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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 1


Click here to read the January/February 2014 issue of SSV Medicine.

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Click here to renew your SSVMS/CMA membership for 2014, or to join as a first-time member.

RSVP TODAY:  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.  Early bird deadline is March 14, 2014.  Click here for more information or to register.

Governor Brown's Proposed Budget Eliminates Retroactive Medi-Cal Cuts.  The State of California will not be moving forward with retroactive collection of a 10 percent cut to the Medi-Cal program, a win for physicians and patients in California.  However, the Governor’s budget does not stop the 10 percent cuts moving forward.  Click here for more information.


Making Sense of 2014 Medicare Changes.  With the new 2014 fee schedule, the temporary halt to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut and an interim .5 percent payment increase, Medicare physicians are understandably confused about what impact these changes will have on their practices.  Click here for a summary of the various Medicare payment changes facing physicians in 2014.

Ten Covered California Tips for Physicians.  Covered California reports that as of December 31, 2013, more than 27,227 individuals in the four Sacramento region counties have enrolled in exchange plans.  The counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo represent about 5 percent of the statewide enrollment.  Of those enrolled in the Sacramento region, 83% were eligible for financial subsidies.  With that figure expected to grow by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, it is critical that physicians and their staff know what to expect.  Click here for a CMA tip sheet that answers some of the more common questions regarding physician participation in Covered California.

CMA Develops Simple Tool to Look Up Physician Participation Status in Exchange Plans. Even if you did not intentionally contract with any exchange plans, it is possible that physicians may have been unknowingly opted into an exchange plan network.  If you've attempted to look up your exchange plan participation status on the Covered California website, you know that it's a time consuming process.  CMA has created a quick and easy tool to look up your exchange plan participation.  The tool, available to members only, requires simply your first and last name and middle initial to view which plans list you as a contracting physician (as of September 2013, the most recent data released by Covered California).  To access the tool, visit

Covered California Resources for Patients.  For more information regarding enrollment through the exchange, patients should visit  For more information on how Covered California will impact patients and physician practices, download CMA’s Covered California FAQ.


MICRA Patient Education Brochures Now Available.  The California Medical Association (CMA)-led coalition working to protect California’s landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has published a patient education brochure to help inform California voters about the ballot initiative being pushed by trial attorneys.  The ballot measure would impact access to care for patients, causing community health centers and physician offices across the state to close.  The pamphlet, available in English and Spanish, can be distributed to patients during office visits, and will be accompanied by talking points for physicians, so you can have meaningful conversations with patients on the real impacts the proposed ballot measure would have, if passed.  If you would like to receive brochures for your office, please contact Yna Shimabukuro at or (916) 551-2567.

Medical Board Will Collect CURES Fees Beginning April 1.  The Medical Board of California announced it will soon begin collecting an additional $6 per year on physician license applications and renewals to fund the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).  The fees, authorized by SB 809, provide funding for ongoing maintenance and staffing of CURES.  Physicians can expect to see an additional $12 ($6 per year) added to their licensing fees beginning April 1, 2014.  Click here for more information.

Closing Your Practice?  Need Ideas for Disposing of Your Equipment?  If you are planning on closing your practice and looking for ideas on disposing of office items, there are many foreign countries in dire need of medical supplies/equipment.  Click here to contact Dr. Robert LaPerriere, Chair, of the SSVMS Historical Committee and Curator of SSVMS’ Museum of Medical History about donating items to be sent overseas.


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

FEBRUARY 5:  Managing Medicare in 2014:  New Rules and Tools, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  This webinar will focus on new rules for hospital admissions; the newest situation on the Medicare fee schedule and how to find it; the newest information about ICD-10 transition; documentation standards including using EHR, what causes denials, critical care, cloning; who can ask for clinical records, how to respond, and how to appeal any denial; and a look at the latest Medicare rules and likely changes in health care.

FEBRUARY 13:  MICRA:  Where We Are Today, (Webinar), 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  Learn more about the critical protections provided by California’s landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), the struggle to preserve it, and the upcoming fight launched by the trial lawyer-supported Consumer Watchdog. This is the first part of a series that will cover the ongoing fight to protect MICRA. Register now and stay informed!

FEBRUARY 19:  Transitioning Your Practice:  Retiring, Selling or Buying a Practice, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  This seminar will discuss options, including: bringing in an associate, recruiting or selling the practice. Included is the latest information on valuation methodology for selling, divorce or estate planning.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.


FEBRUARY 20:  Personal Belief Exemptions to Required Immunizations:  A New Role for Physicians, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Learn how a new law to increase childhood vaccination could impact your practice.  As of this year, parents who want to exempt their child from one or more required immunizations because of their personal beliefs must provide to the school or child care facility a statement signed and dated by a health care practitioner and parent indicating that the practitioner has provided, and the parent has received, information about the benefits and risks of immunizations and the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. The webinar will cover the background behind the law, the new requirements, and how it is expected to work in practice.

FEBRUARY 26:  Fraud and Abuse:  Dangers and Defenses, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Presented by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), this webinar will help you understand the importance of documentation, present suggestions for implementing internal controls, and increase awareness of preventive measures to protect your practice from fraud or abuse.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

MARCH 5:  HIPAA Security Risk Analysis:  How to Make Sense of this Requirement, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Conducting a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis is a requirement of the HIPAA Security Rule.  It is also a CORE Meaningful Use (Stage 1 and 2) measure to earn EHR incentives and avoid Medicare penalties.  This webinar reviews what is required to properly fulfill this compliance obligation and at the same time secure your patient's health information.  Failure to conduct a Risk Analysis or conducting an insufficient one are among the most common deficiencies found during compliance investigations.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

MARCH 6 – 8:  Stepping Up to Leadership Conference, (Conference), Loews Coronado Bay Hotel, San Diego.  This conference, offered by the Institute for Medical Quality and the PACE Program at UC Dan Diego trains medical staff leaders in issues of communication, problem-solving, and improving outcomes for patients and staff.  It offers unique, hands-on and interactive learning opportunities, excellent faculty, and course work on effective staff leadership, credentialing and privileging, assessing the needs of the organization, using CME effectively, resolving on-call issues, improved communication skills, using quality measures effectively, legal considerations and managing disruptive or impaired colleagues.  For more information or to register, click here.


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.)

MARCH 15 & MAY 3:  Assessing the Aging Physician – A Two Part SeriesPart 1 on March 15: Neuropsychological and Psychological Factors Pertaining to Fitness for Duty; Part 2 on May 3: Legal Aspects.  Location:  SSVMS, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 9:30am – 12:30pm  The California Public Protection & Physician Health, Inc. (CPPPH), is offering this workshop to 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.

APRIL 26:  The Art of Medicine Auction & Dinner, at 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.