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:
Develop and pilot alternative payment models for dermatologic services
- Advance policies 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 any policies to improve the quality and value of care that are adopted are physician-led and patient-centered, as well as focused on clinically-based quality improvement.
Protect patient access to treatments
- Work in collaboration with manufacturers, the health care community, policymakers, private payers, pharmacists, pharmacy benefit managers, and patients to minimize and/or eliminate barriers that patients face in accessing needed medications.
- Support efforts to improve price transparency and advocate for polices that encourage competition to lower the cost of medications and treatments for patients.
- Work with all stakeholders to reduce patient cost burdens by supporting the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act, which would limit cost-sharing requirements applicable to medications, making them more accessible and affordable.
Make health plan networks transparent
- Work with all stakeholders to minimize and/or eliminate barriers, such as patient-specific prescriptions, that would restrict patients’ access to compounded treatments.
- Make health plan networks transparent
- Work with all stakeholders to enact the Medicare Advantage Bill of Rights Act to improve network adequacy standards and enhance transparency.
- Work to ensure that health plans’ provider directories are accurate and transparent so that patients understand the true accessibility of individual physicians.
- Educate health plans about the unique subspecialization within dermatology and assist them with appropriate risk adjustment to prevent inappropriate narrowing of provider networks.
Promote policies that expand teledermatology services
- Promote the use of high quality, provider-to-provider teledermatology by collaborating with the AMA and other stakeholders to develop CPT codes for telemedicine services.
- Promote policy changes that allow dermatologists to appropriately expand the use of teledermatology services to meet the needs of underserved communities and populations across the country. Such efforts may include implementing pilot projects, addressing liability concerns, and promoting reimbursement for store-and-forward technology.
Preserve physician-led dermatologic care
- Work with all stakeholders to help appropriately define the practice of medicine, through the adoption and/or modification of regulations, to ensure that a physician-led, team-based approach to care is being used.
- As the workforce expands to include greater use of non-physician clinicians, advocate for the implementation of structures that ensure patient safety and the highest level of appropriate care is being provided.
- Work through state and federal legislative and regulatory processes to ensure that patients have accurate and truthful information regarding the health care services they receive from various health care practitioners, including transparency in advertised credentials and board certification.
- Support efforts to preserve access to quality pathology services and other physician services by preserving the in-office ancillary services exception to the federal Stark law. This law governs physician ownership and physician self-referral to pathology and other patient services that physicians are trained and qualified to provide, as well as the ability of all dermatopathologists to fairly compete with larger pathology labs.
Adopt policies to prioritize skin cancer prevention
- Work with the FDA and other stakeholders to enact federal restrictions on the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18 and require all adults to sign a risk acknowledgement form before using indoor tanning devices.
- Work with state legislative and regulatory bodies to pursue indoor tanning legislative initiatives.
- Work with policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness of the rising incidence of skin cancer among the populations; encourage measures, efforts, and activities to promote skin cancer prevention awareness; encourage behaviors and activities to decrease the risk of skin cancer; and increase access to the latest technologies and products to help protect against the dangers of ultraviolet exposure.