Washing Away Eczema
A new study found that Dove Nutrium Wash (Unilever) significantly reduces itch and severity in eczema patients. Researchers examined 43 patients with mild to moderate eczema on arms or legs who for four weeks used Dove Nutrium Wash, a novel lipid-rich moisturizing body wash (LRMBW) technology. The individuals were evaluated by a dermatologist for eczema severity based on EASI scores. Results showed a numerical reduction in total eczema severity, as well as reduction in TEWL, which suggested barrier improvement. The investigators concluded that normal use of Dove Nutrium Wash and Bar are compatible with patients with mild to moderate eczema and suitable for use as a mild daily-use body cleanser.

Data from EPIC Trial Revealed
Results of the EPIC study, which show that EpiCeram (Promius Pharma) was effective with or without additional therapy in patients with mild to moderate AD, the company reports. Investigators evaluated 207 patients for three weeks when treated with either EpiCeram Emulsion as a monotherapy or in combination with another AD treatment. Approximately half of the patients achieved success according to IGA after three weeks of treatment with EpiCeram as monotherapy or in combination with another treatment. A high level of satisfaction with clinical results was noted both by patients (75 percent) and investigators (77 percent).

Poll: One in Five Americans Uses Sunscreen
A new poll estimates that only 20 percent of Americans apply sunscreen before going outside most days during the summer. The findings from the Marist Institute for Public Opinion also suggest that just under one-third of Americans apply sunscreen only a few days during the summer season. The age group with the lowest rate of sunscreen use was 18-29 year-olds, at four percent.

Call For Abstracts
The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery 2011 Annual Conference will be held in Grapevine, TX, April 1-3, 2011. Course offerings will address resurfacing and contouring; laser treatment of vascular lesions; complications, controversies, and legal issues; technologies for fat-related disorders; photography, treatment documentation, and oversight; and how to use optical diagnostics in clinical laser medicine. To have your research and clinical findings reviewed for presentation, submit abstracts by Monday, October 18 online at www.aslms.org/annualconference/ annualconference11.shtml.

Clarification
In Coding Checklist in the July issue there is reference to the Medicare Internet Only Manual 100-04 §60.4 This is incorrect. The correct reference is 100-04, Chapter 12, §40.1. There is also a typo in the article. At the end of the second paragraph, “...the payment for the surgical procedure is included in the payment for the surgical service,” should read, “payment for the Evaluation and Management service is included in the payment for the surgical service.”

A reader expressed concern over the statement “This section states that if an E/M service includes only evaluation of a lesion that is treated on the same day, the payment for the Evaluation and Management service is included in the payment for the surgical service.” The reader maintains that the dermatologist must evaluate a lesion, determine a diagnosis, and make a treatment decision (E/M) and that if one decides to treat the same day, he or she can bill for both the E/M service and the procedure. We agree that these services are necessary and we certainly would like to see compensation for them.

However, the Medicare Internet Only Manual states in Paragraph B, addressing items not covered:”The initial consultation or evaluation of the problem by the surgeon to determine the need for surgery. Please note that this policy only applies to major surgical procedures. The initial evaluation is always included in the allowance for a minor surgical procedure.” (Emphasis added)

The manual further states, in paragraph C, that “Visits by the same physician on the same day as a minor surgery or endoscopy are included in the payment for the procedure, unless a significant, separately identifiable service is also performed. For example, a visit on the same day could be properly billed in addition to suturing a scalp wound if a full neurological examination is made for a patient with head trauma. Billing for a visit would not be appropriate if the physician only identified the need for sutures and confirmed allergy and immunization status.”

For further clarification on this, please consult your local Medicare carrier. Please note that the above refers only to Medicare policy and may differ from CPT and private carriers.