American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | May 1, 2019

ASIPP 21 st Annual Meeting Next Week
Room Block Extended!
Join Us in Vegas! Come to the Annual Meeting on May 3-5!

The Annual ASIPP® meeting is one the most exciting and educational meetings in the world . We bring to you the most renown speakers who will deliver the highest caliber lectures. Th is year’s A nnual M eeting features 11 exemplary keynote speakers, more than 60 distinguished speakers, nearly 80 key topics – all related to interventional pain management .  
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.


May1 to May 15, 2019, fee is $2,000

May 16 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.
Please complete surveys on pain and substance use disorders

As one of the organizations in the AMA Opioid Task Force, ASIPP asks that you give 10-15 minutes of your time to complete these online surveys. The survey links below are live, and the surveys will close on Wednesday, May 8.
The first survey is focused on identifying barriers to optimal pain care:
The second survey is focused on identifying barriers to treatment for substance use disorders:  
ASIPP and the AMA will use the information to better understand how to reduce and remove these barriers. After the surveys are closed, the AMA and [insert organization] will review the data to determine most appropriate next steps. This analysis will likely take several weeks, but we will report back on our findings as soon as the analysis is complete.
Thank you for your support.

FBI raids lab test startup's office over billing practices

On April 26, the FBI conducted a search of the San Francisco headquarters of uBiome, a startup that provides DNA sequencing of customers' microbiomes, the agency confirmed to The Wall Street Journal .
The investigation reportedly concerns uBiome's billing practices, which are also being examined by the California Department of Insurance and insurers such as Anthem, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, according to the Journal. The scrutiny stems from uBiome's alleged practices of hiring physicians to order their tests for patients — sometimes without patient approval — and billing government programs, including the private Medicare Advantage plan, for tests.

Investors sue UnitedHealth directors: 4 things to know

Central Laborers Pension Fund and a set of investment funds managed by Amalgamated Bank LongView sued UnitedHealth Group's directors and former CEO in Delaware Chancery Court, according to Law360 .
Four things to know:
1. The derivative action, filed April 24, alleges 15 current or past UnitedHealth directors permitted the company to submit inflated risk adjustment claims to CMS for Medicare Advantage patients.
2. The lawsuit accuses the directors of breaching their corporate duty, according to Law360.
3. The lawsuit includes specific allegations against Stephen J. Hemsley, UnitedHealth Group executive chairman and former CEO. He "bore ultimate responsibility for overseeing and executing UHG's efforts to improperly increase revenues by defrauding Medicare," the lawsuit states, according to Law360.
4. The pension fund and bank-managed investment funds are seeking damages on behalf of UnitedHealth for the alleged billing violations. The damages include liabilities for practices dating back roughly 13 years to 2006.

'Anywhere but Indiana' — Why employers are avoiding hospitals in the Hoosier State

Indiana's high hospital prices may be deterring new businesses from the state, according to the Indy Star .
Gloria Sachdev, PharmD, the president and CEO of Employers' Forum of Indiana, a coalition aimed at improving what employers spend on healthcare, heard about how Indiana's hospital prices are affecting outside employers while speaking with executives from Michigan's auto industry.
During the discussion, one executive said, "We have plants all over the country, and whenever we're talking about opening a new one, do you know what I say? I say, 'ABI,'" according to the Indy Star. The executive elaborated: "Anywhere but Indiana. On average we pay $2,200 for every worker's emergency room visit in Indiana. In Michigan it's $800. The difference there is the profit margin on one car."

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

Mortality Rates Underestimated in the Social Security Administration Death Master File

The US Social Security Administration Death Master File (SSDMF) appears to undercapture mortality data, with varying rates of undercapture by states, which over time could lead to artifactual temporal and geographic differences in mortality rates that should not be relied upon by clinical researchers, according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology.
Although the SSDMF’s undercapture of mortality data has been documented, and the Social Security Administration itself has noted that these records are not meant to include all deaths in the United States, researchers still often use the SSDMF to provide mortality end points in retrospective clinical studies. Furthermore, changes in the reporting of death data in 2011 likely further affected the reliability of the SSDMF.

Relief For Pain Patients: CDC Makes Bold Clarification About Opioid Care In NEJM

Patients with chronic pain who need opioid treatment as a life-line have seen some very exciting developments within the span of just two weeks. 
Quick backstory: Starting in 2016, many patients who were benefitting from opioids for the treatment of intractable pain were being told by their long-trusted doctors that their doses needed to be lowered dramatically or stopped altogether. 
The doctors feared government scrutiny and eventual loss of license or other harsh penalties.  As a result, patients were plunged into excruciating pain, and even suicide .
Along with doctors, insurers, health systems, regulators, and even pharmacists urged tapering or discontinuing opioids because, as the refrain went, "the government said so." 
In reality, the government – that is, the Centers for Disease Control's 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain -- said no such thing. Many health professionals did not know this, however. 

Perspective: No Shortcuts to Safer Opioid Prescribing
Access to this article may be limited
How Not to Run a Pain Clinic

My associate and I pulled into the crumbling parking lot. It was only 9:30 a.m., but the parking lot was nearly filled to capacity with cars and people milling about and walking in and out of the old building, its signage barely detectable.
I had been retained to conduct an inspection of another medical practice under federal investigation for issuing thousands of doses of oxycodone "for other than a legitimate medical purpose." The entrance to the pharmacy on the first floor of the building was manned by a security guard, and neon-colored flyers littered the surrounding walls.

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

Product Mislabeling Leads to Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Fentanyl Transdermal System

The FDA announced that Alvogen Inc. is voluntarily recalling two lots of fentanyl transdermal system 12-mcg/hour transdermal patches to the consumer level due to a labeling error.
A small number of cartons labeled 12-mcg/hour fentanyl transdermal system patches contained 50-mcg/hour patches. The 50-mcg/hour patches that were included in cartons labeled 12 mcg/hour are individually labeled as 50 mcg per hour. This transdermal system is manufactured by 3M Drug Delivery Systems.

Painful for Docs, Prior Authorization Can Be Deadly for Patients
Experts discuss challenges, needed reforms

Unnecessary prior authorizations are wasting the time and resources of radiation oncologists and leading to treatment delays that can worsen patient outcomes, experts said during a panel discussion hosted by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
According to findings from a new ASTRO survey , 9 in 10 radiation oncologists said their patients faced delays in receiving life-saving treatment due to prior authorization requests, and about a third (31%) said such delays lasted more than 5 days on average, the equivalent of a full week of standard treatment.

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.

Americans Borrowed $88 Billion in Past Year to Pay for Health Care

HealthDay News — About one in eight Americans borrowed a total of $88 billion in the past year to pay for health care , a new West Health-Gallup survey shows.
The survey also found that 65 million adults said they did not seek treatment for a health issue due to cost, and nearly a quarter reduced spending to pay for health care or medicine, CNN reported.
“Not only do you have a real significant number that are deferring care, forgoing care altogether, you also have a big chunk that are getting the care but having to borrow to get it,” Gallup senior researcher Dan Witters told CNN . “There are few Americans out there who are safe from the American health care cost crisis.”
Medicare for All? For Some? Many Plans for Universal Coverage

But nothing likely to happen soon, suggests former CMS chief Tom
WASHINGTON -- Talk has been heating up on Capitol Hill about how to get to universal coverage, with "Medicare for All" being a popular option. But what exactly does that phrase mean, and what other universal coverage plans are out there?
So far, four different types of universal coverage bills have been introduced, although "nothing is going to happen in the next 2 years," Tom Scully, partner in the Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe private equity firm here and a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), predicted at a press briefing Thursday. However, Scully added that he hoped the introduction of the bills would be "based on substance and details."

'White-Coated Drug Dealers'; Hospital Exec's Fraud Charge; Botched Knee Surgery
Bad Practice: a weekly roundup of clinicians accused, convicted, or under investigation

This weekly roundup features arrests, criminal proceedings, and other reports alleging improper or questionable conduct by healthcare professionals.
Fallout from the indictment of 31 "white-coated drug dealers" in last week's national opioid sweep: a primary care doctor accused of exchanging opioids for sexual favors from a pregnant patient who later died, and an Alabama physician charged with giving prostitutes illegal drugs at his clinic and letting them take them inside his home. (The Jackson Sun, KTLA)
A family and sports medicine physician in Pennsylvania had his license suspended after he was accused of touching a patient's genitals during an ankle exam, which he told police was "a huge misunderstanding, mostly on my part." Since then, more accusers have come forward and a suit has been filed alleging the physician, who also worked at a high school, told his students that the physical contact occurring during exams was part of an athletic study . (WGAL, ABC27)

South Florida Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion and Disability Fraud
Evaded Paying Taxes on Over $1.6 Million in Income Earned While Claiming to be Disabled

A South Florida doctor residing in Hobe Sound, Florida, was sentenced to 51 months in prison yesterday for tax evasion, wire fraud, and Social Security disability fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.
According to court documents and information provided to the court, Arthur John Kranz was a doctor specializing in psychiatry. Beginning in 2002, Kranz made a claim on his private disability policy that he was unable to work, and began receiving disability payments from his insurance company. In December 2003, Kranz submitted an application to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits The SSA approved his application. Kranz then began receiving SSA disability payments, in addition to the private disability insurance payments. Because of the disability payments, Kranz was required to notify his insurance company and the SSA if he returned to work.
From January 2006 to March 2013, Kranz worked as a psychiatrist at a hospital in Pennsylvania and earned over $1.6 million in income. Kranz did not report his employment to either the SSA or his insurance company. Rather, in order to continue collecting disability benefits, Kranz took steps to conceal his income from the insurance company, the SSA, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He directed that his income be paid to nominee individuals and sham corporations he had created to receive his payments. Kranz also filed false personal tax returns that did not report the income from his work as a psychiatrist, and provided fraudulent documentation to his insurance company that falsely stated that he was not working. 


Two Pharmaceutical Companies Agree to Pay a Total of Nearly $125 Million to Resolve Allegations That They Paid Kickbacks Through Copay Assistance Foundations
The Department of Justice announced today that two more pharmaceutical companies – Astellas Pharma US Inc. (Astellas) and Amgen Inc. (Amgen) – have agreed to pay a total of $124.75 million to resolve allegations that they each violated the False Claims Act by illegally paying the Medicare copays for their own products, through purportedly independent foundations that the companies used as mere conduits.
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”). 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. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits a pharmaceutical company 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