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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 11


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

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Time to Renew SSVMS/CMA Membership for 2014.  Help continue the fight to preserve the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) by renewing your 2014 membership online today.  Not a member?  Email your CV to and we’ll take care of the rest!  Click here to learn more about the benefits of membership.

Covered California FAQ for Physicians and Staff Now Available.  CMA, SSVMS and the CMA Foundation have recently published a FAQ to assist physicians with understanding how Covered California will impact patients and physician practices.  Click here to learn more about which patients are eligible for subsidies through Covered California, how patients can apply for coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal, and how much patients should expect to pay out of pocket for health care services.


Covered California:  Resources for Physicians.  For information on contracting and providing services to Covered California enrollees, visit CMA’s resource page, “Health Insurance Exchange Resources for Physicians,” at  For further assistance, contact CMA’s Physician Hotline at (800) 786-4262.

Governor Signs CMA-Sponsored Bills.  Several CMA sponsored bills have been signed into law, including:  
-Physician Workforce – Medically-Underserved Communities (AB 1288):  Requires priority review status be given to the license applications of physicians who can demonstrate that they intend to practice in a medically-underserved area or serve a medically-underserved population.
-California Physician Corps Program (AB 565):  Refines the eligibility criteria for a successful physician retention program, the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program. The program provides grants of up to $105,000 to physicians who agree to practice in medically-underserved areas of the state for at least three years.
-Emergency Room Funding (SB 191):  CMA and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) cosponsored a bill that will extend funding for the Maddy Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Fund.
-CURES Database (SB 809):  Provides funding for ongoing maintenance and staffing of the Controlled Substances and Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). Click here to download the most recent copy of CMA’s Legislative Hot List.


SSVMS/CMA Delegates Set Policy at the 2013 House of Delegates.  More than 500 California physicians convened in Anaheim October 11-13 for the 2013 House of Delegates (HOD), the annual meeting of the CMA.  Several resolutions where adopted as policy, including increased reporting of immunizations, HIV testing for patients with STD, required graphic image labeling on tobacco products, reimbursement for telephone/electronic patient management, and changes to the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers.  The full actions of the HOD are available to members at, under the "documents" tab.

SSVMS Public Health Programs Receive Prestigious Awards.  SSVMS’ Sacramento Physicians’ Initiative to Reach out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT) program was recently awarded the CMA Foundation’s Robert D. Sparks Leadership Award for 2013.  This award is given annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary interest and efforts in improving community health.  The SPIRIT program is a collaborative of SSVMS, Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and the UC Davis Health System.  SPIRIT patients are working poor who do not receive benefits through their employers and who cannot afford to buy health insurance, or are without private medical insurance, yet ineligible for Medi-Cal.  To date, SPIRIT volunteers have donated $8.4 million in care to nearly 40,000 patients. 

In addition, SSVMS’ Walk with a Doc program recently received the 2013 CMA Presidents Forum Award for outstanding public health project.  Click here for more information on SSVMS’ programs.

Physicians Renewing Licenses in October and November May Experience Delays.  Physicians who have licenses that expire in October and November are encouraged to submit renewals as soon as possible to avoid licensing delays that could impact their ability to practice.  The Medical Board of California is currently transitioning to a new online licensing and enforcement system and this could result in disruptions in cashiering and other services.  The disruption will affect both online and mail renewals.  Click here for more information.

CDPH Launches New Public Health Reporting Gateway.  The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently launched an online portal for public health reporting called the CDPH Health Information Exchange (HIE) Gateway.  Physicians are encouraged to register for the gateway, which will serve as a single point of entry for data submission to many state public health programs, including the California Immunization Registries (CAIR) and the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE).  Click here for more information.

Palliative Care and POLST.  CMA publishes a POLST kit, available in English and Spanish, which includes legal forms and wallet identification cards, and answers many of the most frequently asked questions about end of life issues.  These kits are available in CMA's online resource library at


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

NOVEMBER 7 – 9:  Stepping Up to Leadership Conference.  The Institute for Medical Quality and the PACE Program at UC San Diego are proud to announce an unparalleled opportunity for medical staff leaders.  The Stepping Up to Leadership program trains medical staff leaders in issues of communication, problem-solving, and improving outcomes for patients and staff.  This program will be offered in San Antonio, Texas (November 7 - 9, 2013); San Diego, California (March 6 – 8, 2014); and Washington DC (May 8 – 10, 2014).  Click here for more information and to register.

NOVEMBER 13:  Managing Difficult Employees and Reducing Conflict, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:45pm.  Very few medical or business schools teach hands-on human resources management skills and techniques.  This information-packed workshop will teach you the secrets of how to lead, coach and manage difficult employees; set practice values; and reduce conflict in the practice.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.


NOVEMBER 14:  Open Payments Sunshine Rule, (Webinar), 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act requires the establishment of a transparency program, now known as Open Payments.  The program increases public awareness of financial relationships between drug and device manufacturers and certain health care providers.  Click here to access the webinar, or by using the following:  Dial In (877) 267-1577; Meeting ID 994 209 357; this meeting does not require a password.

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.

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.)

NOVEMBER 5:  Shriners Hospitals for Children Lunchtime Lecture – Stem Cells.  Location:  Shriners Hospitals for Children 2425 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento, in the first-floor auditorium.  12 noon.  The public is invited to join scientist and author, Dr. Paul Knoepfler, in a journey into the world of stem cells.  The lecture is free and reservations are not required.  For more information, click here.

NOVEMBER 14:  Physicians for a National Health Program, Sacramento Region, (Meeting), 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 5:30pm dinner/6:00pm program.  Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Sacramento Region invite you to join them for dinner and a presentation from featured speaker Dr. Henry Abrons, President of PNHP.  For more information and/or to RSVP (dinner) please contact Dr. Glennah Trochet at or (916) 494-9360.


NOVEMBER 19:  Geriatric Oral Health:  The good, the bad and the scary. Location:  Sacramento District Dental Society classroom, 2035 Hurley Way, Suite 200, Sacramento, 6:00pm – 9:00pm.  The Sacramento District Dental Society invites the medical community, health care community, hospital community and dental community to come together to discuss geriatric care in health care facilities.  Data will be presented to show how Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento reduced the incidence of HAP by 50% -- 75% from 2012 to 2013.  Click here for more information and to register.  3.00 CEU CREDITS.