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San Diego Cases Identified in Multistate, Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak

October 11, 2013 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and other state and local health departments are investigating an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken as the likely outbreak source. USDA issued a public health alert warning consumers of these illnesses and their association with three Foster Farm facilities in California. As of October 7, 2013, a total of 278 cases with 7 outbreak ...

Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Help Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse: Drop off Your Unused Prescription Drugs Saturday, October 26, 2013 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Click Here to Find the Collection Site Nearest You! Rx Abuse Hotline: (877) 662--6384 NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Download and Distribute These Flyers to Your Patients: Flyer in English — All San Diego County Locations Flyer in English — Central San Diego County Locations Flyer in English — Southern San Diego County Locations Flyer in English — Eastern San Diego County Locations Flyer ...

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update From CMA

October 1, 2013 CMA leaders have been in Washington, DC, and in district offices meeting with members of Congress on the important issues facing medicine. Below are the highlights of the priority bills and regulations. 1. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN Medicare and Medi-Cal will continue to operate but CDC, FDA, public health, and NIH are impacted. On October 1, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went live and tens of thousands of Californians called the Covered California Health Insurance Exchange to purchase insurance, Congress’s failure to agree on a 2014 budget and the future of ...

Avoid the Medicare Quality Reporting Penalty in 2015

By the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association As part of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Medicare will impose a 1.5% penalty in 2015 on physicians and other providers who do not successfully report at least one individual quality measure for at least one patient in 2013. The purpose of this article is to help physicians avoid the penalty in 2015 by providing guidance on how to report at least one measure for at least one patient using Medicare claims. Since most physicians already submit Medicare claims for reimbursement, adding the ...

MICRA Update: Trial Attorneys Launch Personal Attack on CMA President

When trial attorneys announced earlier this year that they were working to scrap California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), we warned that their campaign would be riddled with lies, misdirection, and below-the-belt shots designed to fool the public into thinking their efforts were anything more than an outright money grab. Unfortunately, we didn’t know how right we would be. Last week, Consumer Watchdog published a piece featuring the names of hundreds of California physicians who they claim are afraid to “pee in a cup,” while also personally targeting CMA president, ...

CMA Optimistic as Covered California Opens

California’s Health Benefits Exchange offers access to health insurance as implementation of the Affordable Care Act moves forward. Sacramento — As Covered California, the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, opened today, California Medical Association (CMA) physicians remain optimistic. Throughout the healthcare reform debate, CMA strongly advocated for affordable access to care for California’s uninsured and for an expansion of health insurance coverage. “CMA has long supported access to health care for all patients,” said Paul R. Phinney, MD, CMA president. “Today marks a positive inflection point in our nation's commitment to access ...

CDC Releases Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza With Vaccines, 2013-2014

September 30, 2013 The CDC recently released its annual publication of Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza With Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2013–2014. This CAHAN publication communicates important information that will be useful to manage this year’s influenza season. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications. Healthcare providers should begin offering vaccination soon after vaccine becomes available and, if possible, by early October. Vaccination efforts should continue throughout the season, as the duration ...

Don't Miss out on Increased Medi-Cal Payments!

September 27, 2013 The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will soon be implementing rate increases for primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients, as authorized under the Affordable Care Act. In order to see the bump in pay, providers must first attest to their eligibility. According to DHCS, less than half of eligible providers have completed the brief self-attestation process as of September 24. Although the regulations implementing the pay raise were released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in November 2012, DHCS is still awaiting ...

SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) / Delegation Meeting Tuesday, October 1

SDCMS BOD Members and House of Delegates (HOD) / District 1 Delegates and Alternates: Just a reminder that we have a combined BOD / Delegation meeting that will take place on Tuesday, October 1 — the meeting will start promptly at 6:00pm.  As we will be reviewing all of the resolutions for this year’s HOD, we anticipate this meeting will run long (until at least 9:00pm or later). Please plan your schedule accordingly. The resolutions are accessible below: Reference Committee A Resolutions Reference Committee ...

5th Annual SDCMS "Outstanding Medical Office Manager" Contest

Nominate Your Office Manager Today — Nominations Submission Deadline: November 1, 2013! SDCMS wants to recognize San Diego County’s most outstanding medical office manager / practice administrator, i.e., someone who goes above and beyond his or her 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 ...