Keeping You Connected

The SCMA and MLCMS keep you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events

rss

January 2009


Additional Palmetto Medicare Billing Seminar at SCMA on Jan. 30


Because of high demand, SCMA will host an additional free seminar on Medicare billing from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. Attendees need to bring their own lunch. The first seminar, scheduled for Jan. 26, is completely full.

The Jan. 30 seminar, to be held in SCMA’s office at 3033 Cleveland Ave. in Santa Rosa, will be conducted by Sandra Siddall, a provider outreach consultant for Palmetto GBA, the new Medicare administrator for California. She will address any Medicare billing topics of concern to attendees.

To reserve a spot and suggest topics, contact Rachel Pandolfi at rpandolfi@scma.org or 525-4375. Space is limited, so early reservations are recommended.

book


Physicians Invited to Health Care Community Discussion on Dec. 30


All local physicians are invited to attend a Health Care Community Discussion on Dec. 30 sponsored by President-elect Obama’s Healthcare Transition Team. The discussion will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Sonoma Community Room at the Redwood Credit Union, 3033 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa.

Space is limited, so RSVPs are required. Please RSVP by 9 a.m. on Dec. 30 to Donna Paul of the Redwood Community Health Coalition at dpaul@rchc.net or 542-7242.

A Participant Guide for the discussion is available on the SCMA website at www.scma.org/resources/. The guide includes an overview of health care problems, key points of Obama’s health care plan, questions to address at the discussion, and a participant survey.

For more information on the Obama health care plan, visit www.change.gov.

book


Winter Issue of Sonoma Medicine Examines Children’s Health


The Winter 2009 issue of Sonoma Medicine, due for mailingnext week, features several articles on children’s health by localpediatricians, family physicians and a child psychiatrist. Topics includeimmunizations, nutrition, mental health, autism and the recent Community NeedsAssessment on children’s health.

Physicians interested in submitting article proposals forfuture issues should contact the editor, Steve Osborn, at sosborn@scma.org or525-4325.

book


Physician Directory Scheduled for Delivery Later This Month


The 2009 edition of the SCMA Physician Directory, one of themost heavily used reference tools in local medical offices, is scheduled fordelivery later this month. This year’s directory includes a new section withdetailed information on SCMA members, along with specialty indexes that listalmost every physician in Sonoma County.

Each SCMA member receives one free copy of the directory.Additional copies cost $30 for SCMA members, $40 for nonmember physicians, and$55 for the general public. To purchase, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 orrpandolfi@scma.org.

book


County To Hold Public Meetings on Sutter Hospital Proposal


Three public meetings onSutter’s proposal for a new hospital next to the Wells Fargo Center will beheld on Jan. 13 and 14. The meetings, conducted by the  Sonoma County Department of HealthServices, will include presentation of the proposal by Sutter officials,followed by public comments. The proposal has been posted to the SCMA websiteat www.scma.org/resources/.

All three meetings will be heldin the DHS Rotunda at 3313 Chanate Road in Santa Rosa. Meetings are scheduledfor:

Jan. 13: 3 to 5 p.m.

Jan. 14: 8 to 10 a.m.

Jan. 14: 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contactLynn Scuri, DHS administrative services officer, at 565-4417. 

book


Physicians Mentors Needed for Students in Health Care Program


Physician mentors are needed for students in the HealthcareWorkforce Development Program at Santa Rosa Junior College. This competitiveprogram enrolls bright bilingual students who are pursuing careers in healthcare. Physicians can help these students by offering:

Internships. Studentscan volunteer in physicians’ office for at least 20 hours per semester.

Mentoring.Establish one-on-one relationships with students to help them explore medicalcareers.

Job Shadowing. Allowstudents to shadow you as you work.

Interested physicians should contact Juan Arias, program coordinator, at521-7802 or jarias@santarosa.edu. book


North County Healthcare Foundation Sets Sights on Physician Recruitment


The Healthcare Foundation ofNorthern Sonoma County, a nonprofit group associated with Healdsburg DistrictHospital, has prepared a strategic plan that calls for more physicianrecruitment, improved IT services at the hospital and physicians’ offices, andpurchase of digital mammography and radiology equipment.

The ambitious plan follows asuccessful fundraising drive that began in 2005 and has raised $14.2 million todate. Funds have been used to upgrade the emergency department, ICU and strokecenter at Healdsburg Hospital.

A public meeting on the planwill be held at the Healdsburg City Council chambers at 5 p.m. on Jan. 7.

book


Medicare Participation Deadline is Dec. 31


Physicians who wish to change their Medicare participation status for 2009 must do so by this Wednesday, Dec. 31. There are three choices: 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 percent of participating physician fees. If you choose not to accept assignment, you can charge the patient 9.25 percent 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. Once you opt out, you cannot opt back in for two years.

For more information, see CMA ON-CALL document #0151, “Medicare Participation (and Nonparticipation) Options,” available at www.cmanet.org/. You can also contact Michele Kelly at 916-551-2862 or mkelly@cmanet.org.

book


New CME Reporting Requirements


New CME reporting requirementstake effect in 2009. Physicians will now be required to complete 50 CME hours duringevery two-year licensure period, rather than 100 hours every four years. CMEwill also be calculated based on the physician’s personal license renewal date(the last day of the month of your birthday), not the calendar year.

CMA’s Institute for MedicalQuality’s CME Certification Program, now in its 32nd year, documents andverifies physician participation in approved postgraduate education and otherCME activities. IMQ has modified its processes to adapt to the new reportingrequirements. Reporting forms will now be mailed quarterly to physicians withlicense expiration dates in the following quarter.

Once a completed form has beenreceived by IMQ, the physician’s self-reported CME will be verified forcompliance with medical board requirements.

IMQ’s CME certification is $29for members, $49 for nonmembers. Physicians also can request that their CMEcertification information be other agencies for credentialing or membershiprenewal purposes, without additional charge.

For details, contact Paulette Richardsonat 415-882-3387 or prichardson@imq.org.

book


Neonatal Resuscitation Renewal Program on Jan. 23


A renewal program for neonatalresuscitation (NRP) will be held at Sutter Santa Rosa on Jan. 23. Allparticipants need to complete an online NRP evaluation at www.aap.org/nrp/before attending the class. The program counts for 3 hours of CME credit. Formore details, contact Karen Mack at mackkl@sutterhealth.org.

book


Primary Care Conference at Yosemite Lodge on April 3 and 4


A postgraduate institute forprimary care physicians will be held at Yosemite Lodge on April 3 and 4. Topicsinclude psychiatric challenges, the biology of aging, and cardiovasculardiseases. Includes 16 hours of CME credit. To register, contact the FresnoMadera Medical Society at info@fmmms.org or 559-224-4224.

book


Marsh Offers Health Insurance Assistance


Marsh, the endorsed healthinsurance broker and consultant for SCMA, offers several resources for members,including:

* No-obligation review of yourcurrent health plan.

* Access to a variety of healthplans from multiple insurers.

* Health savings accounts.

* Tools to help you stay currenton health and benefit issues.

For details, contact a Marshrepresentative at 800-842-3761.

book



Space to Sublet
Sublet space in small medical office near Memorial Hospital. Call 707-396-4763.

Medical Office Santa Rosa
Office in class "A" medical building at 1111 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa. Approx. 100 sq. ft., with sink. $795/mo., including utilities. Access to shared waiting room, reception area, kitchen, private restrooms. Handicap accessible. Ample parking. Contact Judy at 707-528-0911.

Wanted: Vintage Doctor’s Bag
Looking for a vintage doctor’s bag as a gift for my medical student son. If you have one that is in fairly good condition and you are willing to sell it, contact Cynthia Melody at cmelody@scma.org or 707-525-4359.

How to Submit an Ad
To submit a classified ad for News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact Nan Perrott at nperrott@rhscommunications.com or 707-525-4226. The cost is one dollar per word.

book