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March 2014


Call Congress on March 5 to urge SGR repeal

Physicians and patients are closer than ever before to reaching their long-sought goal of eliminating the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and establishing new payment systems that will support high-quality patient care. HR 4015, introduced by Rep. Mike Burgess, MD (R-TX) and S 2000, introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), represent the first bipartisan, bicameral legislation to replace the flawed Medicare physician payment update formula.

But Congress has very few days to establish a pathway and enact this legislation before the scheduled 2014 Medicare physician payment cut of 24% takes effect on April 1.

Physician voices must be strong, compelling and unified if medicine is to accomplish SGR repeal and avoid enduring a 17th short-term payment patch. All physicians are asked to demonstrate their support and impress Congress of the urgency to act by participating in a national Congressional call-in effort on Wednesday, March 5.

All are invited to use the AMA’s toll-free hotline to contact their members of Congress:

1-800-833-6354

The message points are simple and direct:

  • The sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula is widely acknowledged to be a policy failure. Congress has been forced to intervene 16 times since 2003 to prevent steep payment cuts and preserve seniors’ access to care.
  • Now a bipartisan, bicameral process involving three Congressional committees has produced agreement on a new policy framework. The framework repeals the SGR and creates a pathway to a higher-performing Medicare program.
  • Repealing the SGR is the fiscally responsible choice. More money has been spent on short-term payment patches that continue supporting this failed policy than it would cost to pass the legislation before Congress today.
  • It is time to establish new payment methods that will support the healthcare delivery systems that Medicare patients and American taxpayers deserve.
  • Congress must seize this opportunity and act before March 31, when the SGR calls for a 24% across-the-board cut in Medicare physician payments.
  • It is time to pass HR 4015 and S 2000.

Additional supporting material can be found on the AMA’s dedicated website: www.FixMedicareNow.org.

Please join your colleagues in maintaining pressure on Congress to act on this vitally important legislation before time runs out. Join the national call-to-action day on Wednesday, March 5.


Meet your state Senate and Assembly candidates March 17 and 27

Marin and Sonoma County physicians are invited to meet their 2014 state Senate and Assembly candidates on Monday evening, March 17, and Thursday evening, March 27. Both meet-and-greets will be held at the Hilltop Restaurant, 850 Lamont Ave., Novato. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. There is no charge, but RSVPs are required.

The March 17 event features Mike McGuire, candidate for Senate District 2, which includes all of Marin County, along with Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg and Cloverdale. The evening begins with a physician pre-meeting from 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by an interview with McGuire and a post-interview discussion.

The March 27 event features Erin Carlstrom and Marc Levine, both candidates for Assembly District 10, which includes all of Marin County, along with Petaluma, Sonoma, Cotati, Sebastopol and southern Santa Rosa. The evening begins with a physician pre-meeting from 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by interviews with Carlstrom and Levine and a post-interview discussion.

To RSVP for one or both events, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891 (Marin), 707-525-4375 (Sonoma) or rachel@scma.org. For more information, see the attached flyer.

March 17 and 27 Candidate Meetings flyer


Hillary Clinton headlines 2014 Health Care Leadership Academy

Former Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy in San Diego on April 11-13. Top thinkers from around the country will share strategies and resources for accelerating the shift to a more integrated, high performing, and sustainable health care system.

The conference will examine the most significant challenges facing health care today and present proven models and innovative approaches to transform your organization’s care delivery and business practices. Topics will include leadership development, ACA implementation, practice management and the ICD-10 transition.

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


Legislative Leadership Conference set for April 22 in Sacramento

All SCMA members are invited to CMA’s 40th annual Legislative Leadership Conference on Tuesday, April 22, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. This free event begins with morning speeches by political leaders, followed by afternoon sessions with local legislators. Several hundred physicians from around the state are expected to attend.

For more information, visit www.cmanet.org/events or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or cmelody@scma.org.


Top stories from CMA Alert

Here are the top stories from the latest CMA Alert, the California Medical Association’s biweekly email newsletter. For a free subscription, visit www.cmanet.org/cma-alert.


PEOPLE

Five veteran local physicians have joined the Annadel Medical Group. Dr. Ralph DiLiso, a Santa Rosa pulmonologist, is medical director of critical care medicine and respiratory care at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital. Dr. Eugene Belogorsky, also a pulmonologist, has been in private practice in Santa Rosa for more than 25 years. Dr. Greg Ackroyd, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, is medical director of the North Bay Sleep Medicine Institute. Longtime practice partners Dr. James Palleschi and Dr. Robert James, both urologists, have shifted from Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods to Annadel. Combined, they have practiced in Santa Rosa for more than 60 years. Their new office is located at 121 Sotoyome St. in Santa Rosa.


RESOURCES & EVENTS

Santa Rosa Community Health Centers is sponsoring a fundraising breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18, at the Vintners Inn, 4350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa. The theme of the event is “Transforming care, improving lives.” The event is free, but reservations are required. To RSVP, contact Laurie Lynn Hogan at 707-303-3617 or laurieh@srhealthcenters.org.

The Colon Cancer Alliance is offering a fun twist to an otherwise grim topic by sponsoring the inaugural Sonoma County Undy 5000 run/walk on Saturday morning, April 12. Instead of the usual race-day tee shirt, participants will get a pair of Undy 5000 boxer shorts to highlight the nether regions affected by colon cancer. The event also features a giant inflatable walk-through colon to educate the public about colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. For more information, or to register, visit www.undy5000.org and click on Sonoma County.

Nonprofit health organizations in Sonoma County are encouraged to apply for community grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care. The application deadline is April 2. 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. For application materials, visit www.pfmc.org or contact Kathy Pass at 707-525-4281 or kpass@rhs.org.

The 21st annual HIV/AIDS Review is set for Saturday, April 5, at the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa. Intended for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS, the review features sessions on advances in HIV testing, hepatitis C treatment and new HIV medications. Cost is $45, which includes breakfast, lunch and 5 hours of CME. To register, click here or call 707-303-8904.

The following CMA webinars are scheduled for March. Webinars, which are typically worth one CEU credit, begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or later. To register, visit www.cmanet.org. Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person.

SCMA Annual Wine & Cheese Reception June 10: Download flyer: SCMA_Wine_Cheese_2014.pdf


CLASSIFIEDS

Part-time hospice physician needed for Hospice By The Bay
Seeking an experienced physician to work 2-3 days per week in our Larkspur office and throughout Sonoma County (25%). Primary duties include developing Plans of Care for patients and families, consulting with team members on medical issues, and serving as a medical liaison with community physicians. Hospice and palliative care experience is paramount. For additional information, contact Hospice By The Bay at 415-444-9802.

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 Linda McLaughlin at Linda@scma.org or 707-525-4359.


APPLICANTS

Jeannette Currie, MD, Family Medicine, 1275 4th St. #151, Santa Rosa 95404, Albert Ludwigs Univ 1998

Karen Kai Gelphman, MD, Family Medicine*, Women’s Health, 3883 Airway Dr #202, Santa Rosa 95403, Univ Washington 1992

Leo Smith, MD, Family Medicine*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #GO4, Santa Rosa 95405, Oregon Health Sciences Univ 2006

Elise Sullivan, MD, Family Medicine, 6800 Palm Ave. #C2, Sebastopol 95472, Univ Colorado 2007

* = board certified; italics = special medical interest


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.

© 2014 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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