SBCMS News

rss

Encourage your patients to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day April 30, 2016

Saturday, April 30, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On this day, hundreds of locations throughout California will be accepting and properly disposing of unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent diversion and misuse associated with these medications. This one-day event will provide patients with free, anonymous collection of unwanted and expired medicines. During previous Take Back events over the past five years, 5.5 million pounds – more than 2,750 tons – of drugs were collected nationwide. In addition to providing a safe, ...

Learn about end-of-life care through a cultural lens on April 7

Physicians are invited to attend Building Bridges: End-of-Life Care Through a Cultural Lens, a one-day seminar hosted by the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC). This event is a unique opportunity to learn about the “culture” of health care while investigating how your own cultural biases and behaviors may influence the care you provide. Participants will learn how to compare and contrast the culture of health care and end-of-life care; discuss the prominent cultural features of your work environment and how they relate to end-of-life care; define cultural competency, ...

Tragic deaths of two medical students at the hands of drunk driver inspires sponsored legislation for 2016 session

The California Medical Association (CMA) has announced its sponsored bill package for the 2016 legislative session. Among them is a bill inspired by the tragic deaths last year of two medical students from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), at the hands of a drunk driver. In May 2015, two UCSD medical students were killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way, causing a collision that killed two medical students and injured three others. In the wake of the accident, classmates of the victims worked with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez ...

We want to hear from you! Annual member phone survey

The California Medical Association (CMA) will be calling physician members starting in late March to understand the priorities and opinions of our membership. “We do this every year to improve CMA member value and understand what our advocacy priorities should be,” said Mike Steenburgh, CMA vice president of membership, communications and component relations. “We have found the feedback helpful for staying aligned with our physician members’ needs.” Conducted by a third-party researcher, the phone survey is a random, representative sample of members and allows for anonymous responses. Contact: CMA member service center, ...

CMA Capitol Insight: March 28, 2016

CMA Capitol Insight is a biweekly column by veteran journalist Anthony York, reporting on the inner workings of the state Legislature. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Making the ballot A deal was reached among Democratic leaders in Sacramento late last week on a plan to bring California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour – the highest in the nation and double the national minimum. The deal comes after years of wrestling in the legislature, and a statewide push that began years ago with a handful of public sector unions in Los Angeles. The accord avoids a fight ...

California physicians oppose health plan mega-mergers, citing reduced access to affordable high-quality health care

SACRAMENTO — Eighty-five percent of California’s physicians are opposed to the merger of health insurance giants Anthem and Cigna, according to a new analysis released by the California Medical Association (CMA) on Monday. The CMA survey, conducted in collaboration with the American Medical Association (AMA), sought to gauge California physicians’ perspective on the proposed Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers, as well as gather insight into the tactics undertaken by insurance companies’ in their negotiations with physicians. “California’s doctors could not be more clear: these mergers are bad for patients and bad for ...

2016 Leadership Academy announces dynamic new education tracks

The 2016 Western Health Care Leadership Academy is offering five new educational tracks that will provide attendees with a customized conference experience that is most relevant to their unique circumstances. Attendees can follow one track, or mix and match for a personalized education experience. This year's tracks include: Track A: Running Your Practice Geared toward practice and office managers and solo or small group physicians, this track offers important information on how to make your practice successful in an ever-shifting health care climate. Track B: Future Trends and Health Care Innovation This track ...

Medical students: 2016 loan repayment program application process now open

Applications are now being accepted for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program. The program offers up to $120,000 to medical students (M.D. and D.O.) in their final year of medical school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least three years or half time for at least six years in a medically underserved area. The 2016 Students to Service application cycle closes on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to apply for the program, ...

Blue Shield experiencing multiple claims processing issues, some delaying payment

The California Medical Association (CMA) began receiving calls in early February from physicians reporting that the explanation of benefits (EOBs) they were receiving on PPO claims from Blue Shield of California were missing EOB reason codes and information regarding the provider dispute resolution process. Blue Shield reports that only the EOB was affected, not the issuance of payment. CMA has since learned that there were two other system issues causing delays in payment on a large number of Federal Employee Program (FEP) and out-of-state BlueCard claims. All three of these issues ...

Final regulations requiring health insurers to have adequate networks and accurate directories go into effect

The California Department of Insurance (CDI), which regulates most PPOs in the state, issued permanent regulations this week that require health insurers to develop and maintain adequate provider networks. This move comes after emergency regulations were issued in January 2015 to help ensure patients can get timely access to care. While the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), which regulates HMOs and certain PPO products, has had in place network adequacy standards for a number of years, CDI has not. These regulations will thus ensure that Californians, regardless of ...