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June 2011


All local physicians invited to SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception


Local physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend SCMA’s 11th annual Wine & Cheese Reception on Tuesday evening, June 14. The reception, to be held at the Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood, is a great place to gather with your colleagues in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Please join us for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres.

 

Tickets are free for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. For nonmembers, tickets are $35 per person. To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or rachel@scma.org. For directions and more details, download the SCMA Wine & Cheese 2011 flyer at www.scma.org/resources.




SCMA members get 15% ad discount and free classifieds


SCMA members who place display ads in Sonoma Medicine or the Sonoma County Physician Directory can now get a 15% discount, thanks to a new policy approved by the board of directors. Members can also place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine.

 

To qualify for the discount or the free rate, the ad must be placed by an individual SCMA member or by a group that has 100% SCMA membership. Groups with less than 100% membership are not eligible for the discount.

 

The ad rate sheet for Sonoma Medicine is posted at www.scma.org/resources. The rate sheet for the 2012 Physician Directory will be posted later this summer. To place an ad, contact Erika Goodwin at 548-6491 or erika@scma.org.




CMA offers free EHR Desk Reference to all physicians


The 2009 federal economic stimulus package provided funding for physicians to purchase and use electronic health records (EHR) systems. Qualifying Medicare providers stand to receive up to $44,000, and Medi-Cal providers stand to receive as much as $63,750.

 

The promise of the federal EHR incentives is causing a wide range of reactions among California physicians. There is excitement about the financial benefits, but there is also confusion about issues such as how to get started, how to select the right system, and what does “meaningful use” mean?

 

To help physicians through this process, CMA and the CMA Foundation have published a comprehensive guide called the EHR Desk Reference. The reference was funded by a generous contribution from the Physicians Foundation and is available free-of-charge to any physician.

 

The EHR Desk Reference brings together information, tools, and resources from many sources into one comprehensive guide to help physicians and their practices make the transition to EHR. It can help both specialists and primary care physicians in all modes of practice and at any stage of the EHR implementation process. Some of the topics covered in the guide include:

• Understanding the federal incentive programs

• Selecting the right EHR for your practice

• Talking to your patients about your EHR

• HIPAA compliance

• Meaningful use

 

In conjunction with the release of the Desk Reference, CMA staff and physicians will be traveling the state distributing copies and speaking about EHR adoption. If you would like to schedule a speaker at your hospital medical staff meeting, medical group, or other gathering, contact the CMA member helpline at 800-786-4262.

 

To download your free copy of the EHR Desk Reference, visit www.cmanet.org/hit.




Health Information conference set for Santa Rosa


The fifth annual “Connecting California to Improve Patient Care” conference will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa on July 14 and 15. The conference, which is organized by the nonprofit Redwood MedNet and cosponsored by SCMA, covers the latest developments in health information policy, clinical informatics and health information exchanges. Presenters include physicians and other experts in medical information technology.

 

The conference begins with a workshop on privacy and security on the afternoon of July 14, followed by a full day of presentations on July 15. Cost is $200 before July 1 and $250 thereafter. To register, and for more details, visit www.redwoodmednet.org.




Reminder: Medicare electronic prescribing deadline is June 30


Physicians who don’t implement and employ a qualified electronic prescribing (eRx) system by June 30 will face a 1% penalty from Medicare in 2012. The penalties increase to 1.5% in 2013 and a 2% in 2014.

 

Medicare has excluded physicians who have fewer than 100 cases in the first half of 2011 containing an eligible ambulatory care visit code. Physicians may also be exempt if fewer than 10% of total allowed Part B charges are comprised of these codes.

 

Covered physicians who wish to avoid the 1% penalty in 2012 must report via claims their use of an eRx system for at least 10 patient visits before June 30. New and repeat patient visits qualify for the program. A patient visit in which the patient is given several prescriptions counts as one eRx.

 

For more information, get the CMA document “Medicare electronic prescribing overview: Payment incentives and payment reductions” at www.cmanet.org/resource-library or visit the Medicare website at www.cms.gov/ERXincentive.




Cast your vote in the annual SCMA election by June 30


Now is the time for SCMA members to cast their votes for SCMA officers and board representatives, and for representatives to the CMA House of Delegates. Please indicate your approval or disapproval of the candidates listed below. You can vote by either:

 

• Sending an email with your preferences to cmelody@scma.org or

 

• Downloading the SCMA Ballot at www.scma.org/resources and returning to SCMA by fax or mail.

 

SCMA President-Elect: Walt Mills, MD: Yes___ No___

 

SCMA Treasurer: Ed Chang, MD: Yes___ No___

 

SCMA Secretary: Stephen Steady, MD: Yes___ No___

 

SCMA Board, Petaluma: Stephen Steady, MD: Yes___ No___

 

SCMA Board, Santa Rosa: Jeff Sugarman, MD: Yes___ No___

 

SCMA Board, TPMG: Robert Neid, MD: Yes___ No___

 

CMA Delegates (vote for two)

 

• Brad Drexler, MD: Yes___ No___

 

• Jan Sonander, MD: Yes___ No___




Sonoma County Physician Directory available for sale


The 2011 edition of the Sonoma County Physician Directory, which was distributed free to SCMA members in March, is now available for sale to nonmember physicians and the general public. The directory offers alphabetical and specialty listings for all Sonoma County physicians, along with detailed entries for SCMA members. Cost is $40 for nonmember physicians, or $35 each when ordering five or more copies. Members can purchase additional copies for just $30. To order over the phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375, or order online at www.scma.org/directory.




PEOPLE


The Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency has selected eight women and four men from more than 500 applicants for its three-year residency program. The new resident physicians are top graduates from medical schools in California, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, Arizona and Washington, DC. Residency program director Dr. Jeff Haney noted, “We have emphasized the development of leadership skills and innovation in the course of residency training and have actively recruited students who want to lead in creating new models of primary care that make patient-centered medical homes a reality across the socioeconomic spectrum. From our recruiting results this year, we believe we have been very successful.”

 

Dr. Misty Zelk, a board-certified internist and pediatrician, has joined the Palm Drive Medical Center in Sebastopol. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, she served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard.




MEDICAL FACILITIES


Sonoma Valley Hospital and the Marin Healthcare District, which operates Marin General Hospital, have signed a formal agreement that will allow the healthcare district to provide both management and medical services to Sonoma Valley. The agreement will give Sonoma patients access to specialty services at Marin General. “The synergies between the Marin and Sonoma communities make this an ideal partnership to benefit Bay Area residents,” said cardiologist Dr. Joel Sklar, chief medical officer at Marin General.

 

Healdsburg District Hospital is among the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for joint replacement care, according to a study by HealthGrades. The study, which analyzed millions of Medicare hospitalization records from 2007 to 2009, also found that Healdsburg was the top hospital in Sonoma County for joint replacement and total hip replacement. CEO Evan Rayner noted, “We are proud of this team accomplishment and plan to build and enhance the program with additional orthopedists, equipment and facility modifications.”




RESOURCES


CMA is offering two one-hour coding webinars during June. The first, which begins at 12:15 p.m. on June 1, covers ICD-10 coding. The second, beginning at 6:15 p.m. on June 8, covers E&M coding. For more details or to register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar. Webinars are free for SCMA members and their staff.

 

Marsh, the insurance carrier sponsored by SCMA and CMA, is offering members a new long-term care insurance program through Long Term Care Resources. For details specific to SCMA members, visit the LTCR website at www.myltcplan.com/scma.

 

The new CMA website is loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. All members will need to activate their new web account in order to access the full suite of members-only tools and resources. Existing passwords from the old website were not carried over for security reasons. The process of activating your account is quick and easy. Simply:

1. Click on “activate web account” at the top of the page.

2. Enter your first and last name to locate your record in the database. Click on your name.

3. Verify your date of birth, enter your email address (this will be your username), and then select and verify your password (passwords must be at least 6 digits long).

If you have any questions, contact CMA's member help center at 800-786-4262 or memberservice@cmanet.org.

 

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium is sponsoring a two-day Critical Care Program at Sutter Santa Rosa on June 30 and July 1. While the program is designed for nurses, physicians are welcome to attend. Registration is by mail only. For more details, download the ELNEC Critical Care Program Brochure at www.scma.org/resources.

 

Can you donate a stethoscope or make a $10 donation to WorldScopes? This global philanthropic initiative collects and distributes stethoscopes to doctors around the world who do not have ready access to this basic medical instrument. To date, almost 9,000 stethoscopes have been collected and distributed in more than 50 countries. All shipping costs are paid by the American Medical Association, which sponsors the program. For instructions on how to ship a stethoscope or make a financial donation, visit the WorldScopes website at www.ama-assn.org.




CLASSIFIEDS


Shred-It

On-site guaranteed service. Office console provided. Stay compliant. Free consultation. Contact Marie Anderson at 707-829-8668 or marie.anderson@shredit.com.

 

Office space

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


Medical volunteers needed

Local physicians are invited to join the “refill of the month club” by volunteering one day a month at the Jewish Community Free Clinic in Rohnert Park. You can refill your soul monthly by helping those that most need your services. 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. Specialist consults in your office for uninsured patients are also helpful. 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.

 

SCMA members get free classified ads!

SCMA members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Erika Goodwin at erika@scma.org or 707-548-6491.




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.

 

© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403




May 2011


Dr. Mark Netherda appointed interim Public Health Officer


Dr. Mark Netherda, a Santa Rosa family physician and SCMA member, has been appointed interim Public Health Officer for Sonoma County. He replaces Dr. Mary Maddux-González, who retired in early April. Netherda will hold the top post pending recruitment of both a new Health Officer and a new Public Health Division Director.

 

Prior to becoming Deputy Health Officer in 2008, Netherda served as medical director of the Sonoma County HIV Center. He also worked for the CDC and helped develop a national program for treating HIV in Namibia. In an April email to county staff announcing the change, Health Services Director Rita Scardaci noted that, “Dr. Netherda is highly respected in Public Health and by the medical community.”

 

Maddux-González had been Public Health Officer since 2000. During her more than a decade at the helm, she took a leadership role in numerous public health initiatives, including the Healthy Kids and Families First programs, the Asthma Coalition, Medi-Cal Managed Care, and this year’s Primary Care Capacity Report. She was a tireless promoter of preventive medicine, particularly in connection with the Healthy Kids program. In a recent Press Democrat editorial, she wrote, “Healthy Kids is a win-win solution--giving every child in Sonoma County an equal chance to reach their health potential and succeed in school and in life, while reducing the health care costs associated with preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”




Dr. Kirk Pappas named physician-in-chief at Kaiser Santa Rosa


Former SCMA President Dr. Kirk Pappas is the new physician-in-chief at Kaiser Santa Rosa, succeeding another former SCMA president, Dr. Bob Schultz. Pappas, a physiatrist specializing in nonsurgical rehabilitation of the spine, was previously assistant physician-in-chief for health promotion at Kaiser.

 

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Pappas received his MD from Wayne State University and served his residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Rush Presbyterian in Chicago. He was in private practice for two years before joining Kaiser Santa Rosa in 1993. As president of SCMA from 2008 to 2009, he spoke repeatedly in the community about the health value of exercise. An avid runner and baseball fan, he has completed more than 30 marathons. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Maria, and their three children.




Dr. Walt Mills nominated as president-elect of SCMA


Dr. Walt Mills, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, has been nominated as president-elect of SCMA. He is well known in the community for his work with the Center for Well-Being, the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers and the Family Medicine Residency. Other Executive Committee nominees for the SCMA election, which will be conducted in June, are Dr. Ed Chang (treasurer) and Dr. Stephen Steady (secretary). The ballot will also include nominees for the SCMA board of directors and the CMA delegation.




All local physicians invited to SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception


Local physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend SCMA’s 11th annual Wine & Cheese Reception on Tuesday evening, June 14. The reception, to be held at the Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood, is a great place to gather with your colleagues in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Please join us for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres.

 

Tickets are free for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. For nonmembers, tickets are $35 per person. To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or rachel@scma.org. For directions and more details, see the attached flyer.

 

SCMA Wine & Cheese flyer




Annadel Medical Group joins Marin-Sonoma IPA


The Annadel Medical Group, consisting of 28 physicians affiliated with Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, has joined the rapidly growing Marin-Sonoma IPA, which now includes more than 400 physicians in Marin and Sonoma counties. In addition to the Annadel group, physicians affiliated with Sonoma Valley and Healdsburg hospitals have signed contracts with the IPA in recent months, and Palm Drive physicians are in discussions. The group also includes physicians linked to Marin General and Novato Community hospitals.

 

“We believe partnering with the IPA will ensure that comprehensive care remains available to our Sonoma County patients,” said Annadel President Dr. David Smith, a Santa Rosa pediatrician. “We prefer and intend to continue referring to local specialists.”

 

Joel Criste, chief executive of the Marin-Sonoma IPA, noted that expansion will help physicians in private practice continue to practice independently while giving patients access to a larger physician network. He expects the total number of physicians in the IPA to reach 500 within the next year.




Doctors who don’t use electronic prescribing face Medicare penalty


Medicare recently announced that physicians who do not implement and employ a qualified electronic prescribing (eRx) system by June 30 will face a 1% penalty in 2012. The penalties increase to 1.5% in 2013 and a 2% in 2014.

 

Medicare has excluded physicians who have fewer than 100 cases in the first half of 2011 containing an eligible ambulatory care visit code. Physicians may also be exempt if fewer than 10% of total allowed Part B charges are comprised of these codes.

 

Covered physicians who wish to avoid the 1% penalty in 2012 must report via claims their use of an eRx system for at least 10 patient visits before June 30. New and repeat patient visits qualify for the program. A patient visit in which the patient is given several prescriptions counts as one eRx.

 

SCMA has posted an E-Prescribing Fact Sheet at www.scma.org/resources. For more information, visit the Medicare website at www.cms.gov/ERXincentive.




Primary care physician needed to serve on First 5 Commission


The Sonoma County First 5 Commission, which directs nearly $4 million in annual funding to benefit local children from birth to age 5, is seeking a pediatrician, family physician or obstetrician to replace commissioner Dr. Kathy Foster, a pediatrician who is retiring. The candidate should be able to represent the medical association or a specialty society in supporting and promoting optimal early childhood health.

 

Estimated time commitment is six to eight hours per month, including afternoon meetings on the fourth Monday of each month. Commissioners receive per diem compensation and reimbursement of selected expenses. For more information or an application form, visit www.first5sonomacounty.org or call 565-6612. Application deadline is June 1.

 




Still time to register for May 7 ACO conference


Sonoma County physicians are invited to a conference on Accountable Care Organizations, to be held in Oakland from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. The conference, which is free for SCMA members, will convene at the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), 6230 Claremont Ave., in Oakland. Cost for nonmembers is $75 per person.

 

Registration is required. To register, visit www.scma.org/resources and print the 5/7/11 ACO Seminar flyer. Then fax to ACCMA at 510-654-8959.




SCMA Alliance Garden Tour features McDonald Mansion in Santa Rosa


The historic McDonald Mansion in Santa Rosa is the centerpiece of this year’s SCMA Alliance Garden Tour, scheduled for May 13 and 14. The annual event, now in its 20th year, raises money for local nonprofits that work to improve access to healthy foods and to reverse obesity trends.

 

In addition to navigating the celebrated labyrinth and rose garden at the McDonald Mansion, participants can take self-guided tours of six other Santa Rosa gardens, from Fountaingrove and Montecito Heights to downtown and the west side. Other attractions include performances and presentations by master gardeners, musicians, writers and a painter, along with a Wine & Dine Raffle for dinners at dozens of local restaurants.

 

Tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for groups of 10 or more, and $10 for children 5 and over. To purchase, visit the SCMA Alliance website at www.scmaa.org or call Janet at 578-4537.




PEOPLE


Dr. Andrew Knight, a radiation oncologist, has joined the Petaluma office of the Redwood Regional Medical Group. He specializes in the use of stereotactic radiosurgery to treat lung, spine, liver, prostate and pancreatic tumors. He is also the inventor of a device used in minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery.

 

Dr. Lillian Lao, a hospitalist, has joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and will provide inpatient care at Sutter Santa Rosa. She received her MD from St. Louis University and completed a residency in internal medicine at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.

 

Ruth Skidmore, CEO of Northern California Medical Associates, has received a Patriot Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award recognizes her support for employee participation in the Guard and Reserve. She was nominated by Dr. Bradley Clair, a NCMA cardiologist who has been deployed three times in the past decade and is scheduled to command the U.S. Army Hospital in Phoenix. “A soldier should be so lucky to work for a company who backs me as they do,” said Clair.




RESOURCES


The 2011 edition of the Sonoma County Physician Directory, which was distributed free to SCMA members in March, is now available for sale to nonmember physicians and the general public. The directory offers alphabetical and specialty listings for all Sonoma County physicians, along with detailed entries for SCMA members. Cost is $40 for nonmember physicians, or $35 each when ordering five or more copies. Members can purchase additional copies for just $30. To order over the phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375, or order online at www.scma.org/directory.

 

The next Smartphone Salon is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 19, at a location in Santa Rosa. The salon runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and participants are free to come late or leave early. Topics include favorite medical apps and time/project management. To RSVP and receive the location, contact Dr. Rachel Friedman at rscfriedman@gmail.com. Smartphone enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit www.imedsalon.com, a local website devoted to smartphone apps for physicians.

 

The new CMA website is loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. All members will need to activate their new web account in order to access the full suite of members-only tools and resources. Existing passwords from the old website were not carried over for security reasons. The process of activating your account is quick and easy. Simply:
1. Click on "activate web account" at the top of the page.
2. Enter your first and last name to locate your record in our database. Click on your name.
3. Verify your date of birth, enter your email address (this will be your username), and then select and verify your password (passwords must be at least 6 digits long).
If you have any questions, contact CMA's member help center at 800-786-4262 or memberservice@cmanet.org.

 

CMA has revised its Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Kit to incorporate a new official California POLST form and additional information approved by the California POLST Task Force. The POLST form, used for patients with a serious illness or whose life expectancy is a year or less, outlines a plan of care in actionable physician orders that reflect the patient's wishes concerning medical treatment and interventions at life's end. CMA's POLST Kit includes legal forms and wallet identification cards, and answers frequently asked questions about end-of-life issues. Revised POLST Kits can be purchased from www.cmanet.org/resource-library. Single copies are $5 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Significant discounts are available on bulk purchases. For phone orders, call 800-882-1262.

 

A new CMA medical-legal document, Responding to Requests for Non-Beneficial Treatment Decisions (#0403), discusses the legal immunities, principles of medical ethics and CMA policy that supports physician and medical institution decisions to decline non-beneficial treatment requests from patients or their health care decision-makers. The documents is available free to members at www.cmanet.org/resource-library. Nonmembers can purchase medical-legal documents for $2 per page.

 

A free, nationwide service has been launched to help physicians identify and advise substance-abusing patients. Physician Clinical Support System for Primary Care (PCSS-P) offers peer-to-peer mentorship and resources on incorporating screening and follow-up into regular patient care. Doctors register with PCSS-P and receive the contact information of a mentor who specializes in screening, brief intervention, treatment and referral for patients with substance abuse problems. Mentors can then be contacted, via phone or email, with specific questions about clinical situations involving alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. To register, visit www.PCSSmentor.org or call 877-630-8812.




APPLICANTS


Andrew Knight, MD, Radiation Oncology*, 110 Lynch Creek Way #A, Petaluma 94954, 763-0600, Fax 765-1757, aknight@rrmginc.com, UC San Francisco 2003

 

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Employment wanted

Experienced Mendocino-Lake County Medical Society member, board certified in internal medicine and allergy, available for an immediate position. Please email for a copy of CV to TWLuckMD@gmail.com or call 510-314-6707.

 

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.

 

© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403




April 2011


CMS issues regulations for Accountable Care Organizations


On March 31, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued regulations implementing the Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Shared Savings Program. In conjunction with the regulations, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice issued guidance on antitrust policies related to ACOs.

 

CMA is currently reviewing the regulations and will be working to ensure that ACOs are physician-led and patient-centered and consistent with the CMA Principles for Accountable Care Organizations. The medical association will continue to press upon CMS the need to provide start-up funding and resources to help those physicians who want to organize into ACO coordinated care models.

 

Fact sheets and other materials about ACOs are available on the Physician Resources page at www.scma.org/resources. In addition, a May 7 conference at the Alamada-Contra Costa County Medical Association will address ACOs and other new models of care (see Resources section below). A New England Journal of Medicine article on ACOs by Medicare Administrator Dr. Don Berwick is available at www.nejm.org.




Tickets still available for Medicare coding course


“Coding and Medicare Updates 2011,” a valuable three-hour course for physicians and office staff, will be offered at the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa on Friday afternoon, April 15. The course, developed by the Practice Management Institute, focuses on sweeping changes affecting your 2011 Medicare reimbursements. Participants will review major changes for 2011 coding, learn how to improve claim accuracy, and maximize reimbursement opportunities with Medicare incentive programs.

 

Cost is $105 for SCMA members and their staff and $165 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or rachel@scma.org.




Local breakthrough: MRI-safe pacemaker implanted in Santa Rosa woman


In a first for Sonoma County, cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Peter Chang-Sing implanted an MRI-safe pacemaker in a 50-year-old Santa Rosa woman in March. The new device avoids the serious complications that can ensue when traditional pacemakers are exposed to an MRI’s magnetic fields, such as unintended cardiac stimulation and damage to the pacemaker.

 

“For many of our patients, as medicine advances and they live longer, they’re going to need an MRI to diagnose health-related problems,” said Dr. Chang-Sing, who directs electrophysiology services at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. “Now we have a device which allows these patients to take advantage of the MRI’s diagnostic capabilities and its lower risk of radiation exposure compared to other imaging tests.”

 

An estimated 200,000 pacemaker recipients in the United States forgo MRI scans every year because of the safety risks. The new MRI-safe pacemaker, manufactured by Medtronic, was approved by the FDA in February.




Nonprofit offers help with pediatric development and autism screenings


The Early Learning Institute, a Rohnert Park nonprofit, has received a grant to provide free training and technical assistance in screening children 0-5 for developmental delays and autism. Following guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute can help implement screening protocols within any medical setting, train staff in the use of screening tools, and provide assistance with referrals. For more information, visit www.earlylearninginstitute.com or contact Michele Rogers, PhD, at 591-0170 or micheler@earlylearninginstitute.com.




New SCMA Physician Directories for sale


The 2011 edition of the Sonoma County Physician Directory, which was distributed free to SCMA members in March, is now available for sale to nonmember physicians and the general public. The directory offers alphabetical and specialty listings for all Sonoma County physicians, along with detailed entries for SCMA members. Cost is $40 for nonmember physicians, or $35 each when ordering five or more copies. Members can purchase additional copies for just $30. To order over the phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375, or order online at www.scma.org/directory.




Buck Institute study: Yellow dye extends lifespan in worms


Researchers at the Buck Institute in Novato have discovered that Basic Yellow 1 dye (ThT) can extend the lifespan of nematode worms by 50% and slow disease processes. In a study published in the March 30 online edition of Nature, lead researcher Dr. Gordon Lithgow found that ThT supports protein homeostasis, a major contributor to longevity. “We have been looking for compounds that slow aging for more than 10 years,” said Lithgow,” and ThT is the best we have seen so far.”

 

The Institute, which continues to grow rapidly, recently announced plans to launch a graduate degree program in biological sciences and build on-site housing for employees and students.




PEOPLE


Dr. Danny Arzanipour, a physiatrist from Kaiser Vallejo, has been appointed medical director of the acute rehab unit at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. A 2004 graduate of UCLA’s medical school, Arzanipour completed his internship and residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and a fellowship in traumatic brain injury at the Kaiser Foundation Rehab Center.

 

Thirty-nine SCMA members from A to Z have received Excellence in Patient Satisfaction awards from the St. Joseph Health System. The awards were based on post-discharge patient surveys at Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals. The winning physicians received kudos for showing concern and sensitivity to patient needs, answering questions about health, and explaining illnesses or treatments in a way that patients could understand.




RESOURCES


A free app from AMA that helps doctors find CPT codes is available at the iTunes store. The app, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, helps doctors determine the correct E/M code for quick and accurate billing. In conjunction with the new app, the AMA has launched the 2011 App Challenge to find the next great medical app. Open to all U.S. physicians, residents and medical students, the Challenge runs until June 30. Participants can visit www.amaidealab.org to submit their app idea and be eligible for up to $2,500 in cash and prizes.

 

Background information on Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans has been posted at www.scma.org/resources. Like credit unions, CO-OPs allow physicians, hospitals and employers to provide health benefits to members. They are an alternative to government-run programs and for-profit insurance companies.

 

AMA is hosting a free two-hour webinar on April 5 to help physicians learn more about medical and public health implications of radiation events. Topics will include different types of ionizing radiation, acute radiation syndrome, and preparing for radiation emergencies. To register for the webinar, which begins at 9 a.m. Pacific time, click the following link: AMA radiation emergency webinar

 

A “listening” meeting on health information exchanges will be held from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on April 7 at Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol. The interactive forum, sponsored by the nonprofits Cal eConnect and Redwood MedNet, will allow physicians to learn more about HIEs and offer feedback about potential future services. Lunch is included. To RSVP, contact Alex Barrios at abarrios@caleconnect.org.

 

CMA is offering two hour-long webinars on electronic health records on April 13 at 12:15 and 6:15 p.m. The webinars, which are free to CMA members, cover the basics of EHRs, the federal incentive programs, and meaningful use. They are intended for physicians and staff who are beginning to research EHRs. Cost for nonmembers is $100. To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar.

 

SCMA members are invited to attend a free conference in Oakland on May 7 titled Strategies for Independent Physicians to Succeed in the Era of Health Reform. The conference—to be held at the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), 6230 Claremont Ave.—will feature presentations by CMA staff attorneys on ACOs and other models designed to improve quality as part of health care reform. Topics include:

• Business considerations for physician practices

• Legal issues related to hospital affiliations

• How improving quality can increase reimbursement

The conference runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, visit www.accma.org.

 

On May 10-13, the Society for Hospital Medicine is hosting a four-day hospitalist conference in Dallas that offers up to 26.5 hours of CME. Education sessions cover a wide range of current topics. To register, visit www.hospitalmedicine2011.org.

 

The annual SCMA Alliance Garden Tour is returning to Santa Rosa on May 13 and 14. Proceeds will be used to fund six local nonprofits that are working to improve access to healthy eating and to reverse obesity trends. The tour includes gardens at the fabled McDonald Mansion, as well as six other pastoral sanctuaries. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for children 5 and older. The event includes a raffle, musical performances, and presentations by local artists and authors. To purchase tickets, visit www.scmaa.org.


The next Smartphone Salon is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 19, at a location in Santa Rosa. The salon runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and participants are free to come late or leave early. Topics include favorite medical apps and time/project management. To RSVP and receive the location, contact Dr. Rachel Friedman at rscfriedman@gmail.com. Smartphone enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit www.imedsalon.com, a local website devoted to smartphone apps for physicians.




APPLICANTS


Natasha Bernard, DO, Family Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, 303-3600, Fax 303-3611, Touro Univ 2009

 

Andrew Cunningham, MD, Family Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, 303-3600, Fax 303-3611, Univ Louisville 2008

 

Christine Hancock, MD, Family Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, 303-3600, Fax 303-3611, UC San Francisco 2010

 

Joshua Kucker, MD, Emergency Medicine*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4800, Fax 393-4741, Hahnemann Univ 2001

 

Francisco Trilla, MD, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, 303-8905, Fax 303-3635, Harvard Med Sch 1980

 

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Physician wanted

Physician wanted for ethical medical weight control. Part time. Pleasant conditions. No billing, no on-call. Short shifts. Perfect for semi-retired or someone looking for a little extra work. Locations in Vallejo and San Francisco. Please call 415-447-4200 or email info@californiaweightclinic.com.

 

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.

 

© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403




March 2011


Famed family medicine researcher to speak in Santa Rosa


Dr. William Miller, a well-known researcher and consulting editor for the Annals of Family Medicine, will speak at the new Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa on Wednesday evening, March 23. He will discuss current research on practice development and patient centered medical homes.

 

The event, which begins at 6 p.m., will also include presentation of the Sonoma Family Physician of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the meeting. Light refreshments will be served, and guests are welcome to attend. There is no charge. To RSVP, contact the California Academy of Family Physicians at cafp@familydocs.org or 415-345-8667. The health center is located at 3569 Round Barn Circle in northeast Santa Rosa.




Physicians invited to Smartphone Salon


Local physicians interested in improving their use of smartphones in clinical practice are invited to an informal Smartphone Salon in Santa Rosa on Thursday evening, March 24. The salon runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and participants are free to come late or leave early. Topics include best new medical apps for specialty care and HIPAA-compliant communication among physicians via smartphone. A “beginner’s corner” for doctors new to smartphones will also be available.

 

To RSVP and receive the location, contact Dr. Rachel Friedman at rscfriedman@gmail.com.




SCMA cosponsoring Medicare coding course


In partnership with the Practice Management Institute, SCMA is cosponsoring “Coding and Medicare Updates 2011,” a three-hour course that focuses on sweeping changes affecting your 2011 Medicare reimbursements. Participants will review major changes for 2011 coding, learn how to improve claim accuracy, and maximize reimbursement opportunities with Medicare incentive programs.

 

The course will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 15, at the Fountaingrove Inn, 101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa. Cost is $105 for SCMA members and their staff and $165 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or rachel@scma.org.




Nominations needed for SCMA election


In preparation for the upcoming SCMA election, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 18. Nominees must be SCMA members in good standing. Nominations are requested for the following positions:

• SCMA president-elect

• Individual SCMA board representatives from Petaluma, Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa

• Two CMA delegates

• Two CMA alternate delegates

 

All positions require a three-year commitment, beginning July 1. Nominations can be e-mailed to cynthia@scma.org, faxed to 525-4328, or mailed to SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Each nomination should include a brief statement about the nominee’s qualifications.

 

For more details, contact Cynthia Melody at cynthia@scma.org or 525-4375.




Act now to prepare for new Tdap booster law


Under a new law, all California students in grades 7-12 will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school next fall. Act now to ensure your adolescent patients are protected against the ongoing threat of pertussis by taking the following steps:

 

View the free one-hour CME webcast, “Shots For School: Clinicians’ Role in California’s New Tdap Requirement,” available at www.uctv.tv/capertussis/.

 

Send reminder and recall phone calls and notices to your patients who have not yet received a Tdap booster, including those who have received a dose of Td but not Tdap.

 

Order enough Tdap vaccine to immunize your patients affected by the new law. Before ordering, ensure you have adequate storage in your vaccine refrigerator for your orders. In many clinics, multiple orders will be indicated.

 

Immunize with Tdap now at every opportunity, including sports physicals and visits for mild illness or injury, and give other recommended immunizations: meningococcal conjugate, HPV, influenza, and any catch-up doses of varicella, MMR, and hepatitis B.

 

Provide clear and accurate documentation about Tdap immunization for your patients and their schools. Vaccines have similar names and abbreviations, e.g., Tdap, Td, DTaP, DT—which can be confusing to school staff who will be keeping records for the new law. If you use the California Immunization Registry, consider printing out a copy of the Blue Card after Tdap has been given for the student to take to school.

 

Have parents check with their child’s school about how they should provide the Tdap documentation.

 

Post downloadable electronic banners on your practice’s website and in electronic newsletters to help notify your patients.

 

For additional information on the new Tdap school requirement, visit www.ShotsForSchool.org.




RSVPs needed for Legislative Day in Sacramento


Local physicians interested in attending CMA’s free Legislative Leadership Conference in Sacramento on April 5 should RSVP by March 31. SCMA will be renting a van to travel to Sacramento, so reservations are requested.

 

The annual conference, which last year drew more than 400 physicians and CMA Alliance members, allows doctors to meet with legislators and express their views on pending health legislation. The conference also includes a morning session featuring speakers from across the political spectrum.

 

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




Physicians invited to dinner with CMA president


All North Bay physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to the Marin Medical Society’s spring membership dinner on April 12, featuring CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale, a Marin County trauma surgeon. The dinner, to be held at the Servino Ristorante in Tiburon, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7. Tickets are just $45 per person. Dinner choices include petrale sole, flank steak and vegetarian pasta. To purchase tickets and indicate your dinner choice, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or ashleigh@marinmedicalsociety.org.




PEOPLE


Dr. Roger Barron, an allergist in Sonoma County for more than 30 years, has retired. His longtime partner, Dr. Michael Martin, will continue to see their patients. Reflecting on his long career, Barron noted that his favorite part was “Having the opportunity to take care of so many wonderful patients and work with terrific colleagues.” He devoted much of his career to teaching patients and their families how to understand, manage and control asthma. In addition to founding the Redwood Empire Chapter of the Allergy & Asthma Foundation of America, he was president of the California Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. He and his wife, Peggy, will continue to live in Santa Rosa and to volunteer for Global Partners, a nonprofit organization based in Rohnert Park that funds medical, agricultural and scholastic projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

 

In late February, Santa Rosa cardiologist Dr. Sanjay Dhar performed a coronary angiogram by threading a cardiac catheter through the radial artery in a patient’s wrist—the first time such a procedure has been used in Sonoma County. The traditional approach is via the femoral artery, accessed through the groin. Dhar said the new procedure is widely used in Europe and Asia but has yet to catch on in the United States. Advantages include faster recovery, less bleeding and more patient comfort. “The convenience for patients is awesome,” observed Dhar. “Recovery is very rapid with this new approach.”

 

Dr. Arnold Honick, a board-certified radiologist and family physician, has joined the staff at Sutter Pacific Women’s Health Center in Santa Rosa. He specializes in breast imaging and will provide a range of screening procedures. Honick was previously director of breast imaging at Inland Imaging in Seattle. He holds an MD from Georgetown University.

 

Dr. Michael Star, a Santa Rosa orthopaedic surgeon, has been named director of the new Back and Neck Care Program at Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. The programs features a team approach to the prevention and treatment of back and neck problems.




RESOURCES


The 18th annual HIV/AIDS Review runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 12 at the Hilton Hotel, 3555 Round Barn Blvd., in Santa Rosa. This educational seminar, sponsored by the North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center, includes breakfast, lunch and 6 units of AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Cost is just $45. To register, call 527-6223.

 

Palm Drive Hospital has begun offering weekly CME grand rounds with local pulmonologist Dr. James Gude. The rounds, valid for one hour of Category 1 credit, are presented every Wednesday morning from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Solomon Telemedicine Hub at the hospital, located at 501 Petaluma Ave. in Sebastopol. Cases from rural ICUs in Northern California are presented via robotic telemedicine. For more information, contact Jeff Dunbar at 326-5855 or jeff.dunbar@offsitecare.com.

 

Physicians considering switching to electronic medical records can estimate savings and return on investment (ROI) by using the ROI Calculator, a new resource from CMA. To use the free calculator, visit www.cmanet.org/roi and answer a few basic questions about your practice. You will then be able to estimate your administrative savings, how much you qualify for in federal incentive payments, and what the overall ROI would be for converting to electronic health records.

 

A complete schedule of CMA webinars for 2011 is available at www.scma.org/resources. These popular bimonthly programs cover all aspects of medical practice and are free to SCMA members. The webinars usually run from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., but some feature evening sessions from 6 to 7 p.m. Upcoming topics include:

• March 16: Key financial ratios to increase profitability

• April 6: Coding for medical necessity and quality care

To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar or call 800-786-4262.

 

Nonprofit health organizations in Sonoma County are encouraged to apply for Community Grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care. The grants, generally in the $10,000 range, are awarded twice a year by the nonprofit foundation to support local projects that enhance health services. The application deadline for the next round of grants is April 2. For application materials, contact Kathy Pass at 525-4281 or kpass@rhs.org. For more information, visit www.pfmc.org.




APPLICANTS


Seena Davies, MD, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4104, Fax 393-4146, seenadavies@yahoo.com, Michigan State Univ 2003

 

Sahar Ghassemi, MD, Gastroenterology*, Internal Medicine*, Endoscopic Ultrasound, 1210 Sonoma Ave. #B, Santa Rosa 95405, 544-5093, Fax 528-8444, sghassemi@dhco.pro, Rush Med Coll 2001

 

* board certified




CLASSIFIEDS


Physician wanted

Physician wanted for ethical medical weight control. Part time. Pleasant conditions. No billing, no on-call. Short shifts. Perfect for semi-retired or someone looking for a little extra work. Locations in Vallejo and San Francisco. Please call 415-447-4200 or email info@californiaweightclinic.com.

 

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.

 

© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403




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