Sunday, December 17, 2017

OCMA Blog

President's Report: Highlights from the August 18, 2016 OCMA Board of Directors Meeting


Liaison Reports: 

AMA: three topics were highlighted: 

1. An AMA Interim Meeting is slated for November 12-15. 
2. Communication about the status of MACRA was provided, indicating that the rules are still in the draft phase and that the AMA continues to work with CMS to make sure that all practice types and sizes are provided the flexibility to be successful in the new program. In a comment letter to CMS, 
the AMA outlined a number of recommendations to help these physicians success under MACRA. 

• Increase the low volume threshold to exempt more physicians. 
• Compare practices to their peers rather than larger or more advanced entities. 
• Lower reporting burdens for small, rural and similarly situated practices. 
• Provide education, training and technical assistance to small practices. 
• Allow participation in virtual groups as soon as possible. 

3. The steps that the Stanford surgical residency program leadership took to address the underlying issues affecting resident health were discussed. Their leadership took these after the tragic suicide of one of the physicians from that program, highlighting the need to address physician wellness and burnout in both physicians in training and practice. 

CMA: two major topics were brought forward: 

1. The priorities for the 2016 House of Delegates were recommended and approved and include 

Burnout (Actionable Report and Education Session) 
Opioids (Actionable Report and Education Session) 
ACA Changes Under 1332 Waiver (HOD 203-15) (Actionable Report) 
MACRA (Actionable Report and Education Session) 
Recertification / Maintenance of Certification (Actionable Report and Education Session) 
Development of a 5-Year Public Health Plan (Actionable Report) 

2. The Dues structure was revised to change discounts for new members as well as negotiated group memberships. 

OCMA Financials: 

OCMA has a healthy balance sheet. 
The Revised OCMA Budget was approved to reflect changes needed following the sale of the building. 

Physician Recognition Programs Committee Report: 

The partner to publish and celebrate the 2017 Physicians of Excellence will be Orange Coast Magazine. 
The time line once again involves summer nominations, applications, and selection with an anticipated celebration to take place in January. 
The celebration is slated to be held at Pirch in Costa Mesa. 
Physicians from the Physicians of Excellence program should be featured on the cover of Orange Coast Magazine’s January Edition. 

House of Delegates Report: 

Two resolutions were put forward from our delegation and both were supported by the delegation. 
Dr. Ted Mazer, speaker of the House of Delegates, will be joining the Delegation on its meeting scheduled for October 5 at 6:30 pm. to discuss how the Council reports and the resolution process will be coordinated. 

Services Committee Report

An addition to the OCMA Preferred Business Partner Policy was discussed and approved. A clause was added to state that “The products and services are not clinical, scientific, or research-oriented and the company is not a direct provider of patient care.” 
Should there be questions about whether or not a company might be considered a “patient care” company, it would be referred to the Board for vetting. 

Legislative Committee: 

Drs. Khatibi and Ramos announced that OCMA will be hosting a fundraiser at the OCMA Conference Center for Senator Lou Correa on September 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm. Senator Correa is running for the Congressional seat vacated by Loretta Sanchez who is running for the US Senate. Senator Correa’s wife is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and he has long been a friend of the House of Medicine. All OCMA members are encouraged to attend. 
It was recommended and approved that DOCPAC funds be used to support Supervisor Andrew Do’s campaign. 
Dr. Khatibi announced that a physician, Dr. Sion Roy is running for a position with the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees. Though this is not an Orange County position, it benefits all physicians to have 
physicians in elected positions. Members are encouraged to support his candidacy. 

District Updates: 

The Providence/St. Joseph Health Merger was approved by the California Attorney General and is moving forward. 
CNA continues to be active in conversations with staff at St. Judes. 
OSCAR, a newer Health Insurance plan is gaining a foothold in Orange County. 
The Kaiser Permanente Medical School is slated to open in 2019 and will be located in Pasadena. 

Executive Director’s Report: 

The NEPO (Network of Ethnic Physicians Organizations) is sponsoring a conference in Southern California in September. Two registrations were offered to OCMA and members have stepped up to use them. 
The Board of Directors Retreat will take place on Saturday, September 17 at the Pasea Resort in Huntington Beach. In addition to the Board of Directors and guests, the Chiefs of Staff from all Orange County hospitals and leaders from Medical Groups and physician organizations have been invited for the educational morning session. 
A building update was provided. The OCMA Building and Conference Center was sold in February and we have been leasing back the building since then. A Building Committee was formed early last summer to evaluate the Association’s needs. It was recommended that input from the membership be obtained. A survey seeking input, opinions and preferences for the next building will be forthcoming shortly 

Video Message from County of Orange Public Health Officer, Eric G. Handler, M.D.

Earlier this month Eric G. Handler, M.D., County of Orange Public Health Officer, visited the OCMA offices to discuss issues of importance to him.  These include Zika and West Nile Virus, social determinants of health. and drowning.  Another area of focus is joining together behavioral health and primary care to provide an integrated system of care for individuals with severe behavioral issues as well as returning veterans.  

Click here to listen to Dr. Handler's entire message.

MACRA Preparation Checklist Available for Members

CMA has published a preparation checklist titled, “MACRA: What Should I Do Now to Prepare?” The checklist contains specific actions practices should take as they prepare for the implementation of MACRA in 2017. 

The preparation checklist is available free for members in CMA's MACRA resource center at www.cmanet.org/macra.  (Click the blue “MACRA Resources” button). It is not available to non-members.





REMINDER: Deadline to Register for CURES 2.0 is July 1, 2016

Under California law, all individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish or order controlled substances and a Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substance Registration Certificate (DEA Certificate) must submit an application to register for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by July 1, 2016.

The California Medical Association (CMA) has compiled a list of educational materials to familiarize physicians with the registration process and key features of the newly upgraded system, CURES 2.0. These resources include tips on how to register for CURES 2.0 and an on-demand webinar that walks users through that process. These resources are available at www.cmanet.org/cures.

To register with the new automated system, visit http://oag.ca.gov/cures. Physicians who experience problems with the new system should contact the DOJ CURES Help Desk at (916) 227-3843 or cures@doj.ca.gov. Providers are also encouraged to report these technical issues to CMA's member service center at (800) 786-4262 or memberservice@cmanet.org.

OCMA Partners with Orange Coast Magazine for Physicians of the Excellence 2017

The Orange County Medical Association and Orange Coast Magazine will be partnering again in 2017 for the prestigious Physicians of Excellence recognition program.  This collaboration dates back to the beginning of the program in 2004.  The Orange County Register was the sponsor of the event the past two years.  
  

“We are very excited about renewing this partnership with Orange Coast Magazine,” stated Jim Peterson, OCMA’s CEO.  This is a very popular magazine that is enjoyed by thousands of readers in Orange County.”

With the change, the nomination, review and selection processes for the 2017 cycle will be accelerated to meet publication deadlines for Orange Coast Magazine’s January 2017 issue.  Nominations are being accepted now and the deadline to submit nominations is June 30, 2016.  The nomination form can be found by clicking here.  

“All of us with OCMA want to thank the Orange County Register for their support and collaboration these past two years,” stated Peterson, who added that “more than 900 Orange County physicians were recognized during that time period.”


St. Joseph Health Provides $1 Million to Address Hunger and Homelessness in Local Communities Across California

May 25, 2016, Irvine, CA –St. Joseph Health (SJH) today announced it will provide $1 million in grants to 33 non-profit organizations that help provide basic needs for the hungry and homeless in Orange County, the High Desert communities and Sonoma, Napa and Humboldt counties. 

Reaching out to the most vulnerable in the community is at the core of St. Joseph Health’s values, and this initiative puts those values into action. With every grant initiative, St. Joseph Health partners with non-profit organizations to offer solutions to pressing health concerns among low-income and underserved people. This work is made possible through the commitment of St. Joseph Health’s California hospitals, which each contribute 10 percent of their net income as part of their dedication to creating healthier communities and serving the common good. 

“This commitment to caring for our neighbors is one of the ways we translate our values into action,” said Annette M. Walker, MHA, interim president and CEO, St. Joseph Health. “We want to improve the overall health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve. This initiative is aimed at providing for their most immediate needs, the need for food and the need for shelter. Hunger and homelessness are huge obstacles to health and well-being. We know, for example, that food insecurity is connected with chronic health problems, poor performance in school and higher levels of anxiety.”

More families in California live in poverty or near-poverty than most people think: According to a recent report from the United Way of California, one in three households statewide do not have enough income to meet their basic costs of living. Those struggling families are particularly burdened by high costs for food. Even having two stable, full-time jobs does not guarantee that a family will be able to make ends meet if those jobs pay at or near the minimum wage. 

And hunger in California crosses city and county lines. “Hunger isn’t an issue confined to certain neighborhoods,” said Nicole Suydam, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank in Irvine, which will use the funds to provide fresh produce to 34,200 people through its Mobile Pantry, School Pantry and Senior Grocery programs. “Many of the people struggling with hunger are hard-working people forced to choose between paying rent and eating. We also see lots of seniors on fixed incomes who can’t afford meals. St. Joseph Health’s support helps us provide nutritious food to these individuals.” 

Other programs that received funding include: 
• Illumination Foundation in north Orange County, which will use the funds from St. Joseph Health to transition homeless families into long-term stability by providing emergency housing and case management/care coordination for 80 clients. 

• Friendship Shelter in south Orange County will use St. Joseph Health funds to provide emergency shelter to 320 people and rehabilitative shelter to 120 people. The organization also will be able to provide supportive housing to 60 people and care coordination for 500 clients. 

• Family Assistance Program in the High Desert, which provides shelter, food and care coordination services for victims of domestic violence. The program will use the funds to provide food and shelter for 250 women and children and case management for 150 women. 

Nineteen programs in Orange County and six in the High Desert received funds, as did eight in Northern California. 

About St. Joseph Health: 
St. Joseph Health (SJH) is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system that includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services and community outreach services. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, SJH remains rooted to the sisters' traditions of assessing a community's needs and adapting strategies to meet those needs. Today, SJH continues its work in the tradition of the sisters through its wide networks of outstanding services. In each region it serves, SJH reaches out to care for the poor and vulnerable, establishing and supporting many programs and services that benefit the community

Practice Management Tip of the Month - May 2016

Plan ahead to reduce scheduling disruptions and long patient wait times!
It’s rare that an appointment schedule in a medical office survives a day without any changes. No-shows, cancellations and last-minute emergencies will always crop up and cause shifts and changes. But these changes don’t have to disrupt the flow of the office. Effectively managing the appointment schedule can have a positive impact on both patient and practice satisfaction.

For more information on scheduling strategies visit www.cmanet.org/practice-check-up

CMA EDUCATION
Through its robust webinar series, CMA gives you the opportunity to watch live presentations on important topics from the comfort of your home or office. Webinars are free to members and their staff and provide timely information to help you run a successful medical practice.
Check out the current webinar schedule at  www.cmanet.org/webinars.

TROUBLE GETTING PAID? WE CAN HELP!
CMA’s Center for Economic Services is staffed by a team of practice management experts with a combined experience of over 125 years in medical practice operations. Our goal is to empower physician practices by providing resources and guidance to improve the success of your practice.
Access to our reimbursement experts is a FREE, members-only benefit. 
Call (800) 786-4262 or email economicservices@cmanet.org.

Meet Mark Lane, CMA Physician Advocate
Mark is Associate Director in CMA’s Center for Economic Services. For more than a decade and a half before joining the CMA team in 2010, Mark began his career as a claims processor for plans such as Blue Shield and Health Net.

Before long, he had moved up to a position in provider relations, giving him a unique vantage point on the relationship between physicians and payors.



Kaiser Permanente Physician to Receive OCMA Physician of the Year Award

The Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) is proud to announce that Timothy A. Munzing, MD, will receive the organization’s “Physician of the Year” award at its general membership meeting on May 26th in Costa Mesa.  The award is presented annually to an Orange County physician who has shown extraordinary leadership, involvement, and commitment to healthcare in Orange County.

Dr. Munzing is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles.  He has been practicing medicine with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in Santa Ana since 1985, is Board Certified, and serves as the Kaiser Orange County Family Medicine Residency Program Director.   

In addition to three decades of clinical practice, Dr. Munzing serves in several leadership roles in accreditation with residency programs throughout the United States and was recently selected to help plan the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine in Pasadena scheduled to open in 2019.  He also is a Medical Expert Reviewer for the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Medical Board of California. 

“Every year when the Physician Recognition Committee reviews the large number of nominations it receives for the award, it is such a difficult task to pick just one physician to receive this honor,” stated Dr. Darla Holland, OCMA President-elect.  “So many of my colleagues are doing such incredible things within medicine, health care and service to our community, and certainly Dr. Munzing is a perfect example of such commitment and service.”

For more information about the OCMA General Membership Dinner, please visit http://2016generalmembership.eventbrite.com

 


BPA and Its Effects

In recent years, more and more people have become more conscious about the foods they eat. Everyone expects their food to be healthy and safe for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, food packaging may be harboring hidden chemicals that many would like to avoid. One of the most well-known is the toxic chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA). This chemical is found almost everywhere, especially in common household products like water bottles and tin cans. A new report released by the Breast Cancer Fund found that 67% of nearly 200 food cans samples tested positive for BPA, a well-known hormone disruptor. Hormone disruptors are chemicals that, at certain doses, can interfere with the hormone system in mammals. These disruptions can cause certain tumors, birth defects and, other developmental disorders. 

Why is this an eye-opening discovery?  The Federal Drug Administration claims that low levels of BPA are safe, and well below what it takes to cause breast cancer in lab animals. However, its potential health effects were not found until recently, when researchers investigated the case of Canadian women who worked in factories that produced plastics for cars (See ref. below). When thoroughly researched, these women were found to have a five times higher chance of developing premenopausal breast cancer when compared to the control group. This risk is the equivalent of carrying a BRCA gene mutation, which is responsible for many cases of breast cancer. The Federal Drug Administration may argue that this study can’t apply to the general public because levels of exposure to factory workers are so much higher than people in the general environment. While that may be the case, this study clearly shows a correlation between BPA and risk of developing breast cancer. 

While the Canadian study showed a strong correlation between high levels of BPA and the development of breast cancer, it left one question unanswered: What effect would high BPA levels have the factory workers’ daughters? 

While there was no way to test this directly, there have been other promising studies done to see if BPA had effects on fetuses. Some of these studies looked closely at the potential risks of BPA by exposing pregnant lab animals to what the FDA would consider a “safe level” of BPA. These studies showed that even low levels of exposure during early fetal development correlate with cellular changes that predispose the fetus to an increased chance of breast cancer. 

Despite the results of these studies, we can’t know for sure if BPA exposure in predisposition to breast cancer. Even so, the concern is there, and many people are calling for a change in food and water packaging to reduce the risk of exposure. Several brands have already eliminated the use of BPA in their products, while others have yet to do so. Only through careful research and action can we take steps to eliminate BPA from our food and water.

For more information, visit Breastlink at Breastlink.com



CalOptima Honors Orange County Pioneers Who Created Better Health Care System Two Decades Ago

For two decades, CalOptima has served Orange County’s low-income population with access to quality health care and on April 21, the agency honored 10 industry leaders at the center of CalOptima’s creation as a county organized health system. In a ceremony at Santa Ana’s Bowers Museum, honorees received Legacy Awards for their leadership and partnership in laying the foundation for CalOptima, which has been repeatedly recognized as the top Medi-Cal plan in California for quality care.

The Legacy Awards were developed specifically for CalOptima’s 20th anniversary and reflect the honorees’ contributions and the agency’s successful operation since October 1995.

CalOptima Legacy Award honorees include:

Mary Dewane, Founding Chief Executive Officer, now a resident of Phoenix

Kenneth E. Bell, M.D., Former Chief Medical Officer, a resident of Long Beach, California

Jean Forbath, Former Board member and Founder of Share Our Selves, a resident of Costa Mesa, California

Founding members of the CalOptima Board of Directors

John R. Cochran III, chairman of the Board and then a hospital CEO, from Portland, Oregon

Peter G. Anderson, M.D., emergency medicine specialist and physician leader, from Newport Beach, California

Art Birtcher, commercial real estate developer, from San Juan Capistrano, California

Richard Frankenstein, M.D., specialist and physician leader, from Valencia, California

Claire Heaney, then a nurse and health educator, from Tustin, California

Joyce Munsell, then a nurse and health care executive, from Santa Rosa, California

Harriett Wieder, former Orange County Supervisor (posthumous). The late Supervisor Wieder’s award was accepted by daughter Gayle Wieder-Tauber of La Jolla, California.

“Our Legacy Award recipients can be credited with helping to transform Orange County’s health care delivery system for Medi-Cal members,” said CalOptima Chief Executive Officer Michael Schrader. “Through innovation and collaboration, these leaders tackled a crisis in access to health care, overcrowded emergency rooms and unnecessary costs. They were essential in the broad community effort that launched CalOptima to fix those problems, and their legacy is alive in CalOptima’s ongoing impact of improved health for vulnerable children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities.”

Since inception, CalOptima has collaborated with myriad partners and providers to fulfill its mission of providing access to quality care. The Legacy Awards event also brought together more than 200 leaders from local health networks, hospitals, community-based organizations and government agencies to celebrate the success they share as partners in CalOptima programs.

To learn more about CalOptima, visit www.caloptima.org.

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