By Richard Nelson, managing editor, June 29, 2012
In a widely anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on June 28, ruling 5-4 that the individual mandate at the center of the law is an appropriate use of Congress’s power to tax. The ruling means that implementation of the law will continue. The 10 percent indoor tanning tax will remain in effect, the development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) will proceed, and insurance exchanges are on schedule to begin operation in 2014.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association responded to the ruling with a statement from President Daniel M. Siegel, MD, that emphasized the organization’s continued concerns with certain provisions of the law.
While advocacy efforts to address those shortcomings of the law are ongoing, the Academy will also continue to help members to understand the impact of the law on dermatology and to manage the impact of changes to the health system on their practices. The Academy’s online Health System Reform Resource Center offers a wealth of information about both the Academy’s efforts related to the law and the timetable for implementation of future changes.
Since its relaunch on 2011, Dermatology World has provided a variety of coverage of the reform ruling’s impact on the specialty. Its inaugural cover story (“A bitter pill”) addressed the topic broadly. A follow-up, “Picking up the tab for health system reform,” discussed the bill’s revenue-raising components. A third feature, “IPAB: Reform creates board with unprecedented authority, uncertain membership,” explained how that board will function when it starts offering savings recommendations in 2015. And a fourth feature, “Physician Compare: Laudable goal, long way to go,” explored how that system will make physician performance data public. Those articles, along with articles from March and May of this year about ACO participation, have been assembled into an online-only supplement about the impact of health system reform on dermatology.
More information about the development of health insurance exchanges will appear in the September issue.