The advocacy arm of the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) provides a voice to dermatologists, ensuring that public policies address the ever-changing needs of practices and patient care. The AADA provides members with valuable resources and tools to adapt to the shifting health care landscape while contributing to policies that protect the quality of, and access to dermatologic care.
In March, the AAD Board of Directors approved the following advocacy priorities for the coming year:
Provide relief from regulations impacting the practice of medicine
- Advocate for the repeal and/or easing of the level of regulation and over-regulation on physicians, which has led to the redirection of valuable patient time to intensive documentation, record keeping, and compliance activity that does little to improve health care.
- Advocate for reforms that preserve fee-for-service as a viable option for those specialties and practices that do not necessarily fit into the more popular payment models being considered.
- Support efforts to ensure that policies seeking to improve the quality and value of care are physician-led, clinically-based quality improvement efforts.
- Advocate for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could potentially impose indiscriminate new payment cuts on physicians.
Protect patient access to treatments
- Advocate against barriers that would restrict patients' access to compounded treatments, such as restrictions on in-office compounding and in-office use of compounded pharmaceutical products.
- Work in collaboration with all stakeholders to minimize and/or eliminate barriers that patients face in accessing needed medications, such as step therapy, non-medical switching, and formulary restrictions.
- Support efforts to improve price transparency, and advocate for policies that will encourage competition and lower the cost of medications and treatment for patients.
Preserve physician-led dermatologic care
- Work with all stakeholders to help appropriately define the practice of medicine to ensure a physician-led, team-based approach to care through the adoption and/or modification of regulations.
- Support appropriate safeguards to ensure patient safety and a focus on the highest level of appropriate care as the workforce expands to include greater use of non-physician clinicians.
- Advocate for policies that help to ensure that patients have accurate and truthful information regarding the health care services they receive from various health care practitioners.
Make health plan networks transparent
- Work with policymakers and payers to ensure that health plans' provider directories are accurate and transparent so that patients understand the true availability and accessibility of individual physicians.
- Educate health plans about the unique sub-specialization within dermatology, and assist them with appropriate risk adjustment to prevent inappropriate narrowing of provider networks.
Promote access to appropriate use of teledermatology
- Support policy changes that protect patient safety while enabling dermatologists to appropriately use teledermatology services to meet the needs of communities and populations across the country. This may include the implementation of pilot projects, modifications to state licensure restrictions addressing liability concerns, and providing reimbursement for store-and-forward technology.
Prioritize skin cancer prevention
- Raise awareness among policymakers of the increased incidence of skin cancer.
- Pursue greater oversight of the indoor tanning industry with federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies.
- Encourage measures and efforts to promote behaviors and activities that decrease the risk of skin cancer, and to increase access to technologies and products that help protect against the dangers of ultraviolet exposure.