July 2017 Advocacy News

July 2017 | ASDSA President attends FDA Listening Session
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SUNucate receives Power of A gold award

Out of more than 150 entries, SUNucatewas chosen as one of 23 Power of A Gold Award winners. Chosen by theAmerican Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Power of A Awards recognize a select number of organizations that leverage their unique resources to solve problems, advance industry and/or professional performance, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions. Awardees distinguish themselves with innovative, effective and broad-reaching programs and activities that positively impact the local and global community.   

SUNucate becomes law in Florida, Louisiana 

Governors Rick Scott (Florida) and John Bel Edwards (Louisiana) have signed versions of SUNucate into law in June. Florida and Louisiana became the fifth and sixth states to pass the law this year, joining Alabama, Arizona, Utah and Washington.
Legislators in Ohio and New Jersey also introduced SUNucate measures to be considered by their respective legislatures this year. Legislation is also still pending in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Stay up-to-date with SUNucate efforts by visiting www.SUNucate.org. If you are interested in seeing SUNucate passed in your state, reach out to advocacy@asds.net

ASDSA-authored resolution on regulation of PAs adopted at AMA Annual Meeting

ASDSA and AMA Dermatology Section Council (DSC) were successful in getting the AMA House of Delegates to adopt new policy that will advocate preserving the authority of medical boards to regulate the practice of medicine through oversight of physicians, physician assistants and related medical personnel. The new policy also opposes efforts to establish autonomous regulatory boards meant to license, regulate, and discipline physician assistants outside of the existing state medical licensing and regulatory bodies’ authority and purview. The resolution reflects ASDSA's position on the regulation of physician assistants working with physicians under delegation and their valued place in the health care team. (Pictured: Anthony M. Rossi, MD, YPS Delegate, Jessica J. Krant, MD, Delegate, and Chad L. Prather, MD, Alternate Delegate. Not pictured is William L. Waller, III, MD, YPS Delegate.) 

Compounding Update


Dr. Rohrer speaks to FDA at Listening Session on compounding

The FDA held a constructive dialogue with representatives of physician specialties and insurers on issues related to physician in-office compounding.  President Rohrer and others asserted that in-office compounding is the practice of medicine. They noted its positive safety record and argued that it is absolutely crucial for physicians to be able to treat patients in the office for access to safe health care. While the FDA staff was firm in their position that the adulteration of any medication must be done by a pharmacist, ASDSA found strong allies in the physician specialty community, the AMA and the Federation of State Medical Boards to ensure this remains the practice of medicine for patients. (Pictured: ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, with Brett M. Coldiron, MD.)

New federal legislation addresses compounded medications safeguards

As a member of the DQSA Coalition, along with AADA, ASDSA worked to get a bipartisan, common sense bill introduced to give pharmacists and doctors the flexibility they need to treat patients and save lives. H.R. 2871, the "Preserving Patient Access to Compounded Medications Act," will further ensure access to needed medications, while maintaining the safety of compounded medications by clarifying the regulatory authority of the FDA. The FDA has recently restricted the compounding abilities of physicians, hindering access to care and needed treatments. 

Dr. Seemal Desai named to PCAC

Seemal Desai, MD, is a new member of the FDA Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee (PCAC). Nominated by ASDSA/AADA, he will provide advice concerning compounding to the FDA. Dr. Desai has previously testified in front of the Committee on the Section 503A bulk substances list and will be the only in-office practicing physician on the group.  

Senate bill placed on hold; new MACRA guidelines proposed

It hasn’t been quiet in Washington as legislators and regulators have worked on all aspects of health care reform. After releasing a discussion draft of theBetter Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republican leaders decided to delay a vote until Congress returns from the July Fourth recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable to secure the votes necessary on a motion to proceed, a procedural step that needs to be taken before floor debate can begin. It is expected that the bill will undergo changes that affect theCongressional Budget Office (CBO) score; however, Sen. McConnell may bring the bill to floor, even if it cannot pass, so the Senate is able to move onto other pressing issues, such as tax reform. Advocacy staff will be watching this process closely, as the bill includes a repeal of the tanning tax; ASDSA has already signed on to acoalition letter opposing the tanning tax repeal in the American Health Care Act.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also issued a proposed rule that makes changes to the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The proposed rule includes:
  • The continuation of the Pick Your Pace option, allowing physicians to report a limited amount of data to be exempt from penalties. 
  • Having a low-volume threshold that exempts many physicians with a low volume of Medicare Part B payments or patients. 
  • Flexibilities for physicians who are considered hospital-based or have limited face-to-face encounters with patients (non-patient facing physicians). 
CMS has published a fact sheet with additional information on participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs). Providing regulatory relief to members, especially those in small, rural or independent practices, is a priority for ASDSA and comments will be submitted for the record. 

Advocacy Addendum:

  • Encourage your state dermatology society to apply for an ASDSA Ignite Grant. Applications supporting the Safe Laser and Energy-based Device Act (PULSE)or SUNucate model bill will be given preference. You may also nominate a deserving member, state dermatology association or legislator/regulator for anASDSA Patient Safety Hero AwardApplications for the Ignite Grant and Patient Safety Hero Awards are due Aug. 1. 
  • The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1215, the “Protecting Patient Access to Care Act” last week. Sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the bill caps non-economic damages at $250,000 and protects providers from prescription lawsuits over FDA-approved medications. Thank you to ASDSA members for responding to our urgent call to action. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. 
  • The AMA has teamed up with LexisNexis Risk Solutions to launch the Verify Health Care Portal. VerifyHCP uses payer directory information with LexisNexis Health Care’s database of health care professionals to pre-populate the portal with updated information that enables simpler attestation and provides patients with accurate directories of available providers. 
  • Originally appearing on KevinMD.com, an internal medicine resident takes onhow to maintain a sense of accomplishment as a physician. A great (and quick) read! 
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, All rights reserved.

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