The American Society of Dermatopathology

News for Dermatopathologists

Periodic news briefs provided by ASDP.

  • From the ADA: UHC clarifies that network dermatopathology labs will remain in-network but paid less beginning Jan. 1
    In a July 1 meeting, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) shared its plans with the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) to change the Designated Diagnostic Provider Program (DDP) from a covered–vs–noncovered plan design to a tiered benefit plan. UHC also plans to delay full implementation of the program until Jan. 1, 2022.
  • A summary of ASDP activities in the first half of 2021. 
  • 2020 Updates | 01/05/2021
    A summary of ASDP activities in 2020. 
  • The rule covers geographic payment adjustments and professional liability insurance relative values as well as new payments for managing patients with opioid use disorder. The AMA memo focuses on two key issues that have been major priorities for the physician community in AMA advocacy with CMS over the past year: revisions to the office visit codes and payment rates, and modifications to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to make the program less fragmented and more clinically relevant.
  • This win is the result of a strategic multi-faceted advocacy campaign to overturn the policy that included close collaboration with the American Medical Association (AMA), state medical and dermatology societies, and other medical specialty societies.
  • Congress is expected to vote this week on a Medicare extenders package as part of the most recent iteration of the FY 2018 spending package. The AMA’s current understanding is that this package will include a spending offset using a flawed, two-year mis-valued codes policy that would reduce the Medicare fee schedule conversion factor in 2019 and produce an actual conversion factor cut in 2020. This budget legislation will be voted on in both the House and Senate no later than Thursday, so it is vital that you express your opposition as soon as possible. Read more contact your Senators and Representatives using the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network. 

  • Health tech companies are looking for physician ideas and input! As influencers in health care, physicians are invited to join the AMA Physician Innovation Network, the platform that connects physicians and health tech companies.
  • Andrew W. Gurman, MD, President of the American Medical Association, announced on April 28 that for nearly two years, the AMA fought these anticompetitive mergers. The AMA led a 17-state medical society coalition, communicated with like-minded stakeholders and successfully urged state health insurance departments to refuse to approve the mergers. 
  • The College of American Pathologists has prepared a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule with final 2017 RVUs and a comparison to the 2016 RVUs with the release of the final 2017 Medicare fee schedule. Download a copy
  • As the AMA waits for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to release its final rule on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), they have provided an update on the latest advocacy work and new physician resources. Through the MACRA Task Force and various work groups, the AMA and the Federation have been collaborating to develop strategic approaches to advocacy, along with consistent messaging. In addition the AMA filed extensive comments on CMS’ proposed rule, emphasizing the need for greater flexibility and choice. 
  • ASDP is pleased to announce that Christopher R. Shea, MD, has assumed the role of of the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology (JCP) editor in chief. He is replacing Timothy McCalmont, MD, who had served as the JCP editor for more than six years. Dr. Shea officially took over the role on August 1, 2016. 
  • CMS has sent out a series of messages regarding the 2015 PQRS feedback reports and 2015 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs), and what to do to prepare to access them. The PQRS feedback reports depict your program year 2015 PQRS reporting results, including payment adjustment assessment for calendar year 2017. The 2015 Annual QRURs show how groups and solo practitioners performed in 2015 on the quality and cost measures used to calculate the 2017 Value Modifier. Both reports will be available early fall.

  • Balance billing is prohibited for Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program. The QMB program is a Medicaid program that helps very low-income dual eligible beneficiaries who have annual incomes of less than $12,000. 
  • In July 2015, CMS transitioned from the Individuals Authorized Access to CMS Computer Services (IACS) system to the Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system.

    EIDM users must recertify their accounts annually. The EIDM Security Official (SO) or Individual Practitioner must recertify by Thursday, June 30, 2016. The SO and Individual Practitioner can recertify by logging into the CMS Enterprise Portal using existing EIDM credentials  to access the list of users who require recertification.

  • The American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP) has been admitted to the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates as of June 13, 2016. ASDP was represented by Melissa Piliang, MD, a member-at-large on the ASDP Board of Directors. Dr. Piliang has served as ASDP’s liaison to the AMA during the last four years while ASDP was a member of the AMA’s Specialty Service Society (SSS).

    "This is an important achievement for our society,” said Dirk Elston, MD, president of the ASDP.  “We finally have a seat at the table and our own voice in the house of medicine.  Dr. Piliang has been an outstanding representative for ASDP and she will play a vital role for us moving forward."

  • The AMA has prepared a "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA) Action Kit" as background for attendees at the upcoming AMA Annual Meeting.  The kit will be handed out in the "not-for-official-business" bag, and it is also posted online at
  • Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) one year ago. This law repealed the threat of annual payment cuts from the sustainable growth rate formula, and it now offers physicians treating Medicare patients a choice of two payment pathways going forward:
  • Prior to adjourning for the holidays, Congress passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (PAMPA), which directed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make AMA-supported changes to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship exception process that allows physicians to avoid a Meaningful Use (MU) penalty in 2017. 

    The AMA is encouraging ALL physicians subject to the 2015 Medicare MU program to apply for the hardship.  
  • Our larger associated organizations, the American Academy of Dermatology and College of American Pathologists, have published guidelines for practitioners regarding billing practices. Recently the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began enforcing statutes that apply to pathology services.

    Download the AAD Position Statement | Download the CAP Position Statement

  • We wanted to share some important updates with you as we begin the new year.
    • 52nd Annual Meeting Survey Review
    • Strategic Planning Update
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the 2015 PQRS data submission timeframes:

    • EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor (QRDA I or III) - 1/1/16 - 2/29/16
    • Qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) (QRDA III) - 1/1/16 - 2/29/16
    • Group practice reporting option (GPRO) Web Interface - 1/18/16 - 3/15/16
    • Qualified registries (Registry XML)  - 1/1/16 - 3/31/16
    • QCDRs (QCDR XML) - 1/1/16 - 3/31/16
  • CMS has updated the EHR Incentive Programs Attestation Batch Upload page with the Attestation Batch Upload Specifications for 2015 program year attestation. These specifications include both CSV and XML data mapping options for the batch upload of the attestation information.
  • File by Wednesday, Dec. 16 to avoid Medicare pay cut of 2-4 percent

    CMS has extended the deadline for submitting an Informal Review request. All requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 16, 2015.

  • Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims may take several days to be processed and must also – by law – wait two weeks before payment is issued. You can check your Medicare FFS claim status by:
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released a series of final rules on the Meaningful Use (MU) program. 

  • On Oct. 1, 2015, the United States health care community transitioned to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). A resource guide and contact list for providers is available from CMS.

  • Revised CMS ICD 10 FAQ | 08/07/2015
    New FAQ on ICD 10 coding has been published by CMS. 

  • On July 20 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (EDT), the AMA and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) will be hosting a town hall meeting in Atlanta to discuss electronic health records (EHR).

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are announcing efforts to continue to help physicians get ready ahead of the October 1 ICD-10 deadline.

  • House passes IPAB repeal legislation to protect senior access to care.

  • Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR{) Repealed with Passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)