Tax reform, HHS 2018 agenda, health insurance lawsuit, and new Advanced APM. View this email in your browser
Dermatology World Weekly
January 17, 2018
How does the new tax reform law affect your practice?

The new tax reform law (HR 1) ― which was signed into law in December ― includes provisions that may affect physicians and their practices, including a new tax deduction for owners of ‘pass-through’ entities ― where federal income tax is not imposed at the entity level but on the individual owner’s tax returns. Under the new law, as of Jan. 1, owners of these entities may be eligible for a new deduction on their individual tax returns which is set at 20% of “qualified business income” received by the individual from the business entity. For medical practices, the deduction is reduced when the taxpayer’s taxable income exceeds $157,500 for a single filer and $315,000 for a joint return (with those amounts indexed for inflation in future years). To the extent the taxpayer’s taxable income exceeds $207,500 for single filers and $415,000 for joint returns, the new deduction is eliminated and the individual’s pass-through income is taxed at personal income tax rates. Physicians should consult their tax advisers to determine how the law will affect them individually.

Do you have a wealth management plan? How do you determine your long-term financial goals and craft your investment strategy? Read more about how to get started, or reassess, your wealth management planning in Dermatology World. Also, stay tuned for the March issue of Dermatology World for more information on the new tax law.

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HHS 2018 regulatory agenda includes sunscreen, sunlamps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its regulatory agenda for 2018. The agenda “presents the regulatory activities that the Department expects to undertake in the foreseeable future.” Specifically, the agenda highlights upcoming regulations under the Food and Drug Administration which include requirements for over-the-counter sunscreen drug products (proposed rule expected in August 2018), and sunlamp products (proposed rule date to be determined).

Dermatology has been a leader in the fight for increased regulations on sunlamp products. Read more in Dermatology World.

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Patients sue health insurer

Patients who purchased a health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges are suing the insurance provider Centene for allegedly offering inadequate and inaccurate provider networks. According to the lawsuit ― which was filed in federal court in Washington state ― Centene markets its ACA products to low-income customers who qualify for government health care subsidies “while simultaneously providing coverage well below what is required by law and by its policies.”

Inaccuracies aren’t the only troubling trend occurring among provider networks. Read more about the implications of providers’ policies regarding narrowed networks, physician tiering, and squeezed drug formularies in Dermatology World.

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New Advanced APM approved

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has announced that it has launched a new voluntary alternative payment model (APM) called the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced. The new BPCI Advanced model focuses on 32 different clinical episodes, including an inpatient clinical episode for cellulitis, where providers are responsible for the coordination of care for a clinical episode for 90 days. Payment is tied to performance on quality measures and providers can earn bonus payments if “all expenditures for a beneficiary’s episode of care are under a spending target that factors in quality.”

The BPCI Advanced qualifies as an Advanced APM under the Quality Payment Program ― also known as MACRA. Learn more about Advanced APMs and dermatology in Dermatology World.

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Links to this month's issue

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