Send us an email at NYCU@SDCMS.org to sign up for our bi-weekly e-newsletter!

"News You Can Use" <> October 8, 2014



Click Here to Read SDCMS’s Special Oct. 3 “News You Can Use” on Ebola Virus Disease

Click Here to Read CAHAN (California Health Alert Network) San Diego's October 8 Alert on Travel Histories and Ebola Preparedness

Top Docs Gala at the Birch Aquarium: FABULOUS venue, great company … on November 1. Click Here for Details and to Purchase Your Tickets!

The SDCMS Foundation's 5K Run/Walk Was a Great Success! More than 600 community residents, including 25 physician-led teams, enjoyed a gorgeous sunset run and walk along the beach at the SDCMS Foundation's first-annual Solana Beach Sunset 5K Run/Walk.

No on 46 Updates:

  • Los Angeles Times has joined with every other major paper in the state by taking a NO position on Prop. 46. Click Here
  • SDCMS Op-ed in U-T San Diego: No on Prop 46: Trial Lawyers Behind Costly Measure — Click Here
  • Wear your “No on Prop 46” button. We need everyone to publicly demonstrate his or her opposition. If you need more buttons, you can order them at NOon46.com — they will be shipped to you ASAP. SDCMS members and nonmembers can pick buttons up in person at SDCMS at 5575 Ruffin Road, Suite 250, in Kearny Mesa.
  • Commit to handing out “lab coat cards,” and let your patients and neighbors know what the measure is really about. Cards can also be ordered at NOon46.com.
  • Energize your physician peers to defeat Prop 46. Speak up at your hospital, your clinic, your office. Get the message out: If Prop 46 passes, it means real harm to patients and doctors. Brochures and posters for your waiting rooms are available at NOon46.com.
  • Speak to family and friends — every voter counts!
  • Put up yard signs — we have literally crates of them. Please call SDCMS at (858) 565-8888 if you want some. Yard signs matter — this is how elections are won, i.e., with relentless pressure.
  • Send SDCMS photos of your No on 46 yard sign, office poster, and button to NYCU@SDCMS.org.
  • But be very, very careful about public communications. We have trained speakers at the ready and have off-the-shelf printed materials. Contact SDCMS if you need something or need something looked at; we cannot afford a media malfunction, this includes internal newsletters, communication to local media, and blast emails and bulletins that could be made public.
  • Pay your dues or become a member. We are spending a ton of money to defeat Prop 46 — we must have your financial support!
  • No on 46 “Take Action” Contest — Win $500! Click Here

Free Tickets to the “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” Event on October 21, 6–9pm: SDCMS, in association with the NIH, Smithsonian Institution, and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, is pleased to announce an evening to explore the West Coast premier of “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” on October 21, 6–9pm (2 CME credits). You can view the exhibit and learn from three special speakers: “Bringing Genomic Medicine Into Focus” by Eric Green, MD, PhD, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH; “Beyond the Genome: We Are More Than Our Genes” by Gary Firestein, MD, Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine, UCSD; “Genomics and the Future of Cancer Medicine” by Razelle Kurzrock, MD, Director of Personalized Cancer Therapy, UCSD. To register, click here.

Leader’s Toolkit Seminar on October 25–26 for SDCMS Members Interested in Focused Learning About Leadership and Management: Email Gehring@SDCMS.org

AMA News Release on CMS’s Open Payments Data Release: Click Here


Question: There are a couple of small payors reimbursing us for our services using credit cards. Our office has to run these credit cards in separate transactions, and we end up incurring the cost of these credit card fees. What can we do? Click Here for the Answer


CDPH Confirms 14 Cases of Enterovirus D68 in California: For more information about EV-D68, please read the CDC Special Advisory. Click Here for Details

New Rules on Prescribing Hydrocodone Combo Products Took Effect October 6: Click Here


Hardship Exception Applications to Avoid the 2015 Medicare Payment Adjustment Due Nov. 30, 2014: CMS will reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals to avoid the 2015 Medicare Payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The new deadline is November 30, 2014. Previously, the hardship exception application deadline was July 1, 2014, for eligible professionals. This reopened hardship exception application submission period is for eligible professionals who:

  • have been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in 2014 Edition EHRT availability; AND
  • are eligible professionals who were unable to attest by October 1, 2014, using the flexibility options provided in the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule.

These are the only circumstances that will be considered for this reopened hardship exception application submission period. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST November 30, 2014. Please visit the Payment Adjustments and Hardship Exceptions webpage for more information about Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment adjustments and to access the hardship exception extension application.

Small Subset of Physicians Participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program May Get Hit With Medicare Penalties in 2015: CMS authorized an expanded set of hardship exemption categories in August, but its attestation system was not updated with the expanded hardship exemptions before the October 1 deadline to apply for them. Click Here for Details

Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) Continuing to Require Physicians to Revalidate Their Medicare Enrollments: Revalidation notices have been sent out and will continue to be sent out until March 23, 2015. Click Here for Further Information

Sunshine Act / Open Payments Physician Payments Dataset Resources:

  • Click Here for the Open Payments Physician Payment Dataset and Other Background Information
  • AMA’s News Release: Click Here
  • Click here to access the media guide AMA distributed to reporters on September 29, 2014.
  • Click here to access customizable talking points for physicians to use in responding to inquiries about the Open Payments data.
  • AMA Wire story: Three Questions You Should Know How to Answer by September 30 — which further emphasizes the importance of providing context when responding to questions from patients and the public, and which also points out that it’s not too late for physicians register to review their 2013 Open Payments data and to correct any errors prior to the December 31, 2014, deadline.
  • AMA Wire story: How AMA Has Advocated for Sunshine Act Implementation Overhaul — which summarizes AMA’s advocacy related to the Sunshine Act.
  • Click here to visit AMA’s Open Payments Page for additional resources, including step-by-step instructions on how to complete the Open Payments registration, review, and dispute processes.
  • Physicians can share their Open Payments anecdotes by emailing OpenPayments@ama-assn.org.


DHCS Releases Duals Project Toolkit to help providers and their patients understand the Cal MediConnect duals demonstration project. Click Here for Details

CMA Publishes Summary of New Healthcare Laws for 2015: Click Here for Details

New Video From MBC to Assist New Applicants With the Licensing Process: Click here to watch the 20-minute video. Click here to go to the Medical Board of California’s website where you can click on individual forms and see an instructional video just for that form. SDCMS-CMA member physicians who have licensing or renewal questions or issues can contact Marisol Gonzalez, SDCMS’s physician advocate, at (858) 300-2783 or at MGonzalez@SDCMS.org.


We Are Looking for Two Physicians to Fill Vacancies on the Health Services Advisory Board: SDCMS and the County of San Diego are looking for two physicians to fill upcoming vacancies in Districts 1 and 4 of one of the most important advisory boards to the county government, the Health Services Advisory Board. Click here for details. If interested, contact Tom Gehring at (619) 206-8282 or at Gehring@SDCMS.org.

Work-Life Balance Workshop on Saturday, October 11: Take an honest look at your life, reacquaint yourself with what you find most meaningful, and then make the changes that will bring your life into greater balance! Join your colleagues and Helane Fronek, MD, certified physician development coach, on Saturday, October 11, from 9:00am to noon to begin to see your life, and your choices in it, in a new light! Workshop limited to 12 physicians. Email Dr. Fronek at hsfronek@aol.com for details or to reserve your spot today!

PTSD Seminar on Tuesday, October 28, 12:00pm–2:00pm, at SDCMS: Presented by Sonya Norman, PhD, UC San Diego assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the PTSD Consultation Program. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of PTSD and how to advise patients of various treatments and appropriate resources. 1 CME credit and lunch available. To register, email Liz.Brave@SDCMS.org or call (858) 300–2789.

Anthem Blue Cross Contracted Provider Information Exchange Seminar on Nov. 13, 8:30am–12:00pm: Providing updates on BlueCard, Interactive Care Reviewer, Medicare Advantage, Provider Access, Provider Claim Escalation Process, Provider Dispute Resolution Process, Secure Messaging, the Availity Web Portal, and more. Click here for details. Click here to register.

Family Medicine / General Internal Medicine Physicians Needed to serve as role models and teachers to UCSD first- and second-year medical students in their Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship Program. Click Here for Details

UCSD PACE Program Is Recruiting Practicing Physicians Above Age 50 for a PACE Aging Physician Assessment (PAPA) Pilot Study: Anyone interested in participating should click here, complete the form, and return it to pdreid@ucsd.edu; for any questions, contact Patricia Reid, MPH, at (619) 471-0569. David E.J. Bazzo, MD, Director, PACE Fitness for Duty Program, is heading this effort. Compensation for your time is offered.

Spread the Message of Health! The SDCMS Foundation is partnering with the County of San Diego to educate community members on how to improve their lives and take charge of their health by launching a Live Well Physicians’ Speakers Bureau. Will you make brief presentations at your neighborhood school, community center, or place of worship? Your voice is important as we collectively work together — “Physicians United for a Healthy San Diego.” Contact Barbara.Mandel@SDCMS.org to say YES, you will volunteer just one or two times a year, quarterly, or however your schedule allows.


Nominate Your Office Manager for SDCMS’s 6th Annual “Outstanding Medical Office Manager” Contest: Nomination Deadline November 1, 2014. Click Here for Details

CMA Practice Resources (CPR) — October 2014 (highlights):

  • How Much Revenue Is Your Practice Losing by Not Working Denials? — Click Here
  • DHCS Announces Additional Delays for Some ACA Medi-Cal Primary Care Rate Increases — Click Here
  • DHCS Announces New Continuity of Care Rules for Duals Demonstration Project — Click Here
  • DHCS Revises Cal MediConnect ‘Choice Forms’ — Click Here
  • Medi-Cal Audits Began in September — Click Here
  • Meet Your CMA Affinity Partners: Staples Advantage — Click Here
  • Updated Payor Profiles Now Available — Click Here
  • The Coding Corner: Coding Office E/M at the Highest Level: 99215 — 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


Resources for SDCMS-CMA Member Physician Practices Only:

Resources for All Physician Practices:

“We must not in the course of public life expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Comments are closed.