Keeping You Connected

The SBCMS keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events

SBCMS Blog

rss

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 29, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On this day, hundreds of locations throughout California will be accepting and properly disposing of unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent diversion and misuse associated with these medications. This one-day event will provide patients with free, anonymous collection of unwanted and expired medicines. In addition to providing a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, the event also aims to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of these ...

#MatchedinCA: Making dreams come true for UCR medical students

Cheers erupted from a crowd of newly minted physicians at UC Riverside (UCR) School of Medicine on March 17 – Match Day – when the medical school's first graduating class of students opened envelopes telling them where they would spend the next few years as residents. UCR School of Medicine, which welcomed its first class in 2013, was the first public medical school created in California in more than 40 years. This year it graduated 40 students, 33 of whom will stay in California for their residencies. Ten of these ...

Free CME: Diabetes prevention webinar

Diabetes remains one of California’s fastest-growing and costliest diseases, and the burden is only expected to accelerate in the coming years. An estimated 2.5 million California adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, while 13 million – nearly half of the state’s adult population – have prediabetes, increasing their risk of developing diabetes over the next few years. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Among prediabetes patients, up ...

It's Health Care Decisions Week: Talk to your patients about their end-of-life wishes

The California Medical Association (CMA) recognizes National Health Care Decisions week by encouraging physicians to speak with their patients about the importance of completing an advance directive to make sure their end-of-life wishes are known. Experts say only about 20-30 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive, even though all people age 18 and older should have one. In California, advance directives are the legally recognized format for “living wills.” An advance directive enables individuals to make sure that their health care wishes are known in advance and considered ...

California's kindergarten vaccination rates hit new high

Vaccination rates among California kindergartners are at their highest point since 2001, according to new data from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  Compared to 2015-16, the percentage of students attending kindergarten in 2016-17 who had received all required vaccines rose from 93 percent to 96 percent. California's new vaccine law (SB 277), which was sponsored by the California Medical Association and took effect last year, eliminated the personal belief exemption and requires all children to be up-to-date on their vaccinations prior to enrolling in a public or private ...

AMA urges quick action to stabilize individual insurance market

With the window quickly closing to properly price individual insurance products for 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging President Trump and Congressional leaders to commit to continued funding for the cost-sharing reductions that are critical to stabilizing the individual market. AMA, along with other groups representing insurers, hospitals, health plan purchasers and physicians, sent a letter urging quick action to deliver short-term stability and affordable coverage while broader marketplace stabilization efforts are developed. Nearly 60 percent of all individuals who purchase coverage via the exchange receive financial assistance to ...

Open Payments review and dispute period open

Drug and medical device manufacturers have completed their submission of data to the Open Payments system on payments or transfers of value made to physicians during 2016. Physicians now have 45 days to review and dispute records attributed to them. The review and dispute period is open until May 15, 2017. The review and dispute process is voluntary, but encouraged. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish the 2016 payment data, along with updates to the 2013 and 2014 data, on June 30, 2017. Disputes that are ...

CMS delays reporting deadline for physician labs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will delay the deadline for physician office-based laboratories to meet new reporting requirements. Qualified laboratories now have until May 30, 2017, to complete reporting of private payor payment data for clinical testing services, as required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA). Under PAMA, laboratories that meet revenue thresholds are required to report private payor payment rates and associated volumes for tests they perform that are paid on the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). CMS said it ...

Ask the expert: Making a business case to join a payor network

When physicians identify a payor network they wish to join, typically their first step is to submit a letter of interest or intent signaling their desire to join. However, physicians often fail to adequately present a “business case” as to why the payor would want to add the practice into their network. Failure to present a business case often results in a quick reply from the payor indicating that they have no interest or need to add providers to their network at this time. To prevent the “auto-reply,” the ...

CHPI publishes physicians' quality ratings for cycle 2

On March 22, 2017, the California Healthcare Performance Initiative System (CHPI) released its second cycle of physician quality ratings to the public. The ratings can be accessed at CHPI’s newly launched website, CAqualityratings.org, which allows consumers to search ratings on approximately 10,000 California physicians.  As previously reported in September 2016, approximately 13,000 physicians in California received their individual quality measurement scores for the second cycle of the CHPI quality rating program. The program rates physicians using claims data from Medicare fee-for-service, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and UnitedHealthcare. ...