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Exciting News: Launch of Texas Pain Pulse - Your Exclusive TPS Members Only Newsletter

Dear Texas Pain Society (TPS) Members,

Happy 2024!  I hope your year is off to a good start so far. It is my pleasure as President to introduce a valuable addition to the TPS communication channels - the Texas Pain Pulse, our exclusive members-only newsletter produced in partnership with ARP. Ensure [email protected] is a trusted email address so you receive it.

Texas Pain Pulse is a curated source of insights, updates, and news designed specifically for TPS members. This monthly newsletter aims to keep you informed about the latest developments in the field of pain management, share best practices, keep you posted on upcoming events and foster a sense of community among our esteemed members.

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DEA Federal Register Notice

Federal Register Notice

DEA is pleased to announce the July 27, 2023 final rule, Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions for Schedules II-V Controlled Substances between Pharmacies for Initial Filling, which was developed to provide clarity on existing Federal regulatory requirements, as well as to facilitate the proper dispensing of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. This final rule, effective on August 28, 2023, amends DEA regulations to allow the transfer of electronic prescriptions for schedules II-V controlled substances between registered retail pharmacies for initial filling, upon request from the patient, on a one-time basis. The final rule requires that the transfer must be communicated directly between two licensed pharmacists, the prescription must remain in its electronic form, and the prescription information required by 21 CFR part 1306 must not be altered during the transmission. The final rule also stipulates that the transfer of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) for initial filling is permissible only if allowable under existing State or other applicable law.

In addition, the final rule describes the recordkeeping requirements for pharmacies transferring EPCS for initial filling, as well as pharmacies receiving and filling such prescriptions. The final rule only addresses the transfer of EPCS for initial filling and does not address the transfer of EPCS for refill dispensing, which is outlined in 21 CFR 1306.25.

Further, the final rule does not change the existing requirements for all prescriptions, as outlined in 21 CFR part 1306, nor the requirements for electronic prescription and pharmacy applications, as outlined in 21 CFR part 1311.
We hope this information is helpful.

If you have any questions pertaining to this rule, please contact

Scott A Brinks, Regulatory Drafting and Policy Support Section, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Telephone: (571) 776-3882; Email: [email protected].

CDC rolls out the 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain

New guideline provides evidence-based recommendations to help patients and clinicians make informed, patient-centered decisions about effective pain care.

Pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care here in the United States. All patients with pain should receive safe, effective, and informed pain care options. CDC has released a new guideline to support patients and clinicians in reaching their goals for pain care and function.

CDC’s 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain, which updates and replaces the 2016 CDC Guideline, is a clinical tool to improve communication between clinicians and patients and empower them to make collaborative, individualized, and informed decisions related to pain care. It provides 12 voluntary recommendations for clinicians providing pain care and includes expanded guidance for treatment of acute and subacute pain. The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline incorporates new evidence to help primary care and other clinicians weigh the risks and benefits of a full range of pain treatment options, including prescription opioids.

The release of the 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline is an important step towards promoting safe and effective pain care. Share and promote the 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline and related resources:

Additional Overdose and Opioid Resources

TPS Board Member Dhanalakshmi Koyyalagunta, MD

From what drew her to the pain management industry to her favorite part of being a pain doctor, Dhanalakshmi Koyyalagunta opens up in our latest profile feature!

Dhanalakshmi Koyyalagunta, MD is a Texas Pain Society Board Member and professor for the Department of Pain Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Area of Specialty & Special Interest: Cancer pain, opioid addiction

What got you into pain medicine? The blend of pharmacology and interventions! 

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TPS Board Member Carlos Omar Viesca, MD

Texas Pain Society Board Member Carlos Omar Viesca, MD shares how he got involved in Pain Management. 

Carlos Omar Viesca, MD is a Texas Pain Society Board Member and physician for Interventional Pain Medicine Institute.

   1250 E. Cliff Dr., Suite 3D
    El Paso, TX 79912-6431

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Open Payments Review & Dispute Ends May 15

You have until May 15 to review and dispute the program year 2021 Open Payments data before CMS publishes it in June. Reviewing your data is voluntary but strongly encouraged. Log into the Open Payments system to review your data. If you have a dispute, work directly with the reporting entity to resolve it; we don’t mediate or facilitate disputes.

Accessing Your Account:

  • If you don’t have an account, register in the Open Payments system
  • If you haven’t accessed your account in 60 days or more, unlock your account in the CMS Portal
  • If you haven’t accessed your account in 180 days or more, call the Open Payments Help Desk

More Information:


Members Sought for the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel

If you’re interested in issues involving the disclosure of risks and hazards related to medical care and surgical procedures, you may want to apply to be a member of the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner will appoint a physician and an attorney licensed to practice in Texas to the panel to serve a term expiring Aug. 31, 2028.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m., May 27.

HHSC will consider applicants' qualifications, background and interest in serving on the panel and will try to choose panel members who represent the diversity of all Texans. For this reason, HHSC considers applicants' ethnicity, gender and geographic location.

A Texas Medical Disclosure Panel member must regularly participate in panel meetings. They may also have to take part in subpanel meetings, projects and presentations. Panel meetings are held about once every three months in Austin or at the call of the presiding officer. To the extent permitted by the current state budget, a panel member may be repaid for their travel expenses to and from meetings if money is available and in accordance with the HHSC Travel Policy.

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Survey: Healthcare Professionals Asked About Prescription Drug Affordability

Survey: Healthcare Professionals Asked About Prescription Drug Affordability

The Health and Human Services Commission is conducting a brief survey of healthcare professionals to learn more about prescription drug affordability for Texans. The goal of the survey is to determine cost-prohibitive medications and the barriers people face in affording their medications.  

The 2022-23 General Appropriations Act and House Bill (H.B.) 18, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021, established the Texas Cares Program to provide uninsured individuals access to prescription drug benefits. The Health and Human Services Commission is conducting a survey of healthcare professionals to learn more about the challenges their clients/ patients face to afford their medications. This survey should take 5-10 minutes. Your response will be used to help inform the design of the program.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us at: [email protected]     

The survey will remain open until May 4, 2022.

Take Survey

DWC Asks for Input for Return-to-Work Plan-Based Audit

Division of Workers' Compensation banner

apr13 news

DWC Asks for Input for Return-to-Work Plan-Based Audit

DWC seeks input for the Return-to-Work (RTW) Plan-Based Audit, which evaluates the reasonableness of a doctor’s decision and recordkeeping for RTW. The plan-based audit sets the scope, methodology, selection standards, and program area duties as laid out in the Medical Quality Review Process. Comments are due by April 27, 2022.

Learn more.


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DEA Registration

Dea Update

Federal Register Notice

Requiring Online Submission of Applications for and Renewals of DEA Registration (PDF)

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: This rulemaking amends the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) regulations to now require all applications for DEA registrations, and renewal of those registrations, to be submitted online.

DATES: This final rule is effective May 11, 2022.

Scott A. Brinks, Regulatory Drafting and Policy Support Section, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (571) 776–2265.



Program Year 2021 data submission is open now through March 31, 2022. For details about registration, recertification and data submission, visit the Resources for Reporting Entities page.

More information

TMB Survey Due April 29th, 2022

Take TMB's survey!

TMB is requesting your participation in a very brief customer service survey. Every two years, all state agencies including the Texas Medical Board, are required to conduct a survey about various agency operations. We want to obtain your feedback to help us understand your impression of the TMB’s usage of video conferencing platforms and TMB in general.


The survey consists of 10 multiple choice questions, will take just a few minutes to complete, and is completely anonymous. The survey is available on Survey Monkey via this link: TMB Customer Service Survey.

We respectfully request your participation in the survey by Friday, April 29th, 2022. Your feedback is very important to us and the results of the survey will be published on the agency website as part of the 2022 Strategic Planning process.

Criminals Extorting Healthcare Professionals

FBI Liaison Information Report about Criminals Extorting Medical Professionals by Impersonating Medical Licensing Boards and the FBI. Click link below.

Criminals Extorting Healthcare Professionals

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Begins March 1st in Texas

Physician applicants outside of Texas, and Texas physicians wishing to practice in another member state, can begin submitting applications to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC) on Tuesday, March 1. 

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for qualifying physicians who wish to practice in Compact member states. 

For details on qualifying for Compact licensure, and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit:  

Comments Requested- CDC Moves To Relax Opioid Prescription Guidance

Below is a recap of the release announced on Forbes. Find the Proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids here. TPS will submit a formal response on behalf of TPS Members.

Send in your comments directly to TPS

The Centers for Disease Control proposed pulling back some of the strict guidelines for prescribing opioids in a draft of recommendations released Thursday, a move that would loosen some of the restrictions put in place in 2016 to help mitigate the opioid epidemic, in an attempt to allow chronic pain patients to receive more flexible treatment.


Proposed changes to the CDC’s guidance include giving doctors more leeway by slashing dose ceilings for patients and no longer suggesting they limit opioid treatment for acute pain to three days. Doctors would be advised to only prescribe opioids for painful, traumatic injuries, like major burns and those sustained in car accidents, and start patients off on low doses of immediate-release pills, according to the New York Times.

To ease less intense conditions—like episodic migraines and knee, neck and lower back pain—the new recommendations suggest employing treatments like exercise, acupuncture, heat therapy and over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. 

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Annual Workers’ Compensation Non-Subscriber Reporting

 Annual Workers’ Compensation Non-Subscriber Reporting 

Texas employers that do not provide workers’ compensation coverage must file DWC Form-005, Employer Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage

This form:

  • lets DWC know that an employer has opted out of the workers’ compensation system or ended coverage; and
  • must be sent in each year between February 1 and April 30. 

Employers that do not file this form on time may face penalties under state law. 

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We've gone social!


Be sure to use #TexasPain!


Reminder to Health Care Practitioners About Financial Interest Disclosures

Reminder to Health Care Practitioners About Financial Interest Disclosures

DWC reminds health care practitioners that they must file a financial interest disclosure with DWC when referring an injured employee to another health care practitioner, health care provider, or health care facility that they have a financial interest in.

More details are on the TDI website.

ABPM Board Opening

Do you want to advance your status and exposure? You can with the American Board of Pain Management as a director! You have experiences, opinions, scientific facts that can drive the industry forward. Consider joining by contacting Dr. Finn below. 

Ken Finn, MD
Springs Rehabilitation, PC
[email protected]

HHSC announces new Drug Utilization Review Board appointments

HHSC announces new Drug Utilization Review Board appointments

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission established the Drug Utilization Review Board to develop criteria and standards impacting Texas Medicaid, including:

  • Developing and submitting recommendations for the Texas Medicaid preferred drug list;
  • Suggesting clinical prior authorizations on outpatient prescription drugs;
  • Recommending educational interventions for Medicaid providers; and
  • Reviewing drug utilization across the Medicaid program.

The following individuals have been selected for Board appointment:

  • Dr. Natalie Vanek, physician representative
  • Dr. Carlos O. Viesca, physician representative

Please visit the Board webpage for more information on the Board.  Board meeting agendas are posted approximately seven days prior to the meetings on the Events webpage.  Meetings are also webcast and archived on the Meetings webpage for approximately two years from the date of the meeting.  

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