Sunday, March 18, 2018


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

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,, 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

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.
Tom Gehring, CEO, Executive Director of the San Diego Medical Society, has taught this immensely popular seminar for the past 5 years. 
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
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


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

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

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

IMQ's Stepping Up to Leadership earlybird pricing ends January 31

Earlybird pricing for the Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) Stepping Up to Leadership conference ends January 31. Sponsored by IMQ and the PACE Program at UC San Diego, Stepping Up to Leadership is an interactive training course that helps physicians learn best practices and creative approaches for resolving common problems encountered as a medical staff officer or department or committee chair. Through small-group interactive teaching modalities, the course gives both experienced and new physician leaders the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and skills, and to learn the tools and techniques that are essential to effectively lead a medical staff. This is an event for the entire leadership team.The program addresses:

  • What it takes to be a successful leader;
  • Aligning medical staff & hospital interests;
  • Effective communication;
  • Challenges to on‐call panels, credentialing;
  • Disruptive professionals, impaired individuals;
  • Physician well being committees;
  • Using quality measures to enhance outcomes;
  • Legal considerations

The 2014 Stepping Up to Leadership program will take place March 6-8 at the Loews Coronado Bay Hotel in San Diego. A generous grant from the Physicians Foundation allows IMQ and PACE to offer Stepping Up to Leadership at prices as low as $595. Take part in an interactive learning environment led by expert faculty who engage participants through self‐assessments, Q&A, role playing & case studies.

Register now at

Local charity reports on recent volunteer medical mission to Vietnam

The second volunteer medical mission of the year undertaken by Arpan Global and its large cadre of supporters was October 5-12, 2013, to the Thai Hoa Hospital in Cao Lanh Vietnam (the Dong Thap province). This hospital lies to the south of Ho Chi Minh City by about a 3-hour bus drive in a very rural area.  It is a tropical area, lush with green vegetation and abundant rice fields.  The people are warm, friendly, eager to practice any English they know, curious about the rest of the world, and willing to help in any way possible for whatever reason.  Their hospitality was heartfelt and their kind and gentle words and actions clearly came from the heart.

The Thai Hoa Hospital is a relatively new, private hospital built specifically to serve a large catchment area in the Don Thap province and is located in fairly close proximity to the older public hospital.  The first floor contains the outpatient clinic areas, radiology, pharmacy, emergency treatment and waiting areas.  Upstairs is the labor and delivery units, postpartum, the nursery (which includes three isolettes and a ventilator for premature babies), and the pediatrics ward.  The third floor holds the operating rooms (including one dedicated for cesarean sections), recovery room, and the general wards.  The facility is clean, modern, and there is a real sense of pride of ownership among those who work there.

This was one of the largest mission teams that Arpan Global has assembled, with 52 dedicated individuals making their way to the other side of the planet in order to participate.  The range of medical and healthcare services represented was quite wide:  

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pediatrics, including neonatology
  • Internal Medicine, including cardiology
  • Radiology, including ultrasonography
  • Surgery, including plastics, GI, urology, orthopedics, ENT
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pharmacology
  • Social worker

Even nonmedical experts were present, willing and able to do whatever they could to help with patient flow and even patient care when possible.  

While the hospital isimpressive for its modernity, it attracts a patient population that can be limited in size.  The outpatient sites serviced by the team were another story.  Patients in local towns and villages lined up for the chance to get a lottery ticket to be seen by the visiting medical team and they were there early in the morning, ready and willing to wait all day if necessary.  Triage desks were set up at each site with local volunteers from Cao Lanh serving as translators.  Vital signs were taken and after the concerns of the patient were ascertained, they were directed to an available medical team for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.  (If specific specialty needs were identified, they were sent to the experts on site).   A space for occupational and physical therapy was created at each site, as was an impromptu pharmacy and dispensary.  The dental area was extremely popular and often the last to finish each day.  After several of these day-long outpatient visits, it became clear that hypertension (often severe and completely uncontrolled), osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, and lack of oral hygiene were among the preeminent and common complaints in the general population. 

Trips to orphanages along with visits to government sponsored homes for disabled children and the elderly homeless were also part of the itinerary.  Arpan Global was able to donate a water filter, washer and dryer, and a computer to some of these facilities.  A day-long trip to a shelter for women and girls who had been victims of human trafficking highlighted the impact that desperate levels of poverty and lack of vocational skill sets play in enabling trafficking to occur. 

By the end of the week, the team had seen over 800 patients, performed 125 dental procedures, several complex medical procedures, and many diagnostic procedures, allowing for appropriate treatment and intervention to begin for those patients.  More importantly, the team members felt like they had made a difference in the lives of people and the only issue of concern was the feeling that they wanted to do more.   Vietnam has been called Asia’s ‘comeback kid’ economically and while many are feeling the success, there still remains a great need for modernization and improvement in the health care system.  Arpan Global is proud to have had the opportunity to make its own contribution towards meeting that need in its own way.

For more information please contact Sudeep Kukreja, MD at (714) 585-1920

Vietnam mission team, Arpan Global Charities

Competition Opens for Young Physicians Patient Safety Award

Medical Students and Residents Encouraged to Submit Essays for $5,000 Awards

Napa, California—November 18, 2013
—Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Young Physicians Patient Safety Award, The Doctors Company Foundation announced today. Medical students and residents are eligible to compete for six $5,000 awards. Winners will also receive travel to the Association of American Medical College’s Integrating Quality meeting in Chicago June 12–13, 2014, where the awards will be presented.

Entrants must be third- or fourth-year medical students or first-year residents who were in a hospital setting as of June 2013. Entrants must submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay describing an instructional patient safety event they experienced during a clinical rotation that resulted in a personal transformation. Essays are due by 5:00 PM (ET) on Monday, February 3, 2014. Online entry forms are available at

The contest is sponsored by The Doctors Company Foundation in partnership with the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). Entries will be judged by a panel selected by the NPSF.

“One of the missions of our Foundation is to support patient safety education for healthcare professionals,” said Leona Egeland Siadek, the Foundation’s executive director. “The Young Physicians Patient Safety Award is a key to this mission. These essays bring to the forefront the importance of making the culture of safety an integral part of the culture of medicine.” 

Past winning essays can be read at

About The Doctors Company Foundation
The Doctors Company Foundation was created in 2008 by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. The purpose of the Foundation is to support patient safety education for healthcare professionals, patient safety research with clinically useful applications, and medical professional liability research. In this context, patient safety is defined as a healthcare discipline that minimizes the incidence and impact of adverse events by redesigning systems and processes using human factors principles to reduce errors.

Contact: Alina Gomez, agomez@the

Prescription Drug Abuse – What to Look For

By Ann Whitehead, JD, RN
Vice President of Risk Management & Patient Safety Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. A staggering statistic from the National Drug Abuse Institute reveals prescription drugs are the second most abused drug, behind marijuana, by seniors in high school. The CDC finds overdoses from prescription painkillers resulted in more deaths in 2010 than heroin and cocaine combined.1

Prescription drug abuse affects all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic classes. Here are two examples: the patient on an antidepressant prescribed by his psychiatrist was also taking a narcotic prescribed by an orthopedist. In a drug-induced haze, the man threw himself down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck; or the 83-year-old patient who recently came to the office for morphine who later tested positive for cocaine. Both patients create liability and treatment issues for their physicians. 

Although many types of prescription drugs are abused, there is currently a growing, deadly epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription opioid painkillers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the California Department of Justice are aggressively prosecuting individuals who prescribe opioids illegally and those who operate “pill mills.” Physicians face challenges when trying to spot the patient who may be abusing prescription drugs or possibly improperly sharing them with others. The following are some suspicious behaviors that may raise the red flag. 

The patient may:

• Refuse to grant permission to obtain old records or communicate with previous physicians.
• Demonstrate reluctance to undergo comprehensive histories, physical examinations, or diagnostic testing, especially urine drug screenings.
• Request specific drugs (often because of the higher resale value of brand names).
• Profess multiple allergies to recommended medications.
• Resist certain treatment options.
• Threaten doctors or display anger during visits.
• Consistently target appointments at the end of the day or during off hours.
• Repeatedly lose prescriptions.
• Request escalation in dosages.
• Demonstrate noncompliance with prescription instructions.

A helpful tool for physicians is the “Opioid Overdose Toolkit: Information for Prescribers” recently released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).2 This guide offers tips on safe prescribing and preventing opioid overdose including: assessment, state drug monitoring programs, medication selection, prescription writing tips, use of naloxone, and deciding when to stop opioid.

Lastly, if you get a call from the DEA or local law enforcement, contact the CAP Hotline for assistance.

For more information about CAP, or to request additional information or risk management publications, please contact us at:, or call 800-356-5672. You can also visit our website at:

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC grand rounds: Prescription drug overdoses – A U.S. epidemic. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.2012; 61(1):10-13.
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit” Information for Prescribers. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4742. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 2013.

Home   |   About Us   |   Membership   |   For Physicians   |   News   |   For Patients   |   Advocacy   |   Events
Copyright (c) 2018 Orange County Medical Association