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Theodore M. Mazer, M.D., inaugurated as California Medical Association's 150th president

The California Medical Association (CMA) installed San Diego otolaryngologist Theodore M. Mazer, M.D., as its 150th president during the organization's annual House of Delegates meeting this weekend in Anaheim. Dr. Mazer has been a CMA and San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) member for 29 years. He has served on the CMA Board of Trustees since 2002, as Speaker of the House of Delegates from 2013 to 2016, and chaired various committees, including those focused on medical services and access to specialty care. Dr. Mazer is a past president of ...

Gov. Brown signs CMA-sponsored responsible beverage service training bill

On Sunday, October 15, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) and introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, requiring individuals who sell or serve alcoholic beverages to undergo responsible beverage service training. “The purpose of this law is simple: to help educate bartenders about how to serve alcohol responsibly and how to recognize when a customer’s had enough to drink,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “This law will mean fewer drunk drivers on the road, which will reduce the risk of future tragedies. It will ...

State sees marked increase in applications for primary care residency program funding

The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development received a record number of applications for family medicine and primary care residency funding through the Song Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Program. For the 2017 application cycle, 77 applications were received, representing 103 residency slots. The increase is due in part to additional physician workforce funding secured by the California Medical Association (CMA) through the state budget. In 2016, the California legislature passed a budget that committed $100 million over three years ($33 million each year) in health care workforce funding. Although ...

Hospital at center of "existential threat" to medical staff self-governance files for bankruptcy

The Tulare hospital embroiled in a bitter legal battle over the self-governance rights of its medical staff has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The filing came just two days before closing arguments were scheduled in the case, Tulare Regional Medical Center Medical Staff v. Tulare Regional Medical Center, et al. Although the hospital is in bankruptcy, the California Medical Association (CMA) will continue to seek a legal remedy in this matter. If the medical staff is unable to resolve the case out of court, the trial court could resume the ...

CMA publishes AB 72 payment monitoring workbook

The California Medical Association has published a workbook to help practices identify if payments they receive comply with AB 72's interim payment rules. AB 72—California’s new out-of-network billing and payment law—requires fully insured commercial plans and insurers to make “interim payments” to non-contracted physicians for covered, non-emergent services performed at in-network health facilities, and places limitations on the ability of physicians in such circumstances to collect their full billed charges. The interim rate defined in AB 72 is the greater of the average contracted rate (including only commercial contracts) or 125 ...

Help save lives: Co-prescribe naloxone to patients at risk of opioid overdose

For more than 40 years, the life-saving opioid overdose antidote naloxone has been used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Timely administration of naloxone has saved tens of thousands of lives. The American Medical Association Opioid Task Force, of which the California Medical Association (CMA) is a member, recently issued updated guidance encouraging physicians to consider co-prescribing naloxone when clinically appropriate for patients who are at risk for opioid overdose or might be in a position to help someone else at risk. The updated guidance includes several important questions that ...

Saturday, Oct. 28, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 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 450 tons of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 9,700 collection sites nationwide. In addition to providing a safe, convenient and responsible means ...

California physicians oppose elimination of ACA cost-sharing subsidies

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that his administration will cease making critical cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to health insurers that help low-income Americans afford health care. This announcement also followed yesterday’s executive order seeking to loosen the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance regulations. “Rather than taking action to make health care more affordable and accessible, the President’s actions threaten to destabilize the insurance market, increase health care costs and reduce patient access to care,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Ruth Haskins, M.D. “We urge our leaders in Washington ...

FSMB releases free online education modules for medical students and residents

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has released a free online education module for medical students and residents who are interested in learning about the medical licensing process. The new module, "Understanding and Navigating the Medical Licensing Process," is designed to help medical students and residents familiarize themselves with the licensing process before they apply with their state medical board. This is the second module in a series of online educational offerings developed by the FSMB Workgroup on Education for Medical Regulation. The workgroup is currently working on future ...

Free webinar Nov. 2: POLST eRegistry pilot project

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) is hosting a webinar for health care providers and medical professionals, “POLST eRegistry Pilot Project: 2017 Overview and Update." The free webinar takes place on Thursday, November 2, 2017, from 12-1:30 p.m. This webinar will provide an overview of the California POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) eRegistry pilot project. This project, funded by the California Health Care Foundation, is designed to test implementation, use and sustainability of an electronic POLST registry in two California communities, with electronic POLST forms securely submitted ...