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Saturday, April 28, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 28, 2018, 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. The last National Take Back event collected 456 tons of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 5,500 collection sites nationwide. In addition to providing a safe, convenient and responsible means ...

Commission studying continuing board certification is seeking physician input

A new commission has been formed—Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future—to bring together multiple stakeholders to re-envision the future of continuing board certification. The commission members represent a broad cross-section of physicians from a wide variety of specialties and practice settings and a diverse group of stakeholder communities, including national specialty and state medical societies, hospitals and health systems, health care organizations, and the general public. Throughout the process, the commission will seek feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders using a variety of methods including an open survey ...

CA Physicians Overwhelmingly Oppose Radical Health Care Price Fixing Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2018 SOURCE: California Medical Association CONTACT: Charlie Lawlor, clawlor@cmanet.org CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY - CLICK HERE!  Sacramento, CALIF. – Today, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) released new details on a radical new legislative proposal that would increase patient out-of-pocket costs and result in a dangerous government intrusion into the health care market by creating state-sanctioned rationing of health care for all Californians. Assembly Bill 3087 would establish an undemocratic, government-run commission with nine political appointees who would unilaterally set the price for all medical services that are not already ...

DOJ certifies CURES: Physicians must check database prior to prescribing effective October 2, 2018

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) has certified that as of April 2, 2018, the Controlled Substance Utilization and Evaluation System (CURES) – California’s prescription drug monitoring database – is ready for statewide use. The certification starts a six-month implementation period for the duty to consult requirements enacted by the Legislature in SB 482 (Lara, 2016).  Effective October 2, 2018, physicians must consult CURES prior to prescribing Schedule II, III or IV controlled substances to a patient for the first time and at least once every four months thereafter if ...

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 ...

CMA survey finds rampant health plan payment abuses

Despite a California law passed in 2000 to address widespread payment abuses by health care service plans, many payors continue to flout the law. A recent survey by the California Medical Association (CMA) confirms that health plans regularly engage in unfair payment practices, with two-thirds of physician practices reporting routine payment abuses in violation of state law. The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has been slow to address provider complaints and has taken few enforcement actions against health plans that unlawfully underpay providers. When DMHC has acted, the penalty ...

Payors report system changes to comply with AB 72

When California’s new out-of-network billing and payment law (AB 72) took effect on July 1, 2017, the California Medical Association (CMA) began receiving calls from physician offices concerned that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California were not correctly paying claims. In both cases the incorrect payments were linked to manual processing of AB 72 claims. CMA worked with Blue Shield to ensure affected claims through October of 2017 were automatically reprocessed. Blue Shield also committed to conducting weekly audits to catch any additional claims that were processed erroneously. ...

CMA physicians travel to D.C. to advocate on critical health care issues

A California Medical Association (CMA) contingent of two dozen physician and medical student leaders recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) National Advocacy Week. They met with 24 members of the California Congressional Delegation and top leadership of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to advocate for many health care issues critically important to California physicians.  While in Washington, California physicians focused on promoting the bipartisan Affordable Care Act (ACA) market stabilization bill that would reinstate the cost-sharing reduction payments and ...

$1.3 trillion federal appropriations bill loaded with new health care spending

Last Friday, President Trump signed a massive $1.3 trillion federal spending bill—the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. It is loaded with new spending for health care programs that were supported by the California Medical Association (CMA). Unfortunately, it did not include two bills that CMA was strongly promoting – the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market stabilization bill and a permanent solution for the nearly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients. A brief summary of the federal spending bill is below.  Bipartisan ACA Market Stabilization: CMA, the American Medical ...

Medical board looking for expert reviewers

The Medical Board of California is looking for physicians interested in becoming expert reviewers. Experts assist the board by providing reviews and opinions in medical board investigations, conducting professional competency examinations, and performing medical and psychiatric evaluations. The medical board is currently looking for experts in the following specialties: addiction medicine with added certification in family medicine or internal medicine or psychiatry; colon/rectal surgery; dermatology; family medicine; gastroenterology; neurological surgery; neurology; OB/GYN; pathology (anatomic/clinical); forensic pathology; pain medicine; pediatric gastroenterology; pediatric surgery; pediatric cardiac surgery; pediatric pulmonology; plastic surgery (hair ...