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"News You Can Use" <> January 19, 2016



Are You Aware of the Meaningful Use Measures Changes? In October, CMS made significant changes in the measures to attest for Meaningful Use. The SDCMS Foundation can assist primary care and specialty care physicians with new reporting to assure you receive the maximum incentive funds. Those physicians registered for Medi-Cal (30% of practice) are eligible to receive FREE technical assistance. For further information, email Sarah.Koop@SDCMS.org or call (858) 300-2779.



Question: I am updating the job descriptions for my staff, and I want to make sure I’m paying them adequately to correspond with their new duties. Do you have salary information available for the staff of a medical office? Click Here for the Answer



Report Your Patients’ Blood Pressure Readings as Part of Love Your Heart Day on Thursday, February 11: The SDCMS Foundation is partnering with the County of San Diego HHSA to show the power of physicians. If you would like to participate, email Andrew at Andrew.Gonzalez@SDCMS.org. The goal of Love Your Heart is to activate San Diegans to “know their numbers” and to take charge of their own heart health. This year’s goal: 35,000 BPs in one day countywide.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Recommendations: Click here for patient evaluation, treatment, and testing information from the CDC. Any clinician treating a patient with HPAI A(H5) symptoms should immediately contact the County of San Diego Epidemiology Program Duty Officer at (619) 692-8499 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm) or at (858) 565-5255 after hours, on weekends, and during County-observed holidays.

Free Jan. 23 Workshop to Help Raise Adult Immunization Rates: Click Here

Click Here to Read the County of San Diego’s Jan. 13 Influenza Watch



Congress Authorizes CMS to Grant Blanket Exemptions for Physicians From Meaningful Use Penalties: NOTE: Physicians are still required to file for a hardship exemption to avoid a payment adjustment for 2015 no later than June 30, 2016. Click here for CMS hardship exemption applications, available in early 2016. Click Here for Further Details

CMA Again Calls on CMS to Delay Meaningful Use Stage 3 and Reform Stage 2: Click Here

AMA Publishes Guide to Physician-Focused Alternative Payment Models: Click here for details. Click Here to Download the Guide



CURES Update: On January 8, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released CURES 2.0. A new streamlined registration process has been implemented that allows prescribers to request and receive approval to access CURES entirely online. Existing CURES users do not need to re-register; however, you will need to confirm your account with the DOJ and update security information the first time you access CURES after January 8. For additional information and frequently asked questions regarding the new CURES system, click here.

New Approval Timeframes for Prescription Drug Prior Authorizations Took Effect January 1: The law (SB 282) requires health plans and health insurers to respond to prescription drug prior authorization requests within 72 hours for non-urgent requests and within 24 hours for urgent requests. Click Here



New CMA Member Benefit to Help Physicians Renegotiating With Payors: To help physicians prepare to negotiate or renegotiate with payors, CMA has created this new resource, which includes step-by step instructions on how to create a thoughtful renegotiation request, as well as a sample letter — available FREE to SDCMS-CMA members. Click Here



2016–17 SDCMS Approved Elections Slate: SDCMS’s board of directors met on January 12 and approved the slate of physician candidates for elected office for 2016–17 (election to be held April 12 through May 6). If, after reviewing the slate and the requirements for candidacy, you wish to be considered for any of the positions, email Paul Hegyi, SDCMS CEO, at Hegyi@SDCMS.org for instructions on nomination by petition and the number of signatures required.

Physicians Needed to Mentor UCSD Undergraduates: UC San Diego’s Health and Medical Professions Preparation Program (HMP3) is catered to undergraduates in search of career guidance under the mentoring of clinical professionals. They are seeking physicians who can offer shadowing / advising opportunities for these students. For more information, click here.

Help Spread the Message of Health by Making a Brief Presentation in Your Community: Educate children, adults, seniors, and employees on how to improve their lives and take charge of their health through the Live Well San Diego Speakers Bureau. Email Andrew.Gonzalez@SDCMS.org at the SDCMS Foundation to say YES, you will volunteer just one or two times a year, quarterly, or however your schedule allows.


“I know nothing grander, better exercise, better digestion, more positive proof of the past, the triumphant result of faith in human kind, than a well-contested American national election.” — Walt Whitman, American Poet, Essayist, and Journalist (1819–1892)

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