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AADA ADVOCACY ACTION UPDATE

August 29, 2013


Last week, AAD President Dirk M. Elston, MD, issued a special President’s Alert “Dermatology is under siege” to warn AAD membership that the specialty is facing multiple unprecedented attacks from both regulators and legislators. Dr. Elston addressed the effects of the changing health care environment on the dermatologic specialty, and called on members to take action, including scrutinizing their own practice patterns. Read more from the President’s Alert. The AADA takes these challenges very seriously and is taking ongoing proactive and aggressive steps to advocate to policymakers to ensure the viability of dermatology and keep AAD members informed on what they should do to protect their patients and their practices.

The following is the first in a series of advocacy updates on the activities related to several critical issues facing the specialty:

MEDICARE PAYMENT REFORM

THE ISSUE: If Congress does not repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, a 24 percent across-the-board Medicare rate cut will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

  • AADA ADVOCATES FOR YOU: The House will consider the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 2810), which would repeal the flawed SGR formula and replace it with a system focused on quality incentives and the development of alternative payment models. The AADA raised concerns about the administrative burdens that this system could create for physicians. Read the AADA letter on H.R. 2810.
  • PREPARE TO TAKE ACTION: Members can anticipate a call to action from the AADA encouraging them to get involved on this important issue. In the interim, members should log on to the AADA Dermatology Advocacy Network to find your members of Congress and their contact information and to get involved by sharing your key contacts. For more information contact grassroots@aad.org.

DERMATOLOGISTS' RIGHT TO PROVIDE PATHOLOGY SERVICES

THE ISSUE: H.R. 2914, the Promoting Integrity in Medicare Act of 2013 (PIMA) would eliminate the in-office ancillary services exception to the Stark Law, which allows physicians to provide patients with anatomic pathology services within their offices. This legislation would also affect other in-office, self-referral services such as advanced imaging, radiation therapy, and physical therapy.

PHOTOTHERAPY REIMBURSEMENT REDUCTION

THE ISSUE: In the 2014 Proposed Fee Schedule, CMS is proposing to cut Photochemotherapy with UV-B (96910) by 48.52 percent, and Photochemotherapy with UV-A (96912) by 59.82 percent.

  • AADA ADVOCATES FOR YOU: The AADA, joined by the AMA and more than 30 other specialty groups, will send a letter opposing the methodology used to make these cuts. In addition, the AADA will submit its comment letter to CMS in the next two weeks which contains additional language underscoring our opposition to these cuts. Read more on this issue in tomorrow’s Member to Member e-newsletter.
  • PREPARE TO TAKE ACTION: Members can anticipate a call to action from the AADA encouraging them to get involved on this important issue. In the interim, members should log on to the AADA Dermatology Advocacy Network to find your members of Congress and their contact information and to get involved by sharing your key contacts. For more information contact grassroots@aad.org.

MOHS MICROGRAPHIC SURGERY REDUCTION

THE ISSUE: In its 2014 proposed Fee Schedule, CMS has erroneously identified several Mohs Micrographic surgery codes that have been potentially misvalued. CMS proposes to cut Mohs micrographic technique, first stage (17311) by 7.64 percent.

  • AADA ADVOCATES FOR YOU: The AADA, joined by the AMA and more than 30 other specialty groups, will send a letter opposing the methodology used to make these cuts. In addition, the AADA will submit its comment letter to CMS in the next two weeks which contains additional language underscoring our opposition to these cuts, and opposing CMS' process for identifying procedures suspected of high utilization. Read more on this issue in tomorrow’s Member to Member e-newsletter.
  • PREPARE TO TAKE ACTION: Members can anticipate a call to action from the AADA encouraging them to get involved on this important issue. In the interim, members should log on to the AADA Dermatology Advocacy Network to find your members of Congress and their contact information and to get involved by sharing your key contacts. For more information contact grassroots@aad.org.

RECLASSIFICATION OF INDOOR TANNING DEVICES

THE ISSUE: On May 6, the FDA issued a proposed order that recommends against the use of tanning beds by minors under 18, calls for the reclassification of indoor tanning devices from a Class I to a Class II medical device, and would require labeling on indoor tanning devices that clearly communicates the risks of skin cancer to all users. Read more about the FDA proposed order.

  • AADA ADVOCATES FOR YOU: The AADA, along with about 10 partnering organizations, nearly 15 dermatologic state societies, and several members of Congress sent comment letters to the FDA supporting the agency’s proposal. Read the AADA comment letter. Learn more about this issue in the Dermatology Advocate e-newsletter.
  • PREPARE TO TAKE ACTION: AADA members sent more than 1,000 letters in support of the reclassification. With Congress back in session after Labor Day, members can anticipate a call to action from the AADA urging its members to encourage their legislators to write to the FDA in support of the proposal.

Learn more about the issues highlighted above, and the changing health care environment, in the September issue of Dermatology World. As follow-up to last week’s President’s Alert, be on the lookout for more updates from the AADA on its advocacy activities, and for more information from the AADA on how members can get involved and guard against the multiple threats facing the specialty.

To learn more, or find out how you can take action, contact the AADA Government Affairs Department at govtaffairs@aad.org, or visit the AADA Dermatology Advocacy Network.

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