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CA pharmacy board launched drug take-back database

The California Board of Pharmacy has launched an online drug take-back tool to help consumers looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The searchable online database includes pharmacies statewide offering drug take-back services authorized by the California State Board of Pharmacy. The drug take-back search tool is available at pharmacy.ca.gov. Users can enter a pharmacy name, city or zip code to easily find a nearby location for disposing of unused medications. Pharmacies operating take-back programs registered with the Board of Pharmacy may offer two types ...

CMA and AMA oppose CMS proposal to collapse E/M codes

More than 150 health care organizations, including the California Medical Association (CMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), sent a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), opposing the agency’s proposal to collapse evaluation and management (E/M) code and payment levels. The proposal was included in the draft 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and MACRA Quality Payment Program rule released earlier this summer. CMA and AMA appreciate CMS’s genuine desire to reduce documentation burdens on physicians to allow them to focus on patients over paperwork. Several ...

New Medi-Cal provider enrollment system to go live Sept. 4

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is releasing an update to its Medi-Cal provider enrollment system—called the Provider Application and Validation for Enrollment (PAVE)—on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.  The current iteration (2.0) of the PAVE system, launched on November 18, 2016, transformed DHCS’ provider enrollment from a manual paper-based process to a web-based portal that providers could use to complete and submit their applications, verifications and to report changes. Version 2.0 included most physicians and allied provider types. The new 3.0 update will include even more eligible provider ...

Senator Holly Mitchell to keynote 2018 NEPO Summit

Physicians for a Healthy California is thrilled to announce that California State Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) is joining the 2018 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit as keynote speaker. Senator Mitchell is a strong advocate for children, passionate defender of women’s rights and the environment, and fighter for equity and justice. She is also the founder and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality. The 2018 NEPO Summit will be held September 13-15 in Pasadena. This year's theme, Building the Best You: Celebrating the Joy ...

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan preps for entry into additional Medi-Cal and Medicare Advantage markets

Looking to potentially enhance its footprint in the Medi-Cal and Medicare Advantage marketplace by 2021, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Community Plan of California has issued unilateral contract amendments to contracted physicians in seven California counties. Additionally, UHC providers in the seven counties who are not currently contracted for the Medicare Advantage product will receive a combined contract amendment for participation in both UHC Community Plan of California (Medi-Cal) and UHC Medicare Advantage products. As a condition of participation in the Medi-Cal Managed Care request for proposal process in late 2019 or early 2020, ...

Have you updated your My CMA profile yet?

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) new website is loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. One exciting new feature is the My CMA dashboard. If you haven’t already, please login, update your profile, and chose your preferences and areas of interest. By doing so, we will be able to deliver custom content and personalized alerts to your My CMA dashboard based on your user preferences. On your My CMA dashboard, you will also be able to find all of your ...

2018 NEPO Summit: Register by Aug. 27 and save $100

Act now to save $100 off registration for the 2018 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit, to be held September 13-15 in Pasadena. This year's theme, Building the Best You: Celebrating the Joy of Medicine, will address issues of physician burnout and provide solutions to create a culture of wellness and physician well-being. The three-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, health care advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural ...

House votes to expand health savings accounts

On July 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills (H.R. 6199 and H.R. 6311) that would expand how health savings accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred accounts can be used on health care spending. HSAs, which are paired with high deductible health plans, allow people to contribute pre-tax earnings each year and save for medical expenses.  The first bill—H.R. 6199, which passed 277 to 142—would allow individuals with HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans to use up to $250 a year (or $500 a year for families) on services like primary ...

Medi-Cal to unveil updated provider enrollment system this summer

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will soon be releasing an update to its Medi-Cal provider enrollment system, called the Provider Application and Validation for Enrollment (PAVE).  The current iteration (2.0) of the PAVE system, originally launched on November 18, 2016, transformed DHCS’ provider enrollment from a manual paper-based process to a web-based portal that providers could use to complete and submit their applications, verifications and to report changes. The original launch included most physicians and allied provider types. The new update (3.0) will include even more eligible ...

Health Officer issues smoke advisory from Holy Fire

San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare advises county residents with sensitive health conditions who live near areas affected by the Holy Fire to stay alert to changing smoke levels and be prepared to act accordingly. The Holy Fire is burning to the east of Trabuco Canyon near the border of Orange County and Riverside County within the Cleveland National Forest. Although the fire is burning in surrounding counties, conditions may bring smoke into portions of San Bernardino County. Smoky conditions can be hazardous for young children, the elderly, individuals ...