SDCMS "News You Can Use"
— January 25, 2012
Our Obesity Epidemic: A Call to Action
If you or your organization wishes to engage holistically in the communitywide fight to address obesity, please contact Robert Wailes, MD, SDCMS president, at President@SDCMS.org . On February 27, 2012, we will meet to create a countywide action plan for San Diego County's physician community.
Click Here  for an 8-minute Video Update on Issues of Importance to San Diego Physicians From the SDCMS CEO
Please Take CMA’s Brief Survey About Medicare Audits
If you have received requests for medical records from Palmetto, please let us know the impact by taking a moment to complete this brief survey . The results will assist CMA in our discussions with CMS so they understand the burden of locating, copying, and mailing off the requested patient records.
Influenza Update From Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego’s Public Health Officer
While influenza activity has been relatively low this season, it is still important to remind patients and healthcare personnel that it is not too late to obtain the influenza vaccine. According to the County of San Diego Influenza Watch, the number of influenza viral detections increased for the first week of 2012, which is expected since influenza season may peak as late as February. The emergency department influenza-like illness (ILI) visits remained at expected levels (1%), but were down from the previous week (3% for week 52 in 2011). The influenza vaccine now comes in a variety of formulations that include intramuscular, intranasal, and intradermal modes of delivery, as well as a high-dose product for individuals 65 years and older. Now that we have a universal recommendation for vaccinating everyone six months and older, these choices may be helpful to meet the needs of a wide range of vaccine recipients. Many thanks to all local physicians for your successful efforts to provide annual influenza vaccine to patients and healthcare personnel!
Are You Checking SDCMS' Twitter Feed Daily From Your Browser / Smartphone?
Click here  to check SDCMS' latest Twitter feeds. SDCMS does an exceptional job of picking out the most interesting stuff for your daily review — and the worst that happens is you read the headline and ignore it.
- January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month
- CMA Urges Congress to Use Unspent Military Funds to Repeal the Medicare SGR
- Medicare Participation Deadline Extended to February 14
- New AMA Study Shows Cost Burden of U.S. Medical Liability System
- Small Medical Practices Greatly at Risk for Data Breaches
- Accounting for the Cost of U.S. Healthcare: Pre-reform Trends and the Impact of the Recession
- DMHC Complaint Form Against Health Insurers
- Blue Cross Required to Pay Healthcare Providers Money Owed to Them, Dating Back to 2007
- Blue Shield Launches Recontracting Initiative
- Minor Consent: What Physicians Need to Know When Treating Children
- Call for Nominations: 2012 Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award
- Call for Nominations: 2012 Dev A. GnanaDev Membership Award
- Blue Cross Acknowledges Mistake in E&M Provider Audit
- State Budget Shortfall to Extend Medi-Cal Cuts
- Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program Open for Enrollment
- UCSD Physician Lawrence Friedman, MD, Named to California’s Telemedicine Board
- SDCMS' Approved Elections Slate for 2012–13
- SDCMS’ April 2012 Issue of San Diego Physician Magazine Will Focus on Physician Volunteerism
- “Lights Camera Action”
- Call for Nominations: Live Well, San Diego! Public Health Champion Awards
- Receive Free EHR Implementation Assistance
- Corrections Sheet for SDCMS’ Recently Mailed San Diego County Physician Directory for 2012
- SDCMS-CMA SEMINARS / WEBINARS / EVENTS
- SAN DIEGO COUNTY HEALTHCARE EVENTS
January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month
The CMA Foundation is part of the national Cervical Cancer-Free Campaign, engaged in efforts to reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer through increased screening and vaccination. For more information, click here .
CMA Urges Congress to Use Unspent Military Funds to Repeal the Medicare SGR
This past Monday, CMA and other healthcare organizations called on the Congressional Conference Committee working to craft an agreement on the 2012 tax bill between the House and the Senate to permanently stop the scheduled cuts and short-term patches to the Medicare fee-for-service program by eliminating the sustainable growth rate (SRG) formula. Click here  to read further.
Medicare Participation Deadline Extended to February 14
Physicians’ Medicare participation elections or withdrawals must be postmarked on or before February 14. Click here  for details.
New AMA Study Shows Cost Burden of U.S. Medical Liability System • Click Here 
Executive Director Comment: Please review this carefully (item directly below) — truly an ounce of prevention …
Small Medical Practices Greatly at Risk for Data Breaches • Click Here 
Executive Director Comment: Great article to read (item directly below) if you want to understand the underlying problems with healthcare costs.
Accounting for the Cost of U.S. Healthcare: Pre-reform Trends and the Impact of the Recession
The United States spends more on healthcare, both per capita and as a share of GDP, than any other country in the world. In 2009, spending on healthcare reached a record high $2.5 trillion, or 17.6 percent of U.S. GDP. Click here  to read the complete article.
DMHC Complaint Form Against Health Insurers
Have you seen a pattern of violations over the course of a three-month period with any Knox-Keen plan (HMO and most Blue Shield and Blue Cross plans) and health insurers such as:
- bills that have not been paid, contested, or denied within the timeframes of the law
- underpayment or nonpayment of claims, including appropriate interest, within the timeframes of the law
- explanations that are not clear, accurate, and written, and that fail to set forth the specific reasons for denying, adjusting, or contesting a claim
- failure to properly acknowledge the receipt of physician disputes
Practices such as these should be reported to the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). To file a complaint concerning an individual or “multiple like” incidents of payor abuse, please click here to access and use this document , which contains interactive hyperlinks that will assist you with the process of filing a complaint with the DMHC.
Blue Cross Required to Pay Healthcare Providers Money Owed to Them, Dating Back to 2007
On January 12, the California Department of Managed Health Care ordered Anthem Blue Cross to pay healthcare providers money owed to them, with interest, for services provided dating back to 2007. The action is a result of Anthem’s refusal to remediate providers following a financial claims audit that identified errors in payment of medical claims. Click here  for details.
Blue Shield Launches Recontracting Initiative
CMA has learned that Blue Shield is in the process of recontracting with physicians across the state. Notices to physicians are scheduled to be mailed on January 27. Click here  for details.
Minor Consent: What Physicians Need to Know When Treating Children
California law authorizes parents or guardians of minor children (anyone under the age of 18) to give informed consent for most medical decisions. However, there are some exceptions to this. Minors can consent to certain types of medical treatment under two types of statutes: status-based and treatment-based. Click here  for details.
Call for Nominations: 2012 Frederick K.M. Plessner Memorial Award
The Plessner Award honors a CMA member physician residing and practicing in California who best exemplifies the practice and ethics of a rural practitioner. Nominations must be submitted by May 25, 2012. Click here  for details.
Call for Nominations: 2012 Dev A. GnanaDev Membership Award
The GnanaDev Membership Award honors a CMA member physician residing and practicing in California who during the past year demonstrated a special or unique effort towards membership recruitment resulting in membership growth in their area. Nominations must be submitted by May 25, 2012. Click here  for details.
Blue Cross Acknowledges Mistake in E&M Provider Audit
In June 2011, Blue Cross sent letters to approximately 3,500 providers advising them that their use of level 4 and 5 E&M codes was greater in frequency than others in their specialty. In late December, the Blue Cross provider audit team identified an error that incorrectly labeled 2,800 physicians as outliers of these high-level codes, at which point it sent letters acknowledging and apologizing for the mistake. Click here  for details.
State Budget Shortfall to Extend Medi-Cal Cuts
When the California Legislature passed the 2011–12 state budget in June, they assumed a $10 billion increase in revenue based on projections of an improving economy. But early projections show the state will face a $12.8 billion deficit for the coming fiscal year. To account for the uncertainty of tax revenue, the Legislature included a set of automatic “trigger” cuts that would be implemented if revenues fell short. The trigger cuts were divided into two tiers, depending on how far revenues fell short. On December 13, Gov. Brown announced that, while revenues are higher than last year, they are not high as projected; he therefore pulled the budget trigger on the “Tier 1” cuts. Of the scheduled reductions, the extension of the March 2011 cuts to Medi-Cal managed care plans — expected to yield a $15 million reduction to the Medi-Cal program — is the most likely to affect physicians. Click here  for details.
Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program Open for Enrollment
Following a series of delays in December, enrollment in the California Department of Health Care Services’ EHR incentive program is now open to individual providers. The announcement means that individual physicians can begin enrolling in the program, making themselves eligible for $63,750 in total incentives. Click here  for details.
UCSD Physician Lawrence Friedman, MD, Named to California’s Telemedicine Board • Click Here 
SDCMS' Approved Elections Slate for 2012–13
SDCMS’ board of directors met on January 3, 2012, and approved the slate of physician candidates for elected office for the 2012–13 election, to be held April 2012. Click here  to review the slate and for instructions on nomination by petition.
SDCMS’ April 2012 Issue of San Diego Physician Magazine Will Focus on Physician Volunteerism
SDCMS physicians who would like to share their volunteer stories (either volunteering in the healthcare arena or in other areas) should contact Kyle Lewis at KLewis@SDCMS.org  or at (858) 300-2784.
“Lights Camera Action”
SDCMS Physicians: If you would like SDCMS to consider using you as an expert in your particular field when we receive requests from local media, please contact Kyle Lewis at KLewis@SDCMS.org  or at (858) 300-2784.
Nominations Being Accepted for the 11th Annual Live Well, San Diego! Public Health Champion Awards
County San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services is accepting nominations for the 11th Annual Live Well, San Diego! Public Health Champion Awards. The 2012 theme is “A Healthier America Begins Today. Join the Movement, San Diego!” These awards recognize the extraordinary achievements by individuals and organizations in areas of public health services that protect and promote the health of San Diego County residents. The deadline for nominations is February 3. For a nomination form or for more information, click here .
MEMBER BENEFITS …
Receive Free EHR Implementation Assistance
Primary care practices of 10 or fewer practitioners can receive assistance in EHR implementation (internal medicine, family, adolescent, pediatrics, OB/GYN, or general practice all qualify through ARRA funding). contact Rob Yeates at Rob.Yeates@SDCMS.org  or at (858) 300-2791.
Click Here  for a Corrections Sheet for SDCMS’ Recently Mailed San Diego County Physician Directory for 2012
SDCMS-CMA SEMINARS / WEBINARS / EVENTS — MARK YOUR CALENDARS
For further information or to register for any of the following SDCMS seminars, webinars, or events, visit http://SDCMS.org/event  or contact Serena Sauerheber at (858) 300-2779 or at Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org .
- JAN 25: Electronic Health Records: Best Practices (SDCMS webinar) • 6:30pm–7:30pm • Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org 
- JAN 25: Medicare E&M Audits (CMA webinar) • 12:15pm–2:00pm • http://www.cmanet.org/events/?p=events 
- JAN 26: Electronic Health Records: Best Practices (SDCMS webinar) • 11:30am–12:30pm • Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org 
- JAN 27, FEB 3, 10, 17, 24: Certified Medical Coder Course • 8:00am–4:00pm • Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org 
- FEB 1: Key Financial Ratios to Increase Profitability (CMA webinar) • 12:15pm–1:15pm • http://www.cmanet.org/events/?p=events 
- FEB 9: HIPAA 5010 (SDCMS webinar) • 11:30am–1:00pm • Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org 
- FEB 15: HIPAA Risk Analysis for Meaningful Use (CMA webinar) • 12:15pm–1:15pm • http://www.cmanet.org/events/?p=events 
- FEB 16: Tax Time (SDCMS seminar/webinar) • 11:30am–1:00pm • Serena.Sauerheber@SDCMS.org 
- MAR 1: Collections Strategies (SDCMS seminar/webinar) • 11:30am–1:00pm
- MAR 7: Managing Difficult Employees and Reducing Conflict in the Practice (CMA webinar) • 12:15pm–1:15pm • http://www.cmanet.org/events/?p=events 
- MAR 15: Surviving Economic Times: Avoiding Economic Lawsuits (SDCMS seminar/webinar) • 11:30am–1:00pm
- MAR 21: HIPAA Update 2012 (CMA webinar) • 12:15pm–1:15pm • http://www.cmanet.org/events/?p=events 
- MAR 24: Media Training (SDCMS workshop) • 8:00am–12:00pm
- MAR 29: ICD-10 Training (SDCMS seminar/webinar) • 11:30am–1:00pm
- MAR 31: Solo Practice Strategies for Docs (SDCMS seminar/webinar) • 8:30am–11:00am
- JUN 2: SDCMS White Coat Gala • 6–11pm • Hyatt Regency La Jolla • For sponsorship information, contact Lauren Banfe at (858) 565-7930 or at Lauren.Banfe@SDCMS.org  • For ticketing information, contact Jen Ohmstede at (858) 300-2781 or at JOhmstede@SDCMS.org 
SAN DIEGO COUNTY HEALTHCARE EVENTS
To submit a community healthcare event for possible publication, email KLewis@SDCMS.org . Events should be physician-focused and should take place in or near San Diego County.
- FEB 3: Workshop to provide local businesses with the information they need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide important updates on recent changes to the law. • 7:30am at Café 67 in Lakeside • For more information and to RSVP, call the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce at (619) 561-1031.
- FEB 4–5: Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth: Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, Education, and Research • Catamaran Hotel, San Diego • http://cme.ucsd.edu/bridging/ 
- FEB 9–11, 2012: 18th Annual Network of Oncology Clinicians and Researchers (NOCR) Meeting • Caesars Palace, Las Vegas • http://www.nocrannualmeeting.com/2012/index.asp 
- FEB 16: Introducing New Technologies to Patient Care: The Promise and the Perils • UC San Diego Telemedicine and Medical Education Building, La Jolla • http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1012115 
- FEB: 17–18: Cell Society: 2nd Annual Clinical Meeting (Register Now for a $100 Discount — Code: sdcms100) • Coronado Island Marriott Resort • https://xmedicacme.com/cell_society 
- FEB 25: UC San Diego, Division of Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Grand Rounds • 9:00am–12:30pm • UCSD Moores Cancer Center, Goldberg Auditorium, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 • RSVP to Amy Patterson at email@example.com  or at (619) 543-6084
- FEB 25: Sharp HealthCare’s 2012 Cardiology Conference for Primary Care Clinicians • Marriott Marquis and Marina, 333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego • Contact Stacey Hunt at (858) 499-4530 or at firstname.lastname@example.org 
- FEB 25–26: Safe Opioid Prescribing • Palm Springs, Calif. • http://www.painmed.org/safeprescribing/ 
- MAR 10–17: Timmy Global Health Mission Trip to Ecuador • Clinics seeing approximately 40 patients per provider per day. • http://www.timmyglobalhealth.org 
- MAR 12–16: Topics and Advances in Internal Medicine • Catamaran Resort Hotel, San Diego • http://cme.ucsd.edu/internalmed 
- MAR 15: Prescription Opioid Misuse Academy: The Dark Side of Prescription Opioids • An Educational Program of the American College of Medical Toxicology • Catamaran Resort Hotel, Mission Bay • http://www.acmt.net 
- MAR 17–18: Topics and Advances in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine • Catamaran Resort Hotel, San Diego • http://cme.ucsd.edu/internalmed 
- APR 15: Sharon’s Ride Run Walk for Epilepsy 2012! • Deanza Cove Mission Bay Park • $25 for Adults / $10 for Ages 7–17 / Free for Ages Six and Under • 7:30am-1:00pm • http://sharonsride2012.kintera.org/ 
- APR 19–22: California Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting • Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad • http://www.coa.org/coa-annual-meeting.html 
- APR 27–29: 15th Annual California Health Care Leadership Academy • Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, Calif. • Models of healthcare financing and delivery will change as implementation of federal health reform kicks into high gear. What are the best options for successful medical practice in the new environment? Hear from the experts and leaders of change, and attend a comprehensive slate of practice management seminars and workshops to position your practice for success. Details coming in January — stay tuned!
- NOV 2: 13th Annual Science and Clinical Application of Integrative Holistic Medicine • Hilton San Diego Resort
- Scripps Whittier Professional Education and Training Programs 2012: http://www.scripps.org/assets/documents/final_draft_professional_educati... 
"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
— Thomas Jefferson