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CMA convenes physician wellness committee

By advancing initiatives that enhance efficiency, professional satisfaction and the delivery of care, the California Medical Association is committed to helping physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment. As part of that commitment, CMA has made physician wellness and the prevention of professional burnout a core priority. Last year, the CMA House of Delegates named physician burnout one of the most pressing issues facing the practice of medicine – and took it up as one of the five “major issues” at the association’s annual meeting. In ...

Time to verify your patients' eligibility and benefits for 2018

With the new year soon upon us, physicians are urged to be diligent in verifying patients' eligibility and benefits to ensure they will be paid for services rendered. The beginning of a new year also means that both calendar year deductibles and visit frequency limitations reset. And, with open enrollment, patients may even be covered by a new payor. The new year also brings a host of other challenges that could affect your ability to be paid: On January 1, 2018, Health Net Federal Services (HNFS) will ...

Do you see TRICARE patients? Check out CMA's new toolkit to assist physicians with the transition

On January 1, 2018, Health Net Federal Services (HNFS) will begin providing managed care services to 2.9 million TRICARE beneficiaries in the 21 western states, including California. HNFS took over the contract previously held by UnitedHealthcare Military and Veterans’ Services. In preparation for the transition, the California Medical Association (CMA) has prepared a TRICARE Transition Guide to help physicians understand the impact the transition will have on their practices. The guide is available free to members in the CMA resource library.

Anthem still not complying with AB 72 interim payment rules, physicians report

The California Medical Association (CMA) has continued to receive reports from physician offices that Anthem Blue Cross is not paying the “interim payment” as required under California’s new law (AB 72) limiting out-of-network billing for covered, non-emergent services performed at in-network facilities. CMA has also received reports that Anthem representatives have advised some physicians that its Covered California EPO products are not subject to AB 72, which is incorrect. The new law requires fully insured commercial plans and insurers to make “interim payments” to non-contracted physicians for non-emergent services performed ...

Physicians: What YOU can do to help prevent gun violence

The United States continues to struggle with an epidemic of firearm violence. Physicians are in a unique position to assess risk, provide education and change behaviors related to firearm violence, and they may also address this issue more broadly as a consumer safety and public health issue. The California Medical Association (CMA) recently convened the Firearm Violence Prevention Technical Advisory Committee, composed of physician experts. The committee performed a comprehensive review and analysis of existing CMA policy, epidemiological data and current scientific research and developed a CMA position statement on ...

CMA opposes proposed Medicare physician payment cuts

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee is working to extend the “rural” work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) payment adjustment, which is set to expire December 31, 2017. In order to pay for the extension, the committee has proposed an overall cut to Medicare physician payments by identifying and lowering payments for “misvalued” services.  In 2014, Congress included a physician-opposed provision in the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), designed to hold down Medicare spending by requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify ...

Are your prescription pads compliant with the law?

The California Medical Association (CMA) has received numerous calls from physicians whose prescriptions are being turned away by pharmacies for being non-compliant with state law. Specifically, the forms in question do not have checkboxes to indicate refills. California law requires 14 elements that must appear on California security prescription forms, including "check boxes that shall be printed on the form so that the prescriber may indicate the number of refills ordered." Security forms that lack the check boxes, even if they indicate refills in a different way, are deemed non-compliant. ...

Feb. 22-23 Registration Open for IMQ/PACE Stepping Up to Leadership Training Program

If you’re a Department Chair, Chief of Staff, Committee Chair, or in any active position on a medical staff, you don’t want to miss the upcoming Stepping Up to Leadership conference!  This is a great chance to network with colleagues and enhance the practical skills you need to succeed! Stepping Up to Leadership Conference February 22 – 23, 2018 Paradise Point Resort and Spa, San Diego, CA www.physician-leadership.org  The Stepping Up to Leadership program is widely recognized as the “go to” course for acquiring knowledge and skills to successfully lead a medical staff.  Previously ...

Nominating Committee to Meet January 22, 2018

The San Bernardino County Medical Society (SBCMS) Nominating Committee will meet January 22, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the SBCMS office to nominate candidates for each elective office on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and for delegates and alternate delegates to the California Medical Association.  These positions begin July 1, 2018. One, two and three year terms are available, to be determined. SBCMS members are invited to submit nominations to the Nominating Committee as soon as possible and prior to January 17, 2018. Please submit by email, fax or ...