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California Physicians Congratulate Governor-elect Newsom, Lieutenant Governor-elect Kounalakis

Today, voters chose Gavin Newsom and Eleni Kounalakis to serve as California’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In response, California Medical Association (CMA) President David H. Aizuss, M.D. issued the following statement: “The voters have decided, and CMA is proud to congratulate Governor-elect Newsom and Lt. Governor-elect Kounalakis for their respective wins tonight. “Governor-elect Newsom has a distinguished track record in championing health care for all, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kounalakis showed voters that she has the passion and experience to help push California forward. We look forward to their continued leadership ...

Prop. 56 webinar: Are you getting your share of the supplemental Medi-Cal funds?

The California Health Care, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 (Prop. 56) created new revenues dedicated to the Medi-Cal program. Physicians receive supplemental payments in both fee-for-service and Medi-Cal managed care when providing Medi-Cal services under certain CPT codes. A total of $325 million was allocated for physician payments in the budget for 2017-18, with $488 million proposed for 2018-19. The California Medical Association (CMA) is hosting a webinar with the California Department of Health Care Services on Wednesday, November 7, to discuss the status of distribution of ...

Coding Corner: Separate reporting of pre-intra- and post-procedure work

“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. The global surgical package includes all “necessary services normally furnished” by a provider “before, during, and after a procedure,” as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS). When a provider is responsible for only a portion of the global package (e.g., an emergency department physician initiates fracture care, ...

UnitedHealthcare to implement outpatient advanced radiology policy

Effective January 1, 2019, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will require prior authorization for certain advanced imaging procedures when performed in the outpatient hospital setting. As highlighted in the UnitedHealthcare Network Bulletin October 2018, certain magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography and computed tomography imaging procedures will now be subject to a site of care review when performed in the outpatient hospital under UHC’s Outpatient Radiology Notification/Prior Authorization Protocol. Site of care reviews will not be done as part of the prior authorization process if a procedure will be performed in a free-standing diagnostic ...

CDPH hosts webinar on California Parkinson's Disease Registry

On July 1, 2018, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched the California Parkinson’s Disease Registry, a statewide population-based registry that will be used to measure the incidence and prevalence of Parkinson's disease.  MD’s, DO’s, PA’s, and NP’s who diagnose or treat Parkinson’s disease patients are required to report. The first deadline for data submission is March 29, 2019, for cases encountered during the first quarter the law was in effect (July 1 to September 30, 2018).  Details on the reporting obligation can be found in the Implementation Guide, ...

CMA Applauds the Enactment of Federal Opioid Legislation

The California Medical Association (CMA) applauded the enactment of H.R. 6 – a sweeping bipartisan bill that addresses nearly every component of the national opioid epidemic. The legislation would improve access to preventive services, opioid use disorder treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and non-opioid therapies, including mental health services. It would lift restrictions on using telemedicine for treatment of substance use disorders. To address the escalation in overdose deaths, it would also strengthen law enforcement efforts to crack down on international shipments of illicit drugs such as fentanyl. H.R. 6 ...

First-ever TRICARE open enrollment begins November 12

Beginning November 12 and running through December 10, 2018, TRICARE will initiate its first ever open enrollment period for beneficiaries to enroll in or change their TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select health plan coverage. Beneficiaries already enrolled who want to continue with their current plan without changes do not need to do anything. Any changes made during the 2018 open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2019. Outside of open enrollment, beneficiaries enrolled in Prime or Select will only be able to make a plan change if they have ...

L.A. Care partially rescinds recoupment requests

Between June and August of this year, L.A. Care issued a large number of overpayment requests to physicians. According to L.A. Care, it was requesting refunds on overpaid Medi-Medi claims. However, some of the requests were for very old claims, dating back to 2012. The California Medical Association (CMA) raised concerns with L.A. Care about the timeliness of some of the refund requests, as California’s Knox Keene act limits plans’ ability to request refunds to 365 days from the date of payment, except in cases of fraud or misrepresentation. After ...

IEHP completes termination of Vantage contract; three plans extend termination dates

The California Medical Association (CMA) has confirmed that Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) completed its contract termination with Vantage on August 31, 2018. IEHP transitioned its 273,000 covered lives to the following delegated groups: Receiving Provider Group Number of Enrollees Alpha Care Medical Group 80,190 La Salle Medical Associates 74,428 IEHP Direct 74,176 ...

What you need to know about Blue Shield of California's Care1st integration

On January 1, 2019, Blue Shield of California will complete the integration of Care1st Health Plan into its operations, and Care1st’s name will change to Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. The newly renamed health plan will remain a separate company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Shield of California. Care1st physicians serving Medicare Advantage HMO, Medi-Cal or Cal MediConnect members will not need to contract with Blue Shield of California to continue providing services, and participating physicians will receive a mailed contract amendment later this year that ...