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U.S. Senate health reform update

While there has been considerable activity in the Senate over the past week, plans for bringing a health system reform bill to the floor for a vote remain very fluid. Under pressure from both President Trump and a long legislative to-do list, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would attempt to bring repeal legislation to the floor again tomorrow. At this point, it appears that two substitute amendments for the House-passed American Heath Care Act (AHCA) are likely candidates to serve as the basis for Senate debate: ...

NASEM issues major report on pain management and opioid use

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) issued a report last week, "Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing Societal and Individual Benefits and Risks of Prescription Opioid Use," detailing the dual public health challenges of undertreated pain and opioid use disorder. The report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlights actions health care professionals and government agencies could take to stem the prevalence of opioid misuse without denying access to opioids for patients suffering from pain. The 18-member committee that worked over a year ...

CMS releases proposed Medicare physician fee schedule for 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the proposed 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The California Medical Association (CMA) is pleased to note that there are a number of positive proposed changes that would help physicians improve patient care. CMS is also soliciting ideas from physicians to reduce Medicare and Medicaid regulatory hassles. Highlights of the proposed rule include:  Request for information on regulatory relief: CMA applauds CMS’ invitation for physicians to submit ideas for regulatory, policy, practice and procedural changes to improve the health care system to ...

Medi-Cal postponing deactivation of inactive providers

Earlier this month, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) notified approximately 30,000 Medi-Cal providers that they were being "deactivated" because they had not submitted a claim or rendered services reported on a Medi-Cal claim in the last 12 months. The notices indicated that the deactivation date would be July 22, 2017. DHCS has, however, decided not to proceed with the planned deactivation. DHCS will instead be reconsidering what is defined as "inactivity" after the department was made aware that such deactivation would be problematic for some providers—particularly those who see ...

Making the Connection between Patients and Providers: A Modern Approach to the Treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Taking Control of Your Diabetes—an organization that provides innovative and integrative continuing education to medical professionals caring for people with diabetes—is hosting a one-day conference on November 18, 2017, in San Diego to help health care providers connect more effectively with their patients to help them succeed in reaching their treatment goals—while avoiding acute and chronic complications. The event, "Making the Connection between Patients and Providers: A Modern Approach to the Treatment of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes," is a unique, cutting-edge, educational and entertaining learning experience for savvy ...

CMA Open Payments data shows that only 5.6% of physicians looked at their records

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week that in 2016, only 5.6 percent of physicians nationwide reviewed their data under the Medicare Open Payments program. Under the Open Payments program, drug and medical device manufacturers are required to report their financial interactions with licensed physicians – including consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants and other gifts. Medicare publicly released calendar-year 2016 Open Payments data on June 30 following a 45-day period during which physicians were able to review their data and dispute errors. According to CMS, only 34,871 ...

3rd Annual Clinical Management and Behavioral Interventions for Diabetes Care, Oct. 20-21 in La Jolla

Scripps Memorial Hospital is hosting the 3rd Annual Clinical Management and Behavior Interventions for Diabetes Care symposium in La Jolla, October 20-21,2017. An estimated 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, a majority of them having type 2 diabetes. Despite improvement in the overall national quality indicators for diabetes care, there remain a large number of individuals not meeting the recommended "ABC" targets (A1s, blood pressure and cholesterol). This symposium will discuss how emerging therapeutic approaches and new nutritional and behavioral programs can assist in reaching national targets. ...

CMA CFO honored by Sacramento Business Journal

Lance Lewis, chief operating and financial officer for the California Medical Association (CMA) was honored as one of the Sacramento Business Journal's CFOs of the Year.  Lewis was recognized because his innovative leadership over the past 18 years has helped transform CMA into a thriving organization that cultivates and values talent, systems and processes that support a diverse, high performance workplace culture. Lewis oversaw the complete transformation of the association’s financial processes, revamping the budgeting process from a traditional accounting method to an activity-based costing model tied to the strategic ...

Digital medicine conference comes to La Jolla in October

Consumers are increasingly able to monitor their health using a vast array of wearable devices and digital technologies, at a small fraction of the cost imposed by our modern health care system. This change, powered by mobile internet, is giving patients unprecedented control over their health care.  The Scripps Translational Science Institute is hosting a one-of-a-kind, interactive conference—DIGIMED17 – Transforming Healthcare Through Evidence-Driven Digital Medicine—October 5-6 in La Jolla. The principal goal of this conference is to jumpstart efforts to drive the widespread incorporation of evidence-based mobile health solutions for more ...

Webinar: Medical staff self-governance and the Tulare medical staff trial

Medical staff self-governance is a vital part of a carefully crafted system designed to ensure the delivery of quality patient care in California hospitals. Join us for a one-hour webinar on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at 12:15 p.m., for an overview of the rights and responsibilities of the self-governing medical staff under state and federal law, including credentialing, establishing clinical criteria and standards, organizing committees to monitor patient care, reviewing medical records, working with hospital administrators and governing bodies, and peer review, among other things. Presenter: Long Do, CMA legal ...