May 16


IN THIS ISSUE / MAY 16, 2018

Is your group eligible for MIPS? You’d better check.


Physicians can now check their group’s 2018 eligibility for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) by logging on the Quality Payment Program website. Using their EIDM credentials, physicians can browse to the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) affiliated with their group, see the eligibility status of every physician in the group based on their National Provider Identifier (NPI), and find out whether they need to participate during the MIPS 2018 performance year. Individual physicians may use the MIPS Participation Lookup Tool to find out whether they are eligible for the 2018 performance year.

CMS opted to utilize the online search tool for MIPS in 2018, instead of sending paper letters in January to eligible physicians which could force some physicians ― who were unsure of their participation status ― to play catch up. As a result, the AADA signed on to an AMA-led letter calling on the agency to reduce the 2018 MIPS quality measure reporting performance period from a full calendar year to a minimum of 90 consecutive days. 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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Be a Skin Cancer Hero this May

kovarik-carrie-95px.jpgBy Carrie Kovarik, MD, FAAD

The Avengers aren’t the only heroes getting attention this May: This year’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign is recognizing “Skin Cancer Heroes” — patients and survivors, the friends and loved ones who have helped and supported them, and the board-certified dermatologists who have detected and treated their skin cancer. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, the AAD is encouraging the public to be their own Skin Cancer Hero by taking steps to prevent skin cancer and detect it early, when it’s most treatable.

This message reached a wide audience during the early days of May — including Melanoma Monday® on May 7 — with the SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign garnering more than 307 million media impressions. National media coverage included the TODAY Show with Dr. Debra Wattenberg; NBC Newsfeed with Dr. Adam Friedman; Yahoo! Lifestyle with Dr. Samer Jaber; and with Dr. Jennifer Mancuso. Additionally, we secured local media coverage in markets across the country, including Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa, and Washington D.C.

These media placements helped drive the public to the Academy’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ website to learn more about skin cancer detection and prevention, increasing unique page views by 18% and site traffic by 19%.
You can be a Skin Cancer Hero by using the resources available in the Academy’s Media Relations Toolkit to promote skin cancer prevention and early detection to your patients, community and local media. These resources include:

  • Two new Academy PSAs — “Caught It,” which encourages men over 50 to be aware of changes on their skin so they can catch skin cancer early, and “Protect Yourselfie,” which uses social media imagery to remind teen girls that tanning can lead to skin cancer and premature skin aging, and encourages them to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Two new infographics — “How to Be a Skin Cancer Hero,” which provides tips for spotting skin cancer early, and “The Sun’s Hot. Skin Cancer’s Not.” which offers sun protection advice aimed at teen girls.
  • A social media toolkit with instructions and sample posts.
  • Talking points to help you prepare for media interviews.

We hope that you’ll be a Skin Cancer Hero this May and help the Academy spread skin cancer awareness. Visit for additional patient resources and information on hosting a free SPOTme® screening in your community.

Dr. Kovarik is chair of the Academy’s Council on Communications and an associate professor of dermatology, dermatopathology, and infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


AADA plans to comment on Trump drug-price proposals

The Trump Administration released a list of proposals titled, American Patients First: Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Pocket Costs, to help lower drug prices and reduce patients’ out of pocket costs. The four central themes stated in the blueprint include: improved competition, better negotiation, incentives for lower list prices, and lowering out-of-pocket costs.

While there were no specific directives in the Administration’s proposal, HHS Secretary Alex Azar recently announced immediate actions that the agency will take to address drug prices. Specifically, CMS will send letters to Part D sponsors this week calling for an end to gag clauses in PBM contracts that bar pharmacists from telling patients if there is a cheaper option available or if it is cheaper to buy the drug without insurance. CMS will also release new versions of its Medicare drug price dashboards that will provide more transparency on drug costs. Sec. Azar also called on drug companies to list drug prices in their advertisements. Additionally, the FDA plans to post 150 warning letters that were sent by the agency to branded drug companies accused of withholding samples from generic manufacturers for purposes of bioequivalence testing. 

The Administration is seeking feedback from stakeholders on these policy proposals. The AADA is evaluating the policy proposals and plans to submit comments. Stay tuned to Dermatology World Weekly for updates.

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Can technology help with treatment adherence?

According to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the use of a smartphone app improved treatment adherence in psoriasis patients who were receiving calcipotriol/betamethasone dipropionate cutaneous foam once daily. The app offered daily treatment reminders and the adherence information was collected via a chip that was attached to the treatment dispenser and synchronized to the app. At week four, 65% of the 68 patients in the intervention group were adherent to the treatment compared to 38% of the 66 patients in the non-intervention group.

Getting patients to take ― or apply ― their medicine can be extremely tricky. Read more about strategies for improving patient treatment adherence in Dermatology World.

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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 Learn more about the specific committees and task forces, committee member responsibilities, and other opportunities, in the CCTF Resources-Governance Handbook.