SBCMS News

rss

President's Message May 2017

MAY 2017 Political Advocacy…Your Practice and Future Depend on It Do you wish to continue to practice medicine and preserve quality patient care? If so, then I urge you to keep reading…. One of the most vital functions that we, as a local medical society, carry out for our SBCMS membership of 3,000 is that of political advocacy. This continual, behind the scenes communication to and with our elected officials and government representatives goes to the very “heart” of our pledge and responsibility to society to save lives and ensure that the ...

DHCS gets federal grant to increase access to opioid treatment in California

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has received a $90 million grant from the federal government to expand drug treatment services in California, primarily in counties and tribal communities that have higher rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. One key initiative will target those areas with an innovative approach to increase access to medications used to treat opioid addiction. DHCS will use a large portion of the grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand Californians’ access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, ...

6 tips to help mothers prevent diabetes, make healthy choices

Preventing type 2 diabetes requires self-management, motivation, and healthy lifestyle changes — but how do you encourage patients to improve their health while caring for the health of others? This is a common question Catherine Gutfreund, M.D., a primary care physician at Kaiser Permanente, encounters while caring for busy moms and families in her practice. Caring for Mom: A Unique Kind of Patient As a family physician, Dr. Gutfreund has cared for mothers from diverse family settings—single mothers, full time working moms, women with several children and the "sandwich generation" mom, caring ...

CMA joins partnership to raise awareness of the association between diabetes and cardiovascular disease

The California Medical Association (CMA) has joined the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease to raise awareness of the co-occurrence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program, “Making the Diabetes Heart Connection,” is a partnership that includes the American Heart and Stroke Association, American Medical Women’s Association, California Chronic Care Coalition, California Health Collaborative, American College of Cardiology (CA Chapter), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The coalition is working to establish May 2017 as Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Awareness Month here in California ...

Important information about 2016 and 2017 Medi-Cal EHR incentive program attestations, including delays for groups

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has extended the attestation deadline for the Medi-Cal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program reporting for the 2016 program year. The deadline has been pushed to May 23, 2017. After that date, DHCS will only accept 2017 attestations. Eligible providers should be aware that 2016 is the last year that they can sign up for the program. Providers who have not received at least one incentive payment by the end of the 2016 reporting year won’t be able to receive any ...

California Medical Association urges legislature to adopt state budget that improves access to care for Medi-Cal patients

PRESS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Joanne Adams, jadams@cmanet.org Sacramento, CALIF. – Today, Governor Jerry Brown released his revised state budget, which applies tobacco tax revenues to cover general fund responsibilities in the Medi-Cal program. In response, California Medical Association (CMA) President Ruth E. Haskins, M.D., made the following statement: "We’re disappointed that Governor Brown’s revised budget continues to ignore the clear language of the tobacco tax initiative (Proposition 56) and the will of California voters. "More than a third of Californians, including 50 percent of children in the state, rely on Medi-Cal for health care. ...

California Congressional delegation urges Gov. Brown to restore tobacco tax funds

California’s Democratic Congressional delegation urged Governor Jerry Brown to restore $1.2 billion in tobacco tax funds and use them for their intended purpose: to improve access to and quality of medical services for all Californians, especially our most vulnerable communities who rely on Medi-Cal for basic care. “With the success of the expanded Medicaid funding under the Affordable Care Act, it is critical Medi-Cal patients not only have coverage, but that they also have access to providers that accept Medi-Cal, which has been challenging to patients since the Medicaid expansion,” ...

CMS to issue MIPS participation status notices

Starting in late April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began notifying physicians whether they will be subject to Medicare's new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS is part of the new Medicare Quality Payment Program established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Providers with less than $30,000 in Medicare payments or fewer than 100 Medicare patients are exempt from the MIPS reporting requirements. Physicians who exceed this threshold are subject to MIPS and are encouraged to participate in MIPS for the 2017 ...

FDA bans use of powdered medical gloves

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a final rule that bans the use of powdered medical gloves. The ban took effect January 18, 2017, after the FDA determined that powdered surgeons' gloves, powdered patient examination gloves and absorbable powder for lubricating surgeons' gloves present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to both patients and health care personnel. After a thorough review of all currently available information, the FDA concluded that the use of powder on medical gloves present numerous risks, including sensitization to natural ...

Ask the Expert

QUESTION: My office is receiving an increased number of medical record requests from various payors. Can I bill the payor for copying medical records requested by the plan? ANSWER: It depends. There are several different types of requests for records including, but not limited to, a contested claim, commercial risk adjustment audit, Medicare risk adjustment audit, or special investigations audit. Most managed care contracts include language that require practices to generally comply with medical records requests at no additional cost. However, if neither the contract, nor payor policies or procedures require ...