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December 11 SGR Update From CMA

Bipartisan House-Senate Medicare Payment Reform Legislation Expected to Pass out of Committee This Week Congress Includes Three-month Patch to Stop the 25% SGR Cuts in Budget Deal The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee this week unveiled revised legislative proposals to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) and establish a new payment system. Both committees have said that they expect to “mark up” (i.e., pass out of committee) the legislation on Thursday, December 12. The changes they have made since the initial October “discussion draft” are ...

Covered California Webinar for Physicians on December 19

Covered California Webinar for Physicians on Thursday, December 19, 12:00pm–1:00pm Need clarification on Covered California, and how to inform your patients of their options? Join the webinar, presented by Kena Burke, CMA Foundation Covered California project manager, on Thursday, December 19 at noon. This will be a real-time webinar, with opportunities to get answers to your questions. Click here to register. For more information, email Barbara.Mandel@SDCMS.org. ADDITIONALLY … Would You Like Covered California Consumer Materials for Your Office Waiting Room? Call (858) 300-2789. SDCMS Foundation staff can provide training for your office staff ...

Congress Approves Final Version of Compounding Legislation

From AMA's November 27, 2013, Advocacy Update On Nov. 18, the Senate passed by voice vote H.R. 3204, the “Drug Quality and Security Act.” This legislation, which passed the House on Sept. 28, is expected to be signed by the president shortly. It establishes new FDA regulatory oversight for those who compound sterile drugs, while ensuring that traditional compounding practices continue. Additionally, it strengthens the prescription drug supply chain, protecting Americans against counterfeit drugs. The legislation is a critical step to ensure compounding practices are safe and is expected to ...

Attend SDCMS's "Preparing to Launch" Workshop on February 1, 2014!

Resident & Young Physicians: In close cooperation with the UC San Diego Health System, SDCMS has created a one-day workshop entitled: "Preparing to Launch: Essentials to Consider for Doctors Contemplating Their Future in the Real World." While primarily focused on residents, fellows, and young physicians, any SDCMS member (and their significant other) is welcome to attend. This free workshop will occur in the Goldberg Auditorium at the Moores Cancer Center on Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 8:00am to 4:00pm -- continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. SDCMS has run this program ...

Chickenpox Exposure at County North Region Family Resource Center

December 5, 2013 A person who was ill with varicella visited the North Coastal Family Resource Center in Oceanside on December 2, 2013, and may have exposed others to the disease. The center is located at 1315 Union Plaza Court. Anyone who was present in the waiting area of the facility from 2:00pm to 3:30pm on that date may have been exposed to the disease. Patients and employees who may have been exposed at the Oceanside facility have been advised to seek evaluation from their primary care providers to determine if ...

MICRA Update: The Time for Saber Rattling Is Over

Donate Today to Help Defend MICRA For months, California physicians have known that defending the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) would be a battle, and that the back and forth rhetoric between healthcare providers and lawyers would eventually lead to the first shots of the coming ballot war being fired. It appears that time has come. From Redding to San Diego, canvassers working to support the trial lawyers’ anti-MICRA ballot language have hit the streets, and have reportedly been gathering signatures at an alarming rate. As expected, the signature gatherers ...

Competition Opens for Young Physicians Patient Safety Award

Medical Students and Residents Encouraged to Submit Essays for $5,000 Awards Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Young Physicians Patient Safety Award, The Doctors Company Foundation has announced. Medical students and residents are eligible to compete for six $5,000 awards. Winners will also receive travel to the Association of American Medical College’s Integrating Quality meeting in Chicago June 12–13, 2014, where the awards will be presented. Entrants must be third- or fourth-year medical students or first-year residents who were in a hospital setting as of June 2013. Entrants must ...

Tick-borne Disease in San Diego County

November 25, 2013 This alert describes a recently recognized human pathogen detected in ticks in San Diego County, Rickettsia philipii (formerly known as Rickettsia 364D), and provides an update on other tick-borne diseases in the region. An eschar-associated illness caused by Spotted Fever group (SFG) Rickettsia, R. philipii was first recognized in a Northern California resident in 2008. Cases have since been reported in both adults and children. A bite from the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis) can transmit the infection. The most prominent clinical feature of R. philipii infection is development ...

National Physician Payment Transparency Program FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the National Physician Payment Transparency Program (Open Payments) — initiated by the Physicians Payments Transparency Act (PPSA): These FAQs are based on the guidance that is publicly available as of August 23, 2013. This is a new reporting program, and many of the questions are still being clarified. Medical societies may take different positions on some of these questions. Readers of this document are encouraged to consult their attorneys, funding organizations, and CMS for interpretations of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) and the regulations operationalizing it. The information ...

November Is National COPD Awareness Month

In recognition of national COPD awareness month, the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation is encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about simple measures they can take to improve their lung function. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, it recently surpassed stroke as the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD, and an additional 12 million are likely to have the disease ...