February 21



CMS releases MIPS quality performance scores


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the performance scores for 2017 ‘Quality’ reporting under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Eligible clinicians who submitted 2017 ‘Quality’ performance data for MIPS via claims, can view their performance scores by logging on to the MIPS data submission feature. Submitting data through claims is only an option for individuals participating in MIPS who are not part of a group.

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 this month’s issue of Dermatology World.

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AAD election

Exercise your right to vote at www.aad.org/aadelection by March 3.


Study indicates e-consults improve access to dermatology 

According to a study published in JAAD, electronic consults can increase patient access to dermatology and reduce wait times at community health centers. The authors conducted a descriptive retrospective cohort study of 2,385 dermatology referrals from primary care providers from June 2014 through November 2015 and found that before an electronic consult system was put in place, only 11% of dermatology referrals resulted in an appointment with a median wait time of 77 days. After an electronic consult system was put in place, 44% of referrals were sent electronically, and among those referrals 16% required a face-to-face visit with a median wait time of 28 days. “Overall consult volume remained stable pre- and post-eConsult implementation.” 

Read more about improving access to the specialty in Dermatology World.

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How helpful is federal research funding?

According to a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, federally funded studies contributed to the approval of 210 new drug approvals between 2010 and 2016. Researchers at Bentley University found that more than $100 billion in funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went toward research that contributed to those drug approvals ― about 84 of those drugs were considered first-in-class drugs that treat disease through molecular targets. “This work underscores the breadth and significance of public investment in the development of new therapeutics and the risk that reduced research funding would slow the pipeline for treating morbid disease.”

Learn more about NIH funding of principal investigators in dermatology research in Dermatology World.

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Water systems tainted for many Americans

According to findings from a recent report, since 1982, between 3 and 10 percent of the country’s water systems have violated federal health standards each year. In many cases, water was tainted by the Coliform bacteria, but many systems had been contaminated by chemicals such as excess arsenic, lead, and copper. In April 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan switched to the Flint River water supply, which did not contain anti-corrosives, causing an increase in water lead levels. Read more about the local dermatologists who were on the front lines in Flint in Dermatology World.

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