AAAAI Works to Address Sterile Compounding Legislation
The AAAAI has been aware of sterile compounding issues that would significantly impact practicing A/I physicians. Federal legislation related to sterile compounding was passed recently but had a specific exemption for allergen extract preparation. It now appears that individual states are addressing this issue and may be developing more stringent regulations. Regrettably, in Maryland, legislation has been passed that could significantly restrict the ability of A/I physicians to prepare allergen immunotherapy in their offices. The AAAAI has been collaborating with the Maryland Allergy and Asthma Society, and other professional societies, to address this issue and will continue to collaborate with all interested parties to see this to a successful resolution.
We strongly encourage all RSL leaders to review current/pending legislation, in their respective states, regarding sterile compounding. Below is a link to the National Conference of State Legislatures that has a summary of states with potential compounding laws. In addition, most states will have a website where current/pending legislation that can be searched. We also urge all RSL leaders to contact their state medical societies to determine if sterile compounding legislation may potentially impact their state. Clearly, this has become a state by state issue and local action is warranted and it is only through grassroots advocacy that these problems can be addressed.
AAAAI Supports California Allergy Society Fight for Injectable Epinephrine
The AAAAI continues to support RSL societies and their fight to get injectable epinephrine available in schools. At the request of Region 7 Governor Steven Meltzer, MD, MBA, FAAAAI, and in support of the California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the AAAAI wrote a letter advocating for legislation that would make injectable epinephrine available in California schools.
[Did You Know? Members can visit the AAAAI’s Practice Resources area for a library of practice-related information. Download the AAAAI’s skin test and immunotherapy forms, find practice parameters, gain insight on running a practice—and much more.]
It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the newest AAAAI newsletter: Practice Matters! This new email communication will be sent to you the third Thursday of every month, and will contain timely content and valuable links on issues important to practicing allergists.
The goal of Practice Matters is to empower you with information and resources that will help you in your practice. Content is provided specifically by the AAAAI’s Regional, State and Local Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Societies (RSLAAIS) Assembly, Advocacy Committee, and Practice & Policy Division. In fact, I would like to acknowledge the work of RSLAAIS Chair Sharon B. Markovics, MD, FAAAAI, and Vice Chair Andrew W. Murphy, MD, FAAAAI. Drs. Markovics and Murphy had the idea for Practice Matters and will be involved in preparing each issue.
I am confident you will find AAAAI Practice Matters a very valuable resource that will help you in today’s complex healthcare environment.
James T. Li, MD, PhD, FAAAAI
Contact Congress on the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act
Some commercial health insurance policies are now moving vital medications (mostly biologics such as immunoglobulin which primary immunodeficient patients rely on) into “specialty tiers” that utilize high patient cost-sharing methods. H.R. 460, the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act, seeks to restrain high out-of-pocket costs for specialty medications like immunoglobulin.
“Sunshine… Or Clouds? Drug Makers Grapple With Transparency Law”
This recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) blog post discusses the Sunshine Act, a component of healthcare reform where manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals are required to gather and report certain data concerning payments and gifts made to physicians. According to the WSJ article, these companies are struggling with aspects of collecting and reporting Sunshine Act data.
Practice & Policy Matters
2014 Practice Management Workshop Coming July 18-20
Navigate the looming changes in allergy practice by attending the 2014 AAAAI Practice Management Workshop July 18-20 in Atlanta. Whether you are an established allergist, new allergist, fellow-in-training, or a practice manager or administrator, this workshop provides networking opportunities and educational sessions on a variety of topics—from transitioning to ICD-10 to a new session addressing the challenges of practicing in a large institutional or academic setting.
Begin Meaningful Use by July 1 to Avoid Penalties in 2015
Eligible professionals who have not attested for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program prior to 2014 will need to complete the Stage 1 criteria (for a 90-day period) and attest by October 1, 2014, to avoid a 1% payment adjustment to their Medicare Part B reimbursements in 2015 and a 2% payment adjustment in 2016. This means that eligible Medicare providers must begin reporting on Meaningful Use by July 1 in order to successfully submit by the October 1 deadline. It is the only way to avoid upcoming payment adjustments. This is the last year eligible professionals can start the EHR Incentive Program, also known as Meaningful Use, and still qualify for incentive payments over the next three years.