FDA OTC eczema cream approval, modifier 25 documentation webinar, FDA dermal filler approval, MIPS virtual group deadline, MIPS exceptions, and HIV diagnosis delays. View this email in your browser
Dermatology World Weekly
December 6, 2017
The December issue of Dermatology World is now available online at www.aad.org/dw. This month’s issue discusses strategies for improving the patient experience before their visit begins. Also, don’t miss DW’s in-depth look at treatments for the itchy scalp. Check out the tablet-friendly version, download the DW app, or visit www.aad.org/dw.
FDA-approved eczema treatment coming soon — to Amazon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an over-the-counter topical cream for atopic dermatitis. The cream, marketed by New Zealand-based company BioNona as Atopis, contains myriphytase which is created through a process called peptilization which, according to BioNona, “fuses together plant, bacterial, and insect components.” The product is already available for sale but has been marketed as “Dry Itchy Skin Relief Cream.” The FDA’s approval gives the company the green light to re-brand the cream as a treatment for eczema. The re-branded cream will be available for sale online via Amazon in 2018. The treatment armamentarium for AD has been growing in recent years. Read more about these new treatments in Dermatology World.

The FDA also recently approved ixekizumab injection 80 mg/mL for adults with psoriatic arthritis. The FDA approved the drug as a treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in March 2016. Read more about ixekizumab in Dermatology World.

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Academy to offer free webinar on modifier 25 documentation

As DWW reported in November, Anthem/Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield will be conducting post-service reviews of claims billed with modifier 25 in several states. Providers deemed as outliers will be contacted for additional documentation related to the services, and if a billing discrepancy is identified, Anthem/Empire has indicated that it will require “recoupments as appropriate.” In light of these audits, the Academy will be holding a webinar on proper documentation when using modifier 25 on Dec. 13 at 9 PM Eastern. The 30-minute webinar will be free to Academy members. Click here to register.

Anthem’s decision to conduct modifier 25 audits comes on the heels of news that starting with claims processed on or after Jan. 1, the payer will be reducing reimbursement for modifier 25 in California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This policy will also be instituted in Missouri effective Feb. 1, and ― the Academy recently learned ― in Indiana and New York effective March 1. In addition to Anthem, in the past year two other insurers operating in three different states have implemented similar policies citing concerns over modifier 25 usage. Read more about the Academy’s efforts to advocate against this policy. Also, check out Dermatology World for more information on payers’ attempts to rein in modifier 25, and other payer policies.

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FDA approves new dermal fillers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved RHA Dermal Fillers to be marketed for the correction of moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds in patients 22 years and older. The RHA Dermal Fillers are available in three formulations: RHA® 2, RHA® 3, and RHA® 4. According to the FDA, “Each contains hyaluronic acid made using a Streptococcus equi bacterial strain. They also contain a small amount of local anesthetic (lidocaine) to help reduce pain of the injection.”

Take a look at what's shaping up in cosmetic dermatology in DW’s special focus issue on fat.

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MIPS ‘virtual group’ election period deadline Dec. 31

The election period to form a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) virtual group is now open. Through these virtual groups, solo and small practices have the option to join together and report on MIPS requirements as a collective entity for the 2018 performance period. The deadline for virtual groups to make an election is Dec. 31. To learn more, download CMS’s 2018 Virtual Groups Toolkit.

Are you ready for MIPS? Read more about what steps you can take to avoid a penalty in this month’s issue of Dermatology World. Also, check out the Academy’s 2017 MIPS Reporting Module to find out how you can report your 2017 MIPS quality measures with AAD’s DataDerm™.

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CMS issues new MIPS exceptions

CMS has issued its final rule regarding the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and has issued an interim final rule on a new hardship exception to help providers who were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. According to CMS, “If you’re an affected MIPS eligible clinician, you’ll automatically receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment, unless you submit data for any of the MIPS performance categories by the submission deadline for 2017, in which case you will be scored on each performance category for which you submit data, according to existing MIPS scoring policies.” This automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy only applies to MIPS-eligible clinicians in an affected area. CMS has listed the regions and counties impacted by the hurricanes that are automatically exempt on pages 1174 and 1175 of the interim rule. Hardship exception applications are due Dec. 31. Read more about the 2017 Quality Payment Program hardship exception.

Additionally, per the QPP final rule, under the ‘Health Information Exchange’ and ‘Electronic Prescribing’ measures within the Advancing Care Information (ACI) category, eligible MIPS providers who receive fewer than 100 transitions of care or referrals during the performance period ― or have fewer than 100 encounters during the performance period in which the MIPS eligible clinician has never before encountered the patient ― can claim an exemption for the ‘Health Information Exchange’ measure. Additionally, if the provider has less than 100 permissible prescriptions during the reporting period, they can also claim an exemption for the ‘Electronic Prescribing’ measure. Providers will get full credit for the base score in the ACI category in the 2017 and 2018 reporting periods if they claim these exemptions. Read more about the Advancing Care Information MIPS category.

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HIV diagnosis delays shrinking

According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the time between contracting HIV and being diagnosed with HIV are shortening. The agency looked at 39,720 people diagnosed with HIV in 2015, and 50 percent had been infected for at least three years. In 2011, the delay period was three years and seven months. However, the study showed that 25 percent of people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were infected for at least seven years before being diagnosed. The CDC attributes the slight improvement since 2011, to increased HIV testing.

Dermatologists have historically played a significant role in treating HIV in the U.S. and throughout the world. Read more about the specialty’s long involvement with the global treatment of HIV in Dermatology World.

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Links to this month's issue

Pre-visit pleasantries
Age and SLN biopsies
Scratching the surface
Festive fancies





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