A message from the GSIPP President

Nok Keomahathai, MD,
GSIPP President
Dear GSIPP Members
I am honored and excited to be elected as the incoming President of the Georgia Society of Pain Physicians (GSIPP) for the 2023-2025 term. I would like to continue the mission and the purpose that my predecessors have established over the past 20 years of GSIPP. I would like to acknowledge these momentous past presidents Drs. Amit Patel, Susheel Dua, Vincent Galan, Shevin Pollydore, and many more. Moreover, our organization would not be as strong nationally without the rock that holds our state society together, our Executive Director, Dr. David Gale. I am proud to be a part of this organization, and I am proud that we never “skipped a beat” with our annual meetings during the Covid pandemic. It is important that GSIPP continues to grow and to succeed with members and supporters who are active and engaged.

I have been a member of GSIPP since its early conception by Drs. Carlos Giron, Marvin Tark, and Charlie Brownlow. As a society, we have seen countless changes within our specialty, from the treatment of opiate use with no ceiling effects, pain scores being used as the 5th Vital Sign, and the restrictive use of opiate therapy in the 2016 CDC opiate guidelines, as well as the updates in 2022. The indirect impact of these regulations has led to the exponential growth in medical technology and in our ability to control patients’ pain. I have witnessed this evolution of our specialty in the advancing technologies presented at national meetings, such as the North American Neuromodulation Society. The growth in our state society meetings is mirroring the national meeting with respect to this, and in our relationship with industry vendors. The explosion of technology such as Vertiflex, SI Fusion, HF-10, Burst Programming, DTM, FAST, Closed Loop, the reemergence of MILD, VIADISC, DRG, various PNS options, Facet Fusion Systems, and ITTP Microdosing, etc., offers us many options in the treatment of pain. These technological advances distinguish mere pain managers from advanced interventional pain specialists. I am optimistic about the inevitable future advances in our specialty.

I have been working as an interventional pain specialist in northwest Georgia for more than 20 years, and I have served on the Board of Directors of GSIPP for the past six years. I plan to continue the Board’s efforts to ensure that our core values are properly maintained. As part of that aspiration, I believe that it is important to enhance the value of each individual GSIPP member, whether that is through our meetings, or through networking. Additionally, we will continue to strive to procure nationally recognized speakers at our annual meetings. Our relationships with our sponsors and industry leaders are strong, and we must not take this for granted. The small to mid-size practices need to be recognized and protected. Private practices are the backbone for reliable healthcare services in our state. The GSIPP PAC is on solid and stable ground, and we are continuing to support such organizations as the newly formed Federation for Pain Care Access, securing access for all residents of Georgia, including those in historically underserved rural areas. Furthermore, I will continue to strive to ensure that the voices of each corner of the state of Georgia are represented on the Board of Directors.

GSIPP is committed to addressing issues of tort reform, changes in LCDs, CMS guidelines, reimbursement for ultrasound, and fluoroscopically guided injections. The decrease in frequency for various interventions can result in unnecessary patients suffering and loss of function. GSIPP will closely monitor medical, technological, and political changes across the field of pain management. We are committed to our members, and to the goals of best practice for our patients, and best outcomes.

GSIPP’s strength is not only in its members, but also in its support staff, led by Tara Morrison and Karrie Kirwan. The relationship that Sabrina Crawford has with our industry vendors continues to grow. I would ask that current GSIPP members assist Lauren Reagan in growing membership and maintaining the strength of this organization. The political climate in our state, and nationally, is ever changing, and I am excited to have our lobbyist, Chandler Haydon, represent us at the state capitol. We are a stronger state society with each of these individuals on our team. I am looking forward to a great two years. I hope to see all of the old familiar faces, as well as many new members at our annual meeting at Lake Oconee in 2024, and Sea Island in 2025.

Respectfully yours,

Nok Keomahathai, M.D.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each individual member is the team.” Phil Jackson

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