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"News You Can Use" <> January 29, 2014



Executive Director Comment: Having the CURES folks in San Diego is a significant saving of time for you!

CURES Sign-up Event on Feb. 28: On Friday, February 28, a Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) representative will be at SDCMS’s offices from 9am to 5pm to sign up SDCMS member physicians to gain access to the CURES system. Click here for details and to reserve your spot! Note: If you have already signed up for CURES, you do not need to sign up again.

Save the Date: San Diego-wide April 3 Physician Networking Opportunity & Mixer: Click Here for Details


Influenza Updates: From the County of San Diego. From the California Health Alert Network (CAHAN).

“Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question”: SDCMS has been publishing in San Diego Physician various Choosing Wisely lists, an ABIM Foundation initiative to help physicians and patients engage in conversations to reduce overuse of tests and procedures, and support physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices. Click on the following links for the lists published so far:

Love Your Heart Aims to Screen 20,000 on Feb. 14: We want you to track your patients’ blood pressures (no other identifiers) on Feb. 14. Why? To participate in San Diego’s countywide blood pressure screening day, Love Your Heart. Click here for details. Click here for a tally sheet you can use on the 14th.

Clinician Resources for Teens Struggling With Drug Abuse: Click Here


Details on the Federal Budget: Click Here and Click Here

HHS Extends Stark Exception and Safe Harbor Rule for EHR Donations: Click Here

Don’t Ignore Medicare Revalidation Requests: Noridian has been requiring physicians to revalidate their Medicare enrollments and will continue to do so until March 23, 2015. Click Here

Unsuccessful Electronic Prescribers Face Payment Cuts in 2014: Physicians and group practices who were not successful electronic prescribers under the 2012 or 2013 Medicare eRx Incentive Program will be subject to a negative payment adjustment of 2% in 2014 on all Medicare Part B claims paid under the physician fee schedule. Click Here


California Gets Low Marks for Emergency Healthcare: Click Here

State Not Accepting 2014 Meaningful Use Attestations Until April 1, 2014: Click Here

Duals Demonstration Project Update: On April 1, 2014, notices will be mailed to those beneficiaries who will be enrolled in the Medicare / Medi-Cal Dual Eligible demonstration project.

  • For a San Diego-specific sample letter contracting physicians can send to patients, click here.
  • For a San Diego-specific sample letter noncontracting physicians can send to patients, click here.
  • For further information on the state’s plan and other resources for physicians to help them through this transition, click here.


Trying to Figure Out Life After Residency? Clueless on lawyers and accountants and insurance and investing and job interviews and etc. …? Then Attend SDCMS’ free “Preparing to Launch” Workshop on Saturday, February 1. Click here for details. Contact Jen to register at (858) 300-2781 or at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org.

Save the Date: April 3 Physician Networking Opportunity & Mixer: Come mingle, socialize, and network with your fellow San Diego County physicians on Thursday, April 3, 2014, 5–8pm, at the Handlery Hotel, 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. All San Diego County physicians are welcome and encouraged to attend. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, and all attendees will be entered to win several exciting raffle prizes! Click here to RSVP or email your name and telephone number to Jen Ohmstede at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org. Call Jen with any questions at (858) 300-2781.

Save the Date: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Will Headline the 2014 Leadership Academy: This year’s Leadership Academy will be held April 11–13, 2014, at the San Diego Convention Center. Click Here

Save the Date: SDCMS’s 2014 White Coat Gala Will Be Held on Saturday, June 14, 2014: At the Hyatt La Jolla at Aventine from 6:00pm to 11:00pm. J. Steven Poceta, MD, will be installed as SDCMS’s president for 2014-15, and Robert E. Peters, MD, PhD, SDCMS’s current president, will be recognized. Contact Jen with any questions at (858) 300-2781 or at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org.


Ask Your SDCMS Physician Advocate, Marisol Gonzalez: 

Member Question: I have a patient who I suspect is abusing prescription drugs. Is there any way to verify this without the patient's knowing?

Answer: The state has a database known as the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (C.U.R.E.S). The CURES system contains over 100 million entries of controlled substance drugs that are dispensed in California. Each year the CURES program responds to more than 60,000 requests from practitioners and pharmacists. The online CURES system makes it much easier for authorized prescribers and pharmacists to quickly review controlled substance information via the automated Patient Activity Report (PAR) in an effort to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion through accurate and rapid tracking of Schedule II through IV controlled substances.

In order to obtain access to the CURES system, prescribers and pharmacists must first register with CURES. SDCMS will be running a CURES registration event on Friday, February 28, 2014, at our offices, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, to sign up SDCMS member physicians to gain access to the CURES system. Because the CURES representative will be here in person, you will NOT need to take the additional step of having your application notarized — a significant saving in time and money! To reserve your time slot, click here to download this PDF, fill it out, and fax it back to SDCMS.

Contact Marisol: SDCMS members who are interested in obtaining CMA’s Physician’s Guide to Covered California should contact Marisol Gonzalez, your SDCMS physician advocate, at MGonzalez@SDCMS.org or at (858) 300-2783.

Sign up to Watch Our 2014 Series of ICD-10 Webinars: Click Here

Microsoft to End Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support on April 8, 2014: Click Here

Follow SDCMS’ Twitter Feed and Get a Treasure Trove of Healthcare News Delivered Daily to Your Smartphone: Click Here

Is Your Office Manager / Practice Administrator Using SDCMS’ Online Forum? Click Here to Join


Exchange Enrollees Grace Period Can Affect Collections: When verifying eligibility at your practice for patients enrolled in subsidized Covered California plans, check for an inactive status; during months two and three of nonpayment, the health plan may suspend payment to your practice for any services provided and deny the claims if the enrollee’s coverage is terminated for non-payment of premiums at the end of the third month. Practices should have policies to deal with the grace period in place before March, and may require a patient to sign an agreement that they will be responsible for unpaid charges, or request payment up front. Practices may consider applying their current policies on treating uninsured or self-pay patients to those in a grace period. SDCMS-CMA members can click here to access a CMA document that answers frequently asked questions about the Covered California grace period.

Covered California Resources for SDCMS-CMA Members:

  • CMA’s Health Insurance Exchange Resources Webpage for Physicians: Click Here
  • Physician Participation Lookup Tool: CMA has created a tool to look up your exchange plan participation status in just a few clicks (note that the tool will not work in Safari). This members-only benefit requires a CMA username and password to access.
  • Understanding Subsidized Exchange Enrollees Grace Period FAQs: Click Here
  • Surviving the First Month of Covered California: A Tip Sheet for Physicians: Click Here
  • Covered California Consumer Materials for Your Office Waiting Room: Call (858) 300-2789

SDCMS and SDCMS Foundation Seminars and Webinars for Physicians and Office Staff:

  • FEB 13: “What You Need to Know About Covered California to Inform Your Patients” • Seminar / Webinar for Physicians & Staff • Thursday, February 13 • 12–1pm • Presented by the CMA Foundation • Click Here RSVP
  • FEB 13: “Covered California Seminar for Physicians, Covering What You Need to Know to Inform Your Patients; How to Select Health Insurance for Your Staff; and What You Need to Know About Your Covered California Contracts” • Seminar for Physicians Only at SDCMS’s Offices (5575 Ruffin Rd., Ste. 250, San Diego 92123) • Thursday, February 13, 5:30pm–7:00pm • Presented by Jim Morrison, RHU, REBC, CLU, James M. Morrison Insurance Services, Inc., and Mitzi Young, Physician Advocate, CMA • Click Here to RSVP (Dinner Will Be Served!)
  • FEB 19: “How to S.H.O.P. (Small Business Health Options Program) for Health Insurance for Your Practice” • Webinar for Physicians & Staff • Wednesday, February 19 • 12–12:30pm • Presented by Diana Twadell, CHRS, Principal, Barney & Barney, LLC • Click Here to RSVP
  • MAR 6: “What You Need to Know About Covered California to Inform Your Patients” • Seminar / Webinar for Physicians & Staff • Thursday, March 6 • 12–1pm • Click Here to RSVP
  • MAR 14: “How to S.H.O.P. (Small Business Options Program) for Health Insurance for Your Practice” • Webinar for Physicians & Staff • Friday, March 14 • 12pm–12:30pm • Click Here to RSVP

Email Jen With Questions at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org or call (858) 300-2781.

Covered California Enrollment Tops 600,000: Click Here

“When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, ‘It’s in the script.’ If he says, ‘But what’s my motivation?’ I say, ‘Your salary.’” — Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980)

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