SBCMS News

rss

Study finds sharp rise in the use of e-cigarettes among young people

A new study has found that 4.6 million young people — a quarter of all high school students and nearly 8 percent of middle school students —used tobacco in some form last year. According to the study, there was a decline in the numbers of high school students smoking cigarettes (from 16 percent to 9 percent), as well as a decline in  the use of cigars and pipes. However, the study found that there was a substantial increase in the use of e-cigarettes (9.4 percent) and hookah pipes (13.4 ...

Polio survivors gather with Senator Dr. Richard Pan to reinforce the need for SB 277 before bill passed through Education Committee

Standing one room away from an antique iron lung, a historic medical device once used to help polio patients breathe, survivors of the once widespread disease urged parents on Tuesday to get their children vaccinated in order to avoid suffering from completely preventable diseases. The polio survivors surrounded Senator Richard Pan, M.D., who authored Senate Bill 277, which would require most children enrolled in school to be immunized from highly infectious diseases. They joined together at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society’s Museum of Medical History to speak on the ...

Institute for Medical Quality announces correctional medicine facility accreditations

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) has accredited 14 counties’ correctional medicine facilities through its Corrections and Detentions Program. The following counties are currently accredited with IMQ’s Corrections and Detentions Program: Marin County – 1 facility Nevada County – 1 facility Orange County – 3 facilities Placer County – 2 facilities San Diego County – 2 facilities San Mateo County – 1 facility Santa Barbara ...

Senate Bill 277 clears Senate Education Committee

Sacramento – Senate Bill 277 (Pan/Allen) cleared the Senate Education Committee today with a 7-2 vote. The bill will now move on to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This is a huge step forward for public health and the safety of our schools and communities,” said Luther Cobb, M.D., California Medical Association president. “Vaccinations are a proven method to prevent many illnesses and SB 277 will ensure more kids are protected against these diseases.” SB 277 will remove the Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) option from the school and child care enrollment requirements. ...

Board of Pharmacy approves regulations allowing pharmacists to furnish naloxone

The California State Board of Pharmacy has approved emergency regulations allowing pharmacists to furnish naloxone hydrochloride without a prescription. The regulations went into effect on April 10, 2015. Naloxone is a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdose by reversing central nervous system and respiratory system depression and hypotension. In 2014, AB 1535 (Bloom) authorized the furnishing of naloxone hydrochloride by pharmacists and required the Board of Pharmacy to develop these regulations and the Medical Board of California to approve them. Under the new regulations, naloxone hydrochloride is available ...

Congress passes Medicare payment reform and eliminates SGR

Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2 with a 92-to-8 vote, which will completely overhaul the Medicare payment program. This move, which follows the U.S. House of Representatives’ near-unanimous vote two weeks ago, is a monumental, bipartisan action taken by Congress that negates the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). President Obama signed it into law on April 16. The California Medical Association (CMA), along with the American Medical Association (AMA) and other health care organizations, have been fighting to ...

United Healthcare automatically opts physicians into Core narrow network product

United Healthcare (UHC) recently issued notifications to 19,000 practices included in its commercially contracted provider network, advising of their inclusion in the UHC Core product. The new UHC Core plan will access a significantly narrowed network and will be marketed to employer groups seeking lower premiums for their employees. Additionally, indications are that UHC will also utilize the narrowed Core network for its potential future exchange products in 2016. UHC advised the California Medical Association (CMA) that reimbursement for the Core product line will be at the commercial fee ...

Former CMA president throws hat in ring for AMA vice speaker

James T. Hay, M.D., 2012 California Medical Association (CMA) president, last week officially began his campaign for the position of vice speaker of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD). The San Diego family physician began his long association with the AMA in 1986 as a delegate to the association’s Hospital Medical Staff Section. For more than a decade, he has been a delegate to the AMA HOD, while also serving as vice speaker, speaker, president-elect and, ultimately, president at CMA. In 2012, Dr. Hay was selected to serve ...

Share your feedback by taking this brief electronic payment survey

As many payors are shifting from traditional paper checks to alternative electronic methods of payment, provider organizations are growing increasingly concerned that some entities are charging excessive fees for these payments or are using “virtual” credit cards (VCCs), instead of Automated Clearing House Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH EFT). VCCs require the physician to pay a merchant fee ranging from 2-5 percent, typically, to access the funds. This payment methodology, which is often implemented without physician notification or choice, results in lost revenue and increased administrative burden for practices. The ...

NEPO to host Building Healthy Communities Summit Sept. 18-20

The California Medical Association Foundation’s Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) will host the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Summit on September 18-20, 2015, at the Riverside Conference Center. The Summit is an opportunity for physicians, public health professionals and community leaders who work with underserved communities to learn about emerging health care policy issues and share best practices on how to reduce health disparities and increase access to health care services for the populations they serve. NEPO Summit attendees will: Learn about key health policy issues ...