AADA meets with Tom Price to discuss regulatory relief

April 17, 2017
American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) staff met with Tom Price, MD, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to discuss reducing the regulatory burden on physicians. The Secretary of HHS has the authority over the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and has also been granted authority by President Trump, via Executive Order, to take steps to minimize the fiscal and regulatory burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The AADA ― along with staff from six other specialties ― requested that Sec. Price propose ACA regulatory relief within the proposed 2018 MFPS ― expected to be released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in July.

Tom Price MeetingSpecifically, the coalition expressed concerns that the methodology used to calculate the Value Based Modifier (VBM) is flawed, and, therefore, requested that the fee schedule establish a Value Based Modifier (VBM) of zero for 2018. CMS has estimated that more than 60 percent of practices (mostly small and solo) and 36 percent of physicians will incur penalties of either 2 or 4 percent in 2017. 

The coalition also requested that the agency adopt broader hardship exemptions for the Meaningful Use program. Additionally, the group called on HHS to adjust the requirements under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), specifically by reducing the number of measures that physicians must report.

Dr. Price and his staff were very receptive to the coalition’s requests and stated that they would share the information with CMS. In the past, Dr. Price has also expressed concerns over the administrative load placed on physicians, and stated that he is committed to decreasing over-burdensome regulations.