CMS: No Cuts in Phototherapy Reimbursement Planned for 2015

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) announced in a press release that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will not cut reimbursement for phototherapy in 2015.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) announced in a press release that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not cut reimbursement for phototherapy in 2015.

The announcement is a significant change from just a year ago when the CMS had considered cutting reimbursement for the procedure 50-60%. The statement from the NPF credited the work of its members and “its supporters who sent hundreds of comments about the importance of this vital treatment option.”

Phototherapy is described on the NPF website as a process in which skin is exposed to ultraviolet light on a regular basis while under the supervision of a medical professional. “The key to success with light therapy is consistency,” the site notes. The statement from the NPF also said that phototherapy is not the same as the process involved in using tanning equipment.

“Indoor tanning raises the risk of melanoma by 59%, according to the American Academy of Dermatology and the World Health Organization, and does not provide the type of light that most effectively treats psoriasis.”

Rather than being forced to accept a 50% reduction in phototherapy reimbursement this year, most physicians saw just a 9% drop, which allowed them to continue providing close to the same level of service as in previous years.

The NPF said in the statement that while the announcement from the CMS was positive there is still more work to be done.

“In the coming months and throughout 2015, NPF will continue fighting for access to phototherapy by ensuring that this service is appropriately reimbursed,” the statement noted. “NPF will focus on expanding access and reducing barriers to phototherapy services for all individuals who need this treatment.”

To learn more about reimbursement options for phototherapy e-mail action@psoriasis.org.