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CMA and AMA urge exemptions from Open Payments reporting

The American Medical Association, the California Medical Association (CMA) and more than 80 other health care organizations recently submitted a joint letter in response to a request from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for feedback on the Open Payments Program reporting requirements. Under the Open Payments program, drug and medical device manufacturers are required to report their financial interactions with licensed physicians – including consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts. The joint letter urges CMS to exempt journal reprints and medical textbooks from “Open Payments” ...

2019 Q1 reports open for comments

The California Medical Association (CMA) is now accepting comments on council reports for the first quarter of 2019. The reports represent recommendations from CMA's various councils—informed by testimony from CMA members—that will go before the Board of Trustees at its first quarter 2019 meeting. These council reports are available online and open for further comment and discussion through January 20, 2019. If you have any feedback that you think would be critical for the board to consider, now is your opportunity to make your voice heard. To view the reports and/or to ...

New Laws 2019: What physicians need to know

The California Legislature had an active year, passing many new laws affecting health care. In particular, there was a strong focus on health care coverage, drug prescribing, public health and mental health issues. To help physicians understand the most significant new health laws, the California Medical Association has published its annual new laws round up, “Significant New California Laws of Interest to Physicians for 2019.” This document is free to all interested parties.

CMA recoups $29 million on behalf of physician members

California physicians have a powerful ally when it comes to dealing with problematic payors—the California Medical Association (CMA) Center for Economic Services (CES). Staffed by practice management experts with a combined experience of more than 125 years in medical practice operations, the CES team has recovered $29 million from payors on behalf of its physician members over the past 10 years. In 2018, CES had a record year, recovering nearly $11 million from payors on behalf of physician members, up from $3 million in 2017. This is money that would ...

ABMS seeking physician comments on Maintenance of Certification reform

In 2017, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its 24 member boards launched a major initiative—Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission—to re-envision the future of continuing board certification. The commission recently released its draft report, which includes the key findings and recommendations for reforming how ABMS specialty boards operate continuing certification programs. The draft report is open for public comment until Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The California Medical Association (CMA) is encouraging physicians to review the recommendations and provide comments on ...

Congratulations James Tong, MD, on receiving "The Unforgettables "Top Doc" Award

James Tong, MD selected by the San Bernardino County Medical Society's Board of Directors, for "The Unforgettables "Top Doc" Award for 2018.  James E. Tong, MD is the Assistant Area Medical Director of the Women’s and Children’s Health Service Line for Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG), in the San Bernardino County Area (SBC). He has been in this role since May 2016; prior to his current role Dr. Tong was the Chief of Service, Pediatrics beginning in April 2013. After completing his Pediatrics Residency (2006) and his Pediatric Nephrology ...

California Physicians Congratulate Governor-elect Newsom, Lieutenant Governor-elect Kounalakis

Today, voters chose Gavin Newsom and Eleni Kounalakis to serve as California’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In response, California Medical Association (CMA) President David H. Aizuss, M.D. issued the following statement: “The voters have decided, and CMA is proud to congratulate Governor-elect Newsom and Lt. Governor-elect Kounalakis for their respective wins tonight. “Governor-elect Newsom has a distinguished track record in championing health care for all, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kounalakis showed voters that she has the passion and experience to help push California forward. We look forward to their continued leadership ...

SoFi doubling rate discount for CMA members

Earlier this year, the California Medical Association (CMA) and SoFi launched a new member benefit that will help physicians save thousands on their student loans. Sofi offers CMA members student loan refinancing options that include low-variable and fixed rates with terms ranging from five to 20 years. For a limited time, SoFi is offering CMA members a special double rate discount for a limited time. From now until December 20, 2018, you’ll pay 0.5 percent less in interest when you refinance at SoFi.com/CMA. Market interest rates are on the rise, check to ...

Prop. 56 webinar: Are you getting your share of the supplemental Medi-Cal funds?

The California Health Care, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 (Prop. 56) created new revenues dedicated to the Medi-Cal program. Physicians receive supplemental payments in both fee-for-service and Medi-Cal managed care when providing Medi-Cal services under certain CPT codes. A total of $325 million was allocated for physician payments in the budget for 2017-18, with $488 million proposed for 2018-19. The California Medical Association (CMA) is hosting a webinar with the California Department of Health Care Services on Wednesday, November 7, to discuss the status of distribution of ...

Coding Corner: Separate reporting of pre-intra- and post-procedure work

“Coding Corner” focuses on coding, compliance, and documentation issues relating specifically to physician billing. This month’s tip comes from G. John Verhovshek, the managing editor for AAPC, a training and credentialing association for the business side of health care. The global surgical package includes all “necessary services normally furnished” by a provider “before, during, and after a procedure,” as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS). When a provider is responsible for only a portion of the global package (e.g., an emergency department physician initiates fracture care, ...