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CMA objects to federal rule that would disrupt comprehensive women's health coverage

The California Medical Association (CMA) has filed formal comments objecting to a proposed federal rule that would change the way consumers are billed for health insurance exchange plans that cover abortion services. The proposed Exchange Program Integrity rule would require plans to send two separate monthly bills to each policyholder: one bill for the non-Hyde abortion coverage (at least $1 per member per month) and one bill for all other services. This would mean consumers would have to pay their monthly premium in two separate transactions. CMA believes the proposal threatens ...

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in challenge to California's Reproductive FACT Act

A California law that requires specified facilities providing pregnancy-related services and counseling to disclose information about the availability of comprehensive reproductive health care services is currently being challenged before the United States Supreme Court. At issue in this case—NIFLA v. Becerra—are efforts by the State of California to ensure that patients receive accurate information about the availability and accessibility of free and low-cost comprehensive reproductive health services. Passed in 2015, the California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act requires licensed health-care centers to notify patients of the availability ...

California physicians condemn changes to Affordable Care Act birth control mandate

The Trump Administration today announced an interim final rule that permits employers and insurers to claim a religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “Birth Control Mandate.” The California Medical Association (CMA), representing over 43,000 physicians in all specialties and modes of practice, issued the following statement, condemning this policy change on the grounds that it undermines the availability of preventative health care for California women. “Access to contraception is a basic preventative health care service that millions of Californians rely on,” said CMA President Ruth Haskins, M.D. “The ...

CMA says breastfeeding mothers must be accommodated when taking exams

The California Medical Association (CMA), along with the American Medical Women’s Association and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), sent a letter to Prometric, one of the largest test development and delivery networks in the country, asking it to ensure that pregnant and breastfeeding test takers have consistent access to reasonable accommodations during their exams. “It has come to our attention that Prometric does not consistently provide appropriate accommodations to candidates who are pregnant or breastfeeding at the time they are taking exams at Prometric facilities,” said the letter. “These ...

Register now for November 16 webinar on prenatal vaccinations

The California Immunization Coalition (CIC) invites health care providers to attend its November 16, 2016, educational webinar: Providing Strong and Reassuring Recommendations for Prenatal Vaccinations. Taking place from 12 to 1 p.m. PT, this free webinar will focus on immunization recommendations for pregnant women and best practices for improving immunization rates in this population. Attendees will learn tips and techniques for communicating with their patients about the benefits of prenatal vaccination against pertussis and influenza, as well as ways to improve vaccination rates in their own practices. To register, click ...

Physicians advised to check enrollment status of pregnant patients insured by Covered California

In April, news broke that nearly 2,000 pregnant women with Covered California health plans were automatically – and without their knowledge or consent – transferred from their exchange plan to Medi-Cal, even though they were supposed to have the option to stay with Covered California. The problem, attributed by Covered California partly to a computer glitch, can be traced to a recent policy change. Usually, consumers are placed in either Covered California or Medi-Cal based on their income, with no choice in the matter. But the rules are different for some ...

Educate your patients about screenings and vaccinations during Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. During this time, the California Medical Association (CMA) and CMA Foundation encourage physicians to talk to their patients about the risks of cervical cancer – and ways to prevent it, including increased screenings and vaccinations. The main cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be prevented through vaccination. Studies have shown that the HPV vaccine has the potential to prevent up to 70 percent of cervical cancer cases and deaths in California annually. Cervical cancer can also be detected through ...