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This week’s headlines:
Congressional action

AADA supports legislation repealing Independent Payment Advisory Board
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has sent letters to Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) thanking them, as the respective author and lead Democratic cosponsor, for introducing the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that was created as part of the 2010 health system reform law. The AADA opposes IPAB because the board’s creation would grant unprecedented authority to an unelected, unaccountable Executive Branch panel to make Medicare policies that could negatively impact Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care.

AADA President Daniel M. Siegel, MD, issued a statement that applauded the legislation and reiterated the organization’s position that providing such unprecedented authority to this unaccountable panel would diminish the transparency achieved by longstanding congressional oversight and would negatively impact the availability of quality, efficient health care to Americans. Read the AADA letters of support for IPAB repeal. For more information, contact the AADA Government Affairs Department at govtaffairs@aad.org.

Federal agency focus

AAD/A responds to claims made by new indoor tanning organization
The American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association (collectively “AAD/A”) are developing a comprehensive strategy to address false and misleading claims made by the American Suntanning Association (ASA) about the risks and health benefits of tanning generally and indoor tanning specifically. The ASA is a new coalition of 14,000 indoor tanning salons that aims to counter anti-tanning arguments and promote moderate UV exposure. The AAD/A’s strategy will include both media relations and advocacy activities to refute the ASA’s claims and provide the public with correct information about the dangers of indoor tanning.

The AAD/A issued a statement from President Daniel M. Siegel, MD regarding the formation of the ASA and countering the ASA’s false and misleading indoor tanning claims. Members are encouraged to review the AAD/A position statement on indoor tanning. The AAD/A will continue to work with key regulatory agencies to ensure patient safety by advocating for stricter regulations on indoor tanning devices. Additionally, the AAD/A will work with other organizations who share the AAD/A’s commitment to banning indoor tanning to address the ASA’s claims. Email govtaffairs@aad.org for more information on AAD/A advocacy.

The AAD/A has also developed tools and resources that are available for AAD/A members seeking guidance on how to respond when approached by members of the media on this issue. The AAD/A urges members to contact mediarelations@aad.org for assistance if asked to participate in a media interview on this issue.

AADA comments on preliminary stage 3 meaningful use recommendations
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC), on preliminary stage 3 meaningful use recommendations for electronic health records (EHR).

The recommendations substantially boost requirements for data exchange among providers, and would include an increase in clinical-decision support by physicians and hospitals, through computerized physician order entry, medication reconciliation, and structured and machine-readable data. The AADA expressed concern about the burdens physicians will face meeting these additional requirements—many of which are not yet fully supported by technology. The AADA suggested a measured approach to advancing meaningful use, and urged the HITPC to implement policies that would prospectively develop the infrastructure foundation necessary for advancing meaningful use. Read the AADA comment letter.

Stage 3 meaningful use requirements will be implemented in 2016. The HITPC is expected to review comments and make modifications to these preliminary recommendations. Accordingly, these recommendations may be considerably changed prior to any rulemaking. The AADA will have additional opportunity to comment when proposed and final rules are filed. Contact AADA’s Richard Martin for more information.

CMS extends deadline for physicians to change participation status
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Jan. 2, 2013, that they have extended the 2013 Annual Participation Enrollment Program deadline from Dec. 31, 2012, to Feb. 15, 2013. The 2013 Annual Participation Enrollment Program allows eligible physicians, practitioners, and suppliers the opportunity to change their Medicare participation status.

Given this new deadline, participation elections and withdrawals must be post-marked on or before Feb. 15, 2013. The effective date for any participation status changes elected by providers during the extension still remains Jan. 1, 2013. Learn more about Medicare participation options and how to change your current status. Email ppm1@aad.org with specific questions.

HHS expands liability in HIPAA provisions to ‘business associates’
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule updating Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provisions expanding the liability of ‘business associates’ of physicians, hospitals and other HIPAA-covered entities if they leak data in ways that violate patient privacy. Per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HHS was required to institute changes to HIPAA to include tougher privacy and security measures. Under the HHS definition, ‘business associates’ may include healthcare data-miners and health information technology service providers. The final rule will go into effect March 26, with a compliance date of Sept. 21, 2013. Read the full text of the final rule. Contact AADA’s Richard Martin for more information.

AADA responds to reports of new drug shortages
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has recently received several reports from physicians regarding drug shortages among dermatology practices. Products reported as being in short supply include tetracycline, doxycycline, and sodium bicarbonate. The AADA has been in contact with the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Shortage Management team to communicate member concerns about the availability of these drugs, and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Read more about the AADA advocacy efforts to resolve drug shortage issues. Contact AADA’s Amanda Grimm for more information.

Deadline approaching for 2012 EHR meaningful use attestation
Medicare eligible professionals have until Feb. 28, 2013, to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for adopting and using electronic health records (EHR) in calendar year 2012. Qualifying dermatology practices can be reimbursed up to $44,000 for adopting a certified EHR system as long as they have at least $24,000 in Medicare allowed charges per year, and demonstrate their use of the certified EHR in a meaningful way. Read more about Medicare incentives and penalties regarding EHR adoption. Learn more about how to adopt an EHR system, implementing electronic prescribing, and other health information technologies through the American Academy of Dermatology’s online HIT-kit. Contact Rachna Chaudhari for more information.

Private payer activity

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield N.J. pathology policy postponed
On Dec. 21, 2012, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.J. (Horizon) announced that it would postpone, until further notice, a new policy in which claims submitted for office-based services would be denied or, if applicable, reimbursed at the patient’s out-of-network level. The exclusive in-network laboratory for Horizon would be LabCorp. Horizon notified its providers of this policy change in May 2012, stating that it would go into effect on Aug. 15, 2012. Horizon has postponed the policy change several times since the original deadline. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has been, and will continue to coordinate its efforts with the Medical Society of New Jersey and the Dermatological Society of New Jersey. The AADA is drafting a letter to support permanent reversal of this policy. Contact AADA’s Jacqueline Buschmann for more information.

State policy roundup

AADA supports Va. and Miss. biosimilars bills
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has submitted written comments to both the Virginia House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee and the Mississippi Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on biosimilar legislation being considered by the states. Virginia House Bill (HB) 1422 and Missississippi Senate Bill (SB) 2085 require any pharmacist who dispenses an interchangeable biosimilar to inform the patient prior to dispensing the biosimilar, provide notification of the substitution to the prescriber, and record the brand name or the product name and name of the manufacturer of the biosimilar on the record of dispensing and the prescription label.

The bills largely reflect the AADA’s position on the therapeutic substitution of biosimilar products. The AADA recommended that both bills be amended to shorten the notification from five days to 24 hours prior to dispensing, in order to ensure patient safety. Read the AADA letter on HB 1422 and the AADA letter on SB 2085. To learn more about biosimilars and dermatology review the AADA’s position statement on generic therapeutic and biosimilar substitution and read the August 2012 Dermatology World supplement article on psoriasis biosimilars. Contact AADA’s Kersten Burns for more information.

N.D. bill aims to repeal indoor tanning statutes
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) has written to the North Dakota House of Representatives Human Services Committee opposing House Bill (HB) 1188, which would repeal existing statutes on indoor tanning. Currently, customers under the age of 14 are not allowed to utilize a tanning device at a tanning facility without a written order from a physician licensed in North Dakota and without being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, HB 1188 would reverse a statute that requires customers under 18 years old to provide written parental consent to a tanning facility before using a tanning device at that facility. The North Dakota Medical Association (NDMA) testified on behalf of the NDMA and the AADA at a hearing on the bill this week. Read the AADA letter opposing HB 1188. The AADA reached out to the North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics about this issue; the chapter has also sent a letter of opposition. For more information, contact AADA’s Kersten Burns.

HHS extends deadline for health insurance exchanges
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it will extend or waive the deadline for states that have expressed interest in building and managing their own state-based health insurance exchange or working with the federal government in regulating insurance in the online marketplace. The original deadline was Jan. 1, 2013. States that intend to partner with the federal government to set up an exchange will have until Feb. 15, 2013, to submit their declaration letter and plan.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states that cannot or do not want to run their own exchanges will work with the federal government to do so. Per the ACA, every state will be required to have a health insurance exchange by Jan. 1, 2014. Find out whether or not your state has applied for a health insurance exchange grant. Learn more about the health insurance exchange requirement in a September 2012 Dermatology World article.

New coalition seeks to review state scope of practice laws
A new stakeholder coalition has been formed to study and develop recommendations for states to control health care spending. The State Health Care Cost Containment Commission — jointly chaired by former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt (R) and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) — will review scope of practice laws, implementation of state-based delivery and payment reforms, and health care consumer education efforts. The Commission will consist of purchasers, insurers and other stakeholders, and will work with individual states in implementing the Commission’s recommendations.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association will continue to monitor the activities and recommendations of the Commission, and encourages members to get involved when the commission starts working with individual states. Read the AADA’s position statement on The Practice of Dermatology: Protecting and Preserving Patient Safety and Quality Care. For more information, contact AADA’s Lisa Albany.

Advisory Board invites AAD members to submit policy resolutions
As we approach the Annual Meeting, the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) Advisory Board looks forward to hearing the voices of the Academy’s grassroots through the submission of proposed policy resolutions. The AAD Advisory Board invites all AAD members as well as state, local and specialty dermatology groups to submit proposed AAD and American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) policy resolutions on issues of interest and/or concern. The Advisory Board convenes every year at the AAD Annual Meeting to deliberate on members’ proposed resolutions, and if approved, propose them to the AAD’s Board of Directors for consideration.

This is the prime opportunity for members to have their voices heard by submitting a resolution from which an official Academy position might arise. The author, or his or her designate, must be present at the AAD 71st Annual Meeting to introduce and discuss the resolution at the Reference Committee Hearing on Friday, March 1, 2013, at 2 p.m. in the Poinciana 1 room at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The full Advisory Board will vote on resolutions at the General Business Meeting on Sunday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center, room B112/113. All resolutions and questions regarding the Advisory Board should be submitted to AADA staff, Abigail Osborne, at aosborne@aad.org by Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. For questions regarding Advisory Board resolutions, meetings, or general information, contact Abigail Osborne or visit the Advisory Board Portal.

Political affairs – SkinPAC

SkinPAC, Dermatology Advocacy Network to host outdoor reception at 71st Annual Meeting
The American Academy of Dermatology Association’s Political Action Committee, SkinPAC, and the Dermatology Advocacy Network will host an outdoor reception at the American Academy of Dermatology’s 71st Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla. Grab a breath of fresh, warm air with your colleagues on Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The event will be held on the Americana Lawn where attendees can enjoy picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean, and discuss ways to keep SkinPAC’s momentum and growth going. For more information about SkinPAC and the reception at the Annual Meeting, contact AADA’s Katie Jones at 202-609-6333, or visit www.skinpac.org.

SkinPAC’s political purpose is to solicit and receive contributions to be used to make political campaign expenditures to those candidates for federal elective office, and other federal political committees, who demonstrate understanding and interest in the views and goals of the American Academy of Dermatology Association.


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