Drug transparency tool, FDA biotin warning, digital pill, CMS ombudsman, and pediatric teledermatology. View this email in your browser
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Dermatology World Weekly
November 29, 2017
 
New tool to offer drug price, coverage info at physicians’ fingertips

A new tool, developed by health information network Surescripts, will allow providers to find out how much a prescription will cost for their patients based on the patient’s specific health plan coverage at the point of care, and will offer real-time prior authorization assistance. The Real-Time Prescription Benefit pulls data from pharmacy benefits managers Express Scripts and CVS Health, and plans to integrate with the Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, Aprima Medical Software, and GE Healthcare EHR systems.

Getting prescriptions filled has become increasingly challenging for physicians and their patients alike. Read more about these challenges and what’s being done to alleviate the issue in Dermatology World. Also, access more than 30 prior authorization template letters with ease by visiting the AADA’s Practice Management Center.

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FDA issues warning on biotin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that biotin may significantly interfere with laboratory tests. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is often found in dietary supplements used for hair, skin, and nail growth. However, the FDA warns that these supplements could contain up to 650 times the recommend daily intake of biotin. According to the FDA, “Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant incorrect lab test results. The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests.” The FDA is encouraging providers to talk to patients about the biotin supplements they may be taking.

When it comes to avoiding medical snafus, preparation is key. Read more on how to prevent and manage common adverse events in Dermatology World.

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Patient adherence challenges: There’s a pill for that?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a medication that tracks whether or not patients have taken it. The digital drug is a version of Abilify ― a medication for mental disorders ― and includes an embedded sensor which is activated by stomach fluids. The pill emits a signal to a patch worn by the patient and the patch transmits information to a smartphone app. The new digital version of the drug is being hailed for its potential to increase patient treatment adherence, but there are also concerns that the pill could violate patient privacy.

Read more about patient treatment-adherence strategies in Dermatology World, and check out the Academy’s online patient education tools and resources.

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CMS announces provider ombudsman for Medicare card transition

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Eugene Freund, MD, will serve as the provider ombudsman to assist during the transition to the new Medicare Cards. CMS will be replacing the Social Security number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) on the new Medicare cards. According to CMS, “The Ombudsman will ensure that CMS hears and understands any implementation problems experienced by clinicians, hospitals, suppliers, and other providers. He will also communicate about the New Medicare Card to providers and collaborate with CMS components to develop solutions to any implementation problems that arise.” Providers can contact the ombudsman at NMCProviderQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.

The new Medicare cards may help protect patients from identity theft, but what about medical practices? Read more about cybersecurity in Dermatology World.

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Teledermatology may be useful in diagnosing pediatric patients

According to study findings recently published in JAMA Dermatology, smartphone photos may be useful in diagnosing skin conditions in pediatric patients. Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a randomized clinical trial of 40 parents of children with skin conditions and found that the concordance between photograph-based diagnosis and in-person diagnosis was 83 percent. According to the study, “Advances in smartphone photography (both quality and image transmission) may improve access to care via direct parent-to-clinician telemedicine.” For residents who are interested in preparing for the various pediatric conditions they may see in everyday practice, check out the Academy’s free Essentials of Pediatric Dermatology online module.

In addition to pediatric patients, policymakers at the Department of Defense (DOD) are eyeballing telemedicine services for members of the military and their families covered under the TRICARE Program. A recent interim rule issued by the DOD would include telehealth services under TRICARE in 2018 and would be considered similar to a face-to-face office visit. However, standardized reimbursement for these services has not been established yet and services will be subject to specific requirements, particularly they would need to be “medically necessary and appropriate for such modalities.” Stay tuned to DWW for more updates on this interim rule.

Read more about how the practice of teledermatology is evolving and making its way to the private sector in Dermatology World. Also, learn more about how you can implement telemedicine and innovative ways to improve access for your patients today and tomorrow at the AADA’s Practice Management Center ― which now offers a new interactive map with state-specific teledermatology regulations.

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Links to this month's issue

Psoriasis goal setting
 
Physician worries
Specialty advice
 
Caring for LGB patients

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