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Policy background information

Overview of asks


Support physician practices and preserve patients’ access to care

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, many physicians are struggling to keep their doors open to continue treating patients in need of their care. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) thanks Congress for its hard work to pass legislation that supports physicians and their patients during this crisis. However, more work needs to be done to preserve the viability of the physician workforce and to ensure patients can access the medical care they need.

The AADA represents more than 13,800 dermatologists nationwide who diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases, including skin cancer, psoriasis, immunologic diseases, and many genetic disorders. One in four Americans suffers from a skin disease and patients should have access to the full range of these specialists through private and public payers, especially during the public health emergency, as many patients with skin diseases are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Health care policy should support preserving the ability of dermatologists to own and operate their own practices and maintain competitiveness in a health system that is trending toward increased consolidation and impacting patients’ access to quality and affordable care.

Ensure Medicare stability for patients and physicians

Legislative ask

Take action to preserve patients’ access to care and mitigate the financial distress facing dermatology practices due to the pandemic.

  • Support legislation that would waive the budget neutrality requirements stipulated in Section 1848(c)(2) of the Social Security Act for the finalized E/M code proposal that is slated for implementation on January 1, 2021.

  • House only: Please sign the bipartisan letter led by Rep. Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) that asks CMS to delay or mitigate these Medicare payment cuts and give Congress sufficient time to develop a meaningful solution to address the budget neutrality issue.

Protect physicians working in national health crisis

Legislative ask

Take action to ensure that dermatologists on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic can focus on helping patients without the fear of being targeted in unwarranted lawsuits.

  • Co-sponsor and support passage of the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act (H.R. 7059) prior to the close of the 116th Congress, which would provide targeted and limited immunity from liability to health professionals and facilities for care provided in good faith during the PHE.

  • Support liability workplace safeguards to protect physicians, other health care providers, facilities, and their employees.

Additional ways to support patients

Providing patients with necessary treatment and care has always been a top priority for dermatologists, but the COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the need for legislation to help reduce barriers to care and treatment. That's why the American Academy of Dermatology Association also supports the following legislation:

  • Safe Step Act (H.R. 2279/S. 2546) – which would ensure that physicians remain the clinical authority over a patient’s care and lessen the burden on patients required to go through step therapy protocols instituted by insurance companies.

  • Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3107) – which would reduce the burden of prior authorization and allow physicians to spend more time treating patients.

  • Knowing the Efficiency and Efficacy of Permanent (KEEP) Telehealth Options Act (H.R. 7233) – which would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Comptroller General of the United States to conduct studies and report to Congress on actions taken to expand access to telehealth services under Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance programs during the COVID-19 PHE.

  • Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (H.R. 4932/S. 2741) – which would give the Secretary of HHS the option to waive coverage restrictions if it is deemed that it would not deny or limit the coverage or provision of benefits; remove geographic restrictions and add the home as an originating site for mental health services; remove geographic barriers at federal Qualified Health Centers, rural health clinics and Indian Health Services; require CMS’ process to add telehealth services to better consider how telehealth can improve access to care; and require an analysis of the impact of telehealth waivers in CMS Innovation Center models.

Download an overview of the asks - This PDF will be sent to Congressional offices before AADA Legislative Conference virtual meetings on September 15.


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