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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 ...

Join Molina Healthcare and San Bernardino County Medical Society in our diaper/adult briefs drive for those in need

Molina Healthcare and San Bernardino County Medical Society are teaming up to help families in need. Here's why: 5.3 million children under age 3 live in low-income households. 1 in 3 adults suffer from incontinence. Diapers/briefs cost $80 each month. Can we count on you to help Molina and San Bernardino County Medical Society reach our goal of 30,000 in 2018? Imagine you have just enough money to buy the diapers or adult briefs you desperately need, or to buy food--but ...

CMA advocacy expected to reduce administrative burdens for Parkinson's registry

Effective July 1, 2018, licensed independent practitioners, including M.D.'s, D.O.'s, P.A.'s and N.P.'s who diagnose or treat Parkinson’s disease patients, are required to report cases of Parkinson’s disease to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) after first registering with CDPH through the designated gateway at https://hie.cdph.ca.gov. The data collected will measure the incidence and prevalence of Parkinson’s throughout California, providing more understanding to improve the lives of patients. The California Medical Association (CMA) and other stakeholders have worked closely with CDPH to reduce the administrative burden these reporting requirements ...

CMA/AMA responding to proposed Medicare payment rule

On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule. This is the first year that CMS is combining the Medicare fee schedule and QPP rules. There are a number of positive elements in the proposed rule. These include: New payments for physician services that are not part of a face to face office visit (virtual check-ins, remote consults of patient videos and photographs, and online consultations with other physicians) ...

Medical board releases physician license alert app for patients

The Medical Board of California recently released its first mobile app, currently available on Apple iOS devices. The technology notifies patients about changes to their physician’s license status, rather than patients having to actively seek out that information. Physician profiles have long been available to the public on the board’s website.  The new app will notify users when their physician’s license is updated or there are changes to the physician’s address, practice status, specialty, disciplinary actions and much more. The California Medical Association (CMA) has long advocated for a comprehensive, effective ...

Coding Corner: NCCI Policy Manual updates: Part 2

CPR’s “Coding Corner” focuses on coding, compliance, and documentation issues relating specifically to physician billing. This month’s tip comes from G. John Verhovshek, the managing editor for AAPC, a training and credentialing association for the business side of health care. Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases an updated version of the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Policy Manual. The annual updates reflect changes to the CPT® and HCPCS code sets, as well as new and revised coding guidelines. This month, we’ll discuss the most significant, ...

Noridian to present in-person Medicare seminars in Irvine and Sacramento

Noridian, the Medicare administrative contractor for California, has announced several in-person seminars around the state in September. The all-day presentations will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions, including information on the following: Morning Session: 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. What's New Preventive Services Telehealth Incident to Services Top A/B Errors Afternoon Session: 1-4:30 p.m. NCDs/LCDs Review Entities Documentation/Signature Requirements Education Corner The seminars are ...