April 25

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IN THIS ISSUE / APRIL 25, 2018


Who’s better at diagnosing skin cancer: PAs or dermatologists?

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According to findings from a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, dermatologists were better at detecting skin cancer, ordering fewer biopsies per positive result than physician assistants. Researchers reviewed the medical records of 33,647 skin cancer screenings in 20,270 patients and found that while dermatologists needed to biopsy 25.4 pigmented lesions to diagnose one case of melanoma, PAs required 39.4 biopsies. Additionally, patients screened by a PA were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in situ than patients who were screened by a dermatologist. “Although the availability of PAs may help increase access to care and reduce waiting times for appointments, these findings have important implications for the training, appropriate scope of practice, and supervision of PAs and other nonphysician practitioners in dermatology,” said the study authors.

In addition to fighting for truth in advertising and strengthened scope of practice regulations, the Academy has developed resources for members to get involved. Find out more on the Academy’s Truth in Advertising and Scope of Practice pages, including how you can submit an issue of concern to the Academy.

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How is MIPS affecting you? CMS wants to know.

CMS is inviting physicians to participate in a one-year study that will examine the burdens associated with Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participation. Specifically, CMS seeks to study the clinical workflows and data collection methods through various submission systems to better understand the challenges associated with quality data reporting. Physicians eligible for MIPS can participate in the study and can earn full credit for the 2018 MIPS Improvement Activities category if they participate successfully. Applications are due April 30

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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New physician compensation report: How does dermatology fare?

According to the 2018 Medscape Physician Compensation Report, dermatology ranks sixth on the list of top compensated medical specialties ― averaging an annual compensation of $392,000. In 2017, dermatology ranked eighth with an average compensation of $386,000. This year, dermatology ranked third in salary satisfaction, with 70% of dermatologists indicating that they felt their compensation was fair. The survey results also indicated that male specialists earn about 36% more than female specialists. Additionally, African-American physicians earned an average of $50,000 less per year than white physicians. Medscape surveyed more than 20,000 physicians on salary, job satisfaction, and other issues related to the profession. 

The survey found that 42% of the dermatology specialty is made up of women. Read more about how women in dermatology continue to break ground while challenges still lie ahead in Dermatology World.

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Medicare erroneously paid for telehealth services

According to a report compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General, about one-third of telemedicine claims sampled for the report from 2014 and 2015 did not meet Medicare requirements, resulting in an estimated $3.7 million in unnecessary spending. According to the report, many of the payments were in violation because patients received services at non-rural originating sites, and the program only reimbursed for telehealth services if the patient lives in a rural area.

Read more about how the practice of teledermatology is evolving and making its way to the private sector in Dermatology World. Also, learn more about how you can implement telemedicine and innovative ways to improve access for your patients today and tomorrow at the AADA’s Practice Management Center ― which now offers a new interactive map with state-specific teledermatology 

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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.