Tuesday, January 22, 2019
SCMA News Briefs
707-525-4375  | Executive Director: Wendy Young | exec@scma.org

February 2018

From the Desk of: Wendy Young, Executive Director

Providing member value is a top priority to the SCMA Team! If you have suggestions or want to be more engaged in the local physician community: 

Please call or email me directly at:
707-525-4141 |


Happy Valentine's Day

St. Joseph Health - New Minimally Invasive Procedure

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

Santa Rosa Memorial's first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure took place last week with great success! Memorial Hospital is thrilled to be the first hospital in Sonoma County to offer a less invasive option to patients with severe aortic stenosis who may otherwise not receive adequate treatment due to their high risk for open heart surgery.

Click here for full article >>

Covered California 2018 

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

With a number of changes occurring for 2018, including Anthem Blue Cross exiting California's exchange marketplace in all but three regions, it is critical that physician practices understand their participation status, which products are being offered and what changes to expect. To help physicians understand how these changes will affect their practice, CMA has published a new tip sheet, "Surviving Covered California: Preparing for changes in 2018." The tip sheet is available free to members at www.cmanet.org/exchange.

Additionally, CMA has created a sample patient letter for physicians who are impacted by the Anthem pullback and wish to retain their Anthem Blue Cross patients through any other exchange plan(s) they are contracted under. Physicians may utilize the sample letter to advise their patients of the other plans offered on the exchange in which they still participate, so the member may proactively switch coverage during open enrollment.

The sample patient letter is a members-only resource available at Covered California Anthem Blue Cross Sample Patient Letter

From CMA Center for Health Policy to SCMA Members 

CMA has received several inquiries regarding physicians who recently received letters from the Medical Board of California (MBC) requesting medical records for patients who died in 2012 and 2013. The physicians were informed that the records were being requested based on investigation of prescribers connected to opioid-related deaths during this time period.

CMA is monitoring this issue and reaching out to the Medical Board staff to obtain additional information on this issue.

ACTION REQUESTED: If any of your members receive a letter requesting medical records pursuant to this issue, please contact CMA so we can track the extent to which these letters are impacting our members.  Please note that the letters from the Medical Board contain personal health information and as such should not be circulated without redaction.  Generally, it is enough for us to know the physician who has been contacted and we don't need to see the letter with the patient's information. 

MEMBER RESOURCES: If members require additional information about how to respond to inquiries from the Medical Board, please see the CMA website: http://www.cmanet.org/resources/medical-board-assistance/

If you have any questions, please call CMA's member help center, (800) 786-4262 or e-mail legalinfo@cmanet.org.

Sutter Corner

Sutter Quality
Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods (SMGR) is pleased to announce 2016 quality results from the California-based Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA). IHA tracks managed care quality performance among California's 182 provider organizations. SMGR was in the top 10 groups for both Colorectal Cancer screening and Breast Cancer screening. SMGR was #1 in the state for Diabetes HbA1c control.

Residency finds new interim home with Sutter after the fires
Due to fire damage at Santa Rosa Community Health's Vista Campus, the Sutter-Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency suffered the loss of both their residency offices and their primary outpatient clinic. Since the fires, Santa Rosa Community Health has generously hosted the residents at their Lombardi campus but space is tight for both patients and providers.

Beginning in March of 2018, the Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods will be housing the outpatient clinic for the residents at the Sutter Health Airway Drive building. The residents' SRCH satellite clinic will be in operation until repairs are completed at the Vista Campus over the coming year. Welcome aboard Residents and Santa Rosa Community Health!

Doctors Don't Just Heal the Sick. They Also Create Jobs.
By Theodore M. Mazer, MD 

Naomi Fuchs, right, CEO of Santa Rosa Community Health, shows Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Mike Thompson how the wildfire affected its Vista campus last October. Ben Margot-AP
Naomi Fuchs, right, CEO of Santa Rosa Community Health, shows Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Mike Thompson how the wildfire affected its Vista campus last October. Ben Margot-AP

During some of the worst wildfires in California's history, medical professionals stepped up to provide aid to neighbors and strangers, alike.

Despite the clear economic benefits, the U.S. is projected to have nearly 100,000 fewer physicians than it needs by 2030. And because training can take as long as a decade, a physician shortage needs to be addressed NOW.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Theodore Mazer, MD, is president of the California Medical Association. He can be contacted at tmazermd@aol.com.

Solo/Small Group Practice Forum 

Debra Pharis

SCMA Solo/Small Group Physician's Forum Group-
The SCMA Solo and Small Group Practice Forum represents the special concerns of physicians who practice alone or in small professional medical corporations or partnerships with up to four shareholders, partners, and/or physician employees. We invite you to join us for our first SSMGPF and meet other like minded physicians; create a solo/small networking/referral group for your practice and learn how SCMA/CMA can support you in your practice.

Thriving and Surviving in Private Practice 2018, This is Your year!
Workshop for Solo/Small Practice
Physicians and Managers

What are the top challenges facing physicians trying to remain independent or transitioning into private practice from hospital or foundation employment? Physicians and managers need business management skills, particularly in the financial area. This workshop will teach critical skills in analyzing the practice profit/loss statement, accounts receivable ratios, staffing patterns and how to access specialty comparison norms. 

Each attendee will receive one data source of your 
personal medical specialty benchmark financials.

Topics Include:

Creative ways to boost your bottom line.

How to reduce accounts receivable and increase cash flow with four easy financial A/R ratios to set performance objectives for staff.

Key staffing ratios to maintain profitability.

How to run a "lean operation" and reduce expenses to maintain net income.

The importance of marketing, Internet presence and how to deal with Yelp, etc.

Is solo, concierge, out-of-network or micro practice an option?

Why merging practices may be right for your long-term success.

How will technology, telemedicine and ancillary services keep the practice viable?

This workshop will be taught by Debra Phairas, President, Practice & Liability Consultants, LLC. Her consulting experience includes over 1,850 practices of all sizes and specialties. Typical engagements include: practice start-ups, practice assessments, mergers, financial analysis, revenue enhancement, overhead reduction, personnel management, over 450 practice valuations, expert witness, partnership issues and recruitment support for hospitals and physician groups. She has presented seminars and lectures nationwide for state and local medical associations, management organizations and specialty societies. Please view website: www.practiceconsultants.net 

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 | Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Location: SCMA office
Address: 2312 Bethards Drive, Suite #6, Santa Rosa map

Note: If we have a big response to this event, we will change the location to accommodate the size of the group. If you have a location to offer, please contact the SCMA office.

If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring a future solo/small practice forum, please connect with us here at SCMA.

Mark Your Calendars! SCMA Events  

Medical bag

Solo/Small Practice Forum Date: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 Location: SCMA office Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm Wine & Appetizers

Thriving and Surviving in Private Practice. 2018, This is Your year!

What are the top challenges facing physicians trying to remain independent or transitioning into private practice from hospital or foundation employment? Physicians and managers need business management skills, particularly in the financial area. 

This workshop will teach critical skills in analyzing the practice profit/loss statement, accounts receivable ratios, staffing patterns and how to access specialty comparison norms.

RSVP: rachel@scma.org or 525-4375

Discover Sonoma County Hike
Date: Feb. 10, 2018
Location: Pepperwood Preserve
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Moderate/strenuous 3-4 miles

Join us for fun, exercise and learning!  Explore Pepperwood's forests and grasslands as you learn about animals, plants, natural history and ecological management of the 3,200 acre preserve.  Discover this unique opportunity to see how the landscapes were impacted by the fires and what Pepperwood is doing to aid in recovery of the preserve. 

FREE, Donations appreciated.  Appropriate for ages 10+

No RSVP necessary.

Download a map and directions from the 101 here.



St. Joseph Health Medical Group, Santa Rosa

Charles Elboim, MD, Surgery*, 121 Sotoyome St. #123, Univ Vermont 1972

Hyun Kang, MD, Critical Care Medicine, 1165 Montgomery Dr., Yonsei Univ

Sae Hee Ko, MD, Vascular Surgery*, 121 Sotoyome St. #203, Duke Univ 2005

Leigh Slater, MD, Critical Care Med., 1165 Montgomery Dr., Emory Univ 2005

Jon Strerngold, MD, Family Medicine, Hospitalist, 1287 Fulton Road, Standford Univ. 1973

The Permanente Medical Group, Santa Rosa

James Gibboney, MD, Internal Medicine, 401 Bicentennial Way, Indiana Univ. 1992

* = Board Certified
Italics = Medical Interest


Multiple houses for rent to physicians: SCMA is continuing to maintain a list of homes available to the medical community. Our list includes both small and large homes, rooms for rent, cottages, etc. that are located in Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Please contact SCMA at 707-525-4375.

Beautiful office for lease in medical complex. Prime location in Santa Rosa with easy parking; prix fixe lease includes full amenities (wi-fi, PG&E, janitorial, maintenance). Ready-made practice opportunity via neighboring referrals. Contact Kendy Fallentine at 707-544-0141.

Space now available at Sebastopol Specialty Center.
Allow us to take on all the management headaches, which we do best, so you can focus on practicing medicine, which you do best. Full-time, part-time, or a couple of days per month. Practice medicine your way for a percentage of collections. Call Laurie for more information. 707-823-2336, Ext. 220.


Quick Links

Press Democrat Covers Sonoma County Fires

How one fire refuge became a giant hospital

5 Nurses Stand Behind A Sheet. Once They Come Out From Behind, They Have Everyone In Stitches.

Sutter Santa Rosa Staff Help Save Hospital During 2017 Northern California Wildfires

UC Davis researchers hope thousands of respondents from Sonoma County and other fire-affected areas will participate in survey

Despite our Sutter Health Shea House being lost to the recent fires, we have already started clearing the debris and rebuilding. #TeamSutter #SonomaCountyStrong

SCMA Business Partnership Program 

SCMA's Business Partner program is designed and dedicated to offer discounted services and member-only packages to our members for products and services for the personal and professional needs of the medical community. Companies who wish to be considered for inclusion in the program should be able to relate to the SCMA membership on an individual, group and/or practice basis.

2018 SCMA Endorsed Partner

2018 SCMA Business Partners



Click for the SCMA Endorsed and Business Partner info and application

2018 SCMA Supporting Partners

Practice & Liability Consultants, LLC marin WEIGHT LOSS & WELNESS

Montgomery Tayler

Click for the SCMA Supporting Partner info and Application

CMA's 44th Annual Legislative Advocacy Day Ad


Mediccare Health Insurance CardNew Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Update

To help you prepare for the transition to the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) on Medicare cards beginning April 1, 2018, physicians and their staff should review the new information about remittance advices. 

Beginning in October 2018, through the transition period, (no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019), when providers submit a claim using a patient's valid and active Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), CMS will return both the HICN and the MBI on every remittance advice. Here are examples of different remittance advices:

Medicare Remit Easy Print (Medicare Part B providers and suppliers) 
PC Print for Institutions
Standard Paper Remits: FISS (Medicare Part A/Institutions)MCS (Medicare Part B/Professionals)VMS (Durable Medicare Equipment) 

Find more new information on the New Medicare Card provider webpage.

Your patients can anticipate receiving their new Medicare cards starting April 2018 as well as being able to check the status of their card mailings in their area on Medicare.gov.

Kaiser Korner 

Kaiser Introduces New Physician-In-Chief  Michael Shulman, MD

Kaiser Introduces New Physician-In-Chief  Michael Shulman, MD

Santa Rosa urologist Michael J. Shulman, MD, was named the new physician-in-chief of the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, helping guide the medical operation of the hospital and oversee physicians and medical staff. Dr. Shulman, a Santa Rosa resident, joined the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center in 2006. He served as Santa Rosa's Chief of Urology for over nine years and replaces Kirk Pappas, MD, who served as physician-in-chief from 2011-2017. 

"Our work is now compounded by the devastation of the fires," says Dr. Shulman, who became physician-in-chief just eight days before the fire storm. "Nevertheless, I hold vast optimism for our future as I witness tremendous dedication and caring by our medical physicians and staff toward the work of healing and building a better medical center. For me, it is truly an overwhelming honor and privilege to serve as physician-in-chief for Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center."

ICD Codelink Databases Ad



Theodore M. Mazer, M.D., CMA President

Physicians' groups call for immediate

Physicians' groups call for immediate halt to recent policy limiting use of anesthesia during cataract surgery

The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) and the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) have sent letters to Anthem Inc. requesting that they immediately rescind a new policy that deems Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) "not medically necessary" during "routine" cataract surgery - a move seen as endangering patients. These were followed up with complaints to the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and the California Department of Insurance by the California Medical Association (CMA), and supported by the other groups.

Although Anthem amended the policy on February 1st to clarify that it did not intend to exclude "moderate sedation" from coverage, such sedation would have to be managed by the surgeon, which the AAO document explicitly says should not happen for cataract surgery because the procedure is very precise work, making it risky to divide time between the two tasks. Therefore, a qualified anesthesia provider would be both required and requested in all situations when sedation is anticipated to be needed (the vast majority of current cataract surgery cases), making the activity "monitored anesthesia care," which the policy still excludes except under extreme exceptions.

The full content of the policy, letters, and complaints can be found by using the following links:

Anthem Policy CG-MED-60 (published 12/27/17)
Anthem Policy CG-MED-60 (published 2/1/18) (Note the revisions do not address the concerns)
CAEPS Letter to Anthem
CSA Letter to Anthem
CMA Complaint to the California Department of Managed Health Care
CMA Complaint to the California Department of Insurance

Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods Ad

Click here to access on-demand webinars, recorded from the live CMA broadcasts.

I am still learning -michelangelo


The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2016 SCMA, 2312 Bethards Dr. #6, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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