News and resources for dermatologists from NCDA.
November 16, 2017 |
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NCDA Online | 2018 NCDA Annual Meeting

In this edition:

Registration is now open!
2018 NCDA Annual Meeting
January 19-21 | The Belmond Charleston Place | Charleston, SC
Program & Registration

NCDA, AADA Challenge Inappropriate Reduction of Modifier 25 Reimbursement

The NCDA has joined the AADA and many state dermatology associations in a joint sign-on letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield Association regarding BCBSA’s plans to implement an inappropriate reduction in Modifier 25 reimbursement. In the letter dated November 13, 2017 to BCBSA Chief Medical Officer Trent Haywood, MD, JD, the AADA and state dermatology societies request that BCBSA urge its member associations to reconsider their implementation of modifier 25 policies that inappropriately reduce the value of E/M services and provide rationale that justifies a 50 percent reduction for separate unrelated E/M services when reported with a procedure.

“Providing medically necessary, distinct services on the same date allows physicians to provide effective and efficient, high quality care, in many cases saving patients a return visit,” the letter argues. “Physician work, practice expense, and malpractice inputs for E/M and dermatology procedure codes are purposely structured to ensure there is no overlap. Furthermore, the AMA Relative Value Scale Update Committee is now automatically reducing procedure pre-service time and physician work values, as well as practice expenses, for all codes typically billed with an E/M visit (even if the code is often billed alone). Therefore, these codes have already had their value reduced in the Medicare fee schedule to account for potentially overlapping work and practice expense performed during an E/M service. Additional reduction in an appropriately billed separate unrelated E/M service is thus arbitrary, unfair, and without merit.”

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NCDA Continuing Education: Quality, Convenience & Affordability

Receive quality education at a North Carolina Dermatology Association Meeting in 2018. Attendees enjoy a dermatology-specific educational program, networking with colleagues and updates on key advocacy issues. Meetings typically draw more than 100 physicians and many vendors. We look forward to seeing you at an NCDA meeting.

The 2018 Annual Meeting will be held January 19-21 at the Belmond Charleston Place in Charleston, SC – This program is approved for 9.75 CMEs and AAD Recognized Credits. Registration is now open at!

The 2018 Summer Meeting is scheduled for July 13-15 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC – Save the date!

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ACO Guide for Dermatologists

Specialty-specific toolkits, like the “Accountable Care Guide for Dermatologists,” from the NCMS Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative (TAC) can help your practice make the transition from fee-for-service to value-based health care. The toolkit provides strategic guidance for physicians establishing and participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and it is part of a series offering guidance on a range of topics related to the legal and financial issues that you need to know about.

NEW! Want CME credit for learning more about ACOs?The Texas Medical Association was so impressed with the NCMS TAC toolkits, they sought and received permission to offer CME credit for reading and absorbing the information in the seminal guide, “The Physicians Accountable Care Toolkit.” If you are an NCMS member, you can access this CME at a discount by simply downloading the guide and entering ‘NCMS’ in the coupon code space to receive the member discount.

All TAC toolkits are available free of charge from the TAC website, Additional titles include “Accountable Care Legal Guide,” “The Bundled Payment Guide for Physicians,” “Rural Accountable Care Guide,” and more.

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Representative Greg Murphy Featured in NC Health News

NC Representative Greg Murphy, MD, a Greenville urologist and the only physician serving in the NC General Assembly, credits his years of medical training for imparting the discipline and stamina necessary to be successful as a legislator in Raleigh. And that he is! As a new legislator, Dr. Murphy has been tapped for some very important posts, including a Vice Chair seat on the Appropriations Committee (arguably the most important committee in the House), Chair on the Appropriations Health and Human Services Committee and Chair on the Health Committee.

Dr. Murphy was recently featured by the online news site North Carolina Health News.

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NCMB on Opioid Prescribing: Resources for Safe Prescribing Practices

The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act of 2017 addresses the opioid epidemic that has had a severe impact in North Carolina. To help physicians navigate the new law and have a positive impact on the opioid epidemic, the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) has developed a webpage with resources and information about NCMB programs that encourage appropriate prescribing.

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View Recordings of Recent Quality Payment Program Webinars on the CMS Website
Recent Quality Payment Program Webinars Now Available on the CMS Website

Were you unable to participate in a recent Quality Payment Program (QPP) webinar? You can now view all recordings, presentations, and transcripts from QPP webinars on the CMS Quality Payment Program Events webpage. Three recent QPP webinars include:

  • August 16, 2017: QPP Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Office Hours Session – Provided a detailed overview on the draft provisions from the QPP Year 2 NPRM. CMS has shared the most frequently asked questions from the session with answers on the CMS website.
  • August 30, 2017: 2018 Self Nomination Process for Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) and Qualified Registries – Offered an overview of the 2018 self-nomination process for organizations that wish to become QCDRs and qualified registries for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2018 performance period.
  • September 8, 2017: Overview of MIPS for Small, Rural, and Underserved Practices – Provided an overview of MIPS, the flexibilities for small practices under MIPS, and the resources offered by Technical Assistance organizations.

To find the latest information, visit the Quality Payment Program website. The Quality Payment Program Service Center can also be reached at 1-866-288-8292 (TTY 1-877-715- 6222), available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET or via email at

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Cooper Invites Your Input on Opioid Epidemic

To better understand all the efforts taking place across our state to address opioid abuse and addiction, Governor Roy Cooper has asked for public feedback. In a request for feedback that was emailed broadly on November 6, the Office of the Governor noted, “Many individuals and organizations have been working on this issue for years, and we appreciate those efforts. We would like to continue to learn about strategies for combatting opioid misuse and addiction in our state.”

Comments can be submitted via email to Please note that any information sent to this email address may be subject to public records law.

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