Regulatory relief leads Academy’s 2017 advocacy agenda

Sabra_Sullivan.jpgBy Sabra Sullivan, MD, PhD, chair of the AADA’s Congressional Policy Committee

Last year, our specialty benefited from a series of remarkable advocacy achievements. Without our American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) staff in Washington, D.C., and the participation of our active Academy members, these advocacy achievements would not have been possible. In 2016, the AADA played an instrumental role in several key advocacy successes, including:
  • Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which calls for an acceleration in the development of biomedical cures.
  • A record-breaking grassroots advocacy campaign on indoor tanning rules that generated nearly 1,600 letters to the FDA urging restricted access to indoor tanning for minors under age 18.
  • Preservation of 10- and 90-day global codes.
  • Secured significant regulatory relief in the implementation of the new Medicare Quality Payment Program.
  • Worked with the larger physician community to help provide relief from penalties for non-compliance with the EHR meaningful use requirements, and successfully advocated CMS to shorten the reporting period for demonstrating meaningful use from one year to 90 days.
  2017 Advocacy Issues
Download a PDF version of the 2017 Advocacy Guide

2017 advocacy priorities

The Academy is poised to build on this foundation of success in 2017 with an aggressive agenda designed to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our specialty. In March, the Academy’s Board of Directors approved the following advocacy priorities for the coming year:

Regulation ReliefProvide relief from regulations impacting the practice of medicine
  • Advocate for the repeal and/or easing of the level of regulation and over-regulation on physicians, which has led to the redirection of valuable patient time to intensive documentation, record keeping, and compliance activity that does little to improve health care.
  • Advocate for reforms that preserve fee-for-service as a viable option for those specialties and practices that do not necessarily fit into the more popular payment models being considered.
  • Support efforts to ensure that policies seeking to improve the quality and value of care are physician-led, clinically-based quality improvement efforts.
  • Advocate for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which could potentially impose indiscriminate new payment cuts on physicians.



Protect patient access to treatments
  • Advocate against barriers that would restrict patients' access to compounded treatments, such as restrictions on in-office compounding and in-office use of compounded pharmaceutical products.
  • Work in collaboration with all stakeholders to minimize and/or eliminate barriers that patients face in accessing needed medications, such as step therapy, non-medical switching, and formulary restrictions.
  • Support efforts to improve price transparency, and advocate for policies that will encourage competition and lower the cost of medications and treatment for patients.



Preserve physician-led dermatologic care
  • Work with all stakeholders to help appropriately define the practice of medicine to ensure a physician-led, team-based approach to care through the adoption and/or modification of regulations.
  • Support appropriate safeguards to ensure patient safety and a focus on the highest level of appropriate care as the workforce expands to include greater use of non-physician clinicians.
  • Advocate for policies that help to ensure that patients have accurate and truthful information regarding the health care services they receive from various health care practitioners.


Make health plan networks transparent
  • Work with policymakers and payers to ensure that health plans' provider directories are accurate and transparent so that patients understand the true availability and accessibility of individual physicians.
  • Educate health plans about the unique sub-specialization within dermatology, and assist them with appropriate risk adjustment to prevent inappropriate narrowing of provider networks.



Promote access to appropriate use of teledermatology
  • Support policy changes that protect patient safety while enabling dermatologists to appropriately use teledermatology services to meet the needs of communities and populations across the country. This may include the implementation of pilot projects, modifications to state licensure restrictions addressing liability concerns, and providing reimbursement for store-and-forward technology.


Prioritize skin cancer prevention
  • Raise awareness among policymakers of the increased incidence of skin cancer.
  • Pursue greater oversight of the indoor tanning industry with federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies.
  • Encourage measures and efforts to promote behaviors and activities that decrease the risk of skin cancer, and to increase access to technologies and products that help protect against the dangers of ultraviolet exposure.