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JH Part B Financial Information Now Available in Novitasphere

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Novitasphere, our free, secure internet portal, now provides users with access to Financial Information to obtain the following:

  • Check number
  • Check amount
  • Check date
  • Check status

In addition, users are able search using the Financial Control Number lookup tool to identify the claim involved.

Important reminder! Effective January 1, 2020, all claims submitted to Medicare must be billed with the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) in place of the Health Insurance Claim number (HICN).  Use the MBI Lookup tool in Novitasphere to obtain your patients’ MBIs!  Angela from Professional Rehab Associates finds the MBI Lookup tool to be one of the most beneficial features in Novitasphere.  “I love that when patients give us their old Medicare cards, I can still look it up to get their new ID number.” 

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DEA warns of counterfeit prescription opioids

DETROIT — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public about a counterfeit medication that is killing people.

The DEA says drug cartels of manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid that is lethal in some doses.

A DEA statement says the cartels are capitalizing on the opioid epidemic and the counterfeit pills are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in America each year. is a pragmatic step in fight against opioids

The Trump administration has launched a smart new salvo in the public health offensive against the opioid epidemic.

Addiction to these prescription painkillers and related street drugs continues to wreak havoc in communities across the nation. Last week, the White House announced the launch of a new website that will make it easier to find specialized medical care close to home.

This confidential, easy-to-use resource has a name succinctly summing up its mission — It also allows individuals to customize their search results beyond location, a feature that existing “find a substance abuse provider” websites often don’t offer.


Input Needed for 2020 Medical Quality Review Annual Audit Plan

Input Needed for 2020 Medical Quality Review Annual Audit Plan

The Division of Workers’ Compensation is asking for input on the 2020 Medical Quality Review Annual Audit Plan (Annual Plan). The Annual Plan sets the priorities for the Medical Quality Review Panel audits during the upcoming year.

More information is on the TDI website.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

October 26, 2019 – 10AM to 2PM

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Locate a Collection Site Near You

Search by zip code or city/state to find a collection site near you.

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Research Group Releases Pharmacy Formulary Report

analysis of injured employee outcomes after the texas pharmacy closed formulary

Research Group Releases Pharmacy Formulary Report

The Research and Evaluation Group has released a report on Texas pharmacy closed formulary outcomes. This study looks at injured employee outcomes such as return-to-work rates and health outcomes since the formulary was implemented.

Need just the key findings? Check the TDI website for our new snapshot tool on the pharmacy formulary report.

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Texas Pain Society E-Newsletter

Physicians and Teaching Hospitals


**Review and Dispute activities start on April 1st and can continue until end of the calendar year**

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Hassenbusch Continued Learning Case Study Presentations

CALL FOR CASE STUDIES: The Texas Pain Society invites members and others to submit case studies to be considered for presentation at the 11th Annual Scientific Meeting.

The call for case study is open to Texas fellows and residents in a pain fellowship. Entries must be received before the cutoff date. All submissions will be reviewed by the committee and the top 5 submissions will be asked to present live at the TPS 11th Annual Scientific Meeting in October.

 2019 Winners!

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HHS Announces Guide for Appropriate Tapering or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Use

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Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a new Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics - PDF. Individual patients, as well as the health of the public, benefit when opioids are prescribed only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks.  But once a patient is on opioids for a prolonged duration, any abrupt change in the patient’s regimen may put the patient at risk of harm and should include a thorough, deliberative case review and discussion with the patient. The HHS Guide provides advice to clinicians who are contemplating or initiating a change in opioid dosage.

“Care must be a patient-centered experience. We need to treat people with compassion, and emphasize personalized care tailored to the specific circumstances and unique needs of each patient,” said Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health. “This Guide provides more resources for clinicians to best help patients achieve the dual goals of effective pain management and reduction in the risk for addiction.”


Texas Pain Society's 2nd Annual Job Fair

About the Job Fair

Saturday, October 26, 2019

4:45pm - 5:15pm

Foyer of the Regency Ballrooms, Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel
123 Losoya St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Ways to Participate: 
1. Sign up in advance using the links above to advertise your position or your availability online
2. Request a table at the fair to meet and greet potential new recruits OR to hand out your CV
3. Do both! Advertise online AND reserve a table for in person networking



Hassenbusch Continued Learning Scholarships

The Samuel J. Hassenbusch, MD, PhD Continued Learning Scholarships are annual scholarships sponsored by the Texas Pain Society & Texas Pain Foundation and created to honor the memory of TPS Board Member, Dr. Sam Hassenbusch.

Dr. Hassenbusch was an advocate for teaching and spent a majority of his life teaching others what he had learned.


TDI-Division of Workers' Compensation Plan-Based Audit

 Four Ways to Help You Feel Good About Your Opioid Prescription

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) helps health professionals make decisions about prescribing and dispensing and can be used to improve patient health. Four experts will share their knowledge about the Texas PMP, enhancements to the system, and new tools available to help you feel confident about sending someone home with opioids.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the Texas PMP and what it can do. 
  • Discuss how to register for and use the Texas PMP. 
  • Examine free tools to aid patient conversations about opioid use, misuse, and safe disposal.

1.5 Continuing Education Credits/Contact Hours Available for the Following (live* event only):

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Clearing the Air on Cannabis: New Texas Laws Create Challenges for Physicians



Before the 2019 Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3703, the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) products in Texas was confusing for physicians and authorized only a narrow group of patients: people with intractable epilepsy.

Thanks in part to the new state law, it’s still confusing and includes a somewhat larger group of patients – all patients with epilepsy as well as those with seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, terminal cancer, and incurable neurodegenerative diseases.

Confusion has been fueled by another 2019 measure: House Bill 1325 legalized the production and sale of hemp and some products derived from hemp that have high levels of CBD, which is non-euphoric and has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the psychoactive element in marijuana.


Initial Guidance on House Bill 2174 (HB 2174)

Texas Medical Board 333 GUADALUPE, TOWER 3, SUITE 610 • AUSTIN TX 78701 PHONE: (512) 305-7084 Stephen Brint Carlton, J.D., Executive Director 30 August 2019 SUBJECT: Initial Guidance on House Bill 2174 (HB 2174) To Whom It May Concern, The Texas Medical Board is aware there may be some confusion and apprehension surrounding House Bill 2174 (HB 2174), also known as “the 10-day opioid prescribing limit for acute pain”. HB 2174 is effective September 1, 2019. The new language is found in Health and Safety Code Section 481.07636. Part (a) defines acute pain as “the normal, predicted, physiological response to a stimulus such as a trauma, disease, and operative procedures…[which] is time limited.” Part (b) reads, “For the treatment of acute pain, a practitioner may not: (1) issue a prescription for an opioid in an amount that exceeds a 10-day supply; or (2) provide for a refill of an opioid.” The Texas Medical Board interprets this section to mean a practitioner may write an opioid prescription for up to 10 days without a refill. However, the patient may see the practitioner in a follow up appointment and receive another opioid prescription for up to 10 days. The law does not limit how many times this may occur. The Texas Medical Board does not interpret this section to limit patients to a maximum of 10 days of opioids for acute pain without the possibility of any further opioids for that specific issue or “episode of care”.

TPS dinner



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About the Texas PMP

The Texas PMP is a patient care tool that can be used to inform prescribing practice and to address prescription drug misuse, diversion, and overdose. As the only statewide electronic database that stores all controlled substance information, the Texas PMP helps prescribers and pharmacists avoid potentially life-threatening drug interactions, decide when to make referrals to specialty treatment providers, and identify individuals obtaining controlled substances from multiple health care providers and pharmacies. The Texas PMP shares prescription data with 30 other states/entities, allowing prescribers and pharmacists to track prescriptions dispensed outside of Texas.


Prescription Drug Use Among Adults Aged 40–79 in the United States and Canada

This is the National Center for Health Statistics/CDC/HHS logo

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Canadian Health Measures Survey

  • Nearly 7 in 10 adults aged 40–79 used at least 1 prescription drug in the past 30 days in the United States (69.0%) and Canada (65.5%), and around 1 in 5 used at least 5 prescription drugs (22.4% in the United States and 18.8% in Canada).
  • Among adults aged 40–59, the most commonly used drug types in the United States were antidepressants, lipid-lowering drugs, and ACE inhibitors; in Canada, they were analgesics, antidepressants, and lipid-lowering drugs.
  • Among adults aged 60–79, the most commonly used drug types in the United States were lipid-lowering drugs, antidiabetic agents, and beta blockers; in Canada, they were lipid-lowering drugs, analgesics, and proton pump inhibitors.

Patterns of prescription drug use may reflect underlying patterns of health conditions and health care access in the population. Polypharmacy, often defined as the simultaneous use of five or more prescription drugs, is more common in an aging population where multiple coexisting chronic conditions often occur; however, safety concerns may arise (1). The United States and Canada share many cultural and historical ties, but with different models for health care delivery (2). This report describes the use of one or more and five or more prescription drugs among adults aged 40–79 in the United States and Canada.

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PDMP Statutes and Regulations: Compilation by Topic

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The PDMP Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) continuously strives to keep prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and other stakeholders informed and current on the issues that concern and impact PDMPs. Legislative and regulatory change is an area TTAC monitors in order to provide an in-depth overview of PDMPs across the United States. TTAC has compiled a complete listing of all state PDMP statutes and regulations. The report is broken down by topic area (e.g., data transmitters, authorized recipients, mandatory query provisions) for each state, territory, and jurisdiction with a PDMP. The information in the report is based on the statutes and regulations in each jurisdiction and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. TTAC will strive to keep the information current with routine updates. The statutory and regulatory citations included in the report are current through June 30, 2019. A copy of the report can be found here: Statutes and Regulations.

FDA Warns CBD May Overpromise and Underdeliver

Image result for CBD has become a popular additive to items like foods and edibles. Getty Images Gels, creams, and pills containing cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive, potentially therapeutic compound in the cannabis plant, have proliferated at a seemingly exponential rate in the past five years.  The industry is poised to double in growth each year between now and 2024, according to cannabis consumer research firm BDS Analytics.  But CBD is still in a regulatory gray area, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the process of wading through scientific and public commentTrusted Source to refine its regulatory strategy toward CBD products.  In the meantime, the agency has started to issue warnings over manufacturers’ more egregious claims about CBD’s therapeutic effects.  The latest warning Most recently, the agency warnedTrusted Source a CBD manufacturer for making unsubstantiated medical claims about CBD’s health benefits, including claims that the compound could treat Alzheimer’s disease and kill breast cancer cells.  “Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care,” said acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, in a statementTrusted Source.  “Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness, and quality of unapproved products containing CBD,” he said.  The manufacturer, Curaleaf, responded in a statement that they “immediately began an extensive review of its website and social media platforms to remove all statements that FDA identified as noncompliant.”  They also said that many of the products cited by the FDA have been discontinued and that they’re working to ensure their products are compliant with FDA regulations.  “Our industry needs, wants, and appreciates the work the FDA is doing to ensure there is regulation and compliance in the CBD marketplace,” said Joseph Lusardi, CEO of

Gels, creams, and pills containing cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive, potentially therapeutic compound in the cannabis plant, have proliferated at a seemingly exponential rate in the past five years.

The industry is poised to double in growth each year between now and 2024, according to cannabis consumer research firm BDS Analytics.

But CBD is still in a regulatory gray area, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the process of wading through scientific and public commentTrusted Source to refine its regulatory strategy toward CBD products.

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New Form for Reporting Drug Overdoses

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has created an online form for physicians and other health care professionals to report overdoses from controlled substances such as opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

Previously, physicians reported overdoses from these “Penalty Group 1” drugs only via phone call or by faxing a paper form to the Texas Poison Center Network.

The new electronic form replaces phone and fax reporting. It is expected to make reporting and collecting overdose data more efficient, DSHS officials said.

State law requires physicians or the person in charge of a facility in which an overdose occurs or is treated to report the overdose to the DSHS.

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