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April 2015

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IT'S FINALLY OVER: THE MEDICARE SGR IS DEAD!

After a decade of battling, the U.S. Senate, on April 14 in a whopping vote of 92-8, passed HR 2, the monumental, bipartisan Medicare SGR Payment Reform and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act-both senators Feinstein and Boxer voted in the affirmative. Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the legislation in a landslide vote of 392-37.

A 21% cut to physicians' Medicare payments was set to take place on April 15. Instead, HR 2 provides positive annual payment updates of 0.5% starting July 1 and lasting through 2019. Claims that were held for the first half of April will be processed and paid at rates that were in place before the 21% cut was scheduled to take effect.

MMS and CMA extend a sincere thank you to all member physicians for the extraordinary campaign this last decade to end the SGR. Member physicians kept up the fight these last two years to hold Congress' feet to the fire to develop a comprehensive bill to reform Medicare physician payments. The unity within organized medicine finally put this over the finish line. Moreover, 52 out of 54 members of the California congressional delegation voted to support physicians-a direct result of long-term MMS and CMA advocacy.

Following is a brief summary of the major provisions of HR 2:

  • Repeals the SGR.
  • Provides 0.5% increases in Medicare each year for four years.
  • Offers physicians payment options. In 2019, physicians can choose to participate in one of two payment track options: (1) A Fee-for-Service Track that simplifies and consolidates the existing quality reporting programs, reinstates large bonuses up to 9%, and reduces current penalties; or (2) The Alternative Payment Model Track, which provides 5% bonus payments and allows physicians to develop the new models, such as primary care/specialty medical homes.
  • Involves physicians in defining quality.
  • Provides $125 million in funding to help small practice physicians transition to the alternative models or quality reporting programs.
  • Reinstates bundled payments for the 10- and 90-day global surgical services.
  • Provides total cost of care data to help physicians better manage their practices.
  • Mandates interoperability of EHR systems.

MMS-CMA physician member dues dollars made this happen. Combine this huge SGR win with the victories on Proposition 46, GPCI, arresting the Medi-Cal cuts for three years, stopping scope of practice expansions . . . and the message could not be any clearer: Non-member physicians have received significant value from member dues! If you are not already a member, please join your fellow physicians who have contributed to these victories by becoming an MMS-CMA member. Click here to join now.



SCMA NEWS

SCMA wine & cheese reception at Dutton-Goldfield Winery June 10

The annual SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception will be held at the Dutton-Goldfield Winery in Sebastopol on Wednesday evening, June 10. All Sonoma County physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend. The reception, now in its 15th year, has become increasingly popular because of its relaxed, collegial atmosphere.

Please join your colleagues for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines with our hosts Dan Goldfield and Dr. Loie Sauer. There's no charge for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. The charge for nonmembers is $55 per person.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or rachel@scma.org.  Visit duttongoldfield.com  for directions and information about their wines. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the wines being poured. Download flier for more details.



24th Garden Tour kicks off

Tickets are now on sale for "Gardens of Greater Sebastopol: Natural Beauties," SCMA Alliance Foundation's signature event, the 24th annual fundraising Garden Tour on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16. $45 early-bird pricing through April 30. Regular price: $50.

For more information about ordering tickets and a description of sponsorship opportunities still available (which include complimentary tickets), please visit www.scmaa.org download flier, or feel free to call Janet Shane at 707-578-4537.



Dr. Regina Sullivan nominated as SCMA President-Elect

SCMA's president, Dr. Rob Nied, and the incoming president, Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzalez, announce that Dr. Regina Sullivan, a Santa Rosa OB-GYN, has been nominated as SCMA President-Elect. Others nominated to the SCMA Board of Directors are Drs. Peter Sybert (treasurer), Rachel Mayorga (North County district), Stephen Steady (Petaluma), and three nominees for the CMA delegation: Drs. Regina Sullivan (delegate), Tricia May (alternate delegate) and Leonard Klay (alternate delegate).

SCMA members will receive ballots by postal mail in May. For more information, contact Cynthia Melody at cmelody@scma.org  or 525-4375.


SCMA hosting ICD-10 training July 13 & 14

Learn to code for ICD-10-Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) and prepare for the ICD-10 Proficiency Assessment. Conducted over two days, July 13 & 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees will receive 16 hours of intensive general ICD-10 code set training along with hands-on coding exercises focused on ICD-10 format and structure, guidelines, and coding tips.

Pricing varies: $399 for SCMA-CMA members (a $200 savings), $499 for CA-MGMA members, and $599 for non-members. To register, call CMA at 800-786-4262 or view info and register online (Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino-Lake counties). Click here to download informational flier.


MIEC seminar: "Mastering the Art of Disclosing an Unexpected Outcome"

MIEC (Medical Insurance Exchange of California) has created an interactive workshop for Sonoma and Marin physicians. The workshop examines the elements of providing a timely and effective disclosure when an unexpected outcome occurs. The workshop will be held on Wednesday evening, July 22 at the Hilltop 1892 in Novato. Scheduled from 5:30-9 p.m., the event includes dinner. Cost is free to SCMA and MMS members, and $45 for nonmembers. Save the date! Watch for registration information to follow.


Sonoma Medicine publishes spring issue

The spring issue of Sonoma Medicine features articles on birth: long-term effects of cesarean section, home birth, birth centers in Sonoma County, weight loss and pregnancy, and the Smoke-Free Babies program. Departments look at buprenorphine for pain, trained medical interpreters, helping Haitian amputees, and more. View the PDF or text-only versions online. To order a print copy or subscribe, call Susan at 707-525-0102.


Win an iPad through SCMA's "Passport to Participation"

To encourage physician collegiality and the advancement of community health, PASSPORT TO PARTICIPATION acknowledges Sonoma County physicians' active engagement with SCMA, CMA and community activities by awarding points for participation. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year. Click here to learn more.


Applicants

Salvador Federico Calaf, MD, Nephrology*, 2301 Circadian Way #A, Santa Rosa 95407, Univ Texas 2004

Eric Cheung, MD, Nephrology*, 2301 Circadian Way #A, Santa Rosa 95407, Univ Southern California 2002

Jason Pope, MD, Pain Medicine*, Anesthesiology*, 392 Tesconi Ct., Santa Rosa 95401, Indiana Univ 2004

* = board certified


LOCAL NEWS

 Memorial Hospital earns national award
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has earned the 2015 Women's Choice Award as one of America's Best Breast Centers, acknowledging its dedication to providing exceptional patient care and treatment. See the full list of awarded breast centers here.

CMA ALERT

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association.

TOP STORY: CMA joins vaccine advocates to launch "I Heart Immunity" campaign in support of SB 277. The California Medical Association (CMA), American Academy of Pediatrics, California, California Immunization Coalition, Vaccinate California and Health Officers Association of California have joined forces to launch the "I Heart Immunity" campaign in an ongoing effort to promote the importance of vaccines and Senate Bill 277 (Pan/Allen). (Read more)

Also in this issue:

 


PRACTICE RESOURCES

Wednesdays at Hospice House

The monthly education series continues in May with "Death On Our Own Terms." The recent situation involving a 29-year-old terminal cancer patient who moved to Oregon in order to die on her own terms, highlights the value of ongoing discussions about options that palliative and hospice care offer in the face of suffering. The presentations are provided free of charge to the community by Hospice Services of St. Joseph Health. No reservations are required. For more details, visit www.SonomaCountyHospice.org  or contact Denise Burke at denise.burke@stjoe.org.

May 13 (7 to 9 p.m.) at Hospice of Petaluma, presented by Dr. Gary Johanson, medical director for Memorial Hospice.

May 20 (5 to 7 p.m.) at Memorial Hospice in Santa Rosa, presented by Dr. Steve Hadland, hospice physician at Hospice of Petaluma.


ICD-10 transition

Is your office working on ICD-10 compliance? Click here to see a number of members-only resources, including CMA's ICD-10 Transition Guide for Physicians. Download flier for info about ICD-10 training July 13 & 14, hosted by SCMA.


2015 PQRS and Value-Based Modifier Getting Started Guide

The Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is a reporting program that has used a combination of incentive payments and payment reductions to promote reporting of quality information by eligible professionals. How does this impact you? PQRS is mandated by federal legislation. The program, which started in 2009, provided an incentive payment up through 2014 to practices with eligible professionals (EPs) who satisfactorily reported data on quality measures for covered Physician Schedule (PFS) services furnished to Medicare Part B fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries.

The guide is free to CMA members at www.cmanet.org  in the Resource Library and Store in the Professional Resources pull-down menu.


CPR: CMA Practice Resources

CPR is a free monthly e-bulletin from CMA's practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and health care industry changes and how they directly impact the business of a physician practice. Each issue includes tips on reimbursement and contracting-related issues along with information on the latest practice management news. Read the current issue here. Titles include:


CMEs

CME April 25: HIV/AIDS review

CME April 25: HIV/AIDS Review

The 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS Review, an educational CME seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa. This year's program will include: an HIV and HCV Update; HIV Prevention; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; Interdisciplinary Case Management; and Medication Errors in HIV Care. Speakers include: Kirsten Balano, PharmD; Drs. Marshall Kubota, Ele Lozares-Lewis and Danny Toub; and Meghan Murphy, MSW. For more information, call The North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center at 707-303-8904.


CME May 1: Innovation 2015, San Mateo

"The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age" and "The Future of Health & Medicine: Where Can Technology Take Us?" will be featured at the Innovation Symposium 2015 on May 1 in San Mateo. Physicians, CFOs, COOs, nurses, HR executives, and pharmacists are invited. CMEs will be available. Download flier or register online today.  


CLASSIFIEDS

Pediatric physicians
The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. is currently seeking BC/BE Outpatient Pediatric Physicians to join our team in San Rafael, CA. This is an excellent opportunity to practice with one of the nation's top health care organizations where you can develop a rewarding and lasting career. To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Judy Padilla at 800-777-4912 or Judy.G.Padilla@kp.org.  We are an EOE/AA/M/F/D/V Employer and VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

Shared medical suite available
Lovely reception area, patient rooms and furnished office. Beautiful Novato location, plenty of parking, utilities included. Please inquire at 415-897-9800.

SCMA members get free classifieds!
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 Susan Gumucio at susan@scma.org or 707-525-0102.


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.

© 2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

March 2015

Download PDF Here

SCMA NEWS

Sonoma Medicine mystery case solved

Dr. Andrew Wagner, a Sebastopol hospice and palliative medicine physician, has solved the "mystery case" presented by Dr. Allan Bernstein in the winter issue of Sonoma Medicine. In the case, a 90-year-old patient presents with an acute onset of episodic right-sided noises, unsteadiness and ear fullness. The correct diagnosis is seizure phenomena. As Dr. Bernstein notes, "Partial simple seizures may present with stereotypic symptoms, often in a crescendo pattern with no loss of consciousness and no focal finding during or between events." The complete diagnosis will be published in the spring issue of Sonoma Medicine.



SCMA wine & cheese reception set for June 10

The annual SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception will be held at the Dutton-Goldfield Winery in Sebastopol on Wednesday evening, June 10. All Sonoma County physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend. The reception, now in its 15th year, has become increasingly popular because of its relaxed, collegial atmosphere.

Please join your colleagues for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines with our hosts Dan Goldfield and Dr. Loie Sauer. There's no charge for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. The charge for nonmembers is $55 per person.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or rachel@scma.org. Visit duttongoldfield.com for directions and information about their wines. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the wines being poured. Download flier for more details.


Nominations needed for SCMA election

In preparation for the upcoming SCMA election in May, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 31. Nominees must be SCMA members in good standing. Nominations are requested for the following positions:

  • SCMA executive team (3): president-elect, treasurer, and secretary
  • SCMA board representatives from North County (1), Petaluma (1), TPMG (1), and Santa Rosa (2)
  • CMA delegates (1)
  • CMA alternate delegates (3)

All positions require a three-year commitment, beginning July 1. Nominations can be emailed to cmelody@scma.org, faxed to 707-525-4328, 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 cmelody@scma.org or 707-525-4375.



ICD-10 training. Are you interested?

SCMA, in partnership with CMA and the California Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), will offer a two-day ICD-10 code set seminar this summer in Santa Rosa if there is enough interest. Contact Rachel Pandolfi at rachel@scma.org or 535-4375 if you are interested.

The training is designed specifically for coding staff and intended to give attendees a comprehensive understanding of guidelines and conventions of ICD-10, as well as fundamental knowledge of how to decipher, understand and accurately apply codes in ICD-10. Usually $799, CMA negotiated $399 for SCMA-CMA members, $499 for California MGMA members, and $599 for nonmembers. Training will be in a classroom setting conducted over two consecutive days, including 16 hours of intensive general ICD-10 code set training (16 CEUs) and hands-on coding exercises.


Discuss legislative issues affecting health care with legislators April 14

SCMA members are invited to CMA's annual Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Attended by several hundred physicians, this conference provides an opportunity to meet with local legislators regarding pressing health care issues after morning speeches by CMA's president, Dr. Luther Cobb, and Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. This year's keynote speaker is expected to be Governor Jerry Brown, followed by a political panel discussion and afternoon sessions with local legislators in their offices. For more information, visit www.cmanet.org/events or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or cmelody@scma.org.


We think we've earned your membership

  • Prop. 46 was defeated (NO: 67% YES: 33%). CMA-SCMA spent $8 million of CMA reserves and raised $52 million to protect MICRA.
  • Culminating an 11-year CMA-SCMA effort, the GPCI inequity for Sonoma County has been permanently solved. (See story above.)
  • CMA held off a 10% Medi-Cal cut for three years, ensuring the cut would not have to be repaid.
  • Among many other examples, legislative advocacy kept optometrists from practicing ophthalmology.

Call Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 if you need a copy of your dues invoice. She can answer your questions or handle payment over the phone. Click here to renew your 2015 membership online.


SCMAA&F Garden Tour May 15 & 16

Mark your calendars for the SCMA Alliance & Foundation's 24th annual Garden Tour on May 15 and 16, 2015. Over the past decade, this beloved event has raised more than $500,000 to benefit our local youth, adults and families. Join us by becoming a sponsor, and investing in the well-being and future of our community! This year our beneficiaries include West County Health Center's Forestville Wellness Center and SCMA Alliance Foundation's Foster Children's Give-a-Gift program, Safe Schools program, Health Promotions as well as the SCMA & SCMAA Health Careers Scholarship program. To learn more, visit scmaa.org.



Win an iPad through SCMA's "Passport to Participation"

To encourage physician collegiality and the advancement of community health, PASSPORT TO PARTICIPATION acknowledges Sonoma County physicians' active engagement with SCMA, CMA and community activities by awarding points for participation. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year. Click here to learn more.



PEOPLE

Richard Powers, MD, will be chief of staff for the Sonoma West Medical Center when it opens April 27. The opening was moved from April 6 to follow its accreditation survey April 22.


APPLICANTS

Andrea Bialek, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology*, 4983 Sonoma Hwy. #S, Santa Rosa 95409, UC San Diego 1985

Jo Dean Nicolette, MD, Family Medicine*, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, Stanford Univ 1996

Maria Petrick, MD, Allergy & Immunology*, 2461 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa 95405, Univ Tennessee 1998

* = board certified


LOCAL NEWS

New HMO health plan: Sutter Health Plus

After receiving final approval from the Department of Managed Health, Sutter Health announced the availability of Sutter Health Plus, an HMO health plan that will provide individuals and employer groups with affordably priced health plans in Sonoma County. The Sutter Health network launched its own health plan as a way to partner directly with patients to manage their total health needs, including quality and cost of care.

In Sonoma County, Sutter Health Plus' network includes the new $284 million state-of-the-art Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital; Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation with care centers in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol and Healdsburg; Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods; and Novato Community Hospital in Marin County. For more information visit www.sutterhealth.org.


SRO opens new satellite office

Santa Rosa Orthopaedics (SRO) opens its new satellite medical office and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center on April 1, 2015, located at 34 Mark West Springs Road, Suite 300, in Santa Rosa. SRO's Stony Point office closes at that time, and the main office on Montgomery Drive remains open.


REACH completes 100,000 patient transports

REACH Air Medical Services announced the completion of more than 100,000 successful patient transports. REACH has grown from one air ambulance base in Santa Rosa, California in 1987 to more than 20 bases of operation providing air and ground ambulance services in California, Oregon and Texas. According to Sean Russell, REACH president, "Based on our annual transport volume, if we were still a one-base company it would have taken us about 200 years to make 100,000 flights."


CMA ALERT

TOP STORY:

  • "We Care for California" coalition introduces legislation to increase Medi-Cal rates to Medicare levels:
    Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez and Assembly Health Committee Chair Rob Bonta joined health care providers, medical students, patients and advocates on the steps of the Capitol last week to introduce AB 366 and SB 243, legislation that would not only restore a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, but would also place reimbursement on par with Medicare, increasing payments rates for inpatient hospital services and most outpatient services. (Read more)

Other stories:

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association.




:RESOURCES & CME

April 2: PFMC grant proposals due

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 707-525-4281 or kpass@rhs.org. For more information, visit www.pfmc.org.


CME April 25: HIV/AIDS review

The 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS Review, an educational CME seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa. This year's program will include: an HIV and HCV Update; HIV Prevention; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; Interdisciplinary Case Management; and Medication Errors in HIV Care. Speakers include: Kirsten Balano, PharmD; Drs. Marshall Kubota, Ele Lozares-Lewis and Danny Toub; and Meghan Murphy, MSW. For more information, call The North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center at 707-303-8904.


CME May 1: Innovation 2015, San Mateo

"The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age" and "The Future of Health & Medicine: Where Can Technology Take Us?" will be featured at the Innovation Symposium 2015 on May 1 in San Mateo. Physicians, CFOs, COOs, nurses, HR executives, and pharmacists are invited. CMEs will be available. Download flier or register online today.


CME online: Medical cannabis courses

This new online series of 12 courses, offered by the Medical Cannabis Institute, includes: the history of cannabis as medicine; the endocannabinoid system; cannabis-the plant; the pharmacology and its physiologic effects; delivery and dosage; clinical practice; and clinical case study reviews. 12 CMEs available (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Find out more at www.TheMedicalCannabisInstitute.org.


Cycling CME: July 21-25 (Vail) & Sept 22-27 (Grand Junction)

Two CME conferences in Vail and Grand Junction, Colorado will emphasize exercise as medicine, common musculoskeletal problems, and nutrition. Conference groups are small, creating an atmosphere conducive to interactive "hands-on" learning, featuring challenging road bike rides daily. The event is sponsored by St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center. 15 CMEs pending (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Click here for details.


CLASSIFIEDS

Shared medical suite available
Lovely reception area, patient rooms and furnished office. Beautiful Novato location, plenty of parking, utilities included. Please inquire at 415-897-9800.

SCMA members get free classifieds!
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 Susan Gumucio at susan@scma.org or 707-525-0102.


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.

© 2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

February 2015

Download PDF Here

SCMA NEWS

Buy Feb. 28 "Alliance Gala85" tickets now!

This highly anticipated event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the beautifully restored DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa. The elegant gala includes a cocktail hour featuring unique buy-in parties, exciting ring raffle, a delicious dinner, live auction, dessert and dancing. Cocktail attire is suggested. Proceeds benefit SCMAA Foundation programs.

Ring raffle tickets are available for purchase at the scmaa.org website. The stunning ring, created by Dr. Scott Peterson, features a 3.18-carat natural tanzanite surrounded by diamonds set in 14 kt. white gold. You do not need to be present to win!

If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation to the SCMAA Foundation in honor of this 85th Anniversary. For more information, visit the scmaa.org website or contact Gala85 chairperson, Lisa Sugarman, at gala85@scmaa.org.



Renew your 2015 membership today

We think we've earned your membership!

  • Prop. 46 was defeated (NO: 67% YES: 33%)! CMA-MMS spent $8 million of CMA reserves and raised $52 million to protect MICRA.
  • Culminating an 11-year CMA-MMS effort, the GPCI inequity for Marin County has been permanently solved.
  • CMA held off a 10% Medi-Cal cut for three years, ensuring the cut would not have to be repaid.
  • Among many other examples, legislative advocacy kept optometrists from practicing ophthalmology.

Call Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891 if you need a copy of your dues invoice. She can answer your questions or handle payment over the phone. Click here to renew your 2015 membership online.



Save the date: Legislative Advocacy Day April 14

MMS members are invited to CMA's annual Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Attended by several hundred physicians, this conference provides an opportunity to meet with local legislators regarding pressing health care issues after morning speeches by CMA's president, Dr. Luther Cobb, and Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. This year's keynote speaker is expected to be Governor Jerry Brown, followed by a political panel discussion and afternoon sessions with local legislators in their offices. For more information, visit www.cmanet.org/events, download flier, or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or cmelody@scma.org.



Win an iPad through SCMA's "Passport to Participation"

To encourage physician collegiality and the advancement of community health, PASSPORT TO PARTICIPATION acknowledges Sonoma County physicians' active engagement with SCMA, CMA and community activities by awarding points for participation. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year. Click here to learn more.


Applicants

Enrique Gonzalez-Mendez, MD, Family Medicine*, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, National Autonomous Univ Mexico 1972

Shazah Khawaja, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #103, Santa Rosa 95405, Ross Univ 1999

Courtney King, MD, Internal Medicine*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, Med Coll Georgia

Aynna Yee Sae, MD, Internal Medicine*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, Meharry Med Coll 2000

Reza Sepehrdad, MD, Cardiovascular Disease*, Interventional Cardiology*, 3536 Mendocino Ave. #200, Santa Rosa 95403, New York Med Coll 2006

Shalini Yalamanchi, MD, Ophthalmology, 3536 Mendocino Ave. #380, Santa Rosa 95403, George Washington Univ 2004

Kristen Yee, MD, Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial Surgery, 1111 Sonoma Ave. #112, Santa Rosa 95405, Johns Hopkins Univ 2003

* = board certified; italics = special medical interest


CMA NEWS

Top stories from CMA ALERT

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association. Read the current issue here. Articles include:

  • Regulations requiring health insurers to have adequate networks and accurate directories go into effect
  • CMA survey finds workers' comp reform has brought new challenges for physicians
  • CMS announces it will work to reduce meaningful use reporting burden
  • Register now for Western Health Care Leadership Academy!
  • Fraud alert: Recognizing relationships that may trigger fraud and abuse concerns for physicians
  • Legislation announced to ban personal belief exemptions for school vaccinations
  • Poll shows people want Congress to act to make all states eligible for ACA subsidies
  • CMA vice speaker receives award from the state workers' comp department
  • United Healthcare introduces narrow network product
  • ICD-10 transition guide now available; new resource webpage available
  • United Healthcare to pursue EFT and ERA for all contracted physicians in 2015
  • $10 million reasons to be a CMA member
  • Participate in the MGMA Compensation and Production Survey; receive free access to survey results

RESOURCES & CME

ICD-10 Implementation deadline: Oct. 1, 2015

Is your office working on ICD-10 compliance? Click here to see a variety of resources for physicians including CMA's ICD-10 Transition Guide.


Covered California

Enrollment information and deadlines:

  • Open enrollment for new coverage or change in plan runs Nov. 15, 2014, to Feb. 15, 2015.
  • Current enrollees will be automatically re-enrolled in their plans (even if there has been a change in the premium rate) if they are making no changes (either tier level or plan).
  • All changes must have been made by Feb. 15, 2015, for this enrollment period.
  • Medi-Cal enrollees don't need to renew until they hear from Medi-Cal about next steps.

Physician resources:


Sonoma County immunization clinics and clinical services

A complete listing of community clinics and clinical services in Sonoma County is produced by the Sonoma County Immunization Assistance Program. Download the brochure here, and visit the DHS website here. Immunization questions can be sent to IZNurse@sonoma-county.org


Wednesdays at Hospice House

Continuing in February and running through June, Hospice of Petaluma and Memorial Hospice are hosting a series of programs on Wednesday evenings in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Topics of interest to physicians and health care providers range from "Making Your Mind Magnificent" (neurological research with Steven Campbell) to "Death On Our Own Terms" (palliative and hospice care options with Dr. Gary Johanson).

The monthly presentations, lectures and performances are provided free of charge to the community by Hospice Services of St. Joseph Health. No reservations are required, and attendees will enjoy refreshments provided by local merchants. For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.SonomaCountyHospice.org or contact Denise Burke at denise.burke@stjoe.org.


FFeb. 23 and 25: Dementia Care conferences

The California Partnership to Improve Dementia Care is presenting a one-day conference, Dementia Care California: Sustaining Momentum and Success, in Sacramento on Feb. 23, and in Pasadena on Feb. 25. The program will look at where things are now and how to bridge the gap in transitional care for persons with dementia. Physicians, nurses, nursing home administrators and social workers are encouraged to attend. Continuing education credits will be available for nursing home administrators, nurses and social workers. The featured speaker will be G. Allen Power, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, and author of Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease. For more information or to register for the event, click here.



Feb. 28: Integrating Psychiatry & Primary Care

The Northern California Psychiatric Society presents Integrating Psychiatry & Primary Care, an informative panel discussion on the Affordable Health Care Act, and integrating psychiatry and primary care. The event will be Saturday, Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 Embarcadero, San Francisco. 5 CMEs available (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Find out more at www.ncps.org.


March 6-7: Childhood Obesity Bay Area Annual Conference

This annual conference, to be held March 6 and 7 at UCSF Medical Center, brings together local stakeholders in childhood obesity prevention to promote innovation and provide insight into work being done on this critical issue. The program features keynote presentations, professional panels, breakout sessions, networking events and a garden tour, plus a locally-catered breakfast, lunch, and wine reception. To get your tickets visit: www.coba2015.eventbrite.com.


April 2: PFMC grant proposals due

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 707-525-4281 or kpass@rhs.org.  For more information, visit www.pfmc.org


April 25: HIV/AIDS Review

The 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS Review, an educational CME seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa. This year's program will include: an HIV and HCV Update; HIV Prevention; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; Interdisciplinary Case Management; and Medication Errors in HIV Care. Speakers include: Kirsten Balano, PharmD; Drs. Marshall Kubota, Ele Lozares-Lewis, and Danny Toub; and Meghan Murphy, MSW. For more information, call The North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center at 707-303-8904.


Online: Medical cannabis courses (12 CME)

This new online series of 12 courses, offered by the Medical Cannabis Institute, includes: the history of cannabis as medicine; the endocannabinoid system; cannabis-the plant; the pharmacology and its physiologic effects; delivery and dosage; clinical practice; and clinical case study reviews. 12 CMEs available (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Find out more at www.TheMedicalCannabisInstitute.org


July and September: Cycling CME

Two CME conferences in Vail and Grand Junction, Colorado will emphasize exercise as medicine, common musculoskeletal problems, and nutrition. Conference groups are small, creating an atmosphere conducive to interactive "hands-on" learning, featuring challenging road bike rides daily. The event is sponsored by St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center. 15 CMEs pending (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Details here.


CLASSIFIEDS

SCMA members get free classifieds!
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 Susan Gumucio at susan@scma.org or 707-525-0102.


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.

© 2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

January 2015

Download PDF Here

SCMA NEWS

Sonoma County GPCI fix

Since SCMA's Health Care Summit in 2001, this issue has been SCMA's primary focus. Through the years, a handful of Sonoma physicians have met with CMS at its field office in San Francisco and in Washington DC, maintained continued contact with our Representatives in Congress, handled media interviews, spoken at countless Assembly, Senate, Congressional, and House Ways & Means hearings, rallied local public campaigns to educate our communities, written letters, and more. SCMA thanks each of you who supported the various campaigns and stayed informed on the issue in what SCMA has referred to through the years as "The Continuing Saga."

In 2014, during one of the most dysfunctional Congresses in history, CMA won passage of California-only legislation that reformed the outdated California Medicare payment localities and brought substantial payment increases to physicians in 14 counties, including Sonoma County. CMA believes this will maintain and improve access to physicians.

> Over the next decade, more than $1 billion in additional payments will be made to California physicians through Medicare FFS, Medicare Advantage and private contracts tied to the Medicare Fee Schedule. Starting in 2017, the new law phases in the new payment rates moving the current county-based payment localities to a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) system: Medicare pays hospitals this way. Physicians will be paid according to their local costs to provide care, and the payments will be updated annually to reflect the rise in local practice costs.

> Depending on the economy, the new law will increase payments to Sonoma County physicians from 4.1 to 9.1% or more. Thirteen other counties receiving payment increases are included in this legislation (El Dorado, Marin, Monterey, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Yolo).

> The legislation establishes a payment floor for rural California physicians set at current levels so when another recession hits, payments will not go down.



We think we've earned your membership

Have you renewed for 2015? Below are some of the reasons we think we've earned your membership. We want you to rejoin, or join, MMS!

> Prop. 46 was defeated (NO: 67% YES: 33%)! CMA-MMS spent $8 million of CMA reserves and raised $52 million to protect MICRA.

> The GPCI inequity for Marin County has been permanently solved. (See story above.)

> CMA held off a 10% Medi-Cal cut for three years, ensuring the cut would not have to be repaid.

> Among many other examples, legislative advocacy kept optometrists from practicing ophthalmology.

Click here to join MMS or to renew your 2015 membership online. Call Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 if you need a copy of your dues invoice. She can answer your questions, or handle payment over the phone. ::


Update your Sonoma County Physician Directory listing by Feb. 13

SCMA is accepting updates for the 2015 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.

To update your listing, return the directory verification form (mailed Jan. 15-20) to SCMA by Feb. 13. If you need a copy of the form, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or rachel@scma.org.


Sonoma Medicine winter issue online now

"The Brain" is the theme of the winter issue of Sonoma Medicine with four feature articles. The issue also includes a special report on Hearts of Sonoma County: A Countywide Hypertension Initiative; a "Mystery Case" presents details of a mysterious case and invites physicians to make the diagnosis; an international medicine article, "Bangon Tacloban" (Philippine relief mission), and more. Mailed in mid-January, it is now available online in PDF and text-only versions at www.scma.org.


Win an iPad through SCMA's "Passport to Participation"

To encourage physician collegiality and the advancement of community health, PASSPORT TO PARTICIPATION acknowledges Sonoma County physicians' active engagement with SCMA, CMA and community activities by awarding points for participation. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year. Click here to learn more.


Save the date: Legislative Advocacy Day April 14

SCMA members are invited to CMA's annual Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Attended by several hundred physicians, this conference provides an opportunity to meet with local legislators regarding pressing health care issues after morning speeches by CMA's president, Dr. Luther Cobb, and Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. This year's keynote speaker is expected to be Governor Jerry Brown, followed by a political panel discussion and afternoon sessions with local legislators in their offices. For more information, visit www.cmanet.org/events or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or cmelody@scma.org.


PFMC grant proposals due April 2

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 707-525-4281 or kpass@rhs.org. For more information, visit www.pfmc.org.


Donations to Holiday Greeting Card net record $15,000

Donations to the SCMA/SCMAA health careers scholarship fund's 2014 Holiday Greeting Card set a new record of $15,000 from 150 donors who were acknowledged in the card. This year's card featured the stunning artwork of Dr. Kate Black, a Santa Rosa anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician. The Holiday Greeting Card helps fund scholarships for deserving students who are Sonoma County residents currently enrolled or intending to enroll in a medically related field of study. The program has given scholarships to local students since the 1960s, and several former recipients are currently practicing medicine in Sonoma County. For more information about the scholarship fund and other SCMA Alliance activities, visit www.scmaa.org.


Applicants

Ryan Bradley, MD, Anesthesiology, 401 Bicentennial Way, UC San Francisco 2004

Stanley Cheng, 1st year Medical Student, Touro Univ


LOCAL NEWS

iDo26.2 seeking donations to sustain youth run/walk program

iDo26.2, a walking/running program designed to encourage and facilitate regular physical activity and fitness in our Sonoma County youth as part of a healthy family lifestyle, is seeking donations to support the school-based program. The program costs about $4 per student and over 5,000 students are expected to participate this academic school year. Please consider making a donation. For more information, click here to visit the website, or contact Dr. Joe Clendenin at dcjgc@yahoo.com.


HIV/AIDS Review April 25

The 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS Review, an educational CME seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa. This year's program will include: an HIV and HCV Update; HIV Prevention; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; Interdisciplinary Case Management; and Medication Errors in HIV Care. Speakers include: Kirsten Balano, PharmD; Drs. Marshall Kubota, Ele Lozares-Lewis, and Danny Toub; and Meghan Murphy, MSW. For more information, call The North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center at 707-303-8904.


CMA NEWS

2015 new health care laws

The California Legislature had an active year, passing many new laws affecting health care. In particular, there was a strong focus on scope of practice for allied health professionals, prescription drug abuse, public health issues and health care coverage. The following article from Sonoma Medicine provides summaries of the most significant new health laws of interest to physicians: download PDF or link to online article. ::


Top Stories from CMA ALERT

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association. Read the current issue here. Articles include:

  • CMA files amicus brief to protect patient privacy in Oregon prescription drug database case
  • CMA files brief in Medicaid case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court • Insurance commissioner issues emergency regulation requiring health insurers to have sufficient networks
  • Insurance commissioner issues emergency regulation requiring health insurers to have sufficient networks
  • Governor's January budget proposal leaves state's woeful Medi-Cal reimbursement rates untouched
  • • Meet and interact with internationally lauded authors at the 2015 Leadership Academy
  • Disneyland measles outbreak continues to grow; physicians advised to look for signs of the disease in patients
  • How to request an IMQ physician surveyor for your hospital accreditation survey • 100,000 Covered California enrollees being transitioned into Medi-Cal managed care in January
  • U.S. Supreme Court to hear ACA subsidy case on March 4
  • Deadline approaching for physicians wishing to opt out of new United Healthcare Medi-Cal managed care network
  • CMA creates new resource summarizing Medicare incentive and penalty programs
  • CMS to hold Medicare claims for first two weeks of January
  • CCalifornia ACEP publishes safe prescribing handout for patients
 


RESOURCES

CPR: CMA Practice Resources

CPR is a free monthly e-bulletin from CMA's practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and health care industry changes and how they directly impact the business of a physician practice. Each issue includes tips on reimbursement and contracting-related issues along with information on the latest practice management news. Read the current issue here. Titles include:

  • Be prepared for Covered California changes in 2015
  • Verifying your patients' eligibility and benefits in 2015 may save your practice thousands of dollars
  • Potential Medicare pay cuts coming in 2015; participation selections due Dec. 31
  • CMA creates new resource summarizing Medicare incentive and penalty programs
  • DHCS identifies glitch in UCR web app for CHDP primary care rate increase payments
  • Don't miss out on increased Medi-Cal payments! Deadline to attest is Dec. 31
  • Annual Medicare benefit changes • New Reassignment of Medicare Benefits (855R) enrollment form coming
  • DMHC audit finds Anthem, Blue Shield Covered California directories misleading and violate state law
  • Duals project sees additional setbacks
  • Medi-Cal provider training announced
  • Reminder: Anthem expanding its Medi-Cal managed care network
  • The Coding Corner: CPT 2015: Summary of additions and revisions

Sonoma County immunization clinics and clinical services
A complete listing of community clinics and clinical services in Sonoma County is produced by the Sonoma County Immunization Assistance Program. Download the brochure here, and visit the DHS website here. Immunization questions can be sent to IZNurse@sonoma-county.org.

Wednesdays at Hospice House
Beginning in January and running through June, Hospice of Petaluma and Memorial Hospice will host a series of six programs on Wednesday evenings in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Topics of interest to physicians and health care providers range from "Making Your Mind Magnificent" (neurological research with Steven Campbell) to "Death On Our Own Terms" (palliative and hospice care options with Dr. Gary Johanson).

The monthly presentations, lectures and performances are provided free of charge to the community by Hospice Services of St. Joseph Health. No reservations are required, and attendees will enjoy refreshments provided by local merchants. For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.SonomaCountyHospice.org or contact Denise Burke at denise.burke@stjoe.org.

Dementia care conference coming in February 2015
The California Partnership to Improve Dementia Care is presenting a one-day conference, Dementia Care California: Sustaining Momentum and Success, in Sacramento on Feb. 23, and in Pasadena on Feb. 25. The program will look at where things are now and how to bridge the gap in transitional care for persons with dementia. Physicians, nurses, nursing home administrators and social workers are encouraged to attend. Continuing education credits will be available for nursing home administrators, nurses and social workers. The featured speaker will be G. Allen Power, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, and author of Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease. For more information or to register for the event, click here.

Childhood Obesity Bay Area Annual Conference
This annual conference-to be held March 6 and 7 at UCSF Medical Center-brings together local stakeholders in childhood obesity prevention to promote innovation and provide insight into work being done on this critical issue. The program features keynote presentations, professional panels, breakout sessions, networking events and a garden tour, plus a locally-catered breakfast, lunch, and wine reception. To get your tickets visit: www.coba2015.eventbrite.com.


CLASSIFIEDS

Seeking sublet to rent
Seeking medical office for sublet in Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, or Petaluma.
Please contact office@marinphysiatry.com or call 415-839-8399.

SCMA members get free classifieds!
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 Susan Gumucio at susan@scma.org or 707-525-0102.


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. ©

2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


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