A message from the GSIPP President

Dr. Vincent Galan, MD,
GSIPP President
I want to thank the membership for the honor of being elected President of the Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (GSIPP). Over the last few years, our society has expanded and become more influential because of the efforts of past presidents, Drs. Giron, Epter, Hurd, Lee, Gale, and Pollydore.

I need to especially thank our immediate past president, Shevin Pollydore, for his leadership, stamina and never say never attitude. Because of his leadership, we won many important legislative battles against well-funded opponents. His famous phrase, “If you are not at the table, then you are on the menu!” is well known and very true in these times. I would also like to thank Tara Morrison and her staff, especially Karrie Kulavic, which coordinates our very successful events, in addition, to providing a great number of support services to GSIPP. And finally, Chandler Haydon, which has been our very influential lobbyist at the state level who has been responsible for the legislative victories.

Additionally, we have just completed our 13th Annual Pain Summit at Lake Oconee, another great meeting with great speakers, like Drs. Ken Candido, Mark Wallace, Anita Gupta, David Karli, etc. with topics as varied as Protecting Your Practice, a 2017 Update on Current SCS Systems, Medical Cannabis, Regenerative Medicine, Avoiding Disasters in Interventional Pain Management, Round Table Discussion on Insurance Issues and our Mid-Level Program. All very relevant topics to our specialty. For this fabulous program, we must thank David Gale for putting it all together. Also, our vendors who have been very supportive of our annual meeting with their financial support.

As Dr. Carlos Giron, founder of GSIPP, stated in our mission statement: GSIPP is an organization created to promote the advancement of the medical specialty, Interventional Pain Management. Progress in our field is accomplished through education, patient advocacy and fostering of relations that support Interventional Pain physicians and their practices. GSIPP promotes patient access to the medically necessary services provided by our physicians and their staffs.

To continue fostering that mission statement here are some of the ideas your Board has discussed: (1) an Insurance Committee and (2) a stronger PAC Committee.

INSURANCE COMMITTEE. Some thoughts are to have an Administrator Committee which will communicate with all the other administrative practices in GSIPP. We may set up this by regions leading to a designated administrative member. Problems, as determined by this committee, will be discussed with Dr. Richard Epter which then will forward and discuss those hot topics with the Board. The administrators committee designee will be calling out other administrators in their region to find what problems there are. The Board will then determine how these issues or needs will be addressed.

PAC COMMITTEE. Our legislative agenda will be enhanced not only by contributions, but by creating our OPIOID FIRST INITIATIVE. We need to visit those legislators involved in the healthcare committee’s and for them to understand we are the leading authority in the opioid crisis. To visit our legislators and to present to them our expertise in how to deal with the Opioid Epidemic in our state and to volunteer ourselves to serve in any state committees as determined by the Georgia legislature. Also, the purpose of this new initiative is for our members to volunteer to give presentations to help educate physicians across the state in the appropriate prescription of narcotics. Our physicians could attend meetings of their respective medical county societies, notify the particular county legislators (congressman and senators) for them to attend the meeting. This will benefit those legislators because they would meet their constituency, may help raise money for their cause and they will see firsthand their doctor’s problems. Dr. Amit Patel as head of this committee will be calling each of our practices to donate money to our Political Action Committee. We are asking for both time and money, but we needed for success. So, I encourage you to do both, but at the very least do one.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finally, another issue I would like to address at a state level is the Certificate of Need (CON) law. This seems to be a very difficult issue with strong opposition from the Hospital lobby, but which has the potential to be career changing for our surgery centers.

It is my, and the Board’s commitment to face our challenges head on, to address Insurance, Regulatory and any other issues, as they occur and in a timely manner. But we need your help to address insurance issues; we need your help to identify the issues which affect your practice and which are a threat to you. We are strong, but our strength is in the unity of all our collective membership. We need to continue turning our strength into opportunities while minimalizing our threats. Only together with your time and yes, your contributions, we can influence change in the legislative arena, creating change in Georgia’s healthcare and its insurance markets.

We need to continue to increase our visibility at a state level; we should not be content with past battles won, there are more to address.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
Hannah More.

Thank you,

Vincent Galan, MD

DEA to Publish Final Rule Rescheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products
AUG 21 (WASHINGTON)–On Friday the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will publish in the Federal Register the Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II, as recommended by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of relevant data. The Federal Register has made the Final Rule available for preview on its website today at

This Final Rule imposes the regulatory controls and sanctions applicable to Schedule II substances on those who handle or propose to handle HCPs. It goes into effect in 45 days.

Georgia gets an A grade for Pain Policies
We have recently received great news from The Pain and Policy Studies Group at The University of Wisconsin as they have given Georgia a grade of A with respect to our Great State's Pain Policies. This has been a steady decade of improvement as in 2006 and 2007, Georgia graded in at a D+. GSIPP has led the path to making those improvements by advocating and fighting for our Prescription Drug Monitoring Program; promoting legislation and increased requirements of our specialty in order to weed out pill mills in our state and by being a resource to influence policymakers while making the practice of Interventional Pain Management safer.

This is not a time for patting ourselves on the back but a sign that GSIPP has and IS making a difference in Georgia. Please take this opportunity to share this news with your colleagues and friends.

The GSIPP-PAC needs your contributions to keep fighting on behalf of our specialty and all of our patients. Please give generously as our future depends on it. CLICK HERE to donate to the PAC.

You can find the article here:

Carlos Giron, M.D.
GSIPP Founder and Executive Director
Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) begins allowing access to Rx data

On July 26th, the switch was finally flipped to turn on access to allow practitioners to register and have access to the Georgia Prescription Drug Marketing Program (PDMP). This means that all practitioners licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Georgia Board of Dentistry who have authority to prescribe or order controlled substances can now register for access the GA PDMP.

For more information for practitioners licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board click here

For more information for practitioners licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry click here