THURSDAY | JULY 23, 2020
Will Telemedicine Be the Blockbuster or Netflix of Healthcare?
— New approaches need to recognize patients' wants and needs

In 1985, the very first Blockbuster store opened in Dallas -- a new, modern videotape rental business with an expansive selection of video titles and computerized check-out. It was an immediate success. Demand quickly grew, customers were eager and willing to travel to the Blockbuster store, investors jumped in and three more stores opened after only one year. Blockbuster became the leading video tape rental chain with more than 9,000 stores around the world.

One component of Blockbuster's financial model was the late fees it charged to customers who did not return a video tape to the store in time. These fees accounted for up to 16% of its revenue. In 1997, Reed Hastings was one of the customers affected by these fees. After one late rental, he was charged a hefty $40 late fee. His frustration inspired him to help create a company that would have no late charges. This new company also had the audacious idea to send DVDs straight to the customer's home for a flat monthly fee. The company that Reed Hastings co-founded was Netflix.

Over time, Netflix changed and adapted with new technology and shifting consumer preferences. It moved on from mailing DVDs to using a streaming platform. It developed an algorithm to help make personalized video recommendations to Netflix users. It started producing its own video content. Over time, the company planted itself firmly within many homes and routines. Conversely, Blockbuster adapted to new platforms too slowly and too late. After its peak in 2004, Blockbuster started losing market share and relevance. Today, there is only one Blockbuster store left, a curious tourist attraction in Bend, Oregon.


Virtual learning makes learning and earning credit hours easier and more cost-effective. You get great speakers, informative presentations, and 46.75 credit hours from one virtual meeting. No travel. Just watch from your home or office. ASIPP® is offering a series of virtual courses like the upcoming, Board Review Course, July 17-19 and July 24-26, 2020. We hope you'll review the schedule and decide to register . Please join us.

Registration at this time will qualify you to attend all live courses Friday, July 24 - Sunday, July 26, as well as receive 22.5  AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™ and gain anytime, anywhere access to the recorded version for both weekends.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their live attendance.
ASIPP® Annual Meeting 2020 Goes Virtual
Due to unavoidable circumstances related to COVID-19, ASIPP is transitioning its annual meeting scheduled September 4-6, 2020, in Dallas, Texas to a virtual meeting. This will provide you with many advantages:
  • Save time and money: More time in the office with patients and no fear of Covid exposure.
  • Attend the meeting from wherever you want.
  • Get back on track with your CMEs.
  • Revisit the sessions and explore exhibit booths even after the meeting ends. Virtual platform access will remain open until the summer of 2021.
  • Same great networking opportunities in virtual platform: Ability to host and request private meetings; talk with others while you visit exhibit booths, and so much more!
  • Still offering world-renowned speakers on relevant subjects to IPM, COVID-19 interfacing with IPM, and many other subjects including opioids and regenerative medicine.
  • Meeting kicks off with a presentation by a well-known figure in the industry, Randy Alvarez, President and CEO of Wellness Hour.
If you have already registered for the Annual Meeting, your registration fee has been transferred to the Virtual Annual Meeting. There is nothing you need to do now. You will receive information on how to attend the meeting in August.

Order Now - Recorded Virtual Review Courses

The following courses are offered:

  • Documentation, Coding, Compliance, and Practice Management Review Course
  • Controlled Substance Management Review Course
  • *Pain Medicine and Interventional Pain Management Comprehensive Review Course

*not available until the end of the live course July 26, 2020
ABIPP Recognizes Your Knowledge and Expertise
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 .

ABIPP Part I  - Theoretical written exam - TBD
ABIPP Part II  - Oral and Hands-on practical exam - TBD
ABIPP Competency Exam  - includes written, oral, and hands-on practical examinations TBD
Combined CSM/CCPM Exam for ABIPP Path  – TBD
Competency Exam in Controlled Substance Management TBD
Competency Exam in Coding, Compliance, and Practice Management TBD
Regenerative Medicine Competency Exam  - includes written, oral, and hands-on practical examinations – TBD
COVID-19: CMS Announces Plan to Restart the Audit Machines on 3 August 2020 and Additional Changes to Enforcement Policies

Since 30 March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) exercised enforcement discretion to suspend most Medicare Fee-For-Service medical reviews and relax related requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, CMS recently released guidance (FAQ) indicating that the agency will no longer exercise enforcement discretion in this area. [1] Beginning on 3 August 2020, CMS is expected to restart suspended medical reviews and initiate new audits. [2]

K&L Gates LLP published an alert on 19 May 2020 detailing the sweeping regulatory shifts within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As discussed in that alert, while varying time frames were considered, the majority of HHS divisions and other federal agencies suggested that enforcement discretion would cease simultaneously with the end of the public health emergency. As a result, CMS’s plan to resume enforcement in August may come as a surprise to providers and suppliers.

This alert provides an overview of the Medicare Fee-For-Service medical reviews that are set to resume on 3 August 2020. It also highlights additional information contained in the FAQ and looks forward to consider what to expect as the industry continues to grapple with an evolving regulatory landscape in the midst of COVID-19.

MCAT Test-Takers Come Down With COVID-19
— Reports raise new concern about precautions at testing centers

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is again the subject of controversy, with several medical school applicants testing positive for COVID-19 from 2 to 7 days after taking the in-person exam.

"As test-takers return home positive for COVID-19 and cases continue to spike across the country, it becomes increasingly urgent that the AAMC [Association of American Medical Colleges] take action and urge schools to adopt policies that do not discriminate against students who feel they cannot safely take or retake the exam this summer," a group of medical school applicants known as Students for Ethical Admissions (SEA) wrote last week in an open letter to AAMC , which runs the MCAT. "As the maker of this exam, it is the AAMC's duty to speed up this process and do what is right by its students."

July/August 2020
Issue Available
In this issue, Pain Physician includes Systematic Reviews on Interlaminar Epidural Injections, the Scrambler Therapy, and Long-term Outcomes of Epidurals for Lumbar Disc Hernation; Randomized Trials on Bilateral Ultrasound-Guided Erector Spine Plane Block and Contrast Medium Volume needed for Transforaminal Epidural Injections, and more.
The Neurological Symptoms of COVID-19: Practitioner Views

Despite the devastating global impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there remains knowledge gaps on the range of complications the virus may have on various organs and body systems, particularly the nervous system. While COVID-19 is known to primarily target the respiratory system, research has revealed that it is also neuroinvasive and may have neurological manifestations. 1 In this article, we review some common questions regarding the occurrence, identification, and treatment of neurological symptoms related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

What is the occurrence of neurological symptoms in those affected by COVID-19?
Early research from Wuhan, China, indicated that around 37% of those infected by COVID-19 displayed neurological symptoms. There were reports of central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) symptoms in those with COVID-19. Individuals with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection including those >58 years old or with underlying conditions like hypertension were found to have a greater incidence of neurological manifestations. 2

Finding COVID-19 Cases Among the Dead: 'It May Help the Living'
— Deaths with versus deaths from

The number of deaths reported to the office of Connecticut's chief medical examiner, James Gill, MD, spiked 137% in April, mostly due to COVID-19.

Now, Gill sees a handful of cases each day, but there are more nuances to his investigations, with some patients experiencing lingering COVID-19 symptoms for weeks, or even months.

Although most COVID-19 deaths are identified by frontline providers on death certificates, medical examiners investigate suspected COVID-19 cases in deaths taking place in the home or nursing homes. Their task is to determine which deaths are from versus with COVID-19 -- that is, which are indeed caused by COVID-19 itself and which are caused by underlying conditions unrelated to COVID-19.

ASIPP ® Partners with Fedora Billing And Revenue Cycle Management Company  
ASIPP is now able to offer unique benefits for revenue cycle management with billing, etc.

Fedora is a company known to many of our board members and others. ASIPP ® has reached an agreement with Fedora to provide exclusive discounts on billing or revenue cycle management that will decrease practice costs and promote growth, or at least stop deterioration. It is not just a billing company; they streamline the billing and receivable process and constantly update payor regulations keeping your practice up to on date on a daily basis. 

You may view the ASIPP ® billing program website at the following link:  

Some of the ASIPP ® Billing Program highlights are below:
Up to 50% savings for ASIPP ® members for their billing or revenue cycle management for their offices and surgery centers:
  • Expertise in interventional pain management billing for all types of services
  • 99% Clearing House Rate
  • 95% First-Time Claim Passage
  • 23.4 Average Days in A/R
  • Eligibility and Benefits Verification 
  • Pre-Certification/Prior Authorization
  • Denials and A/R Management 

Join The Group Purchasing
Organization Today
ASIPP ® has formed a partnership with Henry Schein and PedsPal , a national GPO that has a successful history of negotiating better prices on medical supplies and creating value added services for the independent physician. Working with MedAssets, PedsPal provides excellent pricing on products like contrast media that alleviate some of the financial pressures you experience today. While the cost of contrast media has skyrocketed due to the single dose vial issue, because we have partnered with Henry Schein, this could enable you to purchase Omnipaque 240mg/50mL for slightly above $4.50.

It will be easy for  ASIPP ® members in good standing to enroll today and begin to realize the savings this partnership can bring. Members can join or see sample prices by going to    

Click on “view our discounted supplier prices” (Username: ASIPPmember and Password: Save) or click on the words "join for free now" and begin saving today!

Hospital Burden of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays: Metropolitan and Rural Hospitals, 2016


Reflective of the national opioid crisis, the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations has increased substantially in the United States, from 164.2 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 296.9 per 100,000 population in 2016. 1 The escalation in opioid-related inpatient stays has been accompanied by a disproportionately large increase in the costs associated with these types of hospitalizations. One study estimated that charges for hospital stays involving opioid abuse or dependence nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2012, reaching almost $15 billion. 2
The dramatic rise in hospitalizations related to taking opioids (defined as abuse, dependence, or use) and associated conditions place an increased burden on hospitals to be able to manage, treat, and potentially help minimize opioid-related problems for their patients. In October 2017, the American Hospital Association published a toolkit to assist hospitals in their efforts to address the opioid crisis, covering areas such as appropriate prescribing practices, identification and treatment of opioid use disorder, and nonopioid pain management.3 In order to help better focus hospital resources, it is important to understand which hospitals are facing the most substantial burden of opioid-related cases.
This Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Brief focuses on the hospital burden of opioid-related hospitalizations by hospital urban-rural location. The Statistical Brief presents hospital statistics on opioid-related inpatient stays using the 2016 State Inpatient Databases (SID) from 46 States and the District of Columbia. The hospital rate of opioid-related stays per 1,000 inpatient stays is examined for a total of 4,207 community hospitals (excluding rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals) classified based on the urban-rural location of the hospital: metropolitan (metro), rural and adjacent to a metropolitan area (rural-adjacent), and rural and not adjacent to a metropolitan area (rural-remote). The hospital rate of opioid-related stays is presented by hospital urban-rural location for each U.S. census division. The distribution of the rate is provided across all metropolitan and rural hospitals. Finally, the rate is presented by hospital urban-rural location for hospitals with different bed sizes and occupancy levels. All differences between estimates noted in the text are statistically significant at the .05 level or better.


Feds said to be investigating largest Medicaid provider in the U.S.

Federal officials are probing actions taken in Ohio in 2017 by the largest Medicaid managed care provider in the United States, a source familiar with the investigation has told Ohio Capital Journal.

The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services declined to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. But the source said the agency is looking into a finding by a consultant hired by the state to analyze billions of dollars in drug transactions in the state’s Medicaid managed-care program during 2017 and 2018.

The finding raised questions about whether Centene — a company which is not well known but is a huge player in state Medicaid programs — effectively billed the state for duplicate services while working with another of the nation’s largest corporations, CVS Health.

Essentials of Regenerative Medicine in Interventional
Pain Management
Essentials of Regenerative Medicine in Interventional Pain Management is a book to bring concise, collective, and comprehensive information to interventional pain physicians practicing regenerative medicine in managing chronic pain. Regenerative medicine is an integral part of interventional pain management within the definitions of interventional pain management and interventional techniques.

Each chapter contains an introduction of the subject, historical context,pathophysiology, applicability of regenerative medicine with its evidence base, indications, anatomy, technical aspects, complications, and precautions for each topic when available and applicable. This comprehensive book consists of 35 chapters, more than 350 figures, and 50 tables.
| ORDER | Essentials of Regenerative Medicine in IPM
Regenerative Medicine for Spine Disease

On Demand Course covering Biologics in the treatment of DDD and Back Pain PRP, Bone Marrow Aspirate ASIPP Guidelines, Theory and Evidence Ultrasound Bone Marrow Aspirate PRP preparation. Video includes 1 CME Credit. Learn More. [ ]

Control Your Waiting Room TV

Customized waiting room TV exclusively for ASIPP ® members. Create your own ad-free television broadcasts using our videos, custom informational slides and your own YouTube videos. Even add local weather reports, news and live messages.
Send in your state society meeting news to Holly Long ,
ASIPP ® | Pain Physician Journal | Phone | Fax | Email