April 11

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IN THIS ISSUE / APRIL 11, 2018


How did you fare with MIPS? Take a look.

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The submission period for the 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) closed on April 3, and while CMS is currently in the process of reviewing the data, physicians who submitted data through the Quality Payment Program website can now review their preliminary performance feedback data. Final scores could change, however, and will be available on July 1, 2018.

After requiring dermatologists to report one measure one time in 2017 to avoid a 4% penalty in 2019, Medicare has raised the stakes and the requirements in 2018. Read more about MIPS reporting in 2018 in Dermatology World and check out the Academy’s 2018 MIPS Reporting Module ― now available for purchase.

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Help wanted: AAD Pruritus Measure Testing Project

The Academy is seeking participants in its new Pruritus Measure Testing Project. Participants will be asked to provide data on four quality measures on pruritus. There is a process and outcome pruritus measure for dermatitis and a process and outcome pruritus measure for psoriasis. Participants will collect and report patient reports of itch using a validated assessment tool. The Project will launch in the spring and a small stipend will be provided for participants. Learn more about the Academy’s Pruritus Measure Testing Project.

Pruritus has emerged as a research target in recent years. Read more about the conditions that can cause itchy scalp in Dermatology World.

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Indoor tanning bed users not getting screened

According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, 70 percent of Americans who have used indoor tanning beds have never had a skin cancer screening. The results, published in JAMA Dermatology, also indicated, however, that indoor tanners are more likely to get a skin cancer screening than those who do not tan. The authors suggested that more should be done to educate the public about the need for skin cancers screenings. “Providing the public with greater access to health information and health care (e.g., waiving copays) should be investigated as potential strategies to increase skin cancer screening rates.”

Dermatology has been a leader in the fight for increased regulations on sunlamp products. Read more in Dermatology World and stay tuned for the May issue of Dermatology World for an update on where things stand with indoor tanning legislation. Also, check out the Academy’s robust skin cancer prevention resources through the SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative. 

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What is the economic impact of inappropriate cellulitis tests?

According to a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the cost of clinically inappropriate diagnostic tests for patients with suspected uncomplicated cellulitis exceeds $225 million each year. Researchers conducted a retrospective study of 183 medical records of patients admitted to an emergency department with suspected uncomplicated cellulitis. Although 10% of cases were considered appropriate for a blood culture, one-third of the cases received a culture. Additionally, about 70% of the cases underwent imaging testing although imaging was deemed inappropriate for all of the cases.

According to the paper, the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends against blood culture if the patient is not severely immunocompromised, has not had an animal bite, or is not showing systemic toxic effects. The Society also recommends against imaging if the patient does not have febrile neutropenia.

When it comes to cellulitis, dermatologists can play a major role in avoiding a misdiagnosis. Read more about the impact dermatologists can have on inpatient care in Dermatology World.

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CDC breaks down HIV incidence, prevalence among MSM

Using data from the National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS), investigators from the CDC have found that between 2008 and 2015, HIV incidence decreased overall by 2.6% while prevalence increased by 28.4% among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, HIV incidence increased by 44.9% among MSM between the ages of 25 to 34. 

Dermatologists have historically played a significant role in treating HIV in the U.S. and throughout the world. Read more about the specialty’s long involvement with the global treatment of HIV in Dermatology World.

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HHS launches new initiative to boost patient medical record access

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has launched a new online resource to help patients and caregivers access their medical records. According to a press release issued by CMS, “The MyHealthEData initiative will work to make clear that patients deserve to not only electronically receive a copy of their entire health record, but also be able to share their data with whomever they want, making the patient the center of the healthcare system.”

Looking to purchase a new EHR system? Learn more about the dos and don’ts of adopting new technology in your practice in Dermatology World.

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