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"News You Can Use" <> October 20, 2015



Executive Director Note: We need “all hands on deck” in order to influence decision-makers; we need at least an additional 1,000 responses — please take five minutes!

Please Take SDCMS's 2015 Physician Workforce & Compensation Survey: We need your input — irrespective of mode of practice — to make it accurate. All answers are de-identified, anonymized, and cannot be traced back to individual submitters. It only takes five (5) minutes of your time. CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY NOW

Residents, Fellows, and Young Physicians, Join Us at Our Nov. 7 “Preparing to Launch: Making Your Way After Residency / Fellowship” Workshop: Click here for details and to register — space limited, registration required!

Qualifying SDCMS Physicians: Receive a $50 Earlybird Discount When You Renew Your 2016 SDCMS-CMA Membership by October 31! If you are paying full, nondiscounted dues and are with a medical group of 150 or fewer physicians, you will receive a $50 discount on your 2016 SDCMS-CMA dues if you renew and pay in full by October 31, 2015. Click here to renew your membership today! Questions? Contact SDCMS at (858) 565-8888 or at Membership@SDCMS.org. Thank you for your membership!

A Special Thank You to Drs. William L. Wilson and Roman B. Cham for Being the First to Renew Their SDCMS-CMA Memberships for 2016!



Question: I received a subpoena from another state for copies of medical records. In the subpoena, it asks for the copies to be notarized. Can I pass this cost along to the requestor? Click Here for the Answer



State Temporarily Lifts Restriction on Use of Flu Vaccine Containing Thimerosal for Children and Pregnant Women: Click here to review CDPH’s letter to interested parties. Direct questions on the exemption to the CDPH Immunization Branch at (510) 620-3737. Click Here for Details

Save Lives California Coalition Files Initiative to Raise State’s Tobacco Tax by $2 per Pack: Click Here for Details



Web-based Noridian Workshops on Provider Enrollment: Intended for physicians using PECOS to change enrollment information, track revalidation, or set up a sole proprietorship. Click here for details and to register.

CMS Announces 30-day Preview Period of Physician Compare Website: The site, launched in 2010, provides Medicare physician contact information, specialties and clinical training, hospital affiliations, and group practice information. In 2014, the website began phasing in physician quality data from PQRS. Physicians can access the preview site now through November 6, 2015. Click Here for Details

New CMS Rule Changes Meaningful Use Requirements: The final rule synchronizes reporting under the EHR incentive programs to end the separate stages of meaningful use in order to transition physicians to the new payment scheme under MACRA. CMA continues to advocate for greater reform to make the program less burdensome. Click Here for Details

90 Medical Associations — Including CMA — Ask CMS to Release MACRA Funds for Small Practices: Click here to read the letter. Click Here for Details



Governor Signs Bill to Extend CURES Registration Deadline to July 1, 2016: All individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish, or order controlled substances and a DEA certificate now have until July 1, 2016, to register to use CURES. Click Here for Details

Changes in 2016 Covered California Plan Offerings: Open enrollment runs Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. All 10 2015 health insurance companies will offer coverage in 2016, in addition to United Healthcare (UHC) and Oscar in select regions. Physicians should understand their participation status in the exchange products to advise patients before scheduling; see CMA’s “Covered California: Know Your Participation Status” toolkit — free to members (toolkit includes contact information for each exchange plan).

Audit Says State Lab Oversight Is Duplicative, Should Be Eliminated: Click Here for Details

Medi-Cal to Use ICD-10 Crosswalk for Claims Payment: DHCS, which has not yet converted to ICD-10, received CMS approval to temporarily convert incoming ICD-10-coded claims to ICD-9 in order to calculate payments. CMA is monitoring the issue closely and will be in close contact with DHCS in the event any problems arise. Click Here for Details

DHCS Expands Phone System for Medi-Cal Recipients in Wake of Critical June Audit Report: Click here for the full auditor’s report. Click Here for Further Details

Additional ICD-10 Resources From SDCMS and CMA:

Click Here to Watch PBS’s Sept. 30 “Giving Millions More Access to Care, Medicaid Expansion Strains California’s Health System” Report — With SDCMS’s Dr. Ted Mazer Interviewed



CMA Practice Resources (CPR) for October (Issue Link):

  • Medi-Cal Identifies and Fixes System Issue That Caused Resubmission Turnaround Documents (RTDs) to Be Issued on Some CPT Codes in Error: Click Here
  • CMS Releases 2014 PQRS and QRUR Reports — Opens Informal Review Period: Click Here
  • Medicare Reminder: SNF Consolidated Billing: Click Here
  • Reminder: Blue Shield Fee Schedule Changes Effective November 1: Click Here
  • Reminder: UHC Requiring Prior Authorization for Several Outpatient Surgical Procedures When Performed on or after October 1, 2015: Click Here
  • Ask the Expert: How Long Do I Have to Refund a Patient? Click Here
  • The Coding Corner: Question Modifier 25 Denials: Click Here

Physicians / Practice Administrators / Office Managers: Please Spend Five (5) Minutes Taking SDCMS’s 2015 Medical Office Salary Survey: All answers are de-identified and cannot be traced back to individual submitters. Everyone who completes the survey will receive a copy of the results once they are compiled. Why does it matter? It will give San Diego physicians and office managers countywide, job-specific data to make salary and personnel decisions. Click Here to Take the Survey Now ➥ NOTE: When responding to survey questions asking for salary numbers, enter only numbers into these fields, i.e., no letters or symbols!

Achieving Meaningful Use Woes? The SDCMS Foundation can provide FREE technical assistance for primary care AND specialists working to attest for Medi-Cal incentive funds. Working to attest for Medicare incentive prior to year-end? Help is at hand as well. Contact Victor.Bloomberg@SDCMS.org.



Nominate Your Office Manager to Be San Diego County’s “Outstanding Medical Office Manager” for 2015: SDCMS will recognize San Diego County’s most outstanding medical office manager, i.e., someone who goes above and beyond her or his job description, who anticipates problems before they arise, who works efficiently with the practice’s time and resources, and who strikes the right balance between exercising control and boosting morale when supervising staff. SDCMS member physicians can nominate their office managers by explaining in writing (up to 600 words) why their office manager is the best in San Diego County. Email nominations to KLewis@SDCMS.org by November 2, 2105.

“Is There a Doctor in the House?” SDCMS Physicians and Medical Students: Submit your amusing “Is there a doctor in the house?” anecdotes for possible publication in the December issue of San Diego Physician magazine. 100–400 words. Submission deadline: November 20, 2015. Email Editor@SDCMS.org.

Start a Team for the SDCMS Foundation's Sat., Nov. 14 Solana Beach Sunset 5K Run / Walk to Fight Type 2 Diabetes: Click Here for Details

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 Physicians’ Speakers Bureau. Email Barbara.Mandel@SDCMS.org to say YES, you will volunteer just one or two times a year, quarterly, or however your schedule allows.


“No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace,
“As I have seen in one autumnal face.” — John Donne, English Poet (1572–1631)

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