Monday, December 18, 2017

OCMA Blog

2013 Physician of the Year Nominations

Now Accepting Nominations: 2013 OCMA Physician of the Year

DEADLINE: February 22, 2013


The Orange County Medical Association is now accepting nominations for the 2013 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 in May, details to come.


Nomination submission:

Attention Holly Appelbaum 2013 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 22, 2013




2013 Physicians of Excellence Reception Pictures

Pictures from the January 23, 2013 Physicians of Excellence Reception are up on the OCMA Facebook page.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152478454530721.955051.250822655720&type=1&l=60016902fd to view them. Feel free to tag yourself, your friends and your colleagues.

Photos by www.lisareneephotography.com

Don't forget to "like" the OCMA Facebook page!


OCMA Needs Your Help with an Important Survey Regarding Dual Eligibles

Your participation is needed! Please consider taking a short, 10 question survey regarding the dual eligibles demonstration project.

Those who participate in this survey may enter to win one of three $100 Visa gift cards. By leaving your name at the end of the survey, you will be entered in the drawing! OCMA staff will contact the winners on or before February 7, 2013. 

The CalOptima board of directors is scheduled to make a critical decision regarding dual eligible patients (eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal) in Orange County at their February 7 board meeting. The decision could impact many physicians and their dual eligible patients. Your immediate input is necessary.

 

The OCMA has been working with CalOptima to advocate that the board adopt a very open health care delivery model for the duals patients; a delivery model that includes contracted health plans and individual physicians, via individual contracts. The broad health care delivery model will allow for patients to continue seeing their individual physician even if that physician is not affiliated with a CalOptima health plan for the purposes of Medicare managed care.

 

In order to effectively advocate for the physicians providing Medicare services, we need accurate and current information to share with the CalOptima staff and board members. This survey will enable us to provide a substantial portion of the important information that we need. The CalOptima board is uncertain, at this time, on the type of health care delivery model they will utilize for the duals patients in Orange County, so your immediate response is requested and will be of great value. Thank you for your time and participation.


For a more detailed update on the duals demonstration in Orange County, please go to the OCMA web site under the Local Advocacy section.

 

To continue to the survey, click the link below.


Survey Link: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CB9QHJR


UPDATE: Congress stops Medicare cuts for one year as part of fiscal cliff legislation

This morning (Jan. 3) CMS released instructions to contractors for implementation of the revised fee schedule.  In order to allow sufficient time to develop, test, and implement the revised 2013 Medicare physician fee schedule, Medicare contractors have been instructed that they can hold claims with January 2013 dates of service for up to 10 business days. CMS expects these claims to be released into processing no later than January 16, 2013.  The claim hold should have minimal impact on physician cash flow because, under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 for paper claims) after the date of receipt. Based on prior history of similar fee schedule updates, CMA believes that physicians may expect to see claims paid in approximately 21 days, rather than the usual 14 days. Medicare contractors will be posting the new payment rates on their websites no later than January 23, 2013. 

Congress stops Medicare cuts for one year as part of fiscal cliff legislation

HR 8 is a prime example of the need for physicians to speak with a unified voice through your local and state medical association. Clearly, the work is not over as these are merely temporary fixes. A strong physician perspective is critical in further debates. To the members of OCMA/CMA, thank you for your support and participation in important efforts such as this - it does make a difference. If you are not a member of OCMA/CMA, we need to add your voice to strengthen our advocacy on behalf of doctors and the patients you serve. 


Congress on January 1 passed HR 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, narrowly averting the so-called "fiscal cliff." The bill includes a one-year Medicare fee-for-service physician payment freeze, meaning the 26.5 percent sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut has been averted, for now. The 2 percent sequestration cuts have also been deferred for two months.

 

The one-year fix comes with a $25 billion price tag. The cost of physician payment reform has been growing over the years as Congress continues to enact frequent short-terms fixes. As recently as 2005 the cost of permanent reform would have been $48 billion, but today it is estimated to be nearly $300 billion over the next 10 years. If action is not taken soon, the cost will continue to escalate to $500 billion in only a few short years.

 

The one-year freeze will be paid for with cuts to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) new CO-OP program and other health care programs ($15 billion of the cuts impacting hospitals). At CMA's urging, the ACA's Medicaid increase for primary care physicians was not used to pay for this temporary fix, despite earlier attempts to do so.

The Medicare fix is being paid for by:

  • Cuts to the ACA's CO-OP program (unobligated funds)
  • Extending the statute of limitations for recouping overpayments.
  • Adjusting the equipment utilization rate for Advanced imaging services.
  • Rebasing end stage renal disease payments based on utilization of drugs.
  • Equalizing stereotactic radiology hospital outpatient services with physician services.
  • Rebasing of Disproportionate Share Hospital payments.
  • Reducing multiple procedure payments when more than one therapy procedure is provided on the same day.
  • Eliminating funding for the Medicare improvement fund.
  • Eliminating the ACA long term care (LTC) CLASS act. (But establishes a LTC commission.)
  • Adjusting Medicare Advantage payments to account for differences in coding practices between fee-for-service and managed care risk adjustment formulas.

Importantly, the bill also lays the groundwork for an alternative Medicare payment system by establishing data systems and a registry for reporting on quality that will help physicians.


What does this mean for physician claims?

 

Because federal law requires Medicare contractors to hold claims for 14 days before releasing payment, there should be little if any impact on physicians' cash flow. Although there has been no official word from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, claims for services provided in the early days of 2013 will likely be processed under the new 2013 fee schedule. Palmetto, California's Medicare contractor, should have the new fee schedule posted on its website in about 10 days.

 

The 2013 fee schedule will not be exactly the same as the 2012 fee schedule. Although Congress stopped the 26.5 percent SGR cut, there were other components of the fee schedule formula that affect payment that may have changed, such as the relative value units (RVUs).

 

Physicians have the option of holding claims and submitting them after the new fee schedule is released. If you choose to submit claims in the interim, the California Medical Association (CMA) suggests that both participating and non-participating physicians bill their usual and customary fees-for-services to Medicare. Billing at your customary fee ensures that Medicare pays the highest amount possible when the claim is processed.


Orange County Medical Association Selects Farmers & Merchants Bank as Preferred Business Partner

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 -  Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) has been selected by the Orange County Medical Association (OCMA) as a Preferred Business Partner for physicians seeking personal and professional banking products and services.

 

"F&M is dedicated to delivering tailored products and services for the medical community," said Daniel K. Walker, F&M's Chairman and CEO. "We have served the community for more than a century and have worked with medical professionals in our Memorial Hospital branch for more than 30 years. This rich history and depth of experience allows us to ensure physicians' banking needs are met with the utmost efficiency and convenience."

 

F&M's Physician Banking Suite of Services provides attentive service and specialized products to the medical community, including concierge services, account analysis, business credit cards, remote deposit capture, lockbox service, online business banking, merchant services and lines of credit and loans. OCMA members will receive a 15 percent credit toward their analysis fees as part of the partnership.

 

F&M and OCMA also will join forces to provide educational seminars and resources geared toward effective financial planning and practice management and will feature insights from some of the region's leading medical and financial professionals.

 

The strategic business partnership with F&M Bank reinforces OCMA's commitment to bring added value to its members by aligning with companies who offer specialized services for physicians, allowing physicians to focus their attention on patient care.

.

About Farmers & Merchants Bank


Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank has 21 branches in L.A. and Orange counties. The Bank specializes in commercial and small business banking along with business loan programs. Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach is a California state chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Member FDIC) and an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about F&M, please visit the website at www.fmb.com or contact Brian Nakamura, Vice President/Physician's Banking Suite Coordinator  at: 

(714) 472-6611 or brian.nakamura@fmb.com.



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