinity, and acts as an inhibitor of norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake, vs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased mortality rate during the year following treatment initiation, according to a study published in JAMA. 1

Doddering Doctors: Hospitals Take a Stab at Weeding Them Out
Screening programs take shape in San Diego as nationwide trend gains steam

This is the first in a MedPage Today series on the controversial but growing trend among healthcare institutions to screen physicians of a certain age with cognitive and physical dexterity tests.
Interventional cardiologist Jerrold Glassman, MD, spent the first week of March schussing down Park City's powdery slopes. He even braved black diamond runs, belying the fact that this July, he'll be 69 years old.
"A 60-year-old today is not the 60-year-old of three decades ago," he said proudly. "Skiing is my passion and I'm going back up tomorrow."
He and his ski buddies, older physicians like himself, dodge moguls some 30 days a year. A new app tracks his stats, like altitude, speed and distance, and said he did 25 downhill miles that day.

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

Are eggs bad for your heart? New study weighs in

My refusal to eat egg yolks has always been a bit of a family joke. During one family breakfast on vacation, when my kids were younger, I mixed the yolks from several hard-boiled eggs with leftover oatmeal to make “yolkmeal.” Not surprisingly, they did not want to eat it. In a silly way, I was trying to teach my kids that while egg whites were a good source of protein and contain no cholesterol, discarding the cholesterol-laden yolks was smart for the heart. The message 20 years ago was that each yolk contains about 200 mg of cholesterol, and too much cholesterol could lead to high cholesterol levels and a higher risk of having a heart attack.
So imagine my chagrin when information in recent years suggested that dietary cholesterol was not as bad as we once thought, and eating whole eggs was okay. Although I have stopped suggesting patients avoid eating eggs, to this day I have not been able to make myself eat an egg yolk. Even though at times, I felt that the “yolk” was on me.
Today, I feel redeemed.

Japan stem cell clinical studies rapidly piling up

Japan is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and in particular in clinical translation toward the bedside. Induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based investigational therapies are rightly an area of focus in Japan given their invention by Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Small clinical studies based on IPSC have been initiated there for several diseases including related to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease.
David Cyranoski over at Nature reports on a new, different stem cell clinical effort in Japan for vision loss with “Japan poised to allow ‘reprogrammed’ stem-cell therapy for damaged corneas.” Readers are probably much more familiar with the efforts of Masayo Takahashi‘s team working with IPSC-based retinal pigmented epithelial cell therapy being studied for macular degeneration.

Diagnostic Errors Top ECRI's Patient Safety List
A new report pinpoints risks from EHRs, mobile health, behavioral health, clinician burnout, and more

For the second consecutive year, diagnostic error and managing test results were ranked number 1 among the "Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2019" identified by the ECRI Institute.
"Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the country," said Marcus Schabacker, MD, president and CEO, ECRI Institute. "This guidance can help healthcare leaders and clinicians save lives."Healthcare providers rely on EHRs to help with clinical decision support and tracking test results. But that technology is just one tool in the diagnostic process, said William Marella, executive director of operations and analytics, at the ECRI Institute PSO.

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
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

I'm Not Qualified to Do What?!
Insurers need to trust us to take proper care of our patients

Who works for who?
How did we allow ourselves to let a system get built up around us that makes it so hard for us to take care of our patients?
Our job is to advocate for our patients, to help guide them towards their best health, to help them understand the difficult choices and to live healthy lifestyles, to give them the tools they need to change unhealthy behaviors, and then, once they are faced with a health challenge, to be there with them all along the way.
But it's clear that the rules created by all the bureaucracy from regulators and insurance companies have turned the healthcare landscape into a minefield.

CV Primary Prevention Guidelines Updated

NEW ORLEANS -- Aspirin got downgraded while heart-beneficial diabetes medications got a boost in updated primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) guidelines.
Other key additions to the American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association guidelines were prominent endorsements of team-based care, shared-decision making, and considering social determinants of health.
However, most sections largely pooled together existing recommendations on primary prevention from prior guidelines, such as 2017 and 2018 updates on cardiovascular risk assessment, cholesterol, and hypertension, writing committee co-chair Donna Arnett, PhD, MSPH, and colleagues noted.

Aspirin No Longer Needed for Select AFib Patients

NEW ORLEANS -- For atrial fibrillation (Afib) patients who also need antiplatelet therapy due to a recent cardiac event, using apixaban (Eliquis) without aspirin may be the sweet spot for balancing thrombotic and bleeding risk, the two-by-two factorial AUGUSTUS trial showed.
In the arm comparing apixaban and vitamin K antagonist (VKA), the direct-acting oral anticoagulant (DOAC) cut clinically-relevant nonmajor or major bleeding by a relative 31% (10.5% vs 14.7%, P<0.001 for both non-inferiority and superiority), Renato Lopes, MD, PhD, of Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues found.
In the aspirin versus placebo comparison, that bleeding risk was a relative 89% higher with the antiplatelet (16.1% vs 9.0%, P<0.001).

Pain Physician
January/February 2019 Issue Features

Sjors H. Wagemakers, MD, Joanne M. van der Velden, MD, PhD, A. Sophie Gerlich, MD, Alinde W. Hindriks-Keegstra, MD, Jacqueline F.M. van Dijk, PhD, and Joost J.C. Verhoeff, MD, PhD.
Cui Zhiyong, MD, Tian Yun, MD, Feng Hui, MD, Yang Zhongwei, MD, and Liu Zhaorui, MD.

Zung Vu Tran, PhD, Anna Ivashchenko, MPH, and Logan Brooks, BA.
Peng-Fei Wu, BD, Ya-Wei Li, MD, Bing Wang, MD, Bin Jiang, BD, Zhi-Ming Tu, BD, and Guo-Hua Lv, MD.

Parisa Nejati, MD, Afsaneh Safarcherati, MD, and Farshid Karimi, MD.

4 Ways to Stop Losing Patients Over Medical Bills

  • Make every effort to ensure your providers are in-network.
  • Notify patients about network status ahead of their service.
  • Use in-network physicians as a marketing advantage.
  • Know which procedures are most shoppable.

Every business not only wants to attract new customers but to keep its existing ones, and hospitals and health systems are no different. Unfortunately, surprise medical bills can be the element that drives patients away from one hospital and into the waiting arms of the competition.
New research published this month in Health Affairs provides hospitals with one of the clearest examples yet of how serious a threat to business surprise medical bills can really be, beyond having to deal with disgruntled patients

Risky Painkillers Commonly Prescribed for Osteoarthritis

LAS VEGAS -- Published guidelines warn that treating osteoarthritis (OA) with opioids and benzodiazepines can boost patients' risk of falling. Nevertheless, physicians in a large health system were prescribing those drugs for the condition nearly a third of the time, often in the vulnerable elderly, according to a study reported here.
More alarmingly, 3% of the patients received concurrent prescriptions for opioids or benzodiazepines. This is "a significant and potentially deadly combination," said the study's lead author, Vignesh K. Alamanda, MD, an orthopedic surgery resident with Atrium Health, in a presentation at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
He and his colleagues tracked 20,556 outpatient visits in the first half of 2016 in the Atrium Health system, which serves North and South Carolina. All of the patients had a primary diagnosis of osteoarthritis. In nearly 32% of the visits, patients were prescribed opioids and/or benzodiazepines, with hydrocodone-acetaminophen prescribed almost half the time.

Four-to-Seven-Day Opioid Prescription Likely Sufficient for Acute Pain Treatment

HealthDay News — An opioid supply for seven or fewer days might be sufficient for most patients seen in primary care settings for acute pain who appear to need opioid analgesics , according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report .
Mallika L. Mundkur, M.D., from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland, and colleagues used a 2014 database of commercial claims to identify 176,607 patients filling an opioid analgesic prescription for 10 acute pain conditions in a primary care setting. Based on the initial number of days supplied, the probability of obtaining a refill was estimated.
The researchers found that 7.6 percent of patients filled an opioid analgesic prescription, with variance based on condition (3.5 percent for headache to 27.6 percent for dental pain). The median index prescription filled ranged from four to seven days, 20 to 30 tablets or capsules, and 100 to 155 morphine milligram equivalents. Of those filling an initial opioid prescription, 17.8 percent obtained at least one refill in the 30 days after the index prescription. The probability of obtaining an opioid analgesic prescription refill for nine of 10 conditions was <25 percent for patients who received an initial seven-day supply.

Groundbreaking Test for PTSD Developed

A cutting-edge blood test discovered by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers could help more accurately diagnose military veterans and other people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, and potentially provide more precise treatments and prevention.
A study led by psychiatry professor Alexander Niculescu, MD, Ph.D., and published this week in the high-impact SpringerNature journal Molecular Psychiatry, tracked more than 250 veterans in over 600 visits at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis to identify molecules in the blood that can help track stress intensity. According to Niculescu's findings, the blood test can accurately identify people who are at risk of stress disorders or are experiencing them severely.

Exercise Doesn't Need to Be Intense to Yield Benefit

Among older women, regular light physical activity was associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD), a prospective cohort study found.
Among the women in the highest versus lowest quartile of light physical activity in minutes per day, risk of incident CVD events was lower by 22% and risk of CHD was reduced 42% (both P<0.001 and reflecting adjustment for numerous potential confounders), reported Andrea LaCroix, PhD, MPH, of the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues in JAMA Network Open.
Each 1-hour/day increment in light activity was associated with a 14% lower risk of CHD (P=0.05 for trend) and 8% lower risk of CVD (P=0.03 for trend) after adjustment for moderate-to-vigorous activity participants engaged in, the researchers indicated.

Cannabis and Psychosis: Getting Harder to Argue Against Causation

People who used cannabis every day were at higher risk of developing a first psychotic episode versus people who never used cannabis, in a case-control study conducted in Europe and Brazil.
Compared with non-users, daily cannabis users had more than a three-fold higher odds for incident psychosis (adjusted odds ratio 3.2, 95% CI 2.2-4.1), reported Marta Di Forti, PhD, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King's College London, and colleagues.
Daily users in cities with relatively widespread availability of high-potency cannabis -- defined as a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration ≥10% -- saw an even higher chance for psychosis versus non-users (aOR 4.8, 95% CI 2.5-6.3), they stated in Lancet Psychiatry.

Lawsuits claim no live stem cells in umbilical cord blood stem cell products

Four Texas patients have filed lawsuits claiming that expensive off the shelf stem cell injections caused them to get violently sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those injections to ease pain are not approved by the FDA.
And, worse, their lawyer claims the products that were used don't even contain live stem cells.

Florida Pharmacist Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for $100 Million Compounding Pharmacy Fraud Scheme
Eight Others Previously Sentenced

A Florida pharmacist was sentenced to 120 months in prison today followed by three years supervised release. He was also orderd to pay $3.2 million in restitution and $1.4 million in forfeiture for his role in a massive compounding pharmacy fraud scheme, which impacted private insurance companies, Medicare and TRICARE. Eight other individuals have previously been sentenced in connection with the scheme. Various real properties, cars and a 50-foot boat have been forfeited as part of the sentencings. 
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 Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Shimon Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin of the U.S. Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Southeast Field Office made the announcement.
Ademola O. Adebayo, 55, of Odessa, Florida, was convicted on Jan. 11 after a four-day trial of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, three counts of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, who presided over the trial.

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