From the editor

From the Editor

Abby Van Voorhees

Dr. Van Voorhees is the physician editor of Dermatology World

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With the Supreme Court decision on health care reform expected this month, all eyes are on our nation’s capital.

If you doubted the role of Washington in health care, think again. Those nine men and women will be having an impact on each of us no matter what state we call home or our type of practice. One conclusion is very clear: change and confusion are coming no matter how the nine vote. We’ll be covering this important decision over the next several months, trying to be sure that we flesh out what has been decided, and looking at it from the unique derm perspective. The goal of DW each month is to try to help keep everyone informed about things that are relevant to our practices. I hope that with this month’s issue you feel that we’ve hit the target on the head.

Health care reform is not our only issue that hovers in Washington. Be sure to read the piece about new sunscreen rules. Change is coming here too, and we will want to understand it. Patients will turn to us to understand the significance, and we will want to be in the know. New definitions of broad-spectrum coverage have been set and compliance will force a standardization of the labeling on products.

We also write this month about another topic that is very important to our patients … the cost of prescriptions. Some of my patients have turned to importing their needed medications from Canadian and other international sources even though this practice carries both legal and medical risks. I think that I might hand this feature to some of my patients considering this option.

Your practices are the focus of several columns this month too. Take a look at the pieces on the importance of practice audits, how best to use the dermpath codes, EHRs, and the dangers of note cloning. Making sure that our houses are in order is the job of each of us as we steer our practices forward. Who wants to find out our failings from some RAC auditor, or an irate patient? I’d rather keep trying to improve on my own accord.

It’s a lot to digest with pressures from D.C., our states, our auditors, the insurance companies, and our patients, but hopefully this month’s DW has made it a little easier. We plan our tentative editorial calendar later this month too, so I’m already thinking of what might be important for next year. If you have topics that you want us to cover, please never hesitate to let us know at We are in this together, and there is a comfort to that. With so many smart people in dermatology, I am confident that we’ll not only survive these interesting times, but that we’ll emerge stronger.

Enjoy your reading.