February 2017 Advocacy News

February 2017 | Get involved with the Federal Virtual Fly-in
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New patient safety resource on compounding available

   Interested in seeing the variety of ways that physician compounding is regulated across the states? ASDSA has created a new Patient Safety Resource which examines regulations and legislation in all 50 states pertaining to a physician’s ability to compound medications in their offices. Check it out today to see how your state compares with the rest of the country!  


Federal fodder

Washington, D.C. is awash with changes—some moving quickly and others not so much. Even with partisan rancor, Rep. Thomas Price, MD (R-GA), is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate shortly. ASDSA lent its support to the nomination as Dr. Price has been a friend to specialty medicine and its patients.

ASDSA has also signed on to three letters, urging both members of the House and Senate to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Reps. Phil Roe, MD (TN-01), and Raul Ruiz, MD (CA-36), reintroduced the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act; Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the companion bill in the Senate. Additionally, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 251 which would also repeal the Board. To get the most up-to-date information on efforts to repeal IPAB, be sure to follow @MyDrAndMe on Twitter and visit www.protectmydoctorandme.com 


FDA issues final guidance on in-office compounding

The FDA issued a final Guidance For Industry (GFI), entitled Prescription Requirement Under Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic ActThis guidance strengthens the restrictions placed on in-office and stock use compounding. ASDSA submitted comments to the FDA on the draft guidance and, as a member of the DQSA Coalition, worked to circulate a letter in the House of Representatives that expressed our concerns with the draft and asked for clarifications on the requirements. The Coalition is currently working on an updated letter asking the FDA to rescind the GFI. We will continue to monitor how the FDA chooses to enforce the guidance and its impact on dermatologic surgeons. 


ASDSA model bills garner increased attention

ASDSA’s SUNucate and PULSE initiatives are starting to see some legislative action throughout the states as the 2017 legislative session is now in full swing. Thanks to supporters of ASDSA’s SUNucate initiative, Arizona, Georgia, Rhode Island and Washington state legislatures have all formally introduced versions of ASDSA’s model legislation to ensure children have access to sunscreen in school. Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are all expected to introduce similar legislation in the next few weeks. 

Additionally, ASDSA’s model legislation, supported by the Patients and Physicians United for Laser Safety and Efficacy (PULSE) coalition effort, is designed to protect patients undergoing laser procedures and has once again been introduced in Rhode Island. 

ASDSA continues to search for partners for both the PULSE and SUNucate initiatives. If you are interested in advancing these initiatives in your state, please contactadvocacy@asds.net. 


Advance specialty medicine by meeting your Members of Congress!

ASDSA is excited to continue the momentum with its third year of the Federal Virtual Fly-in program. Last year was a record-setting year with 17 congressional visits. This year we invite all members to meet with their legislators during the spring “District Work Weeks,” which are the weeks of April 10 and April 17. Advocacy staff can assist you in scheduling meetings and issue talking points that make an impact on your Senators and Representative. Contact Emily Ninnemann at eninnemann@asds.net if you would like more information on participating in this unique opportunity or if you already have a relationship with your members of Congress. (Pictured at left: Whitney Meadows, staff member for Sen. Rand Paul, MD (R-KY), meets with Dr. Robert Skaggs in May 2016.) 


Advocacy Addendum:

  • A federal judge blocked Aetna’s acquisition of Humana, stating that it would violate federal merger law by decreasing competition in the health insurance marketplace. The proposed merger would have hurt Medicare Advantage plans in over 350 counties and violated antitrust law in some areas of Florida. This ruling also sets a legal precedent for recognizing Medicare Advantage as a separate market that does not compete with traditional Medicare. 
  • The deadline to attest to meaningful use for the 2016 program year is March 13. For returning participants, the reporting period must be a minimum of any continuous 90-day period between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016. Eligible professionals can submit data through the CMS Registration and Attestation System. CMS has also issued a fact sheet to assist in the reporting process. 


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