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UC medical centers ready to provide in-patient care for confirmed cases of Ebola

Last week, the University of California (UC) Office of the President informed the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that all five UC medical centers were ready to provide in-patient care for Californians who have confirmed cases of Ebola. According to the UC Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Service John Stobo, M.D., the UC medical centers—which include Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco facilities—are “committed to addressing the health needs of this population and the public at large, as well as ensuring the safety of ...

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is winner of national Pink Glove Dance Competition for breast cancer awareness

Congratulations Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center - winner of the national Pink Glove Dance Competion for breast cancer awareness! The Pink Glove Dance Video Competition is an annual national breast cancer awareness campaign and competition sponsored by Medline, a manufacturer and distributor of health care supplies. The competition started because of the overwhelming and enthusiastic response to the original Pink Glove Dance video, featuring 200 workers from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, dancing in support of breast cancer awareness and prevention. For winning the competition, Medline donated $15,000 ...

CMA publishes duals project FAQ

The 2012 California state budget authorized a three-year demonstration project that transitions dual eligibles into managed care and allows them to receive medical, behavioral, long-term supports and services and home-and-community-based services coordinated through a single health plan. The Cal MediConnect project was approved in 8 counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. No more than 456,000 individuals will be allowed to enroll into Cal MediConnect. Los Angeles’ enrollment will be capped at 200,000. To help physicians and their patients better understand the program, ...

Election day is just two weeks away - Vote NO on Prop. 46!

In just two weeks, California voters will be weighing in on Proposition 46, the trial lawyer's ballot initiative that would quadruple the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) cap on non-economic damages. If lawyers get their way, medical lawsuits and jury awards will skyrocket – leading to a big increase in health care costs. It is critical that every single physician in California votes NO on Prop. 46 on Election Day. Vote-by-mail ballots were mailed out by the state last week. If you vote by mail (also known as ...

State issues report cards for HMOs, PPOs and large medical groups

The California Office of the Patient Advocate yesterday released its 14th annual “California Health Care Quality Report Cards” that rate the state's health plans and medical groups on a four-star scale. Available in English, Spanish and Chinese, the report cards allow consumers to compare the quality of care that more than 16 million commercially insured consumers receive from the state’s 10 largest HMOs, six largest PPOs and more than 200 medical groups. The data for the report cards is drawn from claims data and patient surveys for 2013. Users can drill-down ...

AMA assembles Ebola resources for physicians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sept. 30 confirmed the first U.S. case of Ebola, and developments associated with the virus continue to unfold.  In the past week, two Dallas nurses have been diagnosed with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first U.S. ebola patient, who died last week after travelling from Liberia to Texas to visit family. Both health care workers were with Duncan during what the CDC says is the highest risk period—when a patient is vomiting and having diarrhea. To help you prepare ...

Blue Shield makes positive changes to reimbursement policy for physicians treating out-of-network exchange PPO patients

Blue Shield of California recently announced a two-part reimbursement policy change for contracted providers that do not currently participate in the plan’s Individual and Family Plan (IFP) PPO product, otherwise known as its exchange/mirror PPO product. Effective with September 14, 2014 dates of services, Blue Shield will implement changes to the out-of-network claims payment process and will now reimburse providers directly when PPO exchange/mirror product patients are seen out of network. Previously, Blue Shield issued payment directly to the patient. The notice also states that out-of-network physicians may continue bill ...

CMA Capitol Insight: Oct. 13, 2014

CMA Capitol Insight is a biweekly column by veteran journalist Anthony York, reporting on the inner workings of the state Legislature. Rules of the Road The jury is still out about how California’s new election rules have changed the ideology of the legislature. Voters changed the rules in 2010, not only creating independently drawn legislative districts instead of seats designed by legislators themselves, but by changing the primary system so that the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the fall runoff. From 2000-2010, the old rules virtually eliminated electoral competition. ...

CMA leaders meet with Congress on Capitol Hill before election recess

California Medical Association (CMA) physician leaders were in Washington, D.C., for the last week of the Congressional session, reminding California legislators about priority physician issues, such as the repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) and adoption of long-term Medicare payment reform. Congress has scheduled a very short lame duck session following the November election during which leadership on both sides hopes to come to an agreement on a spending bill to keep the government running. Earlier this year, both houses of Congress were very close to a permanent repeal ...

CMS reopening meaningful use hardship exception deadline

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is reopening the submission period for meaningful use hardship exception applications so that physicians can avoid the 2015 payment penalty. The new deadline will be November 30, 2014. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress mandated payment adjustments under Medicare for eligible professionals that are not meaningful users of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The Act allows the Secretary to consider, on a case-by-case basis, hardship exceptions for eligible professionals to avoid the ...