September 2017 Advocacy News

September 2017 | New resource shows value of dermatologic surgeons
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ASDSA connects with state legislators during NCSL

ASDSA exhibited at the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit and promoted SUNucate to state legislators. Connections with countless legislators were made, and implementing SUNucate and skin cancer prevention were hot topics. ASDSA was part of the Physicians Advocating for Patients booth, along with AADA (who provided free skin cancer screenings to attendees).
Additionally, ASDSA hosted— along with the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), a SUNucate supporter, and AADA— a reception to thank legislators who had worked on SUNucate in their state and provided information to others interested for the next legislative session. ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, spoke to the crowd about the importance of skin cancer prevention, and also introduced fellow Massachusetts residents, AADA President-elect Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD, and State Senator Julian Cyr, the MA SUNucate bill sponsor. Pictured above: Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD, Sen. Julian Cyr and ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer, MD.

New skin cancer screenings with Congress at home kicks off

A new ASDSA initiative to provide skin cancer screenings in Congressional districts had its official “kick off” with a Health and Wellness Fair hosted by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL). ASDSA is now offering to assist legislators with finding dermatologic surgeons to perform free skin cancer screenings in their districts. Feedback from Rep. Schneider’s office was overwhelmingly positive, with 80% of attendees finding the fair helpful. Deputy District Director Greg Claus stated that ASDSA had one of the best booths and that if skin cancer was caught in one attendee “then this was a major success.”

Thanks to Amy L. Brodsky, MD (pictured above with Rep. Schneider), and Cynthia Abban, MD, PhD, who volunteered their Saturday afternoon to provide screenings. If you would be interested in volunteering for this initiative, email

Join ASDSA during the Annual Meeting in Chicago!

ASDSA is excited to be offering advocacy and practice affairs sessions during the ASDS Annual Meeting, along with a Beach Party to highlight our SUNucate successes. Both education sessions are complimentary and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Effective Advocacy in Congressional Offices: the ASDSA Virtual Fly-in Experience: Members of the Federal Affairs Work Group will share their experience working in Congress and provide helpful tips for talking to your legislator about ASDSA advocacy efforts (Thurs., Oct. 5, 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.) 
  • Dermatologic Surgery Reimbursement and Coding Update: Attendees will gain an understanding of correct CPT coding for reimbursement, focusing on reconstructive surgery and special anatomic location coding (Fri., Oct. 6, 1:45 – 3:00 p.m.)  
Don’t miss our Beach Party in the ASDS/ASDSA Resource Center Booth— booth 616— on Thurs., Oct. 5, in the exhibit hall from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Come play games and learn about SUNucate and our model bill; the first 100 members to join us will also receive a pair of sunglasses. We hope to see you there! 

Second member resource demonstrates dermatologic surgeons as the experts

The Value Analysis Task Force created a member-resource to demonstrate the value of dermatologic surgeons as the experts when it comes to skin and cosmetic surgery. Members are encouraged to not only share with patients, but also when meeting with legislators. The infographic cites lower complication rates, safer in-office treatments and cost-effectiveness of treating skin cancer in an outpatient setting. 

QPP and EHR Incentive Hardship Exceptions now available

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) Hardship Exception Application for the 2017 transition year is now available on the QPP website. MIPS eligible providers and groups may qualify for a reweighting of their Advancing Care Information (ACI) performance category score to 0% of the final score and can submit the application for one of the specified reasons:
  • Insufficient internet connectivity 
  • Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances  
  • Lack of control over the availability of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT)  
Eligible professionals (EPs) who are first-time participants in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program in 2017 are eligible to apply for a one-time hardship exception by Oct. 1. More information is available on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website and the EHR Incentive Programs website 

Advocacy Addendum:

  • Up-to-date information regarding the shortage of lidocaine with epinephrine is in the Open Forum on Quest. Advocacy staff will post any new information via Quest, so make sure you are “following” the discussion. 
  • The American Medical Association has created multiple, interactive tools for physicians to navigate the QPP. A new customizable resource, the MIPS Action Plan, assists providers in implementing a QPP strategy, fulfilling regulatory requirements and avoiding penalties. 
  • ASDSA signed on to a letter, along with other members of the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, regarding Year 2 of MIPS and APMs under the QPP. Although the coalition appreciated greater flexibility, modifications to the low-income threshold, and group reporting, the coalition still has concerns regarding its implementation. 
  • The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has initiated a program to provide state boards of pharmacy with the necessary tools to inspect sterile compounding pharmacies that ship across state lines. Current participating states include: KY, LA, OH, NJ, ND, SD, VA, WV and WY. 
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