Stopgap funding bill includes health care wins

February 9, 2018

The AADA is pleased with a bill passed by Congress today that, in addition to funding the government through March 23, repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and stops an effort to extend the misvalued codes policy, two top AADA legislative priorities.

These successes culminate efforts by hundreds of AADA members who lobbied their members of Congress at annual AADA Legislative Conferences, in response to grassroots calls to action, and in comment letters to Congressional leaders.

IPAB created the potential to impose indiscriminate new payment cuts on physicians, while the misvalued codes policy required CMS to cut the Medicare Fee Schedule by .5% by correcting “misvalued” codes or through across-the-board cuts.

Additionally the bill includes AADA-supported provisions that:

  • Relieve MACRA burdens through adjustments to MIPS, including eliminating mandates that EHR standards become more stringent each year.
  • Expand access to telehealth services within Medicare Advantage beginning in 2020.
  • Fund Community Health Centers for two years. 

While the Academy applauds the above positive actions, concerns remain about provisions that lower automatic updates to the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule from .5% to .25% and extend mandatory Medicare Sequestration cuts another year. The bill also reduces funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which covers skin cancer prevention, among other priorities. The Academy will continue longstanding advocacy efforts supporting fair and reasonable Medicare payment and adequate funding for prevention and public health awareness.

On February 7, the AADA provided its comments regarding provisions in the legislation. Look for additional updates on how these changes will affect dermatologists in upcoming issues of Dermatology World Weekly and on AAD.org.​