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SSV Medical Society News

SSVMS Medical Society News is a monthly e-bulletin from the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) containing up-to-date information and breaking news on issues impacting physicians practicing in El Dorado, Sacramento and Yolo counties. To receive your free subscription, contact SSVMS at (916) 452-2671 or


SSV Medical Society News - 2014 - Volume 3 - Issue 3



Click here to read the March/April 2014 issue of SSV Medicine.

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Breaking News – Senate Passes SGR Bill, the “California GPCI Fix,” and Delays ICD-10 for One Year Until October 2015.  On March 31, the Senate voted to support a year-long patch to stop the 24 percent Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut that was to go into effect on April 1.  The bill, which already passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, provides a 0.5 percent physician payment update through December 31, 2014, and then a 0 percent update until April 1, 2015.  The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.  Despite Congress’ failure to achieve long-term reform, there is a silver-lining for California physicians.  H.R. 4302 delays the costly, burdensome ICD-10 coding system for one year until Oct 2015.

Most importantly, starting in 2017, CMS will be mandated to move the California county-based localities to Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).  This will substantially increase Medicare payments for physicians in El Dorado, Sacramento, Yolo counties.  Moreover, as local practice costs (i.e., rent, staff wages) continue to rise, Medicare payments will keep pace.  Click here for more information.

SSVMS and CMA would like to thank local physicians who responded to our call to action to contact your congressional representatives to urge them to support the California fix.  Together, we are stronger.

Trial Lawyers File Signatures to Qualify Ballot Measure to Increase MICRA’s Cap.  On March 24, trial lawyers and their front group, Consumer Watchdog, filed over 800,000 signatures to qualify a ballot measure that seeks to more than quadruple the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) cap on non-economic damages, lifting the amount to roughly $1.2 million.  The initiative also contains provisions regarding drug testing of physicians, and places unrealistic and infeasible requirements on the state’s prescription drug database, which proponents have said were only added because they polled well and are the “ultimate sweetener.”  California physicians must stand together in opposition of this ballot measure.

If successful, the trial attorneys' ballot measure would have devastating effects on California’s health care industry and could also pass on “hundreds of millions of dollars” annually to state and local governments, according to an impartial analysis by the state’s Legislative Analyst. Click here to join SSVMS/CMA.  Click here to learn more about the attack on MICRA and what you can do to help.

Reminder: Reserve Your Tickets for The Art of Medicine Auction & DinnerJoin the SSVMS Alliance for an evening of fine art, fine wines, good food, and wonderful music on Saturday, April 26, at Del Paso Country Club, 5:00pm – 9:00pm.  Proceeds from the auction will go directly towards the Alliance’s Community Endowment Fund which is the sole source of funding for the Alliance’s grant and scholarship programs.  Limited spots are available.  Click here for more information or to make your reservation.

Deadline for 2013 Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Payments Extended.  The deadline for providers to apply for Medi-Cal electronic health records (EHR) incentive payments for the 2013 program year has been extended by one month to April 30, 2014.  After that date, the State Level Registry (SLR) will no longer accept 2013 applications.  For more information and updates, visit the SLR website at or contact CMA's reimbursement helpline, (888) 401-5911 or


Interested in Serving on a CMA Council or Committee in 2015?  SSVMS will be submitting names of members who wish to be nominated to the following CMA Councils and Committees:  Council on Ethical Affairs, Council on Information Technology, Council on Judicial Affairs, Council on Legislation, Committee on Medical Services, and Committee on Professional Liability.  Click here for a description of the committees’ purpose, responsibilities and meeting times.  Deadline is May 1.  Contact:  Chris Stincelli, or (916) 456-2018.

Annual Proxy Campaign for the 2014 NORCAL Mutual Board of Directors.  Policyholders who vote electronically by April 25, will have two chances to win an iPad Air™, and iPad mini™, or a $200 Visa® Gift Card.  Proxy votes submitted between April 25 and May 26 will not be included in the prize drawing.  The election of board members will take place at the Annual Meeting of Members on May 31st in San Francisco.  Exercise you right to vote by clicking here.  For more information on NORCAL’s SSVMS member discount, contact NORCAL’s Policyholder Services at (877) 443-7232 or visit


The following webinars are offered at no cost to SSVMS members and staff, with a non-member cost of $99.  For more information, or to register, click on the links, or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

APRIL 10 – 13:  17th Annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy. (Conference), San Diego Convention Center.  Featuring a keynote address by Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  This conference will examine the most significant challenges facing health care today and present proven models and innovative approaches to transform your organization’s care delivery and business practices.  Click here for more information or to register.

APRIL 22:  CMA's 40th Annual Legislative Leadership Conference.  The California Medical Association (CMA) will host its 2014 Legislative Leadership Conference on April 22 in Sacramento.  SSVMS members are invited to attend a legislative and policy overview in the morning, and to meet with local legislators in the afternoon.  Click here to register, or contact SSVMS at (916) 452-2671 or for more information.

SSVMS’ free walking program is open to anyone interested in taking steps for health.  Anyone can attend...tell your patients!  Walks are held on Saturday mornings at local parks and are led by SSVMS member physicians.  Click here for more information, including meeting times and locations.  Interested in leading a Walk?  Contact Kris Wallach at or (916) 453-0254.

El Dorado, Sacramento & Yolo County Healthcare Events(To submit a community healthcare event for possible publication, email  Events should be physician-focused and should take place in or near El Dorado, Sacramento, or Yolo counties.)

APRIL 3:  Mission Possible Donation Summit.  Location:  Sheraton Grand Hotel, 7:30am – 4:15pm (with a special physician-only luncheon session 11:45am – 1:00pm).Expand your knowledge of evidence-based best practices in clinical management of organ, eye and tissue donors.  Complimentary CME’s (6.75), CE’s (5.5), Social Work Credit (5.5), Parking and Meals.  This summit is free and space is limited.  Click here to register or for more information.

APRIL 8:  Healthcare Summit Transitional Care Management.  Location:  Four Points by Sheraton Sacramento International Airport, 4900 Duckhorn Drive, Sacramento, 4:00pm – 8:00pm.  Northern California Physicians Management Group invites you to attend its 2nd Annual Assembly of Healthcare and Industry Leaders to discuss the processes to the continuum of care, and patient access to a physician’s office to avoid the risk of hospitalization and readmission.  Click here for more information or to register.

APRIL 23:  Medical History Lecture Series – MedStart. Location:  SSVMS, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 7:00pm.  Representatives from some of the over 70 medical technology companies in the Sacramento region have been invited to present their exciting new developments and products – demonstrations will be provided.  Please call (916) 452-2671 to reserve your seat.

APRIL 25:  The Healthcare Movie, Movie Screening Event.  Location:  UC Davis Medical Center Education Building, 4610 X Street, 6:30pm.  The Healthcare Movie is a documentary comparing the Canadian healthcare system to that of the United States.  The producers of the movie will be present to answer any questions and discuss the movie at its end.  This event is sponsored by CaHPSA and the Sacramento Chapter of PNHP – California.  For more information, click here.

APRIL 26:  The Art of Medicine Auction & Dinner.  Location: Del Paso Country Club, 5:00pm – 9:00pm.  The SSVMS Alliance is hosting an evening of fine art, fine wines, good food, and wonderful music.  Proceeds from the auction will go directly towards the Alliance’s Community Endowment Fund which is the sole source of funding for the Alliance’s grant and scholarship programs.  Limited spots are available.  Click here for more information or to make your reservation.

APRIL 27:  Physicians for Social Responsibility Dinner.  Location: Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Sacramento, 6:00pm.  You are invited to the Physicians for Social Responsibility/Sacramento scholarship essay contest finals dinner.  The ten student finalists will be presenting their essays based on the quote “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world,” by the late Nelson Mandela.  $15,000 in scholarships will be awarded.  Dinner is $35/adult, $20/student.  For tickets and information click here, or email or call (916) 955-6333.

MAY 3:  Assessing the Aging Physician – Part 2 – Legal Aspects(Part 1 was held on March 15: Neuropsychological and Psychological Factors Pertaining to Fitness for Duty); Location:  SSVMS, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 9:30am – 12:30pm  The California Public Protection & Physician Health, Inc. (CPPPH), is offering this workshop to all interested persons with clinical roles related to neuropsychological examinations or roles related to policies and procedures in medical groups and medical staffs and hospital administration.  Advance registration is required, and you may register for one or both sessions.  For more information and to register, click here.

MAY 30 & 31:  Latino Health Conference. Location:  Santa Clara Convention Center.  The educational program, sponsored by The Permanente Medical Group, UC Davis Health Systems and Latino Physicians of California, will provide evidence-based strategies for delivering more effective care to Latino patients.  This conference is designed specifically for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, fellows, residents and medical students.  Click here for more information and to register.