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CMS announces it will shorten meaningful use reporting to 90 days in 2015

After repeated calls for changes from physician groups nationwide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would issue new rules this spring to shorten the meaningful use reporting period in 2015 to 90 days for providers under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. The new rule is intended to be “responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns in 2015,” wrote CMS Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, M.D., in a blog published on the CMS ...

Poll shows people want Congress to act to make all states eligible for ACA subsidies

A new poll has found that nearly six in 10 people believe that Congress or states should act to restore health insurance subsidies if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes them down when it rules on King v. Burwell, a case that questions whether premium subsidies can be provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to individuals purchasing health insurance coverage on exchanges run by the federal government. The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in early January, found that 64 percent wanted Congress to act to make all states ...

Learn CME essentials during February 20 workshop in Oakland

The California Medical Association's Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) is offering a CME Essentials Workshop on February 20, 2015, in Oakland. The one-day workshop is for those interested in the basics of planning continuing medical education (CME) activities. The CME Essentials Workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn what is required to be compliant with accreditation requirements. The workshop is specifically geared toward physicians, coordinators and education professionals who are new to CME or those who are looking for a basic refresher course. Attendees will learn how to apply a ...

California measles cases now at 68

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) confirmed today that the number of measles cases in the state has grown to 68 California residents with a number of additional suspected cases under investigation. Infected individuals range in age from seven months to 70 years. The vaccination status is documented for 34 of the 68 cases  ΜΆ  28 patients were unvaccinated (six were infants too young to vaccinate), one patient had received only one dose of the MMR vaccine and five had received two or more doses of MMR vaccine. The ...

CDPH offers clinical reference tool for adult pneumococcal vaccinations

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has developed a clinical reference chart to help physicians understand and implement the new pneumococcal vaccine recommendations.  The chart was produced in response to the increased complexity of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recent pneumococcal vaccine recommendations. The chart summarizes the latest adult pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13 and PPSV23) recommendations for all adults age 65 and over (effective September 19, 2014, both vaccines now covered by Medicare Part B and adults 19-64 with certain underlying conditions. Download the chart here. Click here for more information ...

AMA asks feds to decouple EHR certification from meaningful use

The American Medical Association (AMA) has sent a letter to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., urging that the certification of electronic health records (EHR) be decoupled from meaningful use certification requirements. “Unfortunately, we believe the meaningful use certification requirements are contributing to EHR system problems, and we are worried about the downstream effects on patient safety,” the letter said. “Many physicians find these systems cumbersome, do not meet their workflow needs, decrease efficiency, and have a limited, if any, interoperability,” the letter said. “”Most ...

CalHIPSO seeks physicians to sign up for free practice transformation assistance

The California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) is applying for a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to give California physicians access to free health practice improvement tools and services that would normally be cost prohibitive. The California Medical Association was a founding member of CalHIPSO, which was established in 2009 as a federally designated Regional Extension Center to provide education, outreach and technical assistance to help physicians select and implement electronic health records. To win this grant, CalHIPSO must show commitment and interest ...

Medical board approves amendment to regulation allowing PAs to conduct surgery without immediate physician supervision

The Medical Board of California approved an amendment to California administrative law that would allow physicians assistants (PA) to perform surgery without the immediate physical presence of a supervising physician. Existing law permits PAs to act as first or second assistant in surgery under the supervision of a physician. In 2011, a concern was raised by a PA licensee to the Physician Assistant Board that the current regulation did not reflect current medical community standards and that the law was unclear on the degree of physician supervision required of a ...

Mark your calendars now for the 41st annual CMA Legislative Advocacy Day

California Medical Association (CMA) and San Bernardino County Medical Society (SBCMS) members are invited to attend the 41st Annual Legislative Advocacy Day (formerly known as Legislative Leadership Conference) on April 14, 2015, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Plan to join more than 400 physicians, medical students and CMA Alliance members who will be coming to Sacramento to lobby their legislative leaders as champions for medicine and their patients. Prior to the conference members will receive webinar training on legislation and policy affecting the practice of medicine. To view the ...

CMA President's Message: The coming year, and beyond

Although 2014 will long be remembered as the year that all modes of practice and specialties of the House of Medicine came together in a group effort to defeat Proposition 46, it is imperative that we maintain the momentum we have gained as we confront the issues of the coming year and beyond. Following such a historic year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished and what we can look forward to over the next 12 months. I have, for over three decades, been ...