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"News You Can Use" <> November 22, 2013



Are You Interested in Serving on SDCMS’ Board of Directors? If you wish to be considered for nomination, or if you have any questions about service on the board, please email Gehring@SDCMS.org. For the 2014 election of directors, the following positions are open or have incumbents:

  • East County Geographic Director (1 position, 1 incumbent)
  • Kearny Mesa Geographic Directors (2 positions, 2 incumbents)
  • La Jolla Geographic Director (1 position, 0 incumbents)
  • Kearny Mesa Geographic Alternate Director (1 position, 1 incumbent)
  • La Jolla Geographic Alternate Director (1 position, 1 incumbent)
  • At-large Directors (4 positions, 1 incumbent)
  • At-large Alternate Directors (3 positions, 2 incumbents)

Practice Managers / Office Managers: Please Take the 2013 SDCMS Medical Office Salary Survey! Takes 5 minutes, it’s anonymous, and anyone who completes the survey may receive a copy of the results. Click Here to Take the Survey Now — Thank You!

“Moneying up” for the MICRA Fight: San Diego is almost up to $1 million in contributions to preserve the MICRA cap on non-economic damages — keeping medical malpractice rates rational. Well done to all our medical staffs and the California Hospital Association for matching every medical staff dollar 2:1!

Executive Director Comment on the GPCI Inequity: Behind the scenes, we’re still at “battlestations” on GPCI. Click here to read the letter signed by both Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer (no mean feat), which proposes a no-cost-the-government solution that holds truly rural counties harmless (a deal that took years to craft). We just keep plugging to get GPCI fixed.

Executive Director Note: The holidays are the best of times, and the worst of times. If you need help — members and non-members — call CMA's Physician Confidential Line, a peer-to-peer referral service for physicians in need of assistance with substance abuse, stress, anger management, and other similar health issues, at (213) 383-2691. Click Here for Details


Influenza Update Offered Online Through CMA’s Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) for CME: Click Here


New Medi-Cal Survival Toolkit Available to Members: CMA’s updated toolkit contains a summary of many of the changes, important dates, options for physicians, and links to important resources.

Would You Like Covered California Consumer Materials for Your Office Waiting Room? If you would like consumer materials for your office waiting room, please contact the SDCMS Foundation at (858) 300-2789, and they will mail them to you. Likewise, SDCMS Foundation staff can provide training for your office staff to assist patients in understanding their healthcare insurance options. Call Barbara Mandel, SDCMS Foundation Executive Director, at (858) 300-2777.

December 10 DHCS Webinar (1–2pm) on What Physicians Need to Know About the Coordinated Care Initiative: Click Here


AMA Comments on Joint Bipartisan Discussion Draft Proposal to Eliminate the SGR: Click Here

CMS to Implement Ordering and Referring Denial Edits Beginning in January 2014: Physicians who refer or order services for Medicare beneficiaries must be enrolled with Medicare by January 6, 2014. Medicare contractors have been instructed to turn in ordering / referring physician edits on that date, and claims submitted on or after January 6 will be denied if the ordering / referring physician does not have an enrollment record. Click Here for More Information

Are You Ready for the New CMS 1500 Claim Form? Medicare anticipates implementing the revised CMS 1500 claim form (version 02/12) as follows:

  • January 6, 2014: Medicare begins accepting paper clams submitted on revised CMS 1500 claim form (version 02/12).
  • January 6 through March 31, 2014: Medicare continues to accept paper claims submitted on the old CMS 1500 claim form (version 08/05).
  • April 1, 2014: Medicare no longer accepts paper claims on the old form and will only receive and process claims submitted on the revised CMS 1500 claim form (version 02/12).

These dates are tentative and subject to change. CMS will provide more information as it is available. Physicians should note that while the new claim form includes fields for ICD-10 codes in preparation for the transition in October 2014, practices should continue to submit only ICD-9 codes until notified otherwise by payors. Click Here

Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) — What CMS Now Terms Its “Open Payments” Program — FAQs: Click Here


Ask Your SDCMS Physician Advocate, Marisol Gonzalez: 

  • Member Question: I am relocating my office out of state. I am looking for a standard letter to cosign with the physician who will be taking over the responsibilities of my practice, so that I can send this to my patients. Does SDCMS have a letter like this?
  • Answer: This is not the proper way to terminate the relationship between you and your patients. You will first need to send letters out to your patients directly notifying them that you will be moving your practice out of state. You will also need to provide them with options to either find a new physician or to have the new physician take over their care. It is also recommended that you reach out to your professional liability carrier, as they may be able to provide further guidance regarding the obligation to your patients.
  • Contact Marisol: SDCMS member physicians are invited to contact Marisol with their practice management questions at (858) 300-2783 or at MGonzalez@SDCMS.org.

Young Physicians: Win $5,000! The Doctors Company Foundation’s Patient Safety Award — Share your personal essay on how a patient safety event impacted your learning and growth. $5,000 awards. Deadline February 3, 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


Will You Let a Pre-med Student Shadow You? The Student-Physician Shadowing Program at SDSU is looking for physicians who will allow pre-medical students the opportunity to shadow them. For more information, contact Dunia Anwar at sdsu.peeradvisors@gmail.com.

“He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.”
— Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

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