April 18



Getting too many calls from pharmacists? It could get worse.


CVS Health is introducing a new tool that will allow pharmacists to search for cheaper drugs ― which could mean more calls to your office. The new system, available to CVS Caremark customers, will search for alternatives, higher quantities at lower costs, and discounts. According to CVS Health, if the pharmacist finds a cheaper alternative, they will call the patient to see if they want to switch, and will then call the patient’s physician to discuss the new prescription. The system will initially only be available to CVS Caremark patients.

While the cost of drugs remains a hot-button issue for physicians, patients, and policymakers, manufacturers of generic drugs argue that the cost of generics has been plummeting over the years, forcing some manufacturers to lay off thousands of workers and consider bailing on drugs that don’t turn a profit. What’s happening in the dermatologic space regarding the cost of medications? Read more about drug prices in Dermatology World.

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April Access Hero: Dr. Van Voorhees

van-vorhees-abby-dww.jpgAbby Van Voorhees, MD, leads the dermatology team at a rapid-access clinic for single-issue, walk-in visits at Eastern Virginia Medical School. See how the clinic accommodates same-day concerns and turns walk-ins into long-term patients.

Each month, the Academy highlights members’ diverse efforts to expand access to dermatology. Submit your story at SkinSerious.org

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2019 committee appointment application now open

Every year, hundreds of dermatologists serve the Academy through its organizational governance structure and through other service opportunities. The Appointment Selection Committee, chaired by George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, has begun accepting applications to fill 2019 open appointments. Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2018. Members who are selected to serve will be contacted in the winter. Letters of recommendation are highly suggested but are not required. 

Access the 2019 online appointment application at www.aad.org/applications/cctf. Learn more about the specific committees and task forces, committee member responsibilities, and other opportunities, in the CCTF Resources-Governance Handbook.

Not sure you’re eligible for MIPS? Better check.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its MIPS Participation Lookup Tool that allows physicians to see if they’re eligible for the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Physicians can enter their National Provider Identifier (NPI) to find out if they are required to participate in the 2018 performance year. CMS opted to utilize the online Participation Lookup Tool for MIPS in 2018, instead of sending paper letters in January to eligible physicians. Some reports indicate that this move could force some physicians ― who were unsure of their participation status ― to play catch up.

Indeed, while dermatologists were only required to report one measure one time in 2017 to avoid a 4% penalty in 2019, the requirements are much higher 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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