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February 2011


CMA pushing for improvements to Affordable Care Act


By CMA Vice President Elizabeth McNeil

 

Note: The following story is excerpted from Ms. McNeil’s Jan. 28 report to the CMA Board of Trustees.

 

On Jan. 19, the House of Representatives passed HR 2, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the measure is not expected to pass the Senate nor gain the support of the White House. CMA did not take a specific position on HR 2. In fact, none of the major national health care organizations took a position on HR 2.

 

CMA will be working vigorously to pursue improvements to the ACA, such as eliminating the IPAB (the non-elected board given broad new authority to govern Medicare), repeal of the Medicare SGR payment formula, increases in Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, augmenting graduate medical education, and improvements to quality reporting programs. CMA will continue to support provisions of the ACA that reform the abuses of the for-profit insurance industry, such as ending rescissions and coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, as well as forcing insurers to dedicate at least 80% of their revenue to direct patient care.

 

While a full repeal of the ACA is not expected to be successful, many predict that Congress will adopt some changes to the law on a bipartisan basis. For instance, both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to eliminate the Form 1099 new reporting requirement that requires businesses, including physician offices, to report certain payments.

 

AMA, CMA and the federation will be pushing legislation (The Medicare Patient Empowerment Act) to allow physicians to privately contract with Medicare patients. CMA was actively involved in crafting the bill, and several Republican leaders appear to be interested in introducing the legislation.

 

The AMA and many other state medical associations are pushing for federal medical liability reform that mirrors the successful laws in California and Texas. There will be several liability bills introduced and moved through the House, but passage of liability reform will be much more difficult in the Senate. CMA’s first priority will be to protect MICRA to ensure that federal law does not weaken California law.




Preteen Vaccine Week begins Feb. 13


This year’s Preteen Vaccine Week begins shortly before Valentine’s Day, a fitting reminder of the need for vaccinations amid an outbreak of kissing. The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness of the new Tdap vaccine requirement for incoming students in grades 7-12, also known as “The New Rule: Shots Before School.” All students in those grades will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting public or private school in the fall.

 

In addition to Tdap, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that 11- and 12-year-olds receive meningococcal, varicella, HPV and annual flu vaccines. Complete details about Preteen Vaccine Week, including brochures, posters and multilingual materials, can be found on the California Department of Public Health website at www.cdph.ca.gov.




Health Careers Scholarship deadline is Feb. 28


Do you know a high school, college or reentry student who’s interested in pursuing a medical career? If so, encourage them to apply for a Health Careers Scholarship sponsored by SCMA and the SCMA Alliance. The application deadline for the scholarships, which are administered by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, is Feb. 28. Applications are available at www.sonomacf.org. Children of physicians are not eligible for the scholarships.

 

Applications are reviewed by the SCMA Health Careers Scholarship Committee, which is co-chaired by Virginia Merwin and Dr. Jackie Senter. Last year the committee awarded $24,000 in scholarships to a dozen students, and this year even more money will be awarded, thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care.

 

For more details, visit the SCMA Alliance website at www.scmaa.org or contact Virginia Merwin at vmerwin@earthlink.net or 321-4558.




Marin County seeking new Public Health Officer


Marin County is seeking a new Public Health Officer to replace Dr. Fred Schwartz, who has retired. The filing deadline is Feb. 4, so time is of the essence. The Officer plans, organizes and directs public health programs, and enforces public health laws and regulations. Responsibilities include serving as county spokesperson on public health issues, advocating for disease prevention and health promotion, and developing public health policy. Salary range is $166,000 to $201,000 per year.

 

Application forms and instructions are available at www.co.marin.ca.us/jobs. Physicians with questions or suggestions should contact HHS Director Dr. Larry Meredith at lmeredith@co.marin.ca.us or 415-499-6924.




Even busy doctors can join the iWALK Challenge


Even if you’re a busy doctor, the iWALK Challenge could motivate you to step away from the computer and get some exercise. All you have to do to participate in this 90-day event is to commit to getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. That's just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

 

The iWALK Challenge begins Feb. 7 and walks, runs, swims or hikes until May 7. It’s 90 days of making exercise a priority. Do what you enjoy. You can go it alone or recruit your colleagues to join the movement. To register, visit www.iwalksonoma.org and click on the iWALK Challenge button. There you can download the Personal Fitness Tracker to keep track of your minutes, and you'll also be entered in a weekly drawing to win cool iWALK stuff and Sonoma County Parks passes. SCMA is a community partner in the iWALK project.




PEOPLE


Family physician Dr. Doug Pile, a fixture in the Healdsburg medical community since 1974, has retired. The son of Santa Rosa family physician Dr. Duane Pile, he attended medical school at UC San Francisco and completed his family medicine residency at Community (now Sutter) Hospital in Santa Rosa. He was in a group practice for one year before going solo in 1975. Twenty years later, he cofounded Healdsburg Primary Care with Drs. Dave Anderson, Locke Wilson and Paul Marguglio. “Doug’s strange sense of humor endeared him to his patients,” recalled Marguglio, who gave Pile much of the credit for the continued survival of Healdsburg Primary Care. Pile, a diabetes expert, noted that his biggest accomplishment was “empowering my diabetic patients to learn about their illness, and to feel that they had control over their outcomes based on choices they could make regarding lifestyle, medication and working together with their health educator.” In retirement, he plans to continue his longstanding interests in woodworking, photography and playing the clarinet. His brother, Dr. Tim Pile, continues to practice family medicine at Kaiser Santa Rosa.

 

SCMA President Dr. Catherine Gutfreund, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, will chair a newly formed CMA committee that will investigate strategies for strengthening the alignment between CMA and county medical societies, including SCMA. About a dozen physicians from around the state will serve on the committee, along with SCMA Executive Director Cynthia Melody and four other county medical society directors. Marin Medical Society president Dr. Peter Bretan, who has a satellite office in Sebastopol, will also serve on the committee, which is expected to make recommendations on alignment strategies and performance standards before next fall’s meeting of the CMA House of Delegates.

 

Five more local physicians have joined the Annadel Medical Group, the physician network affiliated Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals. Internists Drs. George Bisbee, Catherine Davis, and Robert Schaefer will have offices in the main Annadel building at 500 Doyle Park Drive in Santa Rosa. Family physicians Drs. David Sisler and Paul Umino will continue to work at 24 W. El Rose Drive in Petaluma. The fast-growing Annadel group now includes 27 primary care physicians and hospitalists.




MEDICAL FACILITIES


The American College of Radiology has accredited the Breast MRI and MRI Biopsy programs at Redwood Regional Medical Group. “We are very proud to tell the community that our Breast MRI and MRI Biopsy programs have achieved this designation,” said RRMG president and radiologist Dr. Mark Popovich. RRMG is the only facility in the North Bay to have achieved the designation, which involves a thorough review of physician and staff qualifications, quality control and assurance, MR safety policies, and image quality.




RESOURCES


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:

• Feb. 2: Embezzlement—Don’t be a victim

• Feb. 9: How to enroll in the EHR incentive programs

• March 2: E&M coding: Don’t leave money on the table

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

 

Palm Drive Hospital is presenting a CME on Fever of Unknown Origin from 8 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The presenter is Sonoma County pulmonologist Dr. James Gude, and participants will receive 1 hour of Category 1 credit. The event will be held in the hospital’s Solomon Telemedicine Hub. For more details, contact Jeff Dunbar at 326-5855 or jeff.dunbar@OffSiteCare.com.

 

Physician leaders are encouraged to attend the IMQ/PACE Platinum Training Program for Physician Leaders, to be held March 10-12 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. The program covers the practical knowledge and skills needed to lead medical staffs and offers an interactive forum to empower physicians and reinforce learning. For more details, or to register, visit www.imq.org or call Leslie Anne Iacopi at 415-882-5167.

 

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.

 

Physicians who enjoy flying planes are invited to attend an Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa on April 29-30. The event, sponsored by the Santa Rosa-based Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation, features presentations by scientists from NASA and Lawrence Livermore Lab, among others. For more details, or to register, visit cafefoundation.org.




APPLICANTS


Ruchi Arora, MD, Family Medicine, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4443, Fax 393-4866, Ruchi.x.arora@kp.org, Gandhi Med Coll 1997

 

Raymond Conway III, MD, Vascular & Interventional Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology*, 121 Sotoyome St., Santa Rosa 95405, 546-4062, Fax 525-4097, rconway@rrmginc.com, Jefferson Med Coll 2003

 

Paul Doemeny, MD, Diagnostic Radiology*, 121 Sotoyome St., Santa Rosa 95405, 546-4062, Fax 525-4097, pdoemeny@rrmginc.com, Georgetown Univ 2003

 

Ernesto Morales, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, 1144 Sonoma Ave. #109, Santa Rosa 95405, 544-7077, Fax 544-7309, ejmoralesmd@sbcglobal.net, Univ Nicaragua 1955

 

Raymond Severt, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery*, Surgery of the Hand*, 131B Stony Cir. #2000, Santa Rosa 95401, 546-1922, Fax 578-5578, UC Los Angeles 1986

 

Steven Smith, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery*, 121 Sotoyome St., Santa Rosa 95405, 525-6620, Fax 546-2309, ssmith@rrmginc.com, Washington Univ 1980

 

Thomas Warr, MD, Internal Medicine*, Medical Oncology*, Hematology*, 1312 Prentice Dr., Healdsburg 95448, 433-3383 Fax 433-7210, twarr@nscd.org, Vanderbilt Univ 1981

 

* 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.

 

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




January 2011


Survey: 20% of county’s primary care doctors plan to retire by 2015


One in five local primary care physicians plans to retire during the next five years, according to a comprehensive survey released on Jan. 10 by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. “Even as demand for primary care increases with the growth and aging of our population,” said Public Health Officer Mary Maddux-González, MD, “many primary care physicians are approaching retirement and fewer medical students—the next generation of physicians—are entering primary care.”

 

The survey, which had a 100% response rate from local primary care physicians, was conducted during the summer and fall of 2010. Cosponsors included Health Action, the Redwood Community Health Coalition and SCMA. An article about the survey appears in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine, available at www.scma.org/magazine. The complete report can be found at www.sonoma-county.org/health/ph/data.

 

The survey measured both physician and practice characteristics. Among the key findings:

 

• Of the 1,071 physicians in Sonoma County, 46% are primary care physicians (PCPs)—a much higher percentage than the rest of California, where only 34% of physicians are PCPs.

 

• About two-thirds of local PCPs are family physicians. The rest are general internists, pediatricians and geriatricians.

 

• Almost half the local PCPs (47%) are female, again a much higher percentage than the rest of California.

 

• Almost half the local PCPs (45%) are older than 55.

 

• Only 4% of local physicians are Latino, but Latinos comprise nearly one-fourth of the local population and 42% of its births.

 

• More than two-thirds of local PCPs (68%) work in large or very large practices, such as Kaiser, Sutter and community health centers. Ten percent work in medium-sized practices, and 22% are in solo or small practices.

 

• More than three-fourths of local PCPs (76%) use electronic health records.

 

Survey results have already been submitted to the federal government, which will use them to identify any Health Professional Shortage Areas in the county. Results will also be used to assess local primary care capacity.




Public Health Update: flu vaccines, new pertussis law


By Deputy Public Health Officer Mark Netherda, MD

 

Although influenza activity has been low in Sonoma County and nationally so far this flu season, reported cases have increased in the past several weeks. Flu season in Northern California typically peaks during January and February, so more cases are anticipated in the coming weeks. Clinicians are encouraged to keep vaccinating throughout the flu season—it is never too late to vaccinate.

 

Handy CDC references regarding testing, treatment and prevention of influenza during the 2010-11 flu season are listed below.

 

• Guidance for clinicians on the use of rapid influenza diagnostic tests.
www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/clinician_guidance_ridt.htm

 

• Antiviral drugs for seasonal flu.
www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/antiviral.htm

 

• Interim guidance on the use of influenza antiviral agents.
www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/guidance/

 

• Influenza antiviral drug resistance.
www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/antiviralresistance.htm

 

• Seasonal flu vaccine safety and pregnant women.
www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa_vacpregnant.htm

 

• Updated recommendations for obstetric health care providers.
www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/avrec_ob2011.htm

 

Under a new law (AB 354), California middle and high school students must be vaccinated against pertussis. Beginning July 1, all students entering 7th through 12th grades in both public and private schools will be required to show proof of receiving a Tdap booster vaccination before starting school.

 

Many families are unaware of this new law and will need to be encouraged by their clinicians to get their children vaccinated ahead of the July 1 deadline. No vaccine shortage is anticipated, but physicians and parents are urged to vaccinate ASAP to avoid a potential backlog of children needing immunizations.

 

 “With more than 7,800 confirmed cases and the deaths of 10 infants [in 2010], California experienced its worst outbreak of Pertussis in more than 50 years," said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Mark Horton. "Protecting the health of California’s youth is one of our most urgent priorities. This new legislation will help us achieve our goal.”

 

For more information, visit www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/EarlyAlertToProviders-AB354.pdf.




Wanted: 100 iWALK employers


Physicians are always telling patients to get more exercise, but what about their own staff? Now doctors can walk the talk by becoming iWALK employers and promoting a culture of fitness in the workplace.

 

Any doctor’s office in Sonoma County can sign up for iWALK by visiting www.iwalksonoma.org/iWALKEmployer. The goal is for employees to get at least 150 minutes of walking or other exercise per week. Employers can organize weekly walking groups or sign up for the iWALK Challenge, a 90-day effort that culminates in the Human Race on May 7. More details are available at www.iwalksonoma.org.

 

iWALK, which is cosponsored by SCMA, is the exercise initiative within Health Action, a coordinated effort to combat obesity and other health problems in Sonoma County.




Office of Administrative Law rejects regulations for discount health plans


The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has rejected regulations that would have legitimized “discount health plan” referral services. CMA vigorously fought these regulations, and has opposed a number of legislative attempts to legitimize these illegal referral services.

 

The Department of Managed Health Care proposed the regulations in February 2010, but OAL sided with CMA, ruling that the regulations are inconsistent with an opinion issued by the California Attorney General that concluded discount health plans are illegal.

 

Discount health plans charge patients a monthly membership fee in exchange for a list of physicians whose services they can supposedly access at a discounted rate. The promised discounts are often illusory, and the physicians are often listed without their consent or knowledge.




Gov. Brown's proposed budget would cut health and human services


Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2011-12 budget proposal includes major cuts to health care, in an attempt to close a projected $25.4 billion shortfall. The proposal would close the deficit through a mix of spending cuts, revenue increases, and other solutions (such as taking money from special funds). The spending cuts total $12.5 billion, with $1.7 billion slashed from Medi-Cal alone.

 

Of particular interest to physicians are proposals to:

 

• Cut Medi-cal provider rates by 10% ($720 million)

 

• Control Medi-Cal utilization ($217 million)

 

• Impose Medi-Cal copayments ($557 million)

 

• Contain costs in the Healthy Families program ($39 million)

 

Medi-Cal currently covers 7.7 million Californians and is expected to add up to 2 million more after full implementation of federal health reform.

 

Even at current rates, most physicians lose money treating Medi-Cal patients. As a result, it is nearly impossible to find physicians accepting new Medi-Cal patients in certain specialties. When Medi-Cal patients can’t find a doctor, many will end up in the emergency room, the most costly and least efficient venue for receiving treatment.

 

“With California's Medi-Cal rates already among the lowest in the nation, California's health care safety net cannot sustain these drastic cuts,” said CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale. “CMA will continue to fight for physicians and work to preserve access to care for California's low-income populations.”




PEOPLE


A front-page profile of former SCMA president Dr. Leonard Klay in the Jan. 3 Press Democrat described the many accomplishments of his long career, including delivering more than 7,000 babies, serving as a plaintiff in the successful RICO lawsuit against health insurers, and winning the 2010 Plessner Award from CMA. The full text of the article is available at www.pressdemocrat.com.

 

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Briant Smith and Dr. Steven Smith have joined the Redwood Regional Medical Group. Dr. Briant Smith, who used to practice at Kaiser Santa Rosa, specializes in joint replacement. Dr. Steven Smith, formerly in private practice, specializes in adult reconstructive surgery.




RESOURCES


A presentation on the XMRV retrovirus and its relationship to cancer will begin at  7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, conference room B. The event is free but is only open to licensed medical professionals. RSVPs are required and should be directed to Susan Friedl at 396-5835 or susan@gordonmedical.com. The presenter is Judy Mikovits, PhD, a cell biologist.

 

A free one-hour webinar on embezzlement will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 12:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. This CMA webinar is for physicians only; no staff members will be approved for participation. Presenter Debra Phairas, president of Practice & Liability Consultants, will discuss measures doctors can take to prevent embezzlement, which is estimated to affect one in six physicians at some point in their careers. To register, visit www.cmanet.org/calendar.

 

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.

 

A four-day course on difficult headache patients will be held in Rancho Mirage on President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 18-21. The course is sponsored by the Diamond Headache Clinic and includes 20.5 hours of Category 1 credit. To register, visit www.dhc-fdn.org.

 

A one-day seminar on pediatric orthopedics will take place at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento on Saturday, March 5. The course, valid for 5 hours of Category 1 credit, includes presentations by several noted orthopedic surgeons. To register, contact 916-453-2041 or ncal.education@shrinenet.org.

 

The latest issue of CMA Practice Resources includes articles on EOB disclosures, timely access regulations and Blue Cross contract amendments. For a free subscription, visit www.cmanet.org/news/cpr.

 

The OMSS Advocate is a quarterly newsletter for members of the CMA Organized Medical Staff Section. To read the current issue, visit www.cmanet.org/news.




APPLICANTS


George Bisbee, MD, Internal Medicine*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #G04, Santa Rosa 95405, 303-8344, Fax 303-8345, Univ Iowa 1970

 

Catherine Davis, MD, Internal Medicine*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #303, Santa Rosa 95405, 303-8300, Fax 303-8301, UC Los Angeles 1989

 

Hong Luo, MD, Anatomic & Clinical Pathology*, Gyn Pathology, PO Box 1676, Sebastopol 95473, 829-5883, Fax 829-5895, Tianjin Med Univ 1988

 

Robert Schaefer, MD, Internal Medicine*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #G03, Santa Rosa 95405, 303-8344, Fax 303-8345, Pritzer Univ 1969

 

Seema Shah, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #103, Santa Rosa 95403, 579-1102, Fax 579-1386, Jefferson Med Coll 2002

 

David Sisler, MD, Family Medicine*, 24 W. El Rose Dr., Petaluma 94952, 763-9891, Fax 762-2311, Univ Minnesota

 

Paul Umino, MD, Family Medicine, 24 W. El Rose Dr., Petaluma 94952  , 763-9891, Fax 762-2311, Creighton Univ 1970




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




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




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