October 2, 2015
Dermatologists take to Capitol Hill to protect and enhance patient care
As part of the 2015 AADA Legislative Conference, more than 130 dermatologists took to Capitol Hill this week to advocate for policies that protect and enhance patient care. The record-breaking number of attendees also included representatives from the Coalition of Skin Diseases, Dermatology Nurses Association, Association of Dermatology Administrators/Manager, and for the first-time ever, several patients joined the conference, echoing AADA’s call to Capitol Hill. Attendees from 35 states held 216 meetings with Members of Congress, Senators and key Congressional staff.
This year, AADA’s rallying cry to Capitol Hill included urging Congress to enhance access to care and treatment, and speed medical discovery through a sustained federal investment in research. Specifically, AADA was focused on the following legislative asks:
- Cosponsor the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act, introduced by Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Lois Capps (D-Calif.), which limits cost-sharing requirements applicable to drugs in a new specialty drug tier (typically Tier III) and diminishes cost barriers to effective medications.
- Cosponsor the Medicare Advantage Bill of Rights Act, to be introduced by Rep. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), which improves transparency in the Medicare Advantage insurance market by prohibiting MA plans from removing providers mid-year and ensures that continuity of care requirements are satisfied when a provider is terminated from a network plan.
- Cosponsor the Saving Access to Compounded Medications for Special Needs Patients Act, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R- La.), which preserves in-office use of compounded pharmaceuticals, promotes the use of safe compounding in a physician’s office, and ensures beneficiary choice and access to critical medications.
- Join the Congressional Skin Cancer Caucus, support skin cancer prevention and prioritize increased funding to promote research that can lead to new treatments and cures.
The Conference also included breakout sessions to familiarize AADA members with the legislative priorities and strategies for an effective meeting. Highlights from the program included: Ann Compton, former ABC White House correspondent, who served as a keynote speaker; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, delivered the legislative address; and Stuart Rothenberg, from the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, provided a political update and overview of the 2016 election forecast.
- SkinPAC nears fundraising goal for 2015
- AADA joins medical societies in effort to suspend next state of Meaningful Use
- CMS looks to providers for input on alternative payment models