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"News You Can Use" <> June 18, 2014



Executive Director Comment: Despite extensive advocacy — click here to read our June 11 op-ed in the U-T — and strong bilateral / bicameral support, the governor did not budge, and therefore the California budget will not (as of now) eliminate the prospective 10% cut to Medi-Cal. Three points:

  • CMA and SDCMS advocacy did eliminate a programmed 10% retrospective clawback reaching back two years.
  • Tell us your story on how this will impact your patients — send to me at Gehring@SDCMS.org.
  • We are not done by a long shot. The CMA team and SDCMS local advocacy will continue to identify alternatives so that the ludicrous claim that cutting second-worst-in-the-nation Medi-Cal rates by 10% and simultaneously increasing Medi-Cal enrollment in San Diego by approximately 190,000 will not harm access to physicians.

The Deadline to Vote for This Year’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” Is This Friday, June 20, at 11:59pm!

These specialties, with 10–20 in-specialty voters, will most likely be underrepresented:

  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Pathology
  • Pediatric Subspecialties
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Urology
  • Vascular and Interventional Radiology 

These specialties, with fewer than 10 in-specialty voters, will most likely have no selectees:

  • Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Vascular Surgery 

To vote if you are an SDCMS member:

  • If we have your email address, your 2014 ballot invitation to vote for this year’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” was emailed to you with instructions and your password.
  • If we do not have your email, we mailed you your ballot.
  • If you have any questions, contact James Beaubeaux at James.Beaubeaux@SDCMS.org, at (619) 851-1235, or click here to retrieve your password yourself.

To vote if you are a nonmember, click here for instructions.

REMINDER: Physicians Who Wish to Must Opt out of Anthem Exchange Product by June 30! For those practices who decide to opt out, CMA has created a sample letter you may wish to use to notify your patients of your change in participation status. Click Here for Details

Great (Free) Party — East County Physician Networking Opportunity & Mixer on July 10, 5:00pm–8:00pm: Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served! Near Grossmont Hospital. To RSVP, email your name and telephone number to Jen at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org or click here to RSVP online. Questions? Call Jen at (858) 300-2781.

Practical Advocacy Training Workshop on Saturday, July 19, 8:30am to Noon: It’s free. It’s fun (sometimes even hilarious). Breakfast at 8:00am. Email me at Gehring@SDCMS.org.


Pertussis on the Rise in California: Click here for more information and guidelines on pertussis vaccination from the California Department of Public Health. Click Here for Further Details


California Teachers Association — the Nation’s Largest — Joins Campaign to Defeat MICRA Lawsuit Measure: Click here for a complete list of the organizations opposing the MICRA lawsuit measure. Click Here for Further Details

CMA Files Brief in Case Challenging the Constitutionality of MICRA: Click here to read the brief. Click Here for Details


If You Need to Renew Your Medical License, Do It Early — MBC Warns: The Medical Board is experiencing delays of 6–8 weeks to update its website and provide physicians with a current wallet license. Click Here for Details

Urge the Governor to Maintain Increased Funding for Graduate Medical Education! Click Here to Act Now

Highlights From the Legislature’s State Budget for 2014–15:

  • CMA’s advocacy for the elimination of the 10% Medi-Cal clawback proved fruitful, a savings of nearly $42.1 million for Medi-Cal providers.
  • CMA secured $41.3 million to provide technical assistance to Medi-Cal providers to implement EHRs and achieve meaningful use.
  • CMA secured state funding to increase the number of residency slots in California.
  • The 10% prospective Medi-Cal provider rate cut, unfortunately, remains intact.

The budget now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature. Because the governor possesses line-item veto authority, CMA will continue to work with the Brown administration to protect the gains made during the budgetary process. Click here for CMA’s response.

CMA’s Legislative Hot List — June 16 Update: Click Here

Click Here to Watch SDCMS’s May 1 Seminar “Cal Mediconnect: What You Need To Know”: Contact SDCMS for login assistance at (858) 565-8888 or at Membership@SDCMS.org.


SDCMS Physicians (Including Retired Physicians), Family, and Friends Are Invited to Attend a Sunday, July 13 Production of "Ether Dome" at the La Jolla Playhouse: Included is a mixer at 5:30pm at the new Jame's Place, where light appetizers of sliders, fish tacos, and sushi will be served, as well as one drink ticket toward a glass of wine or beer. The play will began at 7:00pm following the mixer. $45 per person. Click here and enter the promo code SDCMSF for your last opportunity to order tickets!


Ask Your SDCMS Physician Advocate, Marisol Gonzalez:

  • Member Question: I would like to use Skype to reach distant and homebound patients. Will insurance companies reimburse me for these services?
  • Answer: Under California law, health insurers and managed care plans are prohibited from excluding coverage for telehealth services solely because the service did not involve a face-to-face encounter between the patient and the provider. Reimbursement and coverage for these encounters will still be dictated by the individual health plan contracts, provider manuals, and evidences of coverage that payors have with providers and plan members. For more information on this subject, SDCMS-CMA members can access CMA’s ON-CALL telemedicine document, #3300, by contacting Marisol Gonzalez, the SDCMS physician advocate, MGonzalez@SDCMS.org.

SDCMS Members Can Click Here to Watch the May 31 Recording of SDCMS's "Financial & Legal Life Skills for (Financially & Legally Challenged) Docs" Workshop: Email Membership@SDCMS.org for assistance in logging in.

SDCMS Member Physicians: If you would like to receive specialty-specific compensation data from our 2013 Physician Workforce and Compensation Survey, email me at Gehring@SDCMS.org.

CMA Releases 2014 Annotated Model Medical Staff Bylaws: Click Here for Details

Do You Have the New or the Old Form of Disability Coverage? The new covers your overhead expenses and pays you a personal income benefit if you are too sick or too hurt to work. The rates are increasing after August 31. Until then, women get up to a 43% discount on their premiums, and men get one 10% discount. Arrange for your SDCMS complimentary review of coverage through Wealth Legacy Group by calling R. J. Kelly at (619) 972-4488.

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


Resources for SDCMS-CMA Member Physician Practices Only:

Resources for All Physician Practices:

“Simplicity is complexity resolved.” — Constantin Brancusi, Romanian Sculptor (1876–1957)

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