April 4

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IN THIS ISSUE / APRIL 4, 2018


Deadline approaching: Review your Sunshine Act info

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying the next batch of Sunshine Act data for public viewing. Through the Open Payments program — also known as the Sunshine Act — CMS publishes information about the financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and health care providers. Physicians have until May 15 to review and dispute the 2017 data that manufacturers and group purchasing organizations have submitted about them through the program. Physicians can review their data by setting up an account and logging into the Open Payments website. Visit the CMS website for more information.

The Open Payments program represents the recent push to increase transparency in health care. While physicians are provided the opportunity to review their data and dispute it before the information goes live, some may be concerned that the reported information has the potential to be misinterpreted. Read more about the effects of data divorced from context in Dermatology World.

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New Medicare card transition to begin this month

Starting this month, CMS will begin replacing the Social Security number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) on the new Medicare cards. CMS will only accept claims with the MBI listed starting Dec. 31, 2019. During the transition period, CMS will accept either the HICN or the MBI for CMS claim adjudication.

Are you ready for the new Medicare cards? Take the quiz in Dermatology World. Need help preparing for the switch? Check out this month’s issue of Dermatology World for tools you can use.

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FDA seeks methods to improve biosimilar pathway

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working on a handful of policies that could increase biosimilar approvals, said Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, at a recent speaking engagement. Specifically, Dr. Gottlieb said the agency is currently looking at a policy that would make it more difficult for manufacturers of brand-name biologics to alter their drugs in an effort to extend the drug patents. 

As more revolutionary biologic treatments come on the scene, the medical world has been eyeing up biosimilars as a potential option for many conditions. However, some manufacturers have secured multiple patents on their drugs making it challenging for competitors to enter the market. Additionally, the jury is still out on whether biosimilars will ultimately be a cheaper option for patients. Read more about whether biosimilars are the silver bullet for the growing cost of drugs in Dermatology World.

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iPLEDGE REMS program website experiencing issues

The American Academy of Dermatology Association has learned that REMs program website users have been experiencing issues logging on to the iPLEDGE program site. The iPLEDGE REMS Program website underwent maintenance in March and has been experiencing issues with the system following launch. Additionally, stakeholders have been calling the contact center in high volumes, which has resulted in long wait times. The iPLEDGE sponsors and vendor are aware of the problems and are working to resolve them.


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Wife of Surgeon General undergoing surgery for recurrent metastatic melanoma

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, has announced that his wife is undergoing surgery for recurrent metastatic melanoma at the National Institutes of Health. Read more about the biologics that are making headway against metastatic melanoma in Dermatology World.

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New: Guidelines for evaluating hirsutism 

The Endocrine Society has updated its clinical practice guidelines for evaluating hirsutism in premenopausal women. The previous guidelines ― published in 2008 ― recommended testing serum total testosterone concentration in women with moderate to severe hirsutism. However, the new guidelines recommend that testing include all women with hirsutism. Additionally, the society does not recommend testing eumenorrheic women with unwanted local hair growth for elevated androgen levels, indicating that there is a low probability of finding a medical disorder that would alter the patient’s care.

Skin conditions such as acne and hirsutism are often cutaneous manifestations of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While these dermatologic conditions are not necessarily tied to metabolic syndrome, researchers believe that PCOS is. Read more about the link between metabolic syndrome and dermatologic disease in Dermatology World.

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Does weight affect onychomycosis risk?

According to a study published in JAAD, weight can affect a patient’s risk of developing onychomycosis. Researchers analyzed data from the Korean National Health Insurance System and found that the incidence rate of onychomycosis was 21.04 out of 1,000 patients with a normal weight and 28.12 out of 1,000 among overweight patients. Additionally, the researchers found that patients who gained weight and remained overweight after four years had a higher risk of developing onychomycosis when compared to patients who stayed at a normal weight over a four-year period.

What do you do if a patient presents with a fungal nail infection? Check out Dermatology World for more on treating and diagnosing onychomycosis.

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