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Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in News |

Medicare Threatens to Cease Coverage of Phototherapy Treatments

Medicare Threatens to Cease Coverage of Phototherapy Treatments
Medicare threatens to cease coverage of phototherapy treatments for patients.  Read below to see how this impacts patients and providers locally.  Help us spread the news today or tomorrow but FRIDAY, September 6, 2013 is the deadline for patients to voice their opinions.                         

Camisa C 214x300 Charles Camisa, M.D., FAAD

World-renowned psoriasis specialist, Dr. Charles Camisa, who works with Riverchase Dermatology, is very concerned for his patients. Dr. Camisa is available for interviews on this topic today and tomorrow, call 239-690-9840 or email for more information or to schedule an interview.

Read below for more vital information on Medicare’s decision and how this impacts our local community.


Phototherapy has been around for a century and is one of the safest and least expensive ways to treat psoriasis. However, due to a proposed ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), access to phototherapy could be in jeopardy!

If these proposed cuts take effect, physicians could be forced to stop offering phototherapy! Here are a few ways these cuts could negatively impact our community:

1. Continuity of care compromised as services may be interrupted or discontinued due to cuts.

2. Less effective treatment provided- alternative medicines prescribed for psoriasis may be less effective and have more side effects, such as methotrexate or biologicals.

3. Increased out of pocket expense to patients as medications are not always covered. Biologicals, although very effective, are also very costly at $20,000 to $30,000 per year. These drugs are not well-covered by Medicare.

4. Senior patients are more susceptible to the side effects of the internal drugs for psoriasis. If phototherapy is not available, then moderate to severe psoriasis would have to be treated with these drugs.

5. There are no other approved treatments for psoriasis in children. Phototherapy is the safest and most effective treatment for them.

Dermatologists across the nation are urging people to contact CMS and urge them to immediately halt the proposed cuts to phototherapy reimbursement. For their convenience, people can submit their personal comment and tell CMS that these cuts will limit their access to needed phototherapy treatments! They may fill in the contact information and explain the importance of phototherapy for themselves or loved ones.