Sunday, December 17, 2017

OCMA Blog

MEDICARE SGR ALERT: Physicians: Call Congress Now!

PROTECT ACCESS TO CARE IN CALIFORNIA


DON'T PATCH IT, REPEAL IT!

MEDICARE SGR REPEAL AND PAYMENT REFORM: HR 4015/S 2000

 

Physicians: Call Congress Now! (800) 833-6354 (Takes 2 Min)

UPDATE MARCH 11, 2014:
House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote for this week on H.R. 4015, with a repeal of the ACA individual mandate as the funding source. (If the mandate is repealed, the government will spend less on premium subsidies and thus, a substantial cost savings will occur.)

This repeal of the ACA is not an acceptable, viable funding option in the U.S. Senate. Knowing that the ACA repeal will not be accepted, House leaders have scheduled a second vote at the end of March to adopt another nine-month patch.

CMA is urging Congress to find bipartisan funding sources. We are opposing another nine-month patch. CMA is calling upon Congress to Fix Medicare Now!

A long-awaited and hard-fought bill to permanently repeal Medicare's fatally flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula finally is before Congress. The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4015/S. 2000) offers a fiscally prudent opportunity for lawmakers to repeal the SGR formula and put Medicare on the path toward a stable, 21st-century program that can meet the growing health care needs of the nation's seniors.

This is the most progress Congress has made in a decade. We must seize this opportunity and make a final push to get this bill passed NOW. To sustain the bipartisan momentum, your Congressional representatives need to hear from you.

There are many powerful groups that are pushing back, objecting to Congress' plans for funding the physician payment fix. That's where you come in. To overcome the opposition, Congress needs to hear from a large volume of physicians. Every single physician needs to call and email the California Senators and your Member of Congress NOW!

Congress has a significant opportunity to finally repeal the SGR and enact payment reform. Why?

  • The cost to repeal the SGR is at an all-time low of $116 billion - down from $238 billion.
  • Congress has already spent $154 billion over the last decade adopting short-term patches to stop the SGR cuts - more than the total cost to repeal the SGR. It is fiscally irresponsible to adopt another one-year SGR patch. The Wall Street Journal calls the "patches" a sham.
  • There is a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on legislation to establish a new payment system.
  • The deadline is March 31, 2014, when the next 24 percent SGR cut occurs.

But reform won't happen unless Congress hears from thousands of physicians!

Physicians must call Congress to fix Medicare now!
To overcome the partisan funding proposals and the other opposition, Congress needs to hear from a large volume of physicians. Every physician needs to call and email the California Senators and your Member of Congress NOW! Please make as many calls and send as many emails as possible. Every one makes a difference! We are asking physicians to call/email the following individuals:

  • Your local congressional representative (use your local zip code)
  • California Senator Barbara Boxer
  • California Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (zip code 93309)
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (zip code 94103)

To contact members of Congress:
Call AMA's Grassroots Hotline, (800) 833-6354, to be connected with your members of Congress in Washington. You will be asked to enter your zip code and select your representative. You are also encouraged to call your representatives in their local district offices (click here to download a current telephone roster).

You may also email your federal legislators via the AMA's "Fix Medicare Now" grassroots website. Utilizing the sample letter provided, it takes no more than two minutes.

Urge Congress to tell their House and Senate leadership to:
1. Protect access to care in California and enact Medicare physician payment reform NOW.
2. The cost to fix the Medicare SGR is at an all-time low and there is bipartisan agreement on the legislation.
3. Use bipartisan funding sources.
4. Oppose another one-year SGR patch.

Ask your patients to help:
AMA has also prepared a flyer that you can use to get your patients involved in the fight to protect Medicare. Distribute the AMA's "Fix Medicare Now" flyer to your patients and ask them to call their representatives, too.

Additional information:


Member Resource: Surviving the Third Month of Covered CA

As of February 15, Covered California reports that more than 828,000 individuals have enrolled in exchange plans, which surpasses its original target. With that figure expected to grow by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, it is critical that physicians and their staff know what to expect.
 

To help answer some of the more common questions, the California Medical Association (CMA) offers this third tip sheet to help physicians survive the third month of Covered California.

Additionally, CMA has just published a document physicians can provide to their patients to address the most common patient questions. The document is available free for members in CMA's exchange resource center at www.cmanet.org/exchange. If you would like patient materials delivered to your office or patient training for your office staff, please fill out a Covered CA Information Request form and fax or email it back to OCMA. 
 
Still have questions?
Visit CMA's exchange resource center at www.cmanet.org/exchange. There you will find all of CMA's exchange resources, including CMA's comprehensive exchange toolkit, "CMA's Got You Covered: A Physician's Guide to Covered California, the state's health benefit exchange." OCMA members and their staff also have FREE access to your Physician Advocate, Mitzi Young for reimbursement assistance and questions about the exchange. Members can contact Mitzi at (888) 236-0267 or myoung@cmanet.org.


March 14 is early bird deadline for 2014 Leadership Academy; Register today and save $100

Register today for the 17th annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy (formerly the California Health Care Leadership Academy) and save $100. You won't want to miss out on this year's dynamic conference and our very special keynote speaker! 

This year's conference will be held at the beautiful San Diego Convention Center on April 11-13, 2014. 

Continuing its tradition of programming excellence, the conference will examine the most significant operational, financial and environmental challenges facing health care today and present proven models and innovative approaches that will enable you to transform your organization’s care delivery and business practices.  

Registrations received on or before March 14 receive a $100 discount. Additional discounts available for multiple registrations (five or more individuals from the same medical practice, medical group or medical staff). Visit http://www.westernleadershipacademy.com for more details.

New this year, registrants have the option to select the "VIP Upgrade" for a more up close and personal experience. Register with the VIP Upgrade and enjoy express onsite check-in, preferred seating, a private off-site cocktail reception and more! Upgrades are available in a limited number on a first-come, first-served basis, so register today!

Contact: Roger Purdy, (800) 795-2262 or rpurdy@cmanet.org.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline the 2014 Leadership Academy

The 17th annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy is thrilled to welcome keynote speaker Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York. This year's Academy (formerly the California Health Care Leadership Academy), is scheduled for April 11-13, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center.  

Top thinkers and doers 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 and practice management.

Click here for the flyer and registration form. 


The County of Orange, Health Care Agency is seeking an experienced Public Health Medical Officer I

Program Emphasis:

The Public Health Medical Officer I provides culturally sensitive, medically indicated care (and supervision of clinical services provided by Family Health nurse practitioners), including clinical assessments, physical exams, diagnostic and medical management, and coordination of case management. The Public Health Medical Officer I also supports on-site program activities in other co-located ambulatory care clinics.

LOCATION:

Santa Ana - 1725 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92706 

The Opportunity:

The County of Orange, HEALTH CARE AGENCY is seeking an experienced Public Health Medical Officer I who can utilize their education and skills to:

  • Examine, diagnose and treat pediatric patients for both acute care and periodic health screenings (CHDP) seen in our Family Health Clinics (Child Health, Immunizations)
  • (In the case of a family medicine physician) provide in the Family Planning Clinic individual reproductive health education and counseling; initiation and management of all FDA-approved methods of contraception, including emergency contraception; clinical and preventive services to maintain reproductive health
  • Prescribe medications to suitable patients; initiate and/or continue medical regimes for new patients; chart treatment records and monitor results; provide medical patient consultations/referrals to other physicians in the community
  • Provide clinical supervision and consultations to nurse practitioners in Child Health (Pediatric or Family Medicine Physicians) and Family Planning (Family Medicine Physicians only)
  • Consult with other program clinical staff regarding care of patients and treatment given
  • Conduct nurse practitioner peer reviews, patient care-coordination and case management
  • Develop, review and update clinical policies and procedures, clinical practice guidelines, developmental screenings
  • Provide clinical oversight of travel immunization clinic, provide consults (including malaria) for travelers; monitor travel and/or health-related advisories
  • Present in-service education and trainings to clinic staff (including new and updated policies and procedures, vaccines)
  • Stay current with care and treatment guidelines; ensure compliance with requirements from Childhood Prevention and Disability Program (CHDP), Family Planning (FPACT), Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program
  • Review billing records for accuracy and appropriate documentation.
  • Participate in staff meetings, problem solving groups, and continuing education programs sponsored by the clinic or other designated agencies.
  • Identify client's medical or psychosocial issues that fall outside the scope of Family Health and refer such cases to appropriate resources for treatment with follow-up.
  • Participate in quality improvement activities, review charts for compliance with established standards, policies, and procedures.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:


License Required:
  • Possession of a valid Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate issued by the Board of Medical Examiners of the State of California.
Education:
  • Possession of a masters degree in public health from an accredited school of public health (one year of experience as a Medical Officer in a public health agency with a generalized program may be substituted for the masters degree).

 

For more information and to apply, click here.


CMA Resource: Surviving the Second Month of Covered California

As of January 15, Covered California reports that more than 625,000 individuals have enrolled in exchange plans. With that figure expected to grow by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, it is critical that physicians and their staff know what to expect.

To help answer some of the more common questions, the California Medical Association (CMA) offers a second tip sheet as a members-only benefit to help physicians survive the second month of Covered California. To access the full Covered CA tip sheet, click here or visit  http://www.cmanet.org/resource-library/detail/?item=surviving-the-second-month-of-covered.


Upcoming AME Symposium – Under the Influence: Medicine in the post Physician Payment Sunshine Act World – Changes, Challenges and Confusion

Friday, February 28, 2014 – 1 pm – 5 pm

Beckman Center,
100 Academy Drive
Irvine, CA 92617


The Association for Medical Ethics and the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine are pleased to host the upcoming AME Symposium – Under the Influence – Medicine in the post Physician Payment Sunshine Act World – Changes, Challenges and Confusion, to be held from 1 pm to 5 pm on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif., with a cocktail reception to follow.

The afternoon will feature physicians, researchers, attorneys and medical industry professionals as they present and discuss the latest information on state of medicine today and in the future, as the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act impacts the medical community.

Physicians attending the AME UCI Symposium may earn Continuing Medical Education credits. This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. The course fee is $40 per person.

 Featured Speakers

  •     Terry Belmont, Chief Executive Officer, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Medical Center Affairs, University of California, Irvine
  •     Charles Burton, MD, President of the Association for Medical Ethics, Neurosurgical Spine Specialist and Medical Director, Sentinel Medical Associates, Editor, Burtonreport.com, Former Board Member and past President NASS
  •     Erwin Chemerinsky, JD, Dean of the School of Law, University of California, Irvine
  •     Howard Gillman, PhD, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
  •     Ranjan Gupta, MD, Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Anatomy & Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine
  •     Zeev Kain, MD, MBA, Associate Dean for Clinical Operations, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care, and Professor of Anesthesiology & Pediatrics & Psychiatry & PM&R, University of California, Irvine
  •     Allan Korn, MD, Former Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield
  •     Scott Lederhaus, MD, Association for Medical Ethics Board Member and Neurosurgeon, Inland Neurosurgery Institute and AME Board Member
  •     Charles Rosen, MD, Co-Founder of the Association for Medical Ethics, Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery University of California, Irvine

For more information and to register visit http://www.ethicaldoctor.org/symposium.


OCMA hosts Leaders Toolkit: A two-day course for physicians seeking leadership roles in organized medicine


Leadership, except for the amazing few, is a learned art.

The Leader's Toolkit is a Socratic seminar (via a didactic "lecture") that covers the key elements of leadership in a very concise manner. While there will be some theory, we will highlight actionable behavior, tools, and concepts that you will (or should) use every day. This two-day course is available to CMA/OCMA members only.

What Will Be Covered:

  • Strategy: Knowing when to change, change management, strategic planning, strategic execution
  • Leading Your Team: Non-delegatable responsibilities of the leader, setting boundaries - management philosophy, making decisions
  • Building Your Team: Hiring (and firing)
  • Managing Your Time: Setting priorities, managing your time
  • Managing Your Meetings: Running a Meeting, parliamentary procedure
  • Managing Your Organization's Money: assessing your financials from the CEO's perspective and knowing the correct questions to ask
  • CMA/CMS Structure: Understanding and leveraging this critical relationship from a physician leader's perspective
  • Managing Your Message: Communicating by email, communicating one-to-one, having difficult conversations, negotiating, communications with your customer (aka marketing)

Meeting Dates & Times: 
Leader's Toolkit will begin promptly at 8:00 am on Saturday, March 22, 2013 and includes a mandatory dinner that evening. We will convene again at 8:00am on Sunday, March 23rd. We will conclude at 12 noon.
 
Presenter:
Tom Gehring, CEO, Executive Director of the San Diego Medical Society, has taught this immensely popular seminar for the past 5 years. 
 
Location:
OCMA Conference Center
17322 Murphy Ave.
Irvine, CA 92614

Registration Information
 
RSVP: Fax the form to 916.551.2563 or contact Jennifer Moller, CMS Services at 916.551.2541 or jennifer@cmsservices.org.
Space is limited so RSVP today!
 
Cost: This program is FREE to our members and offered as a member benefit. We do require that all participants purchase a set of 13 leadership and reference books which are discussed during the seminar and provide the attendee valuable resources for further study and reference. This collection of books may be purchased directly from Amazon (list will be provided) and most are available as e-Books, hard-bound and/or as paperbacks and cost between $150 - $200 for the set.
 
Class size is limited to 16 attendees and reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Meals over the two days will be provided by CMA including dinner on Saturday night. Travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of the attendee.  
 
Attire: No ties, no suits, no fancy attire - jeans are just fine. California casual, please.

"My participation in the Leader's Toolkit seminar was useful in so many ways - some unexpected. I have been more effective at communicating within my family, at my workplace and among the leadership at my hospital. I recommend this course to all physicians who want to advocate for patients or for other doctors, who hold any leadership role in their practice, hospital, community or medical group, or who have any aspirations for such a role." 
- Ruth Haskins, M.D.


Now Accepting Nominations: 2014 OCMA Physician of the Year

DEADLINE: February 18, 2014

The Orange County Medical Association is now accepting nominations for the 2014 OCMA Physician of the Year. This award, which was established in 1983, recognizes a physician who, throughout his/her career, has exemplified what it means to be an accomplished physician. All OCMA members are encouraged to participate by nominating a fellow physician for his/her hard work and dedication, exceptional professional competence, and good rapport with patients. The award also acknowledges the physician for being a motivator, educator and community leader. If you would like to nominate a fellow physician colleague, please send your recommendation letter including: 
 
  • Name and title of nominee  
  • Description of the nominee's accomplishments and contributions. Supporting documents such as a CV, newspaper clippings, etc. are encouraged   
  • Name, title and signature of nominator
Nominees are not required to be OCMA members.
 
The winner will be announced at the OCMA General Membership Dinner.

 

Nomination submission:

 

Attention Holly Appelbaum 2014 OCMA Physician of the Year
Orange County Medical Association
17322 Murphy Avenue, Irvine, CA  92614
(949) 398-8100 ext 106 

Fax: (949) 398-8120

Email: happelbaum@ocma.org

DEADLINE: February 18, 2014


Medical Community Loses Richard F. Kammerman, M.D.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Richard F. Kammerman, M.D., past president of OCMA, passed away at St. Joseph Hospital on January 9, 2014.  He was 83.
 
Dr. Kammerman was board certified in family medicine.  He was a Clinical Professor of the UCI Department of Family Medicine. 
 
Dr. Kammerman was president of OCMA in 1991-92.  In 1997, he was named OCMA's Physician of the Year.  Even after he retired, Dr. Kammerman could be counted on to assist OCMA whenever he was needed.  He was a popular mentor in OCMA's "Speed Mentoring" program that OCMA organized for UCI medical students.  In recent years, Dr. Kammerman served on the Physicians of Excellence Selection Committee.  In addition, Dr. Kammerman founded and served as president of OCMA's Toastmasters Club (chapter 3773).  
 
Dr. Kammerman contributed countless hours to service and leadership positions within OCMA and other professional associations and hospitals since the early 1960's.  In addition to his work within OCMA, Dr. Kammerman served as president of the Orange County Chapter of the Academy of Family Physicians and served as a representative to the California State Academy of Family Physicians and the California Medical Association.  He served on the hospital staffs of St. Joseph Hospital, CHOC, and Western Medical Center, and was elected chair of the Family Medicine Department in each of these hospitals. 
 
Dr. Kammerman's greatest influence on the community has been the positive impact on the lives of the uninsured and under-insured in Orange County.  His tireless work and unwavering commitment to the poor resulted in the unprecedented launching of CalOptima, the county's Medi-Cal managed care organization.  He was involved with the program's design and was instrumental in forging the partnership among the county government, private physicians, hospitals and community clinics that continues to this day.
 
While serving as part of the UCI Volunteer Faculty, Dr. Kammerman was devoted to educating future physicians and volunteered many hours each week to mentor medical students. 
 
In a written statement, Dr. Ralph Clayman, dean of the UCI School of Medicine, said:  "A member of the School of Medicine Alumni Board since its inception, Dr. Kammerman had knowledge and appreciation of the roots and foundation of the School of Medicine and therefore was often looked to as a historian for the group.  As co-president in 2011, Dr. Kammerman helped reengage and reenergize the board. Dr. Kammerman received the Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumni Award for the UC Irvine School of Medicine in 2011 in recognition of the tremendous amount of time and energy he devoted to making the UC Irvine School of Medicine the great institution that it is today."
 
Dr. Kammerman volunteered his time and service to many groups and organizations, including the Discovery Science Center, the Santa Ana Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Lions Club.  He received commendations for service from the Boy Scouts of America, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
 
A few years ago, the UCI Department of Family Medicine created the Richard Kammerman, M.D. Award.  This award is presented each year to a volunteer faculty member in recognition of outstanding service to the department and the community.  Dr. Kammerman was the first recipient and the award has continued to be named in his honor in recognition of his service - displaying the characteristics that form the selection criteria for this honor. 
 
Richard F Kammerman, M.D. will be missed by his family, friends and the medical community at large.

CMA Develops Simple Tool to Identify Physician Participation Status in Exchange Plans

January 23, 2014

On January 1, 2014, Covered California began providing health coverage to more than 500,000 patients statewide. With that figure expected to grow by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, it is critical that physicians and their staff have a clear understanding of their exchange plan participation status so that they can communicate this information to patients before scheduling. It’s equally as important that practices understand the reimbursement rates and other terms associated with the plans with which they are contracted.

Even if you did not intentionally contract with any exchange plans, the California Medical Association (CMA) urges physicians to check their participation status. It is very possible that physicians may have been unknowingly opted into an exchange plan network due to the way that major insurance plans have structured their provider agreements.

If you've attempted to look up your exchange plan participation status on the Covered California website, you know that it's not a straightforward process. Because it is critical that physicians know what plans they are contracted with, CMA has created a quick and easy tool to look up your exchange plan participation status in just a few clicks.

The tool, available to members only, requires simply your first and last name and middle initial and it will tell you which plans list you as a contracting physician (as of September 2013, the most recent data released by Covered California). To access the tool, visit http://www.cmanet.org/exchange-lookup.

Please note: You will be required to login with a member account. If you have not already activated your web account, visit http://www.cmanet.org/activate. If you need assistance activating your account, contact CMA's member service center at (800) 786-4262 or memberservice@cmanet.org.

For more information on Covered California, visit CMA’s exchange resource center at www.cmanet.org/exchange. Physician members and their staff also have free access to CMA’s practice management experts at (888) 401-5911 or economicservices@cmanet.org.


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