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UV Safety Awareness Month Focus: Coverage Policies & MAC Reviews

Published on 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

July is UV Safety Awareness Month. A related RealTime Medicare Data (RTMD) infographic in this week’s newsletter focuses on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims data related to the treatment costs of Melanoma. According to the American Cancer Society, “melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control…melanoma is much less common than some other skin cancers. But melanoma is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.”

Did You Know?

The American Cancer Society (link) estimates that in the United States for 2021:

  • About 106,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed, and
  • About 7,180 people are expected to die from melanoma.

Why Does this Matter?

About 1% of skin cancers are melanoma but causes most skin cancer deaths.

What You Can Do About It?

Be proactive in lowering your risk for melanoma and other skin cancers by following key sun safety tips from the FDA (link):

  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense,
  • Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and more often if you are sweating or jumping in and out of the water.

Also, be mindful that certain medications can cause sensitivity to the sun, for example:

  • Antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, tetracycline, trimethoprim),
  • Antihistamines including Diphenhydramine (common brands include Benadryl and Nytol),
  • Oral contraceptives and estrogens, and
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, piroxicam, ketoprofen).

You can read more about this on the FDA website (link).

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.