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2017 MIPS performance scores and 2019 payment adjustments now available

Physicians can now log in to the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) website to view their final 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance scores and payment adjustment information for the 2019 payment year. It is important to note the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will not be sending out letters this year, so physicians are encouraged to log into the QPP website to learn about any payment adjustments they will receive in 2019. Physicians should be aware that the MIPS payment adjustment is required to be budget neutral. That means ...

First infant death from Pertussis (whooping cough) confirmed

News from the Department of Public Health San Bernardino County www.sbcounty.gov   For Immediate Release July 17, 2018   Contact: Lana Cao Public Health Information Officer San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Phone: 909.387.9147 Email: Lana.Cao@dph.sbcounty.gov First infant death from Pertussis (whooping cough) confirmed Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has claimed the life of a San Bernardino County infant less than six months of age. This is the first confirmed death from the disease in California since 2016. “This infant’s death is a tragedy for the family and our community. My sincerest condolences are extended to the family at this difficult time,” ...

Welcome to the Next Generation of CMA

The California Medical Association (CMA) is proud to launch the next generation of our brand and website – powerful recruitment and engagement tools to keep CMA at the forefront of an ever-changing health care landscape.  The website functionality, design and content strategy have been reimagined for easier, more intuitive navigation and loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. Highlights of the new website include: One Login: Simplified joint CMA/county login process so you don’t have to keep track of multiple usernames ...

Federal opioid package receives bipartisan support in the U.S. House

On June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. It includes more than 55 opioid-related bills intended to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs. HR 6 also includes several Medicaid, Medicare and public health reforms to help combat the opioid crisis. The California Medical Association (CMA) aggressively advocated for more funding ...

DHCS requires enrollment for all Medi-Cal managed care providers

In January 2018, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) began requiring that all Medi-Cal managed care providers be enrolled through the Medi-Cal program. Medi-Cal managed care plans have the option to develop and implement a managed care physician screening and enrollment process that meets federal requirements, or they may direct their network physicians to enroll through the DHCS fee-for-service (FFS) enrollment portal. (Enrolling through DHCS does not obligate managed care network providers to also see FFS patients.) Some physicians have already reported receiving notices from Medi-Cal managed care ...

Health plans terminate relationship with Vantage Medical Group

The California Medical Association (CMA) has learned that two health plans, the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) and Molina Healthcare, are terminating their contracts with Vantage Medical Group. Two other plans, Blue Shield of California and Care1st Health Plan, have issued notices of material breach with an intent to terminate. The plans have filed requests with the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) to transfer their enrollees to other delegated groups. According to IEHP’s block transfer filing with DMHC, Vantage engaged in conduct that resulted in the inappropriate delay, ...

CMA's Health Law Library updated with 2018 content

CMA On-Call—the California Medical Association (CMA) online health law library—has been updated with 2018 content. One of CMA's most valuable member benefits, the health law library contains nearly 5,000 pages of up-to-date legal information on a variety of subjects of everyday importance to practicing physicians. The searchable online library contains all the information available in the California Physician's Legal Handbook (CPLH), an annual publication from CMA's Center for Legal Affairs. Recently updated documents of particular interest include: MACRA Overview (#7210) Billing Limitations and Private ...

CMA to address affordability of health care at annual meeting

The 147th Annual Session of the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) will tackle one major issue—addressing the cost of health care—when it convenes October 13-14, 2018, in Sacramento. CMA physician delegates meet annually to establish broad policy on current major issues that have been determined to be the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine. Because this year’s topic is a large issue, it has been divided up into four categories. Addressing Utilization Through Improved Care Delivery ...

State budget includes 10 new CPT codes eligible for supplemental tobacco tax payments

Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a $139 billion California budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The budget continues the Administration’s commitment to using the Proposition 56 tobacco tax funding to provide supplemental payments for Medi-Cal providers, with $500 million in tobacco tax funds allocated to improve provider reimbursement through supplemental payments. The total funding for provider payments is approximately $1.3 billion. DHCS plans to allocate the tobacco tax funds to increase payments for a total of 23 CPT codes, which includes 10 new preventive CPT codes. The supplemental rate ...

Leading health organizations announce filing of statewide soda tax measure for 2020

Today, a ballot measure to protect public health through a state soda tax was filed for the 2020 ballot by two of California’s leading health care provider organizations – the California Medical Association (CMA), representing 43,000 California physicians, and the California Dental Association (CDA), representing 27,000 California dentists. This announcement comes four days after the multi-billion-dollar soda industry held the state of California hostage with a dangerous ballot threat that jeopardized the fiscal outlook of local governments, forcing the state to pre-empt local authority and pass an unprecedented 12-year moratorium ...