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SBCMS Now Accepting Application for 2016 Bangasser Medical Student Scholarship

This scholarship established in 2008 honors Ronald P. Bangasser, M.D., a physician who was known locally and nationally for his contributions to health care, medicine and his community. Dr. Bangasser was a well respected and compassionate clinician and served in numerous leadership positions throughout his career including president of the California Medical Association and the San Bernardino County Medical Society. Scholarship money will be used to assist medical students at Loma Linda University School of Medicine (LLUSM), University of California Riverside (UCR) Medical School, and Western University of Health Sciences ...

Vaccination rates for California kindergartners are up

Approximately 93 percent of California kindergartners received all of their required immunizations by December 2015, an increase of 2.5 percent more than the previous year, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced last week. However, vaccination rates in 20 counties still fall below the percentage necessary to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.    CDPH officials noted potential role in the increase of public awareness from the 2014 measles outbreak at Disneyland and the extensive media coverage of the debate and passage of Senate Bill 277 (Pan and Allen, ...

Joint hospital survey program cancelled

After 40 years of partnership, the Joint Commission is terminating its agreement with the California Medical Association's Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ). IMQ will, however, offer expanded consulting services for hospitals, which may include mock surveys and/or survey preparedness. Medical staffs will be able to request an IMQ consultant separate from any hospital survey. Since the 1970s, IMQ has participated in hospital licensure and accreditation surveys in partnership with the Joint Commission. In May 2014, the consolidated survey program was discontinued, but California hospitals were still able to request an ...

New study reveals staggering costs of smoking in California

While the dramatic health impacts of smoking have been widely known for some time, including the fact that cigarette smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year, a new study from WalletHub reveals the unacceptable monetary cost as well. The study, released in honor of Tobacco-Free Awareness Week, calculates the cumulative costs of the cigarettes themselves, income losses from illness or death, health care expenses and more to determine the true per-person cost of smoking in all 50 states. In California, the cost of a single smoker ...

UCSF and UC Davis medical schools selected for professional development program

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Fresno Medical Education Program and the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and School of Nursing have been selected to participate in a three-year, grant-funded program that seeks to help faculty teams better prepare medical students and allied professionals to work together in patient-centered medical homes. The two schools are among nine nationwide institutions to participate in the Professionals Accelerating Clinical and Educational Redesign (PACER) program. “The (PACER) program will enhance our knowledge and skills to provide and teach interprofessional, team-based, comprehensive ...

Field Poll shows support for warning labels on sugary drinks; study confirms labels can be a deterrent

A new statewide Field Poll finds increasing voter support in California for warning labels on sugary beverages, despite ramped-up counter efforts by the beverage industry. Nearly four out of five registered voters polled (78 percent) support requiring warning labels to be printed on sugary drinks, up from 74 percent two years ago. A national study published last week in the journal Pediatrics also suggests that warning labels on sugary beverages might indeed deter people from buying the products. Researchers said they found that the impact of putting a label on the ...

Campaign to increase state's tobacco tax launches signature-gathering drive in Sacramento

The signature-gathering phase of a campaign to increase California’s tobacco tax by $2 per pack has now officially begun. On January 21, the Save Lives California coalition held a press conference at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento to kick off the next big step in the initiative’s development—procuring more than half a million valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot. Philanthropist  and campaign co-chair Tom Steyer; California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson; Sacramento’s state Senator Richard Pan, M.D.; and representatives from several coalition members, ...

National health care payment summit offers discounted registration for CMA member physicians

Discounted registration is now available for California Medical Association (CMA) members who wish to attend the 11th National Value-Based Payment and Pay for Performance Summit, taking place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco and online February 17-19, 2016. Co-sponsored by CMA, this summit is the leading forum on pay for performance, transparency and value-driven health care, providing an opportunity to engage with colleagues from across the country on the issues, opportunities and challenges facing the health care system in 2016. Leaders from industry, government and the non-profit sector will share ...

CMA publishes physician guidance for the End of Life Option Act

The California Medical Association (CMA) has published new legal guidance intended to help physicians and patients understand the End of Life Option Act, which was passed in 2015 and makes physician aid-in-dying legal in California. The document is in a question-and-answer format, and is intended to help both physicians and patients navigate the complicated law. “As physicians, there are a lot of questions about requirements under the new law, required documentation and forms, requests for the drug, consulting physicians and so on,” said CMA President Steve Larson, M.D. “There certainly will ...

CMA urges CDC to revise its proposed guidelines on prescribing opioids for chronic pain

The California Medical Association (CMA) has submitted written comments on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) draft guidelines that provide clinical practice recommendations on the prescribing of opioids for treatment of chronic pain. CMA previously submitted comments on the CDC guidelines that raised concerns regarding the lack of transparency and public input involved in developing the guidelines. While the CDC guidelines claim to be advisory recommendations for use by primary care providers who are treating patients with chronic pain in outpatient settings, CMA is concerned that the CDC ...