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Registration Now Open for IMQ Medical Staff Conference

Registration is now open for the 2016 Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) Medical Staff Conference, set for October 27 at the Embassy Suites SFO (Gateway) Hotel in South San Francisco. This event will deliver the information, solutions and best practices that physicians need to successfully lead their medical staffs.  The conference will tackle some of the difficult decisions that face medical staffs, such as credentialing, granting privileges and proctoring practitioners for remote technology (telemedicine), and privileging policies for the new technology. Through examples and discussion, faculty will demonstrate how medical ...

CMS Releases Proposed 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the proposed 2017 Medicare physician payment rule. According to CMS, the new payment rule will transform how Medicare pays for primary care through a new focus on care management and behavioral health. The proposed rule also begins to implement the California Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) fix, which will overhaul California’s outdated geographic payment localities. This long-overdue fix updating California’s Medicare physician payment regions will raise payment levels for 14 urban California counties misclassified as rural, while holding the remaining ...

County issues Heat Advisory, high heat temperatures expected this weekend

County issues Heat Advisory, high heat temperatures expected this weekend - English Flyer   Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare Health Officer for San Bernardino County has issued another excessive heat warning for high temperatures today and through this coming weekend. Temperatures are expected to be above 105°F for the Inland Valley areas and up to 110°F for the high deserts. The mountain areas below 6000 feet will see temperatures up to 102°F.   “As another heat wave hits our county, we need to remember to try and stay cool. Check on those most vulnerable, ...

MACRA webinar now available on-demand

A recording of the California Medical Association’s (CMA) recently held webinar – MACRA: What Is CMA Doing to Improve It? What Steps Can You Take to Prepare Now? – is now available to download in CMA’s online resource library. The webinar is available free to members; the cost is $99 for nonmembers. In this webinar, CMA Vice President of Federal Government Relations Elizabeth McNeil provides a brief overview of the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) payment changes. She also discusses CMA’s advocacy efforts with the ...

Opioid bill passes in Congress, but remains unfunded

Congress broke a months-long stalemate this past week with the Senate’s passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which authorizes the federal government to award state grants for opioid-related initiatives around education, prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. However, the efforts will not be fully realized until there are resources applied to fund the bill. The legislation authorizes, but doesn't appropriate funding, for programs to combat opioid misuse, in addition to increasing the availability of naloxone, a drug to treat overdoses. The medical community and the American Medical Association (AMA) ...

Learn about physician engagement in the advance care planning process on July 19 call

As part of its Advance Care Planning Initiative, the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) hosts a monthly forum to discuss successful advance care planning efforts and share ideas about what is working to improve conversations and processes in both health care and community settings. The next call will take place on Tuesday, July 19, from noon to 1 p.m. Facilitated by Lael Duncan, M.D., CCCC medical director of consulting services, the topic is Engaging Physicians in Advance Care Planning. During the call, Dr. Duncan and other guest physicians ...

A chat with the head of California's doctor lobby

Written by Emily Bazar; Reprinted from California Healthline. The California Medical Association, which represents about 41,000 doctors, has been at the heart of health care deliberations in Sacramento for decades. This year, it has staked out strong and sometimes surprising positions on the legalization of marijuana, Medi-Cal provider rates and the role it believes nurse practitioners should play in patient care. California Healthline discussed these positions with current CMA president, Steven Larson, a primary care and infectious disease physician who practices in Riverside. Larson is also CEO of Riverside Medical Clinic, ...

CMA medical legal library updated for 2016

CMA On-Call, the California Medical Association (CMA) online health law library, is fully updated for 2016. One of CMA's most valuable member benefits, On-Call 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. New documents for 2016 include: Provider Directories (#7163) Self-Referral Prohibitions: Federal Exceptions Related to Other ...

DMHC IMR/complaint webinar now available on-demand

The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), the regulatory agency that oversees 122 health plans, recently conducted a webinar for the California Medical Association (CMA) to provide an overview of the department with a focus on the DMHC Help Center and its Independent Medical Review (IMR) process. DMHC Deputy Director of Health Policy and Stakeholder Relations Mary Watanabe provided an overview of the department’s IMR and complaint processes, including the importance of these processes in the policy, legislative and regulatory arenas. Also provided was information on how to ...

CDC warns of multistate outbreak of B. cepacia possibly tied to liquid docusate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a joint warning for a multistate outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia infections (also known as B. cepacia complex). To date, 47 B. cepacia cases have been confirmed from health care facilities in five states. Reports of possible cases from additional states are currently being investigated. CDC has confirmed that two samples of unused oral liquid docusate product received from one of the affected hospitals have tested positive for B. cepacia complex. B. cepacia is a gram-negative ...