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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 - 2013 - Volume 2 - Issue 12


Click here to read the November/December 2013 issue of SSV Medicine.

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Save the Date – 2014 SSVMS and Alliance Annual Awards and Installation Dinner.  The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society and Alliance invite members and a guest to attend the Annual Awards and Installation Dinner, Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6:00- 9:00pm, Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1209 L Street, Sacramento.  José Alberto Arévalo, MD will be installed as President 2014 and the following awards will be presented:  Golden Stethoscope Award – Bradley E. Chipps, MD; Medical Honor Award – John W. Young, MD; Medical Community Service Award – Cordova Community Council for “Kid’s Day in the Park;” Dorothy Dozier Helping Hands Award – Susan Brownridge; CMA-Alliance Dedicated County Member – Celeste Chin.

Gardenia Azul will fill the evening with tropical music for your listening or dancing pleasure.  The trio of musicians have performed and recorded in the Sacramento region for many years with songs popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, and rich in the heritage of Mexican and Cuban music.  Look for your invitation in the mail.  RSVPs must be received by January 13, 2014, 10:00 a.m.  Contact SSVMS for more information (916) 452-2671 or

CMA Pushes Medicare Reform.  In November, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee released an unprecedented bipartisan and bicameral “discussion draft” to repeal the SGR and reform the Medicare payment system.  The draft legislation did not, however, include a physician payment locality update.  In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved another bipartisan bill (H.R. 2810) to overhaul the SGR — this bill does include a CMA-sponsored "GCPI fix" that would update the California county-based localities to the same Metropolitan Statistical Areas used to determine payment rates for hospitals.  The bill would also hold the physicians in rural counties harmless from the corresponding cuts that would otherwise occur.  CMA is urging the two committees to incorporate the California locality update into the legislation to repeal the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.  Click here for more information and to read a copy of CMA’s letter.


CMA Medi-Cal Survival Guide Now Available.  To help physicians understand the impact recent and upcoming changes in Medi-Cal will have on their practices, CMA has published a Medi-Cal Survival Toolkit.  The toolkit contains a summary on many of the changes, important dates, options for physicians and links to important resources.

Covered California Enrollment is Underway.  Beginning on October 1, Covered California, the State’s health benefit exchange, opened up the enrollment process for California’s new online insurance marketplace; one that is expected to provide subsidized health care to millions of Californians in the next few years.

Exchanges, such as Covered California are a key piece of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and are intended to be a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase affordable health coverage.  Through Covered California, many people will be eligible for financial assistance to help pay their premiums and even co-pays.  Californians will also be able to find out if they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal.  Premium assistance is available to individuals and families who meet certain income requirements and do not have access to affordable, adequate health insurance through their employers.

In order to have coverage go into effect on January 1, 2014, patients must complete their enrollment by December 23, 2013.  The previous deadline of December 15 was recently extended by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.  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 FAQ.



MICRA Patient Education Brochure Now Available.  The CMA-led collation 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.  MICRA opponents have already begun collecting signatures in an attempt to place language on the November 2014 ballot.  California trial lawyers are attempting to lift MICRA’s cap on speculative, non-economic damages, presenting ballot language that seeks to more than quadruple the maximum award for non-economic damages to roughly $1.1 million.  A change like that would mean increased health care costs for everyone, and decreased access to care for patients.  Contact Yna Shimabukuro at or call (916) 551-2567 to receive 50 copies for your office.

Influenza Update Offered Online Through IMQ for CME.  The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) is offering a new online influenza update course for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.  Find out everything you need know for the upcoming 2013-2014 influenza season in this on-demand webinar covering the latest recommendations from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the new vaccines on the market and what you need to know about emerging novel influenza viruses.  IMQ Online Education provides access to courses for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit TM.  The courses can be accessed from anywhere on any internet-enabled device.  The system also offers easy and convenient tracking of course participation and credit.  Discounts are available for CMA members.  Browse the IMQ Online Education catalog at

New SSVMS/CMA Member Benefit: Prescriber’s Letter.  SSVMS/CMA members can now receive 43 percent off Prescriber’s Letter (PL) subscriptions.  PL is an advisory service for physicians and other prescribers, to keep them up-to-date on new developments in drug therapy.  PL provides unbiased recommendations that help physicians improve patient compliance, avoid costly medication errors and prescribe cost-effectively.  Subscribe at the special CMA member rate of $147/year (regularly $257) and get the monthly Prescriber’s Letter, online access to PL Detail-Documents, PLUS up to 56 CME credits annually from reading the Letter, and point-of-care credit when you search the database for answers. Go to to learn more and get the special CMA member rate.


CMA Physicians’ and Dentists’ Confidential Line.  A peer-to-peer referral service for physician in need of assistance with substance abuse, stress, anger management and other similar health issues.  Callers do not need to be CMA members and all services are completely confidential.  Click here for more information.

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance (SSVMSA) – One Year FREE Membership.  Spouses, domestic partners, physicians, residents, and medical students are all part of our medical community and are encouraged to join the SSVMSA.  The SSVMSA provides volunteer support for community projects, medical student and nursing scholarships, and community health education programs.  Come to one of our monthly lunch socials, wine tasting dinners, or join us for a well-earned “date” night.  For more information visit or contact Kathy Greenhalgh at  The first year of membership is FREE!


The following webinars are offered at no cost to SSVMS members and staff, with a non-member cost of $99.  Please note, the ICD-10 series does have an associated cost which has been significantly discounted for members.  For more information, or to register, click on the links, or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

DECEMBER 4:  Medicare: 2014 New Rules, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  This webinar will focus on final rules from the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that will affect physician practices during 2014 and beyond.  This will help you prepare for any continuing or new programs that may negatively impact payments, as well as prepare you for revisions to policies that may impact your billing and reimbursement.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

DECEMBER 3-4:  CME Essentials, (Conference).  The California Medical Association’s Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) is now accepting registrations for its CME Essentials workshop.  The program, a “nuts and bolts” workshop for Continuing Medical Education (CME) providers, will take place on December 3-4, 2013, in Los Angeles at the State Bar of California.  Click here to register for CME Essentials.

DECEMBER 5:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians:  Part 1, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Give physicians and practitioners a high-level overview of ICD-10's new documentation requirements.  This 3-part series covers the key information necessary to understand key documentation elements to help you not only prepare for ICD-10, but for all the regulations surrounding your practice today.  This series continued on December 12 and 19.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

DECEMBER 10:  California’s Health Benefit Exchange:  Updates on Key Developments Within the Exchange, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  California’s health insurance exchange, named Covered California, is now open for business and individuals are enrolling for the 2014 benefit year.  Depending on health plans’ distribution of enrollees, a surge of physician contracting efforts may occur as these plans attempt to ensure adequate networks are in place prior to January 1, 2014.  In this presentation you will learn more about California’s exchange and what it will mean for physicians as well as gain an understanding of some of the risks and benefits of being contracted to provide services to exchange enrollees.


DECEMBER 11:  ACA and the Insurance Impact on You as a Small Business Owner, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  This presentation will provide an overview of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it will impact your practice from the business side.  Determine health care coverage options for you and your employees under the Affordable Care Act.  Explore the ways the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact you and your employees in 2014.

DECEMBER 12:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians:  Part 2, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Give physicians and practitioners a high-level overview of ICD-10's new documentation requirements.This 3-part series covers the key information necessary to understand key documentation elements to help you not only prepare for ICD-10, but for all the regulations surrounding your practice today.  This series started on December 5 and will finish on December 19.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

DECEMBER 19:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians:  Part 3, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Give physicians and practitioners a high-level overview of ICD-10's new documentation requirements.This 3-part series covers the key information necessary to understand key documentation elements to help you not only prepare for ICD-10, but for all the regulations surrounding your practice today.  The first two parts of this series occurred on December 5 and 12.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

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.)

JANUARY 11:  34th Annual Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Benefit, 5:30pm – 9:00pm, UC Davis Medical Center Education Building.  The UC Davis School of Medicine is hosting a “Hollywood Glamour” themed event which will feature wine tasting, beer tasting, samples from local restaurants, live music, and both a silent and live auction.  All proceeds will support the UC Davis School of Medicine Student-Run Clinics serving the underserved populations of Sacramento.  For more information and ticket sales, please click here.

JANUARY 16:  2014 North State Economic Forecast Conference:  Healthy Time to Grow, Gold Country Event Center, 4020 Olive Hwy., Oroville, CA.  With the majority of the Affordable Care Act coming online in 2014, the year promises to bring about rapid and far-reaching changes to health care and the way we do business.  This conference will provide a frank, in-depth appraisal of impacts of the ACA on the national, state and regional economies.  Featured speakers include John Chiang, State Controller; Dr. Robert Eyler, Director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University; and several others.  Click here for more information or to register.