March 2017 Advocacy News

March 2017 | Federal fly-in grows as members start to meet legislators
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PAs and APRNs work to expand scope

Physician Assistants (PAs) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are working diligently to introduce legislation to allow them to expand their scope of practice. A national survey of over 12,000 PAs showed that 72 percent of respondents were in favor of full practice authority. Legislative efforts undertaken by PA groups have taken a variety of forms in over 10 states, including requiring ‘collaboration’ between a physician and a PA instead of supervision as well as measures which seek to implement independent licensing boards.
Further, the Lincoln Memorial University-Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee has created a “Doctor of Medical Science” degree. Upon completion, PAs would be granted the title of ‘doctor,' acting as primary care providers who can practice “inpatient medicine, outpatient practice and emergency medicine.”
Additionally, it is expected that more than 12 states will be working on increasing APRN scope, either via granting signatory authority, changing requirements of supervision or granting full independent practice authority. ASDSA continues to advocate for the safe practice of medicine performed by physicians and their properly trained delegates under direct supervision. If your state needs assistance in protecting patient safety, contact


Fly-in popularity grows amidst major health care developments

ASDSA is encouraged by the positive response of those wishing to participate in our Virtual Fly-in. Meeting with your members of Congress while they’re in-district (April 10-14 and April 17-21) helps our association create relationships that advance the issues most important to the specialty. This initiative provides an opportunity for you to directly discuss sunsetting the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and protecting in-office compounding. There’s still plenty of time to participate; email Emily Ninnemann at for more information.

The ASDSA Federal Affairs Work Group, chaired by Murad Alam, MD, MBA, met recently in Orlando and discussed the latest Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Current thinking is that it will cap the tax exclusion for employers providing health insurance to their employees, which could save $200 billion over 10 years. In his first address to Congress, President Trump expressed support for Health Saving Accounts (HSAs), medical liability reform, preserving insurance for those with pre-existing conditions and expanding the ability to sell insurance across state lines. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to mark up ACA repeal legislation this week and ASDSA will be following this closely.  


SUNucate moves forward in multiple states

Currently nine states are pursuing variations of SUNucate model legislation, the ASDSA-led effort to ensure that children are able to possess and use sunscreen in schools and youth camps, which has created excitement nationwide. Utah is the first state to pass the bill and send it to their Governor. Bills in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington continue to move through the legislative process, and legislation is expected soon in Pennsylvania and Florida. If you are interested in finding out how you or your state dermatological society can get involved in this effort, contact ASDSA members Chin Ho, MD [far left], Geoffrey Lim, MD [far right], and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center student Neil Houston [second to left] meet with Sen. Jay Costa's Chief of Staff, Jaimie Glasser, Esq.)  

Board approves updates to tanning-related positions

ASDSA recently updated two position statements regarding indoor tanning and sun-safe behavior in school-aged children. The position statement on indoor tanning now includes the most recent statistics, updated citations and a list of states that have passed a ban on indoor tanning for minors. ASDSA’s new position on sunscreen use in schools is titled “Sun-safe Behavior in School-aged Children" and reflects the SUNucate model legislation.  

Small practices receive assistance in transitioning to QPP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded $20 million to 11 organizations to provide training and education about the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for clinicians in individual or small group practices. The awardees will assist in the following areas:    

  • Expectations and timelines for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 
  • Explaining the MIPS feedback report. 
  • Creating a MIPS-score improvement plan. 
  • Evaluating practice readiness. 
  • Assessing and optimizing health information technology (HIT). 
  • Supporting change management and strategic planning. 
  • Developing education and training materials. 
  • Enabling peer-to-peer learning. 
  • Monitoring clinical success and satisfaction.
More information can be found in CMS’ press release

Skin antiseptics cause serious allergic reactions in patients

The FDA has released a warning regarding a rare but serious allergic reaction to skin antiseptic products containing chlorhexidine gluconate. This chemical is typically found in over-the-counter products used to clean and prepare the skin for injections or before surgery to reduce instances of bacterial infection. Allergic reactions can occur within minutes of oral or topical exposure and have resulted in anaphylaxis. Health care professionals should ask patients if they have had an allergic reaction to antiseptics with this chemical; if so, other antiseptic options are available. Additional information can be found on the FDA website along with their Safety Communication 


Recall of Synergy Rx Pharmacy products

Synergy Rx Pharmacy, based in San Diego, CA, has issued a nationwide recall of non-sterile products distributed between Aug. 17, 2016, and Dec. 22, 2016, due to a lack of quality assurance.
Recalled products include:

  • Sublingual tablets 
  • HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and HCG with resveratrol 
  • Non-sterile dermatology creams, all strengths (retinoic acid creams, hydroquinone creams, bleaching creams) 
  • Numbing creams 
  • Acne creams 
  • Hair growth serums with minoxidil 
  • Bethamethasone creams and chemical peels (salicylic acid peels, trichloroacetic acid peels, glycolic acid peels, Jessner peels, custom peels solutions) 
Recalled products are packaged in 30 gram airless pumps, orange standard prescription vials, 15mL and 30mL amber bottles, or large, white plastic jars bearing a label that includes Synergy Rx Pharmacy’s name and expiration date. No reports of adverse events have been received by the FDA; however, a safety alert has been posted to the FDA website.   

Advocacy Addendum:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has streamlined its process for locating resources on ICD-10. All up-to-date content from the Road to 10 website will be available at 
  • The Physician-focused Payment Models Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) has received its first proposals for review. The American College of Surgeons, SonarMD (working with the Gastroenterological Association) and the Digestive Health Network have all submitted proposals. More information can be found on the HHS website. 
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, All rights reserved.

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