By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, September 04, 2012
September is here with its cooler weather and sense of new beginnings.
Everywhere one turns things are clamoring for our attention. Stores want us to shop, schools have restarted, and our attention returns to our practices now that summer vacations are behind us. Truth is, even some of our home projects are beckoning for our attention. I like the fall for this reason — the chance to begin anew, the relief from the summer heat, and the opportunity to really enjoy the outdoors.
Important things may not be showing up on your radar in the midst of the competing priorities — take, for instance, health insurance exchanges. Since the Supreme Court ruling these resemble stealth bombers hovering over the horizon, making barely any noise. Do you know what your state is doing? Has it set up an exchange? Will it create its own, or simply protest and hope that the federal government does the work for it? Have no doubt about it, these exchanges will impact us all. Our cover feature
will bring you up to date on what is happening. We’ll have additional patients with presumably new rules regarding laboratory services and pharmaceutical access. This is something we should be engaging our state legislators about since it looks like it will be a state-by-state solution. We don’t want to get caught unaware.
Our feature on the changing landscape in dermatopathology is also one I’d like to highlight. Like in the business world, consolidations in dermpath are increasing as providers try to gain economies of scale and efficiency. We are also starting to see more dermatology practices adding dermatopathological services. Each approach has its champions and reasons for possible success, but it is clear that dermpath is changing. Issues of “knowing” the person who reads your slides may again return as a concern. We will want to be very aware of this development, making sure that we feel that the quality of our pathologic interpretations remains strong no matter the local solution.[pagebreak]
And of course given my passion for psoriasis, I want to encourage you to read this month’s Acta column
. Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, and colleagues have identified a protein, previously only known to fight infections in the intestine, that is linked to the hyper-proliferation that we see in psoriasis. Does this explain why psoriasis patients’ skin so rarely gets infected? Having the REG3A protein elevated might have conferred protection against infection in our ancestors with psoriasis as an unfortunate byproduct. Cool science — I’ll be adding this to my lecture to the medical students later this month and I already find myself mentioning it to some of my patients. They like learning about our interesting discoveries along the way to a better understanding of our diseases. Hope that you enjoy it too.
Don’t skip the other articles, the lineup is quite impressive: HIPAA strong
, a review of the HPI coding rules
, strategies about dress codes
, and an update on research funding
. There’s much to read. Don’t forget that you can now refer back to any issue of DW on the website. Need to access the rules for implementing PQRS, recommendations regarding EHR…all is an easy search away in the digital DW at www.aad.org/dw. Please let us know if you like this. The staff has done a ton of work and we owe them a fantastic round of thanks for making this happen. Send me an email at DWeditor@aad.org
and I’ll be sure to pass your praise along.
Enjoy your reading.