November 2017 Advocacy News

November 2017 | House of Representatives votes to repeal IPAB
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House of Representatives votes to repeal IPAB

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 849, the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017” with a bipartisan vote of 307-111. This legislation repeals the ill-conceived Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a never-tested entity charged with making significant cuts to the Medicare program. ASDSA supports repeal of IPAB and continues to work with a coalition of partners to advance the legislation. It now heads to the Senate for further consideration. 

Miss the reimbursement session at the Annual Meeting?

On Thurs., Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. CST, ASDSA is hosting a webinar with Mark Kaufmann, MD. Dr. Kaufmann serves as the ASDSA advisor to the RUC Committee and will provide a complimentary member-only session on updates to CPT coding and reimbursement. The session is targeted to be 20-30 minutes with additional time for Q&A. Email to register. Spots are limited and registration closes at 5 p.m. CST on Tues., Nov. 7. 

Will your state be affected by changes to modifier 25?

ASDSA has been monitoring changes to modifier 25, as dermatology will be one of the most impacted specialties. Insurance companies have begun to compensate the E&M service at 50 percent of the otherwise allowed amount, stating that the code is being over utilized.  Modifier 25 payment reduction runs counter to standard coding and reimbursement policy and will negatively affect dermatologic surgeons' ability to serve our patients efficiently. Both physicians and patients will be affected by this reimbursement issue, from decreased revenue and small practices being absorbed by hospital systems to patients needing to return for procedures that are usually completed in one visit and incurring additional co-pays. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, states that will be impacted by this change include: CA, CT, DE, KY, ME, NV, NH, NJ, OH, PA, RI, and WI. ASDSA has joined an AADA-led coalition focused on proper reimbursement for modifier 25 and will continue to closely monitor any new developments.  

Apply to be ASDSA’s Health Policy Fellow

ASDSA is pleased to announce a new fellowship program to build and maintain young leaders who are skilled in health policy. The new fellow will assist ASDSA in its mission to positively impact the field of dermatologic surgery for both patients and practices. Click here to learn more information and complete an application. Applications are due Mon., Nov. 27. 

ASDS / ASDSA Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you to everyone who made the 2017 ASDS / ASDSA Annual Meeting the most well attended meeting to date. ASDSA programming included Coffee with Congressman Roskam as well as remarks during a plenary session from the Congressman. Members also had an opportunity to participate in a reimbursement update session and a session on effective advocacy techniques. Be sure to save the date for the 2018 ASDS / ASDSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. Pictured: Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) provides an update on health care reform legislation during a plenary session.

Advocacy Addendum

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have opened the preview period of the 2016 performance information for the Physician Compare Initiative. Due to a technical issue, this period is extended to Friday, Dec. 1. 
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to several organizations, including a 503A compounding facility. The letters provide an opportunity for the business to rectify non-compliance issues and prevent occurrences in the future. 
  • Members of MedPAC continue to consider proposals to replace the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). To weigh in on this debate, ASDSA signed on to a letter to MedPAC members, urging them to keep MIPS intact. MIPS is one of the few avenues specialty doctors can use to participate in Medicare quality improvement activities and continuing improvements to MIPS will allow for more meaningful engagement. ASM members will be meeting with MedPAC on Wed., Nov. 8 to discuss key issues.
  • On Nov. 2, CMS released the final rule for the second year of the Quality Payment Program. CMS has provided a fact sheet or you can view the final rule here. It is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
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