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This week’s headlines:
Congressional action

House votes to repeal the IPAB and enact meaningful liability reform
On March 22, the House of Representatives voted on legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and enact meaningful medical liability reform. The IPAB, created under the 2010 health system reform law, seeks cost containment through a targeted Medicare spending system similar to the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The AADA, along with much of the physician community, feels this is a short-sighted system, which undermines the physician community and threatens the sustainability of the Medicare program.

The AADA has been steadfast in communicating with Congress about the negative consequences that the unelected IPAB would have on the specialty of dermatology and its patients. AADA recently urged congressional leadership to swiftly vote on repeal legislation. Both IPAB repeal and medical liability reform are legislative priorities of the AADA and passage of these bills in the House of Representatives is a significant step forward in ensuring that patients across the country continue to have access to quality dermatologic care.

AADA urges support for cancer programs in 2013 appropriations funding
On March 14, the AADA joined several other organizations in urging House Defense appropriators to support $16 million in funding for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program in the fiscal year 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations bill. The cancer research program was established in FY2009 and supports vital medical research on many forms of cancer, including melanoma and other skin cancers.

On March 19, the AADA, along with other One Voice Against Cancer member organizations, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging Congress to support funding for cancer prevention and control programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at least at their FY2010 levels, and asking that cancer programs remain as categorical budget lines that the Administration’s FY2013 budget proposes to consolidate. Additionally, these organizations sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging support of a National Institutes of Health budget of at least $32.7 billion, including $5.36 billion for the National Cancer Institute in the FY2013 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.

Federal agency focus

CMS announces 5010 enforcement delay
Enforcement of the version 5010 HIPAA transaction standards has been delayed until June 30, according to a March 15 announcement from CMS’s Office of E-Health Standards. In order to comply with this requirement, dermatology practices must either update their practice management information system or ensure that the billing service and/or clearinghouse are updated. The 5010 upgrade is required in advance of the transition to ICD-10-CM.

AADA continues dialogue with FDA on drug shortages
The AADA continues to receive communications from members about ongoing problems accessing specific drugs, such as cantharadin, lidocaine, and even tetracycline, due to reported shortages of these drugs in areas across the U.S. In response, the AADA has been actively engaged with the AMA and FDA in working to identify reasons for and approaches to the problem.

The AADA is working with staff from the FDA to identify the source of the problem in obtaining cantharidin and possible solutions. A July 2011 Dermatology World article explored issues surrounding access to this treatment modality.

The AADA conducted an informal survey of members to better understand the number of dermatology drugs currently in shortage. The survey showed that approximately 70 percent of the 61 respondents are experiencing a shortage of tetracycline. Additional shortages include lidocaine, bleomycin, and TriLuma cream. Please contact Amanda Grimm, senior specialist, Regulatory Policy at agrimm@aad.org with your drug shortage experiences.

State policy roundup

Idaho and Vermont advance indoor tanning bills
Earlier this week, the Idaho House of Representatives and the Vermont House of Representatives advanced their states' respective indoor tanning bills. The Idaho legislation was amended to prohibit minors 15 years old and younger from accessing indoor tanning devices, and require annual in-person parental consent for those 16 to 18 years old. The Vermont bill remains a ban for all minors under the age of 18. In both states, the bills will move to the State Senate and be assigned to a committee for further consideration. The AADA is working with the Idaho Dermatology Society and Vermont Dermatological Society to support these bills and will relaunch grassroots outreach to usher this legislation through the Senate process in both states.

Political affairs – SkinPAC

Dr. Siegel issues million dollar challenge
At the Annual Meeting plenary session on March 18, incoming AADA President Daniel Siegel, MD, called on all eligible members to help make SkinPAC a million dollar political action committee. Dr. Siegel is so serious about reaching that goal that, he told the crowd during his President-Elect’s Address, he will shave his head and beard for an audience of members when SkinPAC hits the $1 million mark. Members can learn more about SkinPAC or make a donation online at 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.

Contributions to SkinPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. SkinPAC cannot accept contributions from corporate accounts. All AADA members have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits us from accepting contributions from foreign nationals. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, physical address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.

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