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December 2010


Five physicians honored at SCMA awards dinner


More than 100 SCMA members, spouses and guests crowded into the Vintner’s Inn in Santa Rosa on Dec. 1 to honor five local physicians for their exceptional careers. In her opening remarks, SCMA President Dr. Catherine Gutfreund set the tone for occasion by noting, “We’re not providers—we’re physicians.” The subsequent awards made this distinction clear by highlighting the preeminent role of physicians in health care delivery.

 

The first to be honored was former SCMA President Dr. Leonard Klay, who received the Frederick Plessner Award from the California Medical Association in recognition of his decades of service to the patients of Sonoma County and his advocacy or organized medicine. The presentation included a video produced by CMA about Klay’s long career, including his public health work in El Salvador, his Army service in Germany, his long association with Dr. John Renfree, and his many contributions to Sonoma County medicine since arriving in Santa Rosa in 1971. These range from his work at the family planning clinic and the residency program to anti-tobacco campaigns and the successful RICO lawsuit against health insurance companies.

 

The Plessner Award is presented each year to the CMA member who best exemplifies the ethics and practice of a rural country practitioner. Upon receiving the award, Klay wryly observed, “All of us are still country doctors in the eyes of Medicare.” He explained that Sonoma County was definitely rural when he arrived but has become increasingly urban, even though Medicare still pays the county’s physicians at the lower rural rates.

 

All the subsequent award winners praised Klay, who has touched many lives during his lengthy career. First up was Dr. Bo Greaves, who received the Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine award for his work with Health Action to make primary care more accessible by establishing patient-centered medical homes. He noted that the project has had success but also some failures. “We can do better,” he said. “We are trying to change the history of American health care.”

 

The Outstanding Contribution to SCMA award went to former SCMA President Dr. Richard Andolsen, who has served the medical association in many capacities for several decades. He advised his colleagues to “Enjoy the profession. It’s still a privilege and a joy for me to go to work.”

 

The evening closed with awards presentations to two physician writers. Dr. Stacey Kerr received the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award for her monthly column in the Press Democrat and her book “Homebirth in the Hospital.” Even though she has closed her practice, she continues to help patients through her writing. “I like to take complex medical issues and turn them into understandable prose,” she explained.

 

Dr. Matt Joseph received the Article of the Year award for Why Poetry?, a collection of poems published in the most recent issue of Sonoma Medicine. He noted that poetry and other arts can help doctors achieve balance in their careers, adding, “Whatever we can do to keep our other passions alive will help with our work.”




Dr. Bob Schultz to retire in April


Former SCMA President Dr. Bob Schultz, physician-in-chief at Kaiser Santa Rosa since 1995, will be retiring next April. Born in Fresno in 1947, Schultz attended UC Davis and began working at Kaiser Santa Rosa in 1981. He headed the ob/gyn department for several years before becoming physician-in-chief.

 

In an e-mail, Schultz said that the key accomplishments of his leadership at Kaiser included recruiting “an outstanding medical staff” and increasing Kaiser’s contributions to the community. “We are blessed to have a wonderful team of smart and dedicated professionals,” he wrote. “I will miss them dearly.”

 

Schultz served as president of SCMA from 2001 to 2002, at a time when the medical association was reorganizing. Drawing on his background in engineering, he created a user-friendly physician database that is still in constant use at SCMA. In 2002, he received the association’s Outstanding Contribution to the Community award in appreciation of “his steadfast interest, participation, and commitment to community activities.”

 

After retirement, Schultz plans to spend the summer at his farm in upstate New York before returning to Santa Rosa to “think about what I want to do with the rest of my life.” His successor will be named in mid-January.




Still time to update your Directory listing


SCMA is still accepting updates for the 2011 Sonoma County Physician Directory. The directory features photographs and detailed listings for all SCMA members, including their specialty(s), special medical interest and medical training. Basic information for nonmember physicians is included as well.

 

Physicians can update their listings by returning the verification form that was mailed in October. If you need a copy of the form, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375.

 

Along with their verification forms, SCMA members received dues invoices for next year. Members who pay their dues by Jan. 15, 2011, qualify for a 5% discount. Payments need to be at SCMA by Jan. 15; there is no grace period. Installment payments can be arranged.

 

Nonmember physicians can complete a simple online membership application at www.scma.org/join.asp.

 




Congress begins negotiations to stop Medicare SGR cuts in 2011


By CMA Vice President Elizabeth McNeil

 

The House of Representatives passed HR 5712, the Physician Payment and Therapy Relief Act of 2010, by a voice vote to stop the 23% Medicare physician payment cut before it was scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent prior to Thanksgiving. The bill will be signed into law by the President immediately.

 

Congress will remain in session until the Christmas holidays working on a legislative package that includes an extension of the Bush tax cuts and a plan to stop the 25% Medicare SGR cut that is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1. Both Republican and Democratic leadership met with President Obama at the White House to begin bipartisan negotiations on the package. Both sides appear committed to passing a bill that stops the SGR cuts through 2011 and provides an update. The 12-month SGR proposal costs approximately $17 billion, and the committee staff are engaged in final negotiations on the funding offsets to cover the costs. The talks look promising at this point. CMA continues to work closely with California AARP, which recently approved radio and print ads in California to help with the SGR campaign. CMA urges all physician leaders to continue to call, write and meet with their members of Congress if you have not already done so. 

 

CMA is also working to include a Medicare payment locality update in the SGR package. Senators Boxer and Feinstein are talking to Senators Reid and Baucus and urging its inclusion. The House leaders have already committed to the California GPCI fix.




Time to declare Medicare participation for 2011


It's that time of year again–time for physicians to decide about their participation in Medicare. Physicians have until Dec. 31 to make changes to their status for 2011. Participation decisions are binding for one year, unless you choose to opt out entirely. Once you opt out, you cannot opt back in for two years.

 

As always, physicians have three choices regarding Medicare: be a participating provider; be a nonparticipating provider; or opt out of Medicare entirely. A participating provider must accept Medicare allowed charges as payment in full for all Medicare patients.

 

A nonparticipating provider can choose to accept or not accept assignment on Medicare claims on a claim-by-claim basis. Nonparticipating physician fees are 95% of participating physician fees. If you choose not to accept assignment, you can charge the patient 9.25% more than the amounts allowed in the participating physician fee schedule.

 

Physicians who opt out of Medicare are bound only by their private contracts with their patients. Medicare's limiting charges do not apply to these contracts, but Medicare does specify that these contracts contain certain terms. When a physician enters into a private contract with a Medicare beneficiary, both the physician and patient agree not to bill Medicare for services provided under the contract.

 

For more information on physicians' Medicare participation options, see CMA On-Call document #0151, “Medicare Participation (and Nonparticipation) Options.” On-Call documents are free to members at www.cmanet.org/member. Nonmembers can purchase the documents for $2 per page at www.cmanet.org/bookstore.




AMA survey finds preauthorization policies impact patient care


Policies that require physicians to ask permission from a patient’s insurance company before performing a treatment negatively impact patient care, according to a new AMA survey. The survey of 2,400 physicians was the first to quantify the burden of insurers’ preauthorization requirements for a growing list of routine tests, procedures and drugs. Results indicate that such requirements delay or interrupt patient care, consume significant amounts of time, and complicate medical decisions. Among the findings:

 

• More than one-third of physicians experience a 20% rejection rate from insurers on first-time preauthorization requests for tests and procedures.

 

• Nearly half of physicians experience difficulty obtaining approval from insurers on 25% or more of preauthorization requests for tests and procedures.

 

• Nearly two-thirds of physicians typically wait several days to receive preauthorization from an insurer for tests and procedures, while one in eight wait more than a week.

 

• Nearly two-thirds of physicians report it is difficult to determine which test and procedures require preauthorization by insurers.

 

"Nearly all physicians surveyed said that streamlining the preauthorization process is important and 75% believe an automated process would increase efficiency,” said AMA Immediate Past President Dr. James Rohack. “The AMA is urging health insurers to automate and streamline the current cumbersome preauthorization process so physicians can manage patient care more efficiently.”




Medicare claims will not be paid if provider is not in PECOS by Jan. 3


Medicare claims received on or after Jan. 3, 2011, will not be paid if the ordering or referring provider is not enrolled in PECOS (Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System).

 

Physicians should also be aware that PECOS enrollment is required to receive federal EHR incentives under the Medicare program. Beginning in 2011, Medicare providers who demonstrate “meaningful use” of an EHR stand to receive up to $44,000 in incentive payments over five years.

 

Palmetto GBA, California’s Medicare carrier, recently identified 3,500 California providers (physicians and other practitioners who order services) who still do not have a record in PECOS. Over the next several weeks, these providers will receive letters from Palmetto notifying them of the need to enroll.

 

Physicians are urged to complete the application process as soon as possible. Applications are generally processed within 60 days, but can take longer if the application is incomplete or additional information is needed. Physicians who wish to take advantage of the incentive payments available for electronic prescribing, PQRI, and electronic health record program must be enrolled in PECOS.

 

CMA has also developed a step-by-step guide to walk physicians through the process, from determining if they are already in PECOS to helping them navigate the Internet-based PECOS enrollment system. This guide is available at www.cmanet.org/member.

 

CMA also hosted a PECOS enrollment webinar with Palmetto. The previously recorded webinar is available for on-demand viewing at www.cmanet.org/member.

 

Physicians who need help with the enrollment process can contact CMA’s Member Service Center at 800-786-4262 or memberservice@cmanet.org.




VOLUNTEERS NEEDED


The Sonoma County Office of Education needs physician volunteers to judge entries in the Science Fair on Feb. 8. This annual event attracts about 100 entries from local students in grades 6-12. Entry categories include health and human biology. Volunteers are also needed for the Science Olympiad on April 30, and donations to fund both events are requested as well. To volunteer or to make a donation, contact Mike Roa at mroa@scoe.org or 522-3253.

 

The American Cancer Society is seeking retired physicians who can serve as ambassadors to legislators and the media on cancer prevention and treatment issues. Orientation is provided by the cancer society. For details, contact Laura Moss at laura.moss@cancer.org or 545-6728.




PEOPLE


Dr. Nicole Faro and Dr. Laurie Salameh, both pediatricians, have joined Kaiser Santa Rosa. Faro graduated from UC Davis and Salameh from Touro University.

 

Dr. Vu Tran, a pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist, has joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. His new office is at 95 Montgomery Dr. in Santa Rosa. He previously worked for Kaiser Santa Rosa.




HOSPITAL/CLINIC UPDATES


Planned Parenthood has opened a new clinic in Santa Rosa. The facility, located at 1140 Sonoma Ave., offers family planning services, cancer screening and testing for STDs. Abortion services will be added at a later date. The clinic serves uninsured patients and those with private insurance or Medi-Cal coverage. Phone is 527-7656.

 

Vista Family Health Center, the newest member of the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers network, has opened at 3569 Round Barn Circle in Santa Rosa. The 42,500 square foot facility houses 150 staff members and 56 exam rooms and will expand the network’s capacity by at least 10,000 patients. The new center, which also houses the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program, offers a full range of primary care services, including obstetrics, HIV treatment and mental health services.

 

Santa Rosa Memorial and Healdsburg District hospitals have joined forces to recruit physicians and develop integrated clinical systems. Both hospitals have signed an affiliation agreement that preserves their separate identities but allows them to collaborate on certain projects. The agreement comes in the wake of Sutter’s groundbreaking for a new hospital in northern Santa Rosa.

 

West County Health Centers will soon be opening a clinic in Forestville, bringing its network to seven offices in Sebastopol, Guerneville and other west county locations. They will also be expanding their Sebastopol clinic by 5,500 square feet next year. Total staff numbers are expected to rise from 75 to 95 FTEs during 2011.

 

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has been certified as a Primary Stroke Center by JCAHO. “We are very pleased to be recognized for the excellent stroke care we provide our patients,” said Dr. Smriti Wagle, the stroke center’s medical director. Memorial is the third facility in Sonoma County to receive the designation, following Kaiser Santa Rosa and Palm Drive.

 

Oaks Alzheimer’s & Dementia, a skilled nursing facility in Petaluma, offers a medication and behavior management program for patients with agitated and aggressive behaviors. For admissions, call 778-8686.




RESOURCES


Docsite is a commercial online service that helps physicians access their Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Initiative bonuses, which can average about $3,400 per physician. For details, visit www.docsite.com.

 

CMA has published a free guidebook for members on how to obtain federal funding for electronic health records. The guidebook, available at www.cmanet.org/member, explains the “meaningful use” measures needed to qualify for federal EHR funding. Physicians who use the guidebook can begin reporting on meaningful use as early as January 2011.

 

The Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association is offering a free webinar on medical record documentation from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Topics include protective progress notes, medication management, and informed consent. To register, visit www.accma.org and click on the Seminars & Webinars link.

 

CMA is hosting a members-only webinar on ICD-10 coding from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Instruction will include a guide for implementation steps, planning and staff training. Content includes analysis of HIPAA-related transaction standards, new coding characteristics and changes in timeframes. Coding books are not required for webinar. To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar at least two hours before the start time.

 

CMA On-Call is a repository of thousands of pages of medical, legal, regulatory, and reimbursement guidance. All documents are available free to CMA members on the members-only website at www.cmanet.org/member. Topic headings parallel the chapters of CMA’s California Physician’s Legal Handbook, such as “Managed Care,” “Medical Board,” and other familiar medical-legal terms. To see a list of documents by topic, simply select that topic.




APPLICANTS


Jason Bacharach, MD, Ophthalmology*, Glaucoma, 104 Lynch Creek Way #15, Petaluma 94954, 762-3573, Fax 762-6873, jbacharach@northbayeye.com, Hahnemann Univ 1988

 

William Bartlett, MD, Ophthalmology*, 380 Tesconi Ct., Santa Rosa 95401, 544-3375, Fax 544-0808, Ohio State Univ 1989

 

Emily Conway, MD, Cardiovascular Disease*, Internal Medicine*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #205, Santa Rosa 95405, 527-8444, Fax 578-7863, econway@srcmg.com, Brown Univ 2003

 

Rachel Friedman, MD, Family Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir. #200, Santa Rosa 95403, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318, friedmr@sutterhealth.org, Yale Univ 2008

 

John Gray, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery*, Spine Scoliosis, 525 Doyle Park Dr. #102, Santa Rosa 95405, 535-0838, Fax 535-0839, neagray@comcast.net, Univ Kansas 1969

 

Rachel Mayorga, MD, Internal Medicine*, Geriatric Medicine*, 1312 Prentice Dr., Healdsburg 95448, 433-3383, Fax 433-7210, Univ Utah 1999

 

Robert Park, MD, Weight Management, 715 Southpoint Blvd. #C, Petaluma 94954, 778-6019, Fax 778-6068, Instituteforhealthmgmt@gmail.com, Yale Univ 1971

 

Janet Pulskamp, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4490, Fax 393-3011, janet.h.pulskamp@kp.org, Yale Univ 1988

 

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Office Space
Small suite for lease. Reception, 3 rooms, Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. Contact Connie, 707-525-0211.

 

How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for SCMA News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at erika@scma.org or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.




ABOUT SCMA


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.

 

© SCMA 2010
2901 Cleveland Ave. #202
Santa Rosa, CA 95403




November 2010


Honor your colleagues at SCMA Awards Dinner on Dec. 1


Right now is a great time to RSVP for the SCMA Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1. Tickets are absolutely FREE for SCMA members and $50 each for spouses, guests and nonmembers. The event—held at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa—begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards presentations at 7 p.m.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375 and indicate your dinner choice. Choices include a “duet” of fresh fish and beef tenderloin; fresh fish only; beef tenderloin only; or vegetarian.


Awards will be presented to the following physicians:

·       Dr. Leonard Klay: CMA Frederick Plessner Memorial Award

·       Dr. Stacey Kerr: Outstanding Contribution to the Community

·       Dr. Bo Greaves: Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine

·       Dr. Richard Andolsen: Outstanding Contribution to SCMA

·       Dr. Matt Joseph: Article of the Year Award, for “Why Poetry?” in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine

For more information, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375.




Time to update your listing in the 2011 Sonoma County Physician Directory


SCMA has begun preparing the 2011 Sonoma County Physician Directory, a standard reference guide used at medical offices throughout the county. The directory features photographs and detailed listings for all SCMA members, including their specialty(s), special medical interest and medical training. Basic information for nonmember physicians is included as well.

Directory verification forms were mailed to all local physicians in October and should be returned by Nov. 15. Physicians can use the form to update or approve their current listing. If you need a copy of the form, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375.

Along with their verification forms, SCMA members received dues invoices for next year. Members who pay their dues by Jan. 15, 2011, qualify for a 5% discount. Payments need to be at SCMA by Jan. 15; there is no grace period. Installment payments can be arranged.

Nonmember physicians can complete a simple online membership application at www.scma.org/join.asp.




Nonprofit health information exchange seeks more physician members


Redwood MedNet, a nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) located in Ukiah, is accepting inquiries from physicians and health facilities interested in using its services.

The HIE currently delivers electronic lab results from Quest Diagnostics, Hunter Laboratory, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Healdsburg District Hospital and Mendocino Coast District Hospital to about 50 providers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and will soon be certified to deliver results from LabCorp as well. Practices receive the results via the Redwood MedNet portal, or directly into their electronic health records.

Cost of the HIE service is $240 per provider per year, plus a small installation fee. Redwood MedNet hopes to receive a grant from Cal eConnect in early 2011 that will pay most of the costs for adding interfaces and HIE services for about 200 new physician participants in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.

For more information, or to send a letter of inquiry, contact Tanya Laino at 707-462-6369 or tlaino@redwoodmednet.org.




Volunteers and donations needed for SCMA medical scholarship program


SCMA is seeking two physicians to serve on its Health Careers Scholarship Committee, which gives scholarships to local students pursuing medical careers. The committee meets just twice a year at lunchtime. Earlier this year, the committee awarded a record $24,000 in scholarships to a dozen high school and college students from Sonoma County. An article about the program appears in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine.

Physicians interested in serving on the scholarship committee should contact Cynthia Melody at cmelody@scma.org or 707-525-4375.

Even if you can’t serve on the committee, you can still donate to the program via the SCMA Alliance. Just visit www.scmaa.org and click the “Donate” button. For more information, contact Gina Merwin at vmerwin@earthlink.net.




New state law mandates Tdap booster for students in grades 7-12


In response to the pertussis epidemic, Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed a law that makes a pertussis booster (Tdap) mandatory for all students in grades 7-12, starting in fall 2011. State public health officials are also recommending that seniors and women in their childbearing years receive the booster shot.

Because pertussis immunity from previous infection or vaccination wanes over time, even fully immunized children become susceptible to pertussis by adolescence. Unfortunately, immunization rates are low for the recommended Tdap booster vaccine, which has been available since 2005. The most recent CDC survey data indicates that 44 percent of adolescents in California and only 6 percent of adults nationwide had received a Tdap booster shot by 2008.

Public health officials are urging physicians to offer Tdap booster shots to all adolescents (10 years and older) and adults who haven't yet received it. Give Tdap now to your unimmunized adolescent patients to protect them against the current threat and to meet the forthcoming school requirement.

As a reminder, the new Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) standard requires all health care entities, including medical offices, to offer Tdap vaccines to their employees. For more information on the ATD standard, see CMA On-Call document #1842, “Protecting Employees from ATDs in the Health Care Workplace.” On-Call documents are free to CMA members on the Member Login tab at www.cmanet.org. Nonmembers can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page in the CMA bookstore.

CMA is also hosting a webinar on the ATD standard on Nov. 10 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar.




Impending 30% cut in Medicare rates by January 1


Payment rates for Medicare services will be reduced 30% by Jan. 1 unless Congress acts when it reconvenes on Nov. 15 for its brief “lame duck” session. These cuts are once again triggered by Medicare’s unfair payment formula, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).

AMA and CMA are lobbying Congress vigorously to take action during its brief session in November, but continued debate over Federal expenditures and competing political issues make this an uphill battle. SCMA is also communicating and meeting with our Congressional representatives to express grave concerns about the impact these cuts may have on access to care for Medicare patients.

SCMA members are encouraged to contact their Congressional representatives to inform them of the impact that a 30% cut will have on their medical practices. Call 800-833-6354 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Representative. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer can also be contacted through this number.

Additionally, SCMA has prepared the following draft letter you may wish to send to your Medicare patients to solicit their assistance in urging Congress to act. You can also download this sample letter from www.scma.org/resources.

 

[Physician Letterhead]

Dear Patient:

As your physician, I value my relationship with you and consider your health and well-being my top priority. Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to inform you that a 30% cut in Medicare payments scheduled to take effect by January 1 may jeopardize my ability to provide care to you and other Medicare patients unless Congress takes action when it reconvenes in mid-November. Congress acknowledges that this payment cut is unfair and that payment levels are virtually unchanged for a decade, but they have not fixed the problem. If nothing is done, these cuts will remain in effect at least into the month of February.

To prevent this massive cut in payment for Medicare services from happening, I ask for your assistance by urging your Congressional representatives to address this crisis when they return to Washington in mid-November. Please let them know that a 30% cut in Medicare payments may jeopardize my ability to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries unless Congress acts before the end of this year. You may contact your Representative through a toll-free number, 800-833-6354. Enter your zip code and you will be connected to your Congressional Representative. Please use this number to also contact Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

Again, I value my relationship with you and reluctantly ask for your assistance to avert this crisis. It is my hope that your help will prompt Congress to take action to properly fund the cost of medical care for seniors. I will inform you of any action I am forced to take if Congress allows the 30% cut to take effect.

Respectfully,

INSERT PHYSICIAN NAME HERE

SCMA will keep you informed of further developments. Please feel free to contact SCMA at 707-525-4375 or scma@scma.org with any questions.




Resolutions by North Bay physicians adopted by CMA House


Several resolutions authored or co-authored by North Bay physicians were adopted by the CMA House of Delegates during its annual meeting in October. The resolutions asked CMA to:

·       Urge component medical and specialty societies to encourage more women physicians to participate in leadership and consider holding a periodic Women in Medicine conference (Dr. Catherine Gutfreund).

·       Strengthen the alignment between CMA and component medical societies to ensure mutual effectiveness (Dr. Peter Bretan).

·       Convene a Technical Advisory Committee to recommend policy on marijuana legalization (Drs. Larry Bedard and Gerald Rogan).

·       Urge that marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug be reviewed to facilitate clinical research (Drs. Bedard and Rogan).

A complete summary of House of Delegates actions is available on the “members only” section at www.cmanet.org.




Special rate for SCMA members at health care conference in Santa Rosa


SCMA members can get a 25% discount on tickets to the North Bay Business Journal’s annual Health Care Conference, to be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa on Thursday morning, Nov. 18. Speakers include former SCMA President Dr. Kirk Pappas, along with health care executives Mike Purvis (Sutter Medical Center), Kevin Klockenga (St. Joseph Health), Wayne Fairchild (Redwood Regional Medical Group) and Lee Domanico (Marin General Hospital).

Tickets are just $35 for SCMA members. To register for the conference, contact Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264 or events@busjrnl.com by Nov. 12, and indicate that you are an SCMA member.

The keynote speaker for the conference, which runs from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., is John Kabateck, the top California official for the National Federation of Independent Business. He will discuss the impact of health care reform on small business. The other speakers will address the impacts on local hospitals, as well as the status of hospital construction projects.

For more information, contact Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264 or events@busjrnl.com.




Doctors invited to Nov. 18 event honoring physician volunteers


Operation Access and the Specialty Access Coalitions of Marin and Sonoma counties invite local physicians to a festive Celebration of Medical Volunteerism featuring live Brazilian music and chair massages, along with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The event, to be held in Novato on Nov. 18, will honor Santa Rosa gastroenterologist Dr. Sumit Kohli, Petaluma surgeon Dr. Michael Bozuk, and two Marin physicians for their work with uninsured patients.

The Celebration runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Homeward Bound of Marin, 1385 N. Hamilton Parkway, Novato. RSVP by Nov. 10 to rsvpms@operationaccess.org or to Daniel Rabkin at 415-733-0004.




Give a gift to a foster child


The Give-a-Gift program, cosponsored by the SCMA Alliance, allows community members to purchase a holiday gift for a foster child who may not otherwise receive a present. The program, which directly benefits more than 250 children, also provides computers to youth leaving the foster system and entering college. To donate, visit www.scmaa.org and click the “Donate” button. For more information, contact Lindsay Mazur at 707-799-6846 or lmazur.rd@gmail.com or Shawn Devlin at 707-538-3448.




Members invited to SCMA Alliance holiday cocktail party on Nov. 20


SCMA members and their spouses are invited to a holiday cocktail party at a private home on Saturday evening, Nov. 20. Guests are invited to welcome the holiday season with friends old and new, with cocktails, appetizers, good wine and good cheer. Festivities run from 6 to 9 p.m. To RSVP and receive the location, contact Christine Beakes at 707-799-0125 or chrisbeakes@msn.com or Charlene Staples at 707-526-7877 or charstaples@gmail.com. Please RSVP by Nov. 15.




PEOPLE


Dr. Shelley Palfy, a pediatrician, and Dr. Kyla Rice, an ob/gyn, have joined the staff of Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, which now includes more than 30 physicians.

Dr. Kari Teran, a family physician, Dr. Todd Hofeling, a rheumatologist, and Dr. Rita Wang, an ob/gyn, have joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. All three doctors will practice in Santa Rosa.

“To Your Heath,” a live medical show on the Internet hosted by Santa Rosa family physician Dr. Dave Schneider, is now airing from 12:30 to 1 p.m. every Friday on www.BlogTalkRadio.com/DrDaveS. Archived shows are also available at the same URL.




HOSPITAL/CLINIC UPDATES


Palm Drive Hospital has hired Richard Polheber as its new chief executive officer. He was previously CEO of the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers and of Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Palm Drive has also hired Diane Emler as its physician liaison. She formerly directed specialty referral services for Marin Community Clinics.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital won a “Consumer Choice” award in a recent survey conducted by the National Research Corporation. The hospital was one of 269 nationwide to receive the award, which is based on a multiple-category national survey of more than 250,000 households. The hospital scored particularly well on the “best doctor,” “best nurses,” “best overall quality” and “best image and reputation” categories.

The new Windsor Urgent Care Clinic will be holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. The facility, operated by St. Joseph Health System, is located in the Shiloh Center at 6580 Hembree Lane. About a dozen physicians, nurses and other providers will work at the clinic, scheduled to open later this year. The outpatient blood draw station on Brooks Road will be relocated to the clinic after it opens.




RESOURCES


The latest issue of CMA Practice Resources is now available online at www.cmanet.org/news/cpr. This free bulletin is full of tips and tools to help physicians and their office staff improve practice efficiency and viability. Topics in the current issue include unfair payment practices, consult code reimbursement policies, and health plan requests for medical records.

CMA will be hosting three free webinars during November: Introduction to “just culture” for physicians (Nov. 4); Compliance with the Aerosol Transmissible Disease standard (Nov. 10); and Document, document, document (Nov. 17). Each seminar is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar.

The CMA Foundation has published an Antibiotic Awareness Toolkit for physicians and other clinicians. The toolkit contains an array of clinical resources and patient education materials to help reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. For a free copy, visit aware.md.

Enrollment in the MarshAffinity group dental plan sponsored by SCMA is open until Dec. 31. The plan offers annual benefits of $2,000 per person for dental care (using network providers), $50 per person calendar year deductible ($100 for families), and no deductible on oral exams, x-rays and routine cleanings. For more information, call MarshAffinity at 800-842-3761 or visit www.MarshAffinity.com/cmadownload.html.




APPLICANTS


Jean Lim, MD, Dermatology*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4070, jean.l.lim@kp.org, Harvard Med Sch 2004

Prashanth Navaran, MD, Surgery*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4090 Fax 393-4557, prashanth.s.navaran@kp.org, Indiana Univ 1997

Brenna Yard, MD, Pediatrics*, 1165 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 546-3210, Fax 544-6090, Wake Forest Univ 2006

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Medical office space
Medical office building for lease. 5,370 sq ft or divisible. Brand new, upscale and located directly across from the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. Please visit www.1103trancas.com or call Mark at 707-290-0636 for more information.

Office space
Small suite available for reasonable rent. Reception and three rooms, southeast Santa Rosa. Call Connie, 707-525-0211.

Volunteers Needed
The Jewish Community Free Clinic, free to all faiths, could use a little help. One volunteer shift every other month is not too little. Specialist consults in your office for uninsured patients are always helpful. Volunteers are needed for the family clinic on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30, and for the pediatrics clinic on Tuesday afternoons, 2:30 to 5. For questions, call Dr. Jerry Connell at 707-527-7754. To sign up for a shift, contact Deborah Roberts at deborah.roberts@sonoma.edu or 707-664-2945.

How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for SCMA News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at erika@scma.org or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.




ABOUT SCMA


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.

© SCMA 2010
2901 Cleveland Ave. #202
Santa Rosa, CA 95403




October 2010


Drs. Klay, Kerr, Greaves and Andolsen to receive awards at SCMA dinner


Drs. Leonard Klay, Stacey Kerr, Bo Greaves and Richard Andolsen will be honored during the annual SCMA Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1. Tickets for the dinner—to be held at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa—are FREE for SCMA members and $50 each for spouses, guests and nonmembers. To RSVP or to order tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375.

Dr. Klay will receive the Frederick Plessner Memorial Award from the California Medical Association for his four decades of medical practice, community work and political activism in Sonoma County. The awards presentation will include a video produced by CMA in honor of Klay’s many accomplishments.

SCMA will present its Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award to Dr. Kerr for her medical writing, including her monthly health column for the Press Democrat, her articles for Sonoma Medicine, and her recent book, “Homebirth in the Hospital.”

The Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine Award will go to Dr. Greaves for his work with Health Action, which promotes patient-centered medical homes and the iWALK and iGROW programs.

Dr. Andolsen will receive the Outstanding Contribution to SCMA Award in honor of his decades of service to the medical association, including his chairmanship of the Medical Review Advisory Committee and his tenure as president.

The evening will also include presentation of the Article of the Year Award. The winner of that award, for the year’s best article in Sonoma Medicine, will be announced later this month.

The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. Dinner choices include a “duet” of fresh fish and beef tenderloin; fresh fish only; beef tenderloin only; or vegetarian. Please indicate dinner choice when purchasing tickets or sending RSVPs. For more information, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 707-525-4375.




You’re invited to the SCMA Open House on Oct. 27


Members, their families and other friends of SCMA are invited to an Open House at the medical association’s new office from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Wine and appetizers will be served. The new digs are located in Suite 202 in the Mansi Professional Building, 2901 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa, just a half-block south of SCMA’s old office.

The Open House is a great opportunity to meet SCMA staff and learn more about the medical association’s many projects and publications. Staff members include:

·       Cynthia Melody, Executive Director, 707-525-4375, cmelody@scma.org

·       Rachel Pandolfi, Executive Assistant, 707-525-4375, rachel@scma.org

·       Steve Osborn, Communications Director, 707-525-0101, sosborn@scma.org

·       Erika Goodwin, Advertising Representative, 707-548-6491, erika@scma.org

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or rachel@scma.org.




Former Surgeon General to speak in Belvedere on Oct. 28


Physicians in Sonoma County are invited to attend the Oct. 28 Marin Medical Society membership dinner, which will include an address by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona. Dr. Carmona, a UCSF graduate, trauma surgeon and public health expert, is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona with appointments in public health, surgery and pharmacy practice. He will speak about the role of state and local medical societies in disaster preparedness from his experience as Surgeon General.

The event, to be held at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Dinner choices include pork loin, sea bass or a vegetarian entree. Tickets are $45 per person. To RSVP and identify your dinner choice, contact Jessica Strasheim at jessica@marinmedicalsociety.org or 415-924-3891.




SCMA Alliance hosts family picnic in Rincon Valley on Oct. 24


The SCMA Alliance invites SCMA members and their families to a picnic in Rincon Valley Park on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24. The gathering will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and will feature grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and other traditional picnic fare, along with Halloween activities and a Jumpy for children. Cost is just $10 per family. The park is located at 5108 Badger Rd. in Santa Rosa. To RSVP, contact Christin Hubner-Beakes at chrisbeakes@msn.com.




CMA: Leveraging our strength in numbers


By CMA President J. Brennan Cassidy, MD

The challenges facing California physicians today have never been greater. Doctors face a veritable obstacle course of legislative, regulatory, legal, financial, and technological hurdles in their practices and more will come as a result of passage of the health reform law. At the California Medical Association, our mission is to provide our members with an impressive range of benefits and solutions to help doctors meet these challenges, so they can focus their efforts on caring for patients.

We realize that most of you belong to CMA for our legislative advocacy. Representing 35,000 physicians allows us to leverage our strength in numbers to exert a great deal of influence with government agencies and elected officials. Our lobbying efforts are effective in fighting off onerous regulations and in crafting physician-friendly language in major bills, at both the state and national levels. We’ve also waged a continuous battle on behalf of our members, to maximize reimbursements in programs like Medi-Cal and Medicare. As we all witnessed during the health care reform debates, medicine is coming under ever-growing legislative scrutiny, which makes the representation of our members, and our profession, absolutely imperative.

Perhaps a lesser known benefit is the legal support we provide to CMA members. We commonly file amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs in health care-related suits and hearings, which often play a crucial role in the final outcomes. On a less frequent basis we file lawsuits against parties such as insurance companies, or even the state of California, in order to protect the best interests of our physicians. Besides active legal representation, we also provide all of our members with access to an extensive online library of medical-legal documents that discuss court cases, laws and regulations as they apply to the practice of medicine in California. And our health law information specialists provide individual assistance to members with human resource, medical, regulatory or legal questions. This assistance is free of charge to all members.

Many members find our financial and economic services an invaluable benefit of membership. Our dedicated Economic Services team act on members’ behalf in three key areas: (1) working with public and private payors to eliminate inequitable provisions from contracts; (2) providing members with tools to evaluate and negotiate payor contracts; and (3) assisting physicians with payment disputes with private and public payors.

Members are also eligible to receive a wide range of group discounts on products and programs used across most practices, including: insurance, practice financing, payment systems and office supplies. But the benefits don’t stop with just financial or general administrative services. CMA recognizes the challenges doctors face in managing practices, especially in solo or small group settings. To help, we’ve published a Best Practices manual, which provides information and tools to help improve the efficiency and quality of practices. We’ve also created the Red Flags Rule Toolkit, along with a series of webinars, to help physicians understand and comply with the latest identity theft regulations enforced by the FTC. CMA is also developing educational materials and guiding principles for our members interested in forming Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

As health care is going through an unprecedented revolution in electronic data, and as the costs and liabilities are too great for physicians to approach information technology decisions without weighing all of their options very carefully, CMA has been proactive in providing programs that cover health information technology solutions. From practice management systems, to clinical reference software for handheld devices, CMA is exploring solutions to assist members in choosing an effective electronic health record (EHR) system that will meet the government’s meaningful use requirements.

Running a successful medical practice grows more challenging every year. It is more important than ever to have a partner in your corner that can provide you with all of the necessary tools to protect your practice and allow you to focus on what’s really important: your patients.

As your organization, CMA’s goal is to help you take charge of your own destiny. We want to ensure that medical decisions remain in your hands, so that you can serve your patients. We welcome your input and look forward to working with you.




PEOPLE


Santa Rosa Surgical Associates, which includes Drs. Allen Cortez, Abdul Harris, Brian Schmidt and Robert Woodbury, has received the Agilent Community Challenge Award for their work with Operation Access, a nonprofit that provides surgeries to uninsured patients.

Dr. Jeff Miller, a pediatrician, and Dr. Joe Clendenin, a family physician, have received Celebration of Dreams awards from the Center for Well-Being for their efforts to promote health and wellness in Sonoma County.

Dr. Peter Bretan, a urologist with offices in Sebastopol and Novato, recently received a Commendation from the City of Novato for his work with LifePlant International and his efforts to improve disaster preparedness in Northern California.

Dr. Don Carlos Steele, a family physician, has been appointed medical director of Sonoma County Indian Health.

Dr. Rachel Mayorga, an internist and geriatrician, has joined Healdsburg Primary Care.

Dr. Mike Brown, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr. Scott Perryman, a general surgeon, have joined the Prima Medical Group and are on staff at Sonoma Valley Hospital.

Dr. Paul Doemeny, a diagnostic radiologist, has joined the Redwood Regional Medical Group. In addition to a residency in diagnostic radiology at UC Irvine, he completed a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at USC.




HOSPITAL/CLINIC UPDATES


The clinic to be opened later this year in Fountaingrove by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers will be called the Vista Family Health Center. The 42,500 square foot building at 3569 Round Barn Circle will house both the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and the Chanate Family Practice Center. It is expected to serve up to 10,000 patients during the next few years.

The healthcare districts representing Healdsburg and Palm Drive hospitals, joined by the California Nurses Association and an environmental group, have filed suit against the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for their approval of the new Sutter Hospital currently under construction in Santa Rosa. The suit alleges that the board approved the new hospital despite shortcomings in the Environmental Impact Report and without considering the potential effects on district hospitals.

Kaiser Santa Rosa is slated to open a new wing and five-story tower at its Bicentennial Way medical center later this month. The 146,600 square foot expansion will double the number of beds in the emergency department and the intensive care unit, increasing the total licensed beds in the hospital to 167.

The Sonoma County Jail has received a full two-year accreditation from the Institute for Medical Quality in recognition of its efforts to improve the quality of care delivered to incarcerated patients.




APPLICANTS


Eki Edwards, MD, Internal Medicine, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #303, Santa Rosa 95405, 303-8300, Fax 303-8301, eedwards05@gmail.com, Mt. Sinai Med Sch 2006

Brian Freeto, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, 3273 Claremont Way #100, Napa 94558, 254-7117, Fax 265-6435, Wayne State Univ 2003

Alexander Iezza, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery*, 208 Concourse Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403, 544-3400, Fax 544-0137, Alex_iezza@hotmail.com, Chicago Med Sch 2004

Heather Iezza, MD, Pediatrics*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #100, Santa Rosa 95405, 544-6090, Fax 544-2389, heather.iezza@stjoe.org, Chicago Med Sch 2004

Devin Lonergan, MD, Otolaryngology, 1701 Fourth St. #120, 523-7025, Fax 523-3024, devin.lonergan@gmail.com, Univ Texas 2005

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Office space
Small suite available for reasonable rent. Reception and three rooms, southeast Santa Rosa. Call Connie, 707-525-0211.

Volunteers Needed
The Jewish Community Free Clinic, free to all faiths, could use a little help. One volunteer shift every other month is not too little. Specialist consults in your office for uninsured patients are always helpful. Volunteers are needed for the family clinic on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30, and for the pediatrics clinic on Tuesday afternoons, 2:30 to 5. For questions, call Dr. Jerry Connell at 707-527-7754. To sign up for a shift, contact Deborah Roberts at deborah.roberts@sonoma.edu or 707-664-2945.

How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for SCMA News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at erika@scma.org or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.




ABOUT SCMA


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.

© SCMA 2010
2901 Cleveland Ave. #202
Santa Rosa, CA 95403




September 2010


Dr. Leonard Klay wins Plessner Award from CMA


Former SCMA President Leonard Klay, MD, has won the 2010 Frederick Plessner Memorial Award, a prestigious honor granted each year by the California Medical Association to a physician who best exemplifies the ethics and practice of a rural practitioner. Klay, who has delivered more than 7,000 babies in Sonoma County since he began practicing here in 1971, is well known throughout the county for his medical expertise, community work and political activism.

Klay will receive the Plessner Award on Oct. 2 at CMA’s annual House of Delegates, an event that he has attended for many years as a delegate from SCMA. In nominating his fellow former SCMA president for the award, Dr. Richard Powers noted, “SCMA is continually challenged to find adequate words to describe Dr. Klay’s popularity and the respect bestowed on him by his patients, friends, peers, SCMA and the community.”

The nomination and letters of support cited Klay’s contributions to local medicine, his treatment of all patients regardless of their ability to pay, his work at local family planning clinics, his teaching at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, his advocacy for smoking cessation programs, and his critical role in the RICO lawsuit against for-profit insurance companies. As Public Health Officer Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzáles observed, “Dr. Klay is an extraordinary physician who has improved the health of countless individuals, families and our county as a whole through his many years of patient care, his remarkable work in physician training and with community and environmental approaches to health improvement.”

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SCMA moves to new office; Open House on Oct. 27


SCMA has moved to a new office a half-block south of its old location. The new address is 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa 95403. Staff e-mail addresses remain the same, but some phone numbers have changed. Contact information is listed below.

·       Cynthia Melody, Executive Director, 525-4375, cmelody@scma.org

·       Rachel Pandolfi, Executive Assistant, 525-4375, rachel@scma.org

·       Steve Osborn, Communications Director, 525-0101 (new), sosborn@scma.org

·       Erika Goodwin, Regional Marketing Director, 548-6491, solanomedsoc@sbcglobal.net

·       Fax for all staff: 525-4328

To celebrate the move, SCMA will be holding an open house for members and their spouses or guests on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Invitations are forthcoming.

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Blue Shield pulls out of Healthy Families in Sonoma and 14 other counties


Effective Oct. 1, Blue Shield of California will no longer provide coverage for 15,000 Healthy Families patients in Sonoma and 14 other counties across the state. Patients were notified of these changes in July and were given the opportunity to select a new plan. If they did not select a plan by the Aug. 31 deadline, they were automatically transferred to a default plan, which in Sonoma County is Anthem Blue Cross EPO. Patients have until Oct. 31 to switch to another plan if they are dissatisfied with the default plan. Details about those plans (Health Net HMO, Kaiser Permanente and Partnership HealthPlan) are available at www.healthyfamilies.ca.gov/Plans_Providers.

Physicians in Sonoma County are encouraged to verify their Healthy Families patients’ coverage status before submitting claims with dates of service on or after Oct. 1.

Under state “continuity of care” laws, Blue Shield must continue to provide coverage for patients if a change in coverage would interrupt an ongoing course of treatment. Patients who might qualify include, but are not limited to, women who are pregnant, children under age 3, and patients with cancer or other chronic disease who are undergoing a regimen of care. To request or inquire about a continuity of care plan, patients should call the member services number on the back of their ID card, or they can obtain a copy of Blue Shield’s Continuity of Care form in the “download forms” section at www.blueshieldca.com. All other questions should be directed to Healthy Families at 866-848-9166.

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Registration still open for Latino Health Forum on Oct. 7


All local physicians are encouraged to attend the 18th annual Latino Health Forum, to be held at the Flamingo Conference Resort in Santa Rosa on Thursday, Oct. 7. The forum, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., will focus on reducing the risk of chronic disease, and will include presentations and workshops on Latino health by several local and state experts.

Registration is $75 before Sept. 17 and $100 thereafter. To register, contact Wanda Tapia at 953-8532 or latinohealthforum@gmail.com. Donations are also requested to fund registration for low-income high school and college students who are pursuing medical careers. The cost of sponsoring a student is just $50.

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Former Surgeon General to speak on Oct. 28


Physicians in Sonoma County are invited to attend the Oct. 28 Marin Medical Society membership dinner, which will include an address by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona. Dr. Carmona, a UCSF graduate, trauma surgeon and public health expert, is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona with appointments in public health, surgery and pharmacy practice. He will speak about the role of state and local medical societies in disaster preparedness from his experience as Surgeon General.

The event, to be held at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Dinner choices include pork loin, sea bass or a vegetarian entree. Tickets are $45 per person. To RSVP and identify your dinner choice, contact Jessica Whittom at jessica@marinmedicalsociety.org or 924-3891.

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What you need to know about ACOs and Medical Foundations


Many physicians across the state are being approached by hospital systems about joining new hospital-physician organizations. These new entities contemplate being organized either through state law as 1206(l) Medical Foundations, or through Medicare as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which were recently authorized by Congress in the federal health care reform legislation. Some physicians are concerned that hospitals are forming these organizations to exert more control over physician practices and to better position themselves financially in an environment of scarce resources. Other physicians would like to join these organizations, but need to understand their rights. And some physicians are seeking to form their own ACOs.

CMA is working to help physicians navigate these negotiations with their colleagues and possibly their local hospitals, and to plan a future where physicians have financial and clinical autonomy in the Medicare program and the private marketplace. To help physicians understand their rights and options, CMA is developing educational programs and materials, including legal and financial models to help them understand how to form these organizations, practical tips to assist physicians teaming up with hospitals, and policy to guide regulatory implementation advocacy.

CMA's overarching goal is to provide the best possible information to help physicians make decisions about the best practice arrangement for their specific professional situation. Below are some of the resources currently available:

Webinars. CMA has launched a series of webinars on ACOs, other payment models and the health care reform law in general to help familiarize physicians with the new law and the impact it will have on their practices. Upcoming webinars are posted on www.cmanet.org/calendar. If you missed any recent webinars, they are available online for on-demand viewing.

ACO/Payment Model Issue Briefs. CMA issue briefs on ACOs, medical homes and other topics can be found at www.cmanet.org/healthreform.

Medical-Legal Documents. A new document explaining the 1206(l) Foundation Model has been added to CMA's online medical-legal library at www.cmanet.org/bookstore/cmaoncall. “Legal and Practical Considerations Concerning Medical Foundations” explains the legal requirements for these foundations, and practical considerations involved in the decision of whether to join one.

Physician-Hospital Alignment Committee. CMA has formed a Physician-Hospital Alignment Technical Advisory Committee to advise the Board of Trustees on the development of future physician empowerment strategies, to guide CMA advocacy, and to oversee the development of documents, tools and models provided to CMA physician members.

For more information, contact Samantha Pellon at 916-551-2872 or spellon@cmanet.org.

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CMA offers free subscriptions to Practice Resources newsletter


CMA Practice Resources, a monthly e-mail bulletin prepared by CMA’s Center for Economic Services, is full of tips and tools to help physicians and their office staff improve practice efficiency and viability. To sign up for a free subscription, visit www.cmanet.org/news/cpr. The current issue includes articles on unfair payment practices, upcoming Blue Cross policy changes, and claiming your share of the $350 million UnitedHealth settlement.

If you have questions about medical economics, contact the Center for Economic Services at 888-401-5911 or economicservices@cmanet.org.

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PEOPLE


Four veteran Sonoma County physicians have joined or will soon join the Annadel Medical Group, along with three relative newcomers. The veterans include family physicians Drs. Gary Greensweig, Herbert Brosbe, Gary Johanson and Cynthia Morris, all of whom have practiced in Santa Rosa since at least the 1980s. The newcomers are Dr. Eki Abrams, an internist from New York City, Dr. Heather Iezza, a pediatrician from Palo Alto, and Dr. Jenny Marie Sullivan, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa since 2007. The fast-growing Annadel Group, which is affiliated with St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, now includes more than 20 local providers.

Former SCMA President Heather Furnas, MD, has edited a new anthology, “The Business of Plastic Surgery,” with Dr. Joshua Korman, a professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University. The book, published by World Scientific, includes 24 articles on business aspects of plastic surgery by national experts, including physicians, lawyers and MBAs.

Francisco Trilla, MD, an internist and emergency physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has been named chief medical officer of Santa Rosa Community Health Centers.

David Schneider, MD, a faculty member at the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, is giving four presentations at the upcoming Scientific Assembly of the American Academy of Family Physicians. His topics include a review of the thyroid, basics of heart failure, and acute coronary syndrome.

Allan Bernstein, MD, a Sebastopol neurologist well known for his development of stroke care programs at local hospitals, has achieved yet more fame by stomping apples. His 14th annual Great Apple Stomp, promoted as an alternative to the Gravenstein Apple Fair, drew guests from far and wide to help Bernstein transform apples from about 40 trees on his rural property into apple juice. Bernstein noted that the juice was organic but not necessarily vegetarian because of occasional worms.

Correction: An item about Jill Zechowy, MD, MS, in the August News Briefs listed an incorrect phone number. The correct number for her private practice specializing in women’s mental health is 515-6673.

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HOSPITAL/CLINIC UPDATES


Kaiser Santa Rosa has received a Gold Plus Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for meeting or exceeding evidence-based performance standards for stroke prevention. The award was reported in the recent “Best Hospitals” issue of US News & World Report.

St. Joseph Health System plans to open an Urgent Care clinic in Windsor during November. The 4,500 square foot clinic will be open seven days a week and will offer walk-in care for urgent medical problems. Staff will include family physicians, physician assistants and nurses. St. Joseph already operates similar facilities in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.

Sutter Health has received final approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to erect a $284 million hospital next to the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. The first phase of construction, which includes 80,000 square feet of medical office buildings, is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

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APPLICANTS


Nicole Faro, MD, Pediatrics*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 566-5217, Fax 566-5292, nicole.m.faro@kp.org, UC Davis 2002

Derek Gong, MD, Internal Medicine*, Pediatrics*, 5900 State Farm Dr., Rohnert Park 94928, derek.p.gong@kp.org, Chicago Med Sch 1997

Sarah Gong, MD, Neurology, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 571-4255, Fax 571-3941, Chicago Med Sch 2006

Nandini Lee, MD, Psychiatry, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 571-3778, Fax 571-3799, Psychiatry, St. George’s Univ 2006

James McKeith, MD, Emergency Medicine*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4880, jmckeithmd@mac.com, Jefferson Med Coll 1992

Laurie Salameh, MD, Pediatrics*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, Touro Univ 2006

* board certified

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CLASSIFIEDS


Two nurse consultants wanted full time
One in Ukiah and one in Eureka, to provide clinical support for individuals with developmental disabilities. The successful candidates will have proven experience in clinical, wellness, advocacy and administrative responsibilities pertaining to health/well-being and will have demonstrated use of a person-centered/whole-person approach to their work. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: provide clinical consultation, support and education to agency staff, consumers, their families and community agencies/organizations; participate on interdisciplinary program planning teams; provide record/file review and interpretation of medical records; visit consumers to ensure that special health care needs are being met; help facilitate consumer access to health care services; help develop clinical policies and protocols; identify the need for specific clinical services/resources; and liaison with community agencies and organizations. The successful candidates will have knowledge of best practices in nursing, a Master’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing plus one year post-graduate experience, a current RN license and a Public Health Nursing Certificate. For more information see www.redwoodcoastrc.org. Please send letter of interest and CV to Human Resources, RCRC, 1116 Airport Park Blvd, Ukiah, CA 95482.

Volunteers needed for free clinic
Many patients have lost their medical insurance. The Jewish Community Free Clinic, free to all faiths, could use a little help. One volunteer shift every other month is not too little. Volunteers are needed for the family clinic on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30, and for the pediatrics clinic on Tuesday afternoons, 2:30 to 5. For questions, call Dr. Jerry Connell at 527-7754. To sign up for a shift, contact Deborah Roberts at deborah.roberts@sonoma.edu or 664-2945.

Reimbursement specialist
For faster payments and low claim rejections call Kathy for a FREE practice analysis. Revenue RN. 1-888-776-1578. www.revenuerecoverynetwork.com

How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for MMS News Briefs or Marin Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at solanomedsoc@sbcglobal.net or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.

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ABOUT SCMA


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.

© SCMA 2010
2901 Cleveland Ave. #202
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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