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New Member Benefit: Prescriber's Letter

The California Medical Association (CMA) is pleased to announce that members can now receive 43 percent off Prescriber’s Letter (PL) subscriptions. PL is an advisory service for physicians and other prescribers, to keep them up to date on new developments in drug therapy.   PL provides unbiased recommendations that help you improve patient compliance, avoid costly medication errors and prescribe cost-effectively. PL helps you get drug-related facts quickly and digest them easily. PL's “to-the-point” approach means that you can learn about the most pressing drug therapy issues in about 15 minutes. ...

POLST: Improving patient care in the emergency department

By True McMahan, M.D.   Emergency department (ED) physicians are a very diverse group of providers. Some of us are cavalier, shooting from the hip as called for by the situation at hand. Others are meticulous and obsessive planners, taking no chances and casting a wide net of differential diagnoses. But MOST, if not all of us, work in a daily melee of balancing a multitude of patients with emergency medical conditions, all the while putting out administrative fires and juggling family and visitors. Is it any wonder then that we ...

Now is the time for a new Dental Plan!

Now is the time for a new Dental Plan! It’s Open Enrollment time for the San Bernardino County Medical Society sponsored Group Dental program. This plan is designed to help you, your family and your employees minimize the out-of-pocket expense of regular dental care. This program helps you maximize your out-of-pocket savings by using network dentists, but also allows you to use any dentist you like and receive lower benefits. Following are many valuable benefits that can save you money: • Annual Benefits of $2,000 per person for dental care, using network providers ...

CMA part of national effort to urge House leadership to act on Medicare SGR payment overhaul before the year ends

The California Medical Association (CMA) is part of a national multi-state, multi-specialty effort headed by the American Medical Association to keep bipartisan momentum going to address Medicare fee-for-service sustainable growth rate (SGR) reform. CMA has asked the California congressional delegation to sign a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to make it a priority to reform the Medicare physician payment system before the end of the year. The joint letter is being circulated in Congress by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and ...

CDPH launches new public health reporting gateway

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently launched an online portal for public health reporting called the CDPH Health Information Exchange (HIE) Gateway. The gateway will serve as a single point of entry for data submission to many state public health programs, including the California Immunization Registries (CAIR) and the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE).   The goal of the gateway is to improve upon data exchange, analysis and reporting capabilities, while helping hospitals and health care professionals meet the public health reporting objectives under the Centers for Medicare ...

Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

More than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, this according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.   Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent abuse and helps keep pharmaceuticals out of landfills and waterways. More than 280 locations throughout California will be accepting unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances, as ...

Are your business associate agreements up-to-date?

Physician practices must review and update business associate agreements to comply with new HIPAA regulations. HIPAA requires a physician practice to enter into a written business associate agreement with any third party contractors or vendors that may create, receive, maintain or transmit protected health information on behalf of the physician practice. These agreements describe how the business associate will use and protect the protected health information it receives from the physician practice.   The new HIPAA regulations, known as the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, implement many of the key provisions of ...

Paradise internist elected CMA President

Richard Thorp, M.D., FACP, was installed as the 146th president of the California Medical Association (CMA) at the close of the association’s 2013 House of Delegates, held in Anaheim last weekend. Dr. Thorp, an internist from Paradise, California, developed an interest in health policy and advocacy while serving as president of Butte Glenn Medical Society in 1994, the year of Clinton health reform. Dr. Thorp continued a leadership role in organized medicine in 1995, serving on CMA’s Committee on Managed Care and subsequently on the Committee on Medical Services. He was ...

House of Delegates Highlights

House of Delegates acts on hospital care The California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates has voted to take action on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) "outpatient patient observation" status, finding it to be a practice that places undue financial burden on patients, complicates the practice of medicine and often results in physicians receiving reduced payments for services provided.   ​Resolution 211-13, which received strong support on the floor of the House, was submitted as an emergency resolution and asked that CMA request that CMS eliminate its "outpatient patient ...

Provider search function operational on Covered California website

In what has been one of the most fluid deadlines put forth by the state’s health benefit exchange, Covered California launched the online provider search function on Monday, October 7. The search will allow patients to determine if a particular physician is contracted with any of the participating health plans.   Though aimed at patients, physicians can also use the search to determine which plans list them on their exchange provider directories. The California Medical Association (CMA) recommends physicians review their status with plans offered in their area to determine whether ...