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NYCU May 10, 2022

SDCMS News You Can Use
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2022

Paul HegyiPHYSICIANS: A historic development is occurring regarding MICRA. The California Medical Association has played a crucial role these past few decades in defending MICRA from the trial lawyer lobby and protecting patient access and preventing physicians from being driven out of medicine by exploding insurance premiums which has occurred in some other states.

San Diego's own Robert E. Wailes, California Medical Association President issued a letter which discusses this important new development regarding California’s MICRA Law. Dr. Wailes explains:

For decades, California’s landmark medical malpractice laws have successfully struck a balance between compensatory justice for injured patients while maintaining an overall health care system that is accessible and affordable for Californians…

…This year, with the so–called Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA) slated for the November ballot, we are again facing another costly initiative battle that could obliterate existing safeguards for out–of–control medical lawsuits and result in skyrocketing health care costs.

Now, for the first time in a generation, we were met with an opportunity to achieve a meaningful consensus between competing interests through a revised framework that could protect both the rights of injured patients while keeping MICRA’s essential guardrails solidly in place for patients and providers alike…

…To that end and at long last, a historic agreement to modernize MICRA is on the horizon. The two sides of the ballot measure campaign have committed to putting patients first, to prioritizing the stability of affordable access to health care, and to set aside differences to do what’s right for all Californians.

As part of this modernization of MICRA, it was important that the underlying principles be preserved — ensuring access to care and protecting our health care delivery system from runaway costs. Important guardrails of MICRA will continue unchanged, including advance notice of a claim, the one–year statute of limitations to file a case, the option of binding arbitration, early offers of proof for making punitive damages allegations and allowing other sources of compensation to be considered in award determinations.

The element likely to garner the most interest surrounds changes to the limit on non–economic damages in medical malpractice cases, which is currently $250k. As opposed to the ballot measure, which would have effectively eliminated the cap on non–economic damages entirely, under the agreement:

Cases not involving a patient death will have a limit of $350k on the effective date of January 1, 2023, with an incremental increase over the next 10 years to $750k and a 2.0% annual inflationary adjustment thereafter
Cases involving a patient death will have a limit of $500k on the effective date of January 1, 2023, with an incremental increase over the next 10 years to $1 million and a 2.0% annual inflationary adjustment thereafter

Critical MICRA guardrails that will remain in place with modest updates include the ability to pay awards of future damages over time and limits on plaintiff’s attorney’s contingency fees.

Our coalition is working with the Newsom Administration and leaders of the California Legislature to pass legislation that will make this new policy California law. Under the agreement, the initiative will be withdrawn from the ballot and this watershed agreement will preclude another costly fight.

We thank Dr. Wailes and other Senior CMA officers for their leadership and hard work on this critically important issue to protect patient access and affordability as well as effectively defending California’s physician community.

As always, let me know if you have any questions! Paul Hegyi, CEO

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First Republic Bank
MAY 18, 2022: 6–7:30pm, FREE Webinar for Members and Non–Members, ‘Best Practice: Documenting Disruptive Patient Behavior.’ 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits upon Conclusion. Sponsored by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in Partnership with The Doctors Company (TDC)  CLICK HERE
MAY 19 AND 20, 2022: 8:30am–12:30pm daily, ‘Deep Dive: CME Accreditation Workshop’. For Accredited CME Providers ONLY. $150 Registration Fee. An important continuing education opportunity for all CME professionals, whether new to CME or experienced. 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits Available.  CLICK HERE
JUN 3, 2022: 6–10pm, SDCMS’ 2022 Rendezvous Gala, at The Abbey on Fifth. We welcome Toluwalase (Lase) Ajayi, MD as incoming SDCMS President for 2022–23, and thank Sergio R. Flores, MD for his service as Immediate Past President. Join Hundreds of Physicians, Distinguished Guests, and Local, State and National Legislators For the Installation of Our Incoming President. $150 Per Ticket and $1,400 for a Table of 10  CLICK HERE
JUL 12, 2022: 12–1pm, Free Webinar ‘Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID–19 Clinical Udpates’. Sponsored by California Medical Association and CA Health & Human Services Agency in partnership with Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California and California Academy for PAs. 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credit Available. Free to Members and Non–Members.  CLICK HERE
AKW Medical
CMA in the Courts  READ HERE
Podcast ‘What the Health?’ Leaked Abortion Opinion Rocks Washington’s World  LISTEN HERE
CMA Webinar: Telehealth Reimbursement and Privacy Laws: COVID–19 Emergency  WATCH HERE
CMA Webinar: What is Value–Based Care and What Does it Mean for My Practice?  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: Understanding Malpractice Risks for NPs, PAs, and Supervising Physicians  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: COVID–19 for the Long Haul: Post COVID Recovery and Care  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: How to Avoid Being Reported to the Medical Board  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: Understanding the Risks: How to Dismiss a Patient from Your Practice  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: Physician Wellness  WATCH HERE
SDCMS Webinar: Biosimilars Overview & Policy Landscape  WATCH HERE
Alzheimer’s Project Clinical Roundtable Free On–Demand CME Webinar Series on Dementia  WATCH HERE
SDCMS' 152nd White Coat Gala Rendezvous

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