American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians | September 20, 2017
Start Planning NOW! ASIPP Abstract Submission for 2018 Annual Meeting is Open
The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 20th Annual Meeting March 15-17, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at Marriott Orlando World Center.
This year, we will be making significant changes to the Abstract and Poster Sessions. Submissions will be in two categories: Resident/Fellow and Physician.  Selected posters will be on display for all meeting participants during all breaks and meal times.
The Abstract Committee will select the top 25 for publication in Pain Physician and of those 10 will be selected for Abstract presentation and judging during the Annual Meeting. The top 3 will receive cash prizes.
ASIPP Has Another Successful Legislative Trip to Washington, DC
ASIPP has had a successful legislative trip in Washington D.C. this week. At no other time in the history of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians has it been more important to get involved in advocacy efforts. We are finally seeing the potential for change. After struggling with a deep regulatory tsunami for several years, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for IPM.  
To reach our goals ASIPP has made it's presence known in Washington this week with approximately 70 ASIPP delegates representing 25 states.
The following are the 4 major issues discussed in the congressional visits:
1.        Drastic cuts to ASC reimbursement
2.        Medicare Advantage or Disadvantage Non-coverage Policies
3.        Continued physician payment cuts for various interventional pain management procedures
4.        Making MIPS more friendly with the elimination of meaningless use and any penalties
ASIPP had a planning meeting yesterday and today had speeches and meetings with members of Congress. Scheduled speakers were Representative John Shimkus (R-IL), Vanila Singh, MD and Chief Medical Officer, HHS, Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), and Representative Larry Buschon, MD (R-IN). ASIPP members very surprised and excited to welcome Surgeon General Jerome Adams! And there was a successful fundraiser for Chairman Kevin Brady, Ways and Means Committee (taxes, health care, Social Security, Medicare, international trade and welfare). He is a Republican U.S. Representative for the Texas 8 th district. He has been a champion in helping put forth multiple issues related to interventional pain management.
CMS updated Evaluation and Management Services – Documentation Guidelines & Signature requirements

  • Physical Examination is one of the key documentation requirements to derive the level of E&M Code
  • 1995 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services mention, 2-7 body parts and/or organ systems are analyzed for both the expanded problem-focused visit as well as detailed physical exam visit
  • These contradictory guidelines create more confusion than assistance
  • NGS has made a small but significant change to the documentation requirement for physical examination
  • Effective from 1st July 2017 for claims submitted to NGS
  • Physical Examination of 6-7 body parts or organ systems would be considered as ‘Detailed’
  • Physical Examination of 2-5 body parts or organ systems would be considered as ‘Expanded Problem Focused’
  • Other MACs hopefully would follow the suit.
For more information:
Do Standard Medical Financial Disclosure Forms Reveal Enough?
Authors of clinical practice guidelines typically disclose financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs) on standardized declaration forms, but those do not appear adequate for transparency, according to a study published in  PLoS One.
Two FCOI forms were given to 26 participants, authors of international clinical practice guidelines in gastroenterology on the endoscopic surveillance for colorectal neoplasia in inflammatory bowel disease.

Physician Insights on Prescribing Habits: Are Clinicians Being Swindled?
You've been swindled.
At least that's the conclusion I've come to. It wasn't the hucksters or the snake oil salesman; it wasn't big business, big medicine, or some greedy hospital administrator. It was most likely pharma, with help from your physician. Plain and simple. 
I've learned quite a bit being a hospice medical director. Covering dozens of new admissions a week has given me much insight into physician prescribing habits. Often, it is my job to decide which medications are necessary and covered by hospice; which are necessary, but not covered by hospice; and which are useless
Pfizer Files Antitrust Lawsuit Alleging J&J Thwarted Use of Biosimilar Rival to Remicade
The lawsuit is the first antitrust action over biosimilars
Pfizer  Inc.  PFE  +1.30%   filed suit against  Johnson & Johnson   JNJ  -1.33%   on Wednesday, alleging it has thwarted biosimilar competition to its arthritis drug Remicade by effectively preventing health insurers, hospitals and clinics from offering Pfizer’s lower-priced copy.
The complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, says J&J’s “exclusionary contracts” have stopped hospitals and clinics from buying Pfizer’s Inflectra biosimilar and health insurers from paying for prescriptions if they wanted rebates and other perks.
Pfizer has asked the federal district court to void the contracts and order J&J to pay damages compensating for lost sales.
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Caffeine and Opioid Use Beneficial for Fibromyalgia-Like Chronic Pain
Caffeine is associated with lower pain catastrophizing, greater physical function, and lower pain interference in patients taking opioids to manage fibromyalgia pain, according to results from a survey-based study published in the  Journal of Pain Research . 1
Investigators evaluated caffeine's effects on pain in opioid users (n=568) and nonusers (n=394) with fibromyalgia, obtaining information from a validated survey designed to assess symptoms and medication or substance use information.
17% of Practices Pay Fees for Electronic Healthcare Payments
Approximately 17 percent of physician practices are forced to pay a fee for receiving electronic healthcare payments from their payers, with fees ranging between 2 and 5 percent of the total reimbursement, a recent  MGMA poll  of over 900 medical practice executives showed.
Out of the practice executives who reported a fee, about 60 percent stated that the charge stemmed from payers using a third-party payment vendor.
The poll also showed that about one-half of practices are not charged for accepting electronic funds transfers (EFT) payments and 32 percent of executives are unsure if they pay fees.

Owner of Two New York Medical Clinics Sentenced to 84 Months for Her Role in $55 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

The owner of two Brooklyn, New York, medical clinics was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for her role in a $55 million health care fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde of the Eastern District of New York, Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS OIG) Office of Investigations, Special Agent in Charge James D. Robnett of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) New York Field Office and Inspector General Dennis Rosen of the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) made the announcement.
Valentina Kovalienko, 47, of Brooklyn, and the owner of Prime Care on the Bay LLC and Bensonhurst Mega Medical Care P.C., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf of the Eastern District of New York, who also ordered Kovalienko to forfeit $29,336,497. Kovalienko pleaded guilty in October 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With Neuropathic Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), vitamin D deficiency was shown to be associated with increased neuropathic pain, according to a recent study published in the  International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases . 1
The researchers recruited 93 patients with RA (mean age, 59.88; 80.6% women) to participate in a cross-sectional study intended to evaluate the impact of serum vitamin D levels on neuropathic pain assessed with the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS).
Rising Number of Medical Students Graduating Debt-Free: What Does It Mean?
The proportion of medical students graduating without debt is increasing while scholarship funding is declining, suggesting a high concentration of students with wealthy backgrounds, according to a new analysis published in  JAMA Internal Medicine .
After observing an increase in students graduating without any debt, Justin Grischkan, BA, and Benjamin P. George, MD, MPH, and colleagues gathered data from the 2010-2016 Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire, focusing on data regarding self-reported  medical education debt .
States ask insurers to prioritize non-opioid pain treatment
CHERRY HILL, N.J. – Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is joining forces with attorneys general from 34 other states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to urge health insurers to review their policies for pain management treatment to spark higher use of alternatives to opioid prescriptions.
The top government lawyers in 35 states signed a letter to the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans. The group asked insurers to make coverage of non-opioid treatments such as physical therapy and massage a priority.

Should You Be Proactively Encouraging Patients to Leave Online Reviews of Your Practice?
HealthDay News — Most patients are using online reviews as a first step to finding a new doctor, with 65% forming an opinion from reading 1 to 6 reviews, according to a report published in  Medical Economics . 1
In order to increase the chances of receiving a review, doctors should be proactive in asking patients for feedback, either at the end of the visit or through e-mail or text message; encouraging feedback in general will make patients more likely to oblige.
When patients have an amazing story to tell about the practice, they are usually willing to share it on social media. Many practices ask patients if they have had a good experience, and if so, ask them to consider sharing it online. Other things doctors can do to encourage patents to post on review sites include listing the practice with  online review sites , incentivizing staff to encourage patients to post reviews, and spotlighting patients who left positive reviews in marketing materials.
Opinion: Medicare and Medicaid Need Innovation
Trump’s HHS seeks to encourage health-care competition.
More than 130 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. America’s elderly and most vulnerable citizens depend on these programs. But both face fiscal crises. Medicare’s main trust fund is projected to run out in just 11 years, and Medicaid is the second largest budget item (after education) in most states and is growing rapidly.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a powerful tool for improving quality and reducing costs: the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Congress created the Innovation Center in 2010 to test new approaches or “models” to pay for and deliver health care.
This administration plans to lead the Innovation Center in a new direction. On Wednesday we are issuing a “request for information” to collect ideas on the path forward. We will move away from the assumption that Washington can engineer a more efficient health-care system from afar—that we should specify the processes health-care providers are required to follow.

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State Society News 

September: Michigan

The Michigan Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will meet Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at 11 am at Gilbert & Blake’s , 3554 Okemos Road, Okemos, MI.
 Distinquished speakers will be Orlando Florete, MD, President of the Florida chapter and Shevin D. Pollydore, president of the Georgia chapter.

October 7, 2017: New York
The 2017 The Art and Science of Pain Management: A Clinical and Research Update will be Oct. 7, 2017 at The Gideon Putnam, 24 Gideon Putnam Road, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
The meeting is sponsored by Albany Medical College’s Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and the Office of Continuing Medical Education and the Albany Medical Center Provider Unit for Continuing Nursing Education. Registration Deadline is October 2, 2017.
For information regarding the conference, contact the Office of Continuing Medical Education by phone at (518) 262-5828, fax at (518) 262-5679 or e-mail at

Send in your state society meeting news to Holly Long,
Physician-owned practices spend $19k per physician on health IT:
4 key statistics

The  National Interventional Pain Management – Qualified Clinical Data Registry (NIPM-QCDR), a new resource from ASIPP®, is specifically tailored for interventional pain physicians. Your practice can use the NIPM-QCDR to fulfill the 2017 requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Specifically, you can meet MIPS mandates for  Qualityand  Improvement Activities, and receive credit toward  Advancing Care Information.
The NIPM-QCDR combines rich CMS reporting capabilities with the first-ever set of measures specifically designed for interventional pain medicine. Participating in the NIPM-QCDR will make quality reporting more meaningful to your everyday practice, and help you improve care and optimize results.
Upcoming deadlines:
Full reporting: Sign up before November 3 to avoid a downward payment adjustment (penalty), and potentially earn a neutral or positive payment adjustment (bonus), by submitting a partial year or a full year of data.
Minimal reporting: Sign up before December 15 to avoid a downward payment adjustment (penalty) by submitting the minimum amount of data (one measure).

To learn more and get started, visit .
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