Saturday, December 16, 2017

OCMA Blog

Allied Anesthesia Offers Surgery Survival Tips for Parents in the New Year

Contact: 
Paul Yost 714-619-5383
pyost@alliedanesthesia.com
http://www.alliedanesthesia.com/


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Orange, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2015) –Many people see the New Year as a time to reflect, restore and revitalize.

But, for children who are scheduled to have surgery in the New Year, it’s a time for fear and anxiety.

Allied Anesthesia doctors, who provide anesthesia and pain management services at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and other hospitals around the Southland, are committed to ensuring that every pediatric patient they encounter is as comfortable and unafraid as possible, no matter how difficult and dangerous the procedure. 

With that in mind, they have compiled some tips for parents to help make their child’s experience less mysterious and miserable and more positive and productive.

  1. Whether the child is undergoing a minor outpatient procedure or major surgery, it's important for parents to remain calm and reassuring. Children take their cues from their parents. If their parents are worried and anxious, they will be worried and anxious as well. 
  2. It’s best if children and parents have an idea what to expect. There are many age-appropriate books on the market featuring familiar characters such as “A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital” and “Curious George Goes to the Hospital.”  Sit down with your child and read it together.
  3. Many children are afraid of being alone either before or after the procedure. Hospitals are much more family friendly today than they were in the past.  Parents should assure their children that they will stay with them up until time for the operation and be there waiting for them when they move into recovery.  
  4. Younger children might enjoy playing “doctor” with a doll or stuffed animal.  Parents can purchase a kit with toy instruments and show them how to take the doll’s temperature or listen to its heartbeat. Older children might benefit from a pre-operative tour of the hospital where they will meet members of the hospital staff and become familiar with the rooms, equipment and procedures. 
  5. When talking about medical procedures, avoid using alarming language such as “the doctor will cut you open” or “you’ll be put to sleep,” which young children might equate to what happens when their pets get sick.
  6. Instead of focusing on what the doctor is going to do, focus on the outcome such as “after your knee surgery, you will be able to play baseball again.”

Above all, be honest and reassuring. 

About Allied Anesthesia: With over 100 highly qualified physician anesthesiologists on staff, Allied Anesthesia provides adult and pediatric anesthesia services to St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, CHOC Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, St. Mary’s Hospital in Apple Valley and many other Southern California health care facilities. In 2014, Allied Anesthesia joined with Fullerton Anesthesia Associates and Upland Anesthesia Medical Group to consolidate best practices in more than six hospitals and more than a dozen ambulatory surgery centers. The expanded medical practice is dedicated to offering the highest comprehensive quality of care and the most cost-effective procedures in all facilities they serve. All Allied physician anesthesiologists are board certified in Anesthesiology and they staff and manage the most efficient operating rooms in Southern California. Allied is a member of the California Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Anesthesia Quality Institute.  

For more information, visit:  http://www.alliedanesthesia.com

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"No on 46" Campaign Victorious

 

We did it!  A coalition of nearly 1,000 organizations, led by CMA and OCMA, successfully - and resoundingly - defeated Proposition 46.  Here are the results that were posted early this morning:

                                • No: 67.1% / 3,415,996 votes
                                • Yes: 32.9% / 1,671,163 votes

This unworkable proposition would have dramatically altered MICRA by making it easier to file lawsuits against health care providers, increasing health care costs, reducing access to care and ultimately generating more legal fees for lawyers.

Despite the proponents' attempt to confuse voters about Proposition 46, the public decisively voiced its desire to preserve MICRA and all of its protections. This win is proof that Californians agree on the importance of access to quality health care across the state and they won't be fooled by political sweeteners.

OCMA and CMA will continue to stay vigilant in our work with the legislature to ensure that your elected representatives remember what the people said on Election Day 2014. We will continue to work to ensure that MICRA is protected. 
 
Thank you for your hard work, ongoing efforts and financial contributions to defeat Proposition 46!  We couldn't have done it without you.


CalOptima Ranked Top Medi-Cal Plan in California

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) honor recognizes CalOptima’s overall quality of care for more than 600,000 Orange County residents

ORANGE, Calif. (September 18, 2014) — CalOptima is California’s top-ranked Medi-Cal health plan, according to the NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2014–2015.

CalOptima is 1st in the state and 29th nationwide among the 136 Medicaid plans that were ranked. The NCQA rankings are based on standardized, third-party-audited data regarding health care quality and customer satisfaction, as well as NCQA accreditation scores. CalOptima’s ranking is due to a Board of Directors and executive leadership decision last year to collect and share the full set of NCQA measures so nationwide comparison would be possible in 2014.

“CalOptima’s commitment to quality for our members is reflected in the NCQA recognition,” said Mark Refowitz, Chairman of the CalOptima Board of Directors. “Our ranking is confirmation that Orange County’s most vulnerable residents are healthier because of CalOptima and our provider partners. We share this honor with the thousands of dedicated doctors, health care providers, hospitals and other facilities that deliver care to our members daily.” 

CalOptima CEO Michael Schrader said that the 2014–2015 NCQA rankings of Medicaid plans come at an important time of expanded access to such plans for low-income people across the nation. In Orange County through CalOptima, nearly 200,000 people have gained health coverage since January 2014, he said. “Our new members can rely on CalOptima and feel confident that the care they receive is among the best in the state,” Schrader said. “CalOptima is a mission-driven organization focused on providing all members with access to quality health care delivered in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. The NCQA ranking affirms that we are truly living our mission.”

NCQA assesses plan quality based on 46 clinical measures related to both preventive care and treatments. Preventive measures report whether members are getting services to keep them healthy, such as well-child visits, immunizations, nutrition counseling and breast cancer screenings. Treatment measures gauge whether members are receiving appropriate care and medications in response to acute illnesses and chronic diseases, including diabetes and high blood pressure. NCQA also evaluates plan quality based on 11 customer satisfaction dimensions, such as getting care quickly and how well doctors communicate. Further, CalOptima is NCQA accredited with “commendable” status through 2015, which also contributes to the agency’s new high ranking in California.  

Orange County Supervisor and CalOptima Board Member Janet Nguyen, whose supervisorial district has the highest concentration of Medi-Cal members in the county, said: “All of the efforts we have engaged in are paying off, resulting in better services for members. I am proud of our staff, nurses and doctors for the fine work they have done to earn CalOptima the distinction of being the top-ranked Medi-Cal plan in California.” 

CalOptima is nearing its 20th anniversary, with the first members served in October 1995.  Founding Board Member Peter Anderson, M.D., an emergency physician in Fountain Valley, sees the NCQA ranking as reward for the efforts invested by the community at the beginning and still today. “CalOptima was founded in response to difficulties in providing local Medi-Cal members with consistent access to quality care,” Dr. Anderson said. “The NCQA ranking proves that CalOptima has more than met that challenge. It has risen to new heights in serving our community. I congratulate all the CalOptima team members for achieving this lofty goal.”
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About CalOptima
A county organized health system, CalOptima provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County, Calif. CalOptima’s mission is to provide members with access to quality health care services delivered in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. In total, CalOptima serves more than 600,000 members with a network of more than 6,600 primary care doctors and specialists, as well as 30 hospitals. Learn more about CalOptima in this video here.

About NCQA
NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. Learn more about the NCQA rankings here.


No On 46 Campaign Launches First Statewide TV & Radio Media Buy Highlighting the High Cost of Prop 46

Ads tell the real story behind this year’s most fiscally-reckless measure

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO – The No on 46 campaign announced today that it has launched its first statewide television and radio ad buys in both English and Spanish.

The ads, “Risk” (TV :30) and “Real Story” (Radio :60), focus on the first – and most obvious – of the myriad of reasons for California voters to reject Proposition 46: the fact it is written and nearly exclusively funded by trial attorneys for their financial benefit while everyone else in California – health consumers, taxpayers, and state and local governments – will pay more.

View the ad here: http://www.noon46.com/the-real-story-video/.

Because Proposition 46 is really three different initiatives in one – all of which are too complicated, too costly and too flawed – an unprecedented coalition of more than 600 statewide and community groups have joined to oppose it, including (partial list):

  • California Teachers Association
  • California School Boards Association
  • Association of California School Administrators
  • California State Firefighters Association
  • League of California Cities
  • Urban Counties Caucus
  • Rural County Representatives of California
  • California Special Districts Association
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California
  • AFSCME California PEOPLE
  • State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
  • California Medical Association
  • California Dental Association
  • California Hospital Association
  • California Pharmacists Association
  • American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Emergency Physicians, California Chapter
  • California Association of Physician Groups
  • California Association for Nurse Practitioners
  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
  • Community Clinics Association of Los Angeles County
  • La Clínica de La Raza
  • California Association of Rural Health Clinics
  • Central Valley Health Network
  • NAACP California
  • California Republican Party
  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party
  • Yuba County Democratic Party

To learn more, visit www.NoOn46.com


Orange County Medical Association Selects Universal Financial Systems as its Business Partner

Universal Financial Systems will extend special offers to OCMA Physician Members 

Irvine, Calif., June 3, 2014 - The Orange County Medical Association is pleased to announce another benefit of membership.  The OCMA has designated Universal Financial Systems as its Business Partner for physicians seeking collections and pre-collections help on past due receivables. Universal Financial Systems is a full-service collection agency based in Southern California. 

Free Insurance and Patient Collection Performance Analysis ($300 Value)

  • Patient Collection Analysis
  • Insurance Collection Analysis
  • Accounts Receivable Analysis
  • Full Detailed Report

 
Pre-Collection Program - Offering a "5 %" rate for account referrals received and collected within 120 days from the date of service

  • This is exclusive for OCMA members. All other clients get the "5%" until 90 days from date of service

 
Standard Collection Program: 120+ days from date of service -> 30% of collected revenue

  • Competitors' rates can be as much as 40 to 50% rates of collected revenue
  • State-of-the-art tools to locate debtors
  • Active Account Monitoring - allows tracking and notification when debtor's finances improve, purchase assets, etc.
  • Month-end Status Reports
  • Client Account Reviews
  • Judgment Collections Expertise
  • Litigation Services Available 

 
For more information, please contact:
Greg Apostolou
(310) 386-9085
Grega@ufsworks.com


COMING THIS NOVEMBER TO A BALLOT NEAR YOU: ANOTHER FLAWED GOVERNMENT-RUN DATABASE MANDATE WITH NEW THREATS TO PERSONAL PRIVACY

Experts Agree MICRA Measure Mandate “Won’t Work” While Opening Floodgates to Personal Prescription Drug Records of Millions of Californians with No Additional Security Safeguards 

SACRAMENTO – A coalition of business, medical, labor and civil liberties organizations have come together to fight a misguided, deceptive initiative that would increase health costs, reduce health access, and rely on a government-run computer system that isn’t close to fully functional – all while putting the prescription drug histories of millions of California patients at privacy risk with no additional security protections.

The initiative, which qualified for the November ballot on May 15, 2014, is written and funded by trial attorneys and their allies.  In addition to increasing the overall number of medical lawsuits and the cost of health care across the board, it contains a number of unrelated provisions designed to mislead and deceive voters – including a little-discussed mandate relying on a massive expansion of a government-run prescription drug database, which third-party analysts say cannot be implemented as written and will leave personal medical information vulnerable to privacy breach.   
 
“We always knew this flawed measure was bad for the pocketbooks of everyday Californians, but the more they read the fine print, the more they realize it’s equally bad for their personal privacy,” said Jim DeBoo, campaign manager for the broad-based coalition of Californians formed to oppose the initiative.  “If this measure passes, it will mandate a database that isn’t properly working and open the privacy floodgates to the sensitive personal medical data of millions of Californians with no increased security safeguards or funding.  It’s a hacker’s dream – and a privacy nightmare.”

The so-called MICRA (“Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act”) initiative requires health care practitioners and pharmacists to consult a government-run prescription drug database (known as CURES) prior to prescribing or dispensing Schedule II or III controlled substances to patients.

The mandate relies on the uploading of personal prescription drug records of millions of California patients onto the database – accessible by hundreds of thousands of users.  But the initiative fails to add new funding for its expedited expansion or require any additional security standards or safeguards to prevent hacking, theft or improper access by non-medical personnel.

What’s more, experts say the CURES mandate will not work as required by the measure, will not be operational by the law’s effective date and will put doctors in the impossible position of choosing between violating their oath as health providers or violating the law.

“The CURES mandate on physicians cannot be implemented as written.  CURES needs to be updated and modernized and nothing in the initiative does that.” said Tim Gage, former California Finance Director and Principal at Blue Sky Consulting.  “Therefore, the initiative will put health providers in the untenable position of either violating the new law or withholding necessary treatment from patients unless the law is suspended.”

“The consequences of mandating the use of a government-run website that experts say won’t work when required before physicians are allowed to prescribe needed medication is nothing less than a recipe for disaster,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, M.D., President of the California Medical Association.    
 
The CURES database mandate problem comes at a time of widespread reports of illegal hacking, much of it involving digital medical records. Studies show that public fears about personal privacy are at an all-time high.  Last month, it was reported the FBI had taken the extraordinary step of warning that the entire health sector was particularly vulnerable to “attacks by hackers searching for Americans’ personal medical records” (Reuters, April 23, 2014). 
 
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported 991 separate incidences of medical data breaches involving 500 people or more, affecting a total of 30 million patients.  While many states are moving to increase protections for online prescription drug data, this measure would have the opposite effect in California.

“The public and lawmakers are really starting to understand what kinds of threats to privacy come when you start centralizing great quantities of sensitive personal information in giant electronic databases,” said Nathan Wessler, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, last week to the Wall Street Journal (May 7, 2014).

As proposed, the CURES database maintains an accessible online record of every dispensed prescription of a Schedule II or III controlled substance, including highly sensitive and potentially stigmatizing details about a person’s health.  This prescription information could include medicines used to treat anxiety, insomnia, obesity, narcolepsy, drug detoxification, pain, epilepsy, conditions related to cancer and AIDS, asthma, chronic infection, and other sensitive medical conditions.

The MICRA lawsuit measure which qualified today is formally opposed by (partial list):   

  • AFSCME California PEOPLE
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Ninth District
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 477
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California
  • Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), AFSCME Local 206
  • California Medical Association
  • California Dental Association
  • California Hospital Association
  • California Pharmacists Association
  • American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Emergency Physicians, California Chapter
  • California Association of Physician Groups
  • California Association for Nurse Practitioners
  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
  • Community Clinics Association of Los Angeles County
  • La Clínica de La Raza
  • California Association of Rural Health Clinics
  • Central Valley Health Network
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • California Black Chamber of Commerce
  • California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • City of Long Beach
  • American Civil Liberties Union of California 

To learn much more about the myriad hidden costs, consequences and flaws in the trial-lawyer-supported MICRA lawsuit initiative, visit the “Stop Higher Health Care Costs/Protect Access to Care” website at: www.StopHigherHealthCareCosts.com.

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Orange County Medical Association Selects Acentec, Inc. as Business Partner

National healthcare technology firm will extend special offers on HIPAA compliance to OCMA Physician Members

Irvine, Calif., May 20, 2014 - The Orange County Medical Association is pleased to announce another benefit of membership.  The OCMA has designated Acentec, Inc. as its Business Partner for physicians seeking cost effective and complete HIPAA compliance and IT management. 
 
Acentec has agreed to offer OCMA members discounts up to 20% for HIPAA compliance and IT management needs.
 
"We're pleased to offer OCMA members the security and protection of our  HIPAA compliance and healthcare IT services," said Jeff Mongelli, CEO of Acentec, Inc. "New HIPAA requirements and increased penalties make the proper care and handling of sensitive patient health information essential for every provider and medical organization. We share in the common goal of OCMA members of keeping private information secure so our community can benefit from the authorized access of those who need it."
 
The following Acentec services are included in our relationship with OCMA members: discounted HIPAA compliance services including annual risk assessments, documentation, and employee training; IT services including network and systems management and monitoring, HIPAA compliant remote back-up and hosting, secure email & messaging, business disaster recovery that eliminates or minimizes downtime and data loss, and 24/7 access to our support staff.
 
 Acentec's corporate offices are located in Irvine, CA and they have staff  located nationwide.
 
About Acentec, Inc.
Southern California-based Acentec, Inc. provides a full range of healthcare IT services to medical practices nationwide. Our services include medical billing, IT management and support, EMR software support, HIPAA compliance, and a certified patient portal. For more information, visit http://www.acentec.com.
 

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Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. and Orange County Medical Association Offer 3-part CME Seminar for Physicians

Part One: "Treating Pain in Today's World: Avoiding the New Pitfalls"


LOS ANGELES, CA (April 15, 2014) - The Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) and the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) are joint sponsors of "Treating Pain in Today's World: Avoiding the New Pitfalls," the first topic in a three-part continuing medical education (CME) series on opioid education.  This topic will be presented on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the Orange County Medical Association Conference Center in Irvine, CA.

Chronic pain is a major concern and affects approximately 100 million people in the U.S., according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical care.  Physicians are in a key position to balance the benefits and risks of opioid therapy.  They often struggle with the need to assist patients who require management of chronic pain while confronting the risks associated with prescribing opioids.

"CAP's sponsorship of the opioid education series is part of our ongoing commitment to support programs that teach physicians how to reduce their liability risks and improve patient safety, so they can focus on what they do best - providing excellent care," said James L. Weidner, Chief Executive Officer of CAP.

The featured speaker is Standiford Helm II, MD, Medical Director at the The Helm Center for Pain Management and Immediate Past-President of OCMA.

After attending "Treating Pain in Today's World: Avoiding the New Pitfalls," physician participants should be able to:
 

  • Understand the law and new regulations that govern the use of opioids to control pain
  • Understand the multi-discipline methods for controlling pain
  • Describe appropriate assessment, monitoring and documentation strategies to support opioid prescribing
  • Learn how to evaluate the benefits of prescriptive opioids against the potential risks
  • Utilize PDMP/CURES as a tool to discover questionable prescription opioid activity

To register and for more information, please visit: https://treatingpain.eventbrite.com.  OCMA and CAP members may attend this seminar for free.  Registration is required.


Orange County Medical Association Selects Argus Medical Management as Preferred Business Partner

Irvine, Calif. March 24, 2014.   The Orange County Medical Association is pleased to announce another benefit of membership.  The OCMA has designated Argus Medical Management as its Business Partner for physicians seeking practice management services.

 

OCMA members will receive the following benefits:

 

  • Free membership in GroupSource, a Physician Group Purchasing Organization
  • 10% discounts the first year and 5% discounts the second year on Argus' services
  • Physicians who join Argus' Integrated (Independent)Physician Medical Group  model will receive free OCMA membership

Argus Medical Management offers the following physician practice management services:

 

  • Accounting, Regional Manager Oversight
  • Billing, EMR, HIE, Billing & Practice Management Systems
  • Credentialing, Purchasing Discounts, Contracting
  • Integrated physician medical group model which stresses physician independence
  • Marketing
  • PC Support
  • Staff Administration (payroll, benefits, H.R.)   

Argus Medical Management has provided a full spectrum of practice management services to physicians in Orange & Los Angeles Counties since 1995.

 

Contact:  Shing Huang, CFO, 562-299-5210, SHuang@ArgusMSO.com

For GroupSource (GPO/Purchasing Discounts): Peachy Paulino, Director, Marketing Support, 562-299-5252, PPaulino@ArgusMSO.com

 

Please visit the Argus Medical Management website at www.ArgusMSO.com


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 http://bit.ly/PtSafetyAward.

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 http://npsfcongress.org/young-physicians-essays/2013-winners-one/.

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.

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Contact: Alina Gomez, agomez@the doctors.com

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