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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 9


Click here to read the September/October 2013 issue of SSV Medicine.

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You Are Invited to Attend an Open Meeting of the SSVMS Board of Directors, September 9, 2013, 6:00pm, at the Sutter Cancer Center, Buhler Building, Rooms 2, 3 & 4, 2800 L Street, Sacramento.  Dustin Corcoran, CEO, California Medical Association will provide an important update on the efforts to preserve MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, plus updates from the El Dorado, Sacramento and Yolo County Health Officers.  Click here to view the meeting announcement and details.

MICRA Watch.  Trial attorneys have submitted ballot language to repeal key provisions of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).  Physicians should be well versed on California's landmark malpractice reforms and why they are crucial to the continued viability of physician practices in California.  Click here to learn more and to contribute to the fight to preserve MICRA.


Medi-Cal Cuts & Claw-back to Begin October 1 & January 9.  The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced that it will begin to implement the 10% Medi-Cal physician payment rate reduction on October 1, 2013, in Medi-Cal managed care, and on January 9, 2014, in fee-for-service (FFS).  DHCS also announced that it would be retroactively implementing the cuts for FFS providers to June 1, 2011, when the law authorizing the cuts went into effect.  DHCS said it would recoup a percentage of provider payments to recover overpaid funds during the retroactive period.  These retroactive payment recoveries will not occur until after the prospective 10% payment reductions are implemented.  Additional details were not provided, but assuming the retroactive period ends as of the date the prospective cuts begin, the entire portion for which there would be a 'claw-back' cut would be June 1, 2011 through January 9, 2014, or over 29 months. SSVMS/CMA is working on obtaining clarification, and we will distribute such information as it becomes available.


Click here to find your California State Senator and Assemblymember, and let them know what your plans are now that the cuts to Medi-Cal are set to be implemented.


CMA Has and Will Continue to Fight to Stop Cuts to Medi-Cal.  In March of 2011, the California Legislature passed and Gov. Brown signed AB 97, which included a 10% reimbursement rate cut for physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and other Medi-Cal providers.  Shortly thereafter, CMA filed a lawsuit, CMA et al. v. Douglas et al., to stop the State of California from implementing the 10% cut included in the 2011-12 state budget.

In January 2013, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a district court that found that the cuts would irreparably harm the millions of patients who rely on Medi-Cal for healthcare.  The Ninth Circuit also vacated the preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of these rate reductions.  CMA requested a rehearing from the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was denied.

CMA and the other plaintiffs in the case – the California Hospital Association, California Dental Association, California Pharmacists Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, California Association of Medical Product Suppliers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and American Medical Response – subsequently filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay to prevent the cuts going forward.  This request was denied a day later. CMA will continue to fight to stop these onerous cuts.


CMA Negotiates Substantial Change to CURES Bill.  CMA has negotiated changes to a bill that funds and upgrades the Controlled Substances and Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), and has changed its neutral position to support.  CMA believes the proposed upgrades will make it easier for physicians and other prescribers and dispensers to access real time data.  Click here for more information.

Are You Prepared for the Medicare Part B Transition from Palmetto to Noridian?  September 16, 2013, is the cutover date for transition of the Medicare Part B fee-for-service contractor from Palmetto GBA to Noridian.  Although every effort has been made to minimize the burden to practices and to ensure that physicians continue to receive their Medicare payments in a timely fashion after transition, physician practices will have to make some changes in their processes, including but not limited to:

  1. Electronic claim submitters must change the Contractor ID (Payor ID) on their transmissions.  The new ID for Northern California jurisdiction is 01112.  Please note, the change to the Contractor ID should not be made before September 12 for Part B claims.
  2. Paper claim submitters will submit claims to a new address.  These will be announced in upcoming articles and in CMA’s Medicare Transition Guide.
  3. There will be a new toll-free telephone number (855) 609-9960 for all telephone inquiries to Noridian (this number will not be activated until September 16, 2013).

Practices are also encouraged to review the resources available regarding the transition:

  • CMA's Medicare Transition Webpage – CMA has created a dedicated Medicare transition webpage,, offering practices the ability to access updates and important information regarding the transition in one easy-to-access location.  All resources related to the Medicare transition will be accessible through this page.
  • CMA's Medicare Transition Guide: What Physicians Need to Know – This guide, which members can download free from the CMA website, includes a FAQ that contains information and resources to help practices prepare for the transition.
  • Noridian's Transition Website – Includes information on what's new/changing and what will remain the same during and after the transition.
  • CMA Practice Resources – CMA Practice Resources (CPR) is a free monthly newsletter from CMA's practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and health care industry issues, including the Medicare transition, and how these issues directly impact the business of a physician practice.  To sign up, visit the CMA website or contact CMA Member Services at (800) 786-4262 or
  • Content Alert Updates – The CMA website allows registered users to create custom content alerts on the topics that are of interest to you.  Once signed up, you will be notified any time there is new content posted in one of your interested areas, including Medicare issues.  To sign up, users should visit their account dashboard on the CMA website and click on "my alerts," then under "New Content Alerts" click on the "Alert Settings" tab, and select "Insurance Reimbursement -> Medicare." 
Medicare Transition problems?  Contact SSVMS at or (916) 452-2671. We can help!


Due October 1, 2013 – Employee Notices – Health Insurance Exchange.  Regardless of whether or not your practice offers employees health insurance, employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to provide notification of purchasing options and subsidies available through the Covered California health exchange by October 1, 2013.  Model notices are available by clicking here.  SSVMS and CMA, through our sponsored partner, Marsh, assist members and their office managers by providing information, programs and guidance to assist with insurance buying decisions.  Click here for more information.

Request for Annual SSVMS Award Nominations.  Nominations are now being accepted for the following Annual Awards:

  • The Golden Stethoscope – Candidate must be a member for at least 15 years and have demonstrated a career that is clearly oriented to their practice and the care of their individual patients in an environment of unselfishness, compassion and empathy.
  • The Medical Honor – Candidate must be a member for five years, currently in practice, or retired, and whose high achievement has allowed a contribution of great significance to El Dorado-Sacramento-Yolo County medicine or community health.
  • The Medical Community Service Award – This award is presented in appreciation to a non-physician community member or leader of a community organization in the El Dorado-Sacramento-Yolo Counties area who has made a significant contribution to a medical or public health problem.


Send letters of nomination to SSVMS, c/o Margaret Parsons, MD, Chair, Scholarship & Awards Committee, 5380 Elvas Avenue #101, Sacramento, CA 95819.  For more information, contact Chris Stincelli at (916) 456-2018,  Deadline for receipt of nominations is November 1, 2013.



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

SEPTEMBER 11:  California’s Health Benefit Exchange:  The Positives and Perils of Contracting, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:45pm.  Covered California, the state’s health benefit exchange, will begin enrollment in October 2013.  Learn some of the risks and benefits of being contracted to provide services to exchange enrollees.  1 CEU CREDIT.

SEPTEMBER 12:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians: Part 1, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  This 3-part series covers 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 is continued on September 19 and 26.  1 CEU CREDIT.

SEPTEMBER 14 – 15:  Leader’s Toolkit:  A Two-Day Course for Physicians Seeking Leadership Roles in Organized Medicine, at the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento.  This is an interactive seminar designed for physicians interested in leadership roles.  Topics include: strategic planning and execution; building your team (hiring and firing); leading your team; setting priorities and managing your time; managing meetings; managing your organization’s money; communication, etc.  Class size is limited to 16 attendees and reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.  To register, contact Jennifer Moller of CMA at or (916) 551-2541.  Click here for more information.

SEPTEMBER 14 – 15:  13th Annual Ethnic Physician Leadership Summit, Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa, Henderson NV.  The Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) has recently announced its 13th Annual Leadership Summit.  For more information, and/or to register click here.

SEPTEMBER 18:  How to Effectively Manage Your Student Debt:  Best Practices for California Medical Residents, (Webinar), 6:00pm – 7:00pm.  Founded out of a student research project at Harvard Business School, GL Advisor has partnered with CMA to provide medical residents with access to free, unbiased advice about managing student loan debt.

SEPTEMBER 18:  Recipe for Financial Success:  Key Steps to Increasing Your Net Income, (Webinar), 12:15p, -- 1:15pm.  Physicians and office managers need business management skills, particularly in the financial area. This workshop will teach critical skills in analyzing the practice profit/loss statement, accounts receivable ratios and staffing patterns and how to access specialty comparison norms.  1 CEU CREDIT.

SEPTEMBER 19:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians:  Part 2, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Part 2 of this 3-part series covers 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 September 12 and continues on September 26.  1 CEU CREDIT.

SEPTEMBER 22: 8th Annual Medical Student Leadership Conference, Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Medical students are invited to attend CMA's 8th Annual Student Leadership Conference. The one-day conference is a great opportunity to learn how to become a champion for a healthy California, plus networking and mentoring opportunities with other young physicians.  Register today!

SEPTEMBER 25:  Appropriate Prescribing and Dispensing:  New Measures, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Representatives from the Medical Board of California will discuss outcomes from the Forum to Promote Appropriate Prescribing and Dispensing, held February 2013, including what the Board is proposing/supporting; what the legislature is proposing, and how these measures will be implemented if adopted.  1 CEU CREDIT.

SEPTEMBER 26:  ICD-10 Documentation for Physicians:  Part 3, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Part 3 of this 3-part series covers 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 is continued from September 12 and 19.  1 CEU CREDIT.

OCTOBER 2:  Successful Medi-Cal Provider Enrollment for Physician Providers, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:45pm.  Physicians must re-enroll in Medi-Cal as one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This training will cover basic instructions and guidelines on the proper way to complete a Provider Enrollment Application Package; discuss the importance of reviewing and understanding program requirements; how to avoid common mistakes when completing enrollment forms; specialized physician enrollments; important changes to the program due to ACA implementation; and where to find additional program information and PED contact information.  1 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

SEPTEMBER 13 & 14:  2013 Northern California Health Care Conference, Thunder Valley Resort & Casino, Lincoln, California.  An educational and networking opportunity organized by the Sacramento MGMA Chapter which promises to attract practice administrators, clinic managers, billing managers, and other healthcare leaders from the entire state.  This conference offers educational (classroom, seminar and panel) and networking opportunities focused on medical practice excellence and healthcare industry state of affairs.  Click here to register.

SEPTEMBER 21:  Sticks, Stones, Tweets, Hashtags – Bullying in the Lives of Our Children, 8:30am – 2:00pm, 7927 Auburn Blvd., Citrus Heights.  The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society Alliance invites providers, parents, teachers, and community leaders to attend a free community health conference dealing with taunting, harassing and cyberbullying.  Keynote speaker – Lisa Ford Berry, author and founder of B.R.A.V.E.  Space is limited – click here for more information.

OCTOBER 6:  Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter, 10th Annual Dinner, at the California State University, Sacramento Alumni Center.  Keynote speaker:  Ms. Julie Leftwich, Executive Director of Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization formed after a 1993 assault weapon rampage at a law firm in San Francisco which killed eight people.  Ms. Leftwich will speak on “Gun Violence and Gun Laws in the USA – Standing our ground for sensible firearm regulations.”  Tickets for the dinner are $50 ($25/student); talk is only $15 ($10/student).  For more information, click the link above or email, or call (916) 955-6333.

OCTOBER 13:  A Gift Gathering Party for SSVMS Alliance’s Art of Medicine, 5:00pm – 8:00pm, at Caverna 57, 836 57th Street, Sacramento.  Come join the SSVMS Alliance for good food and good company, and help them fill their wine vault for auction at the Art of Medicine on April 26th.  Click here for details and to RSVP.

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.

SSVMS/CMA has partnered with Mayaco to offer members discounted website development services for their practices.  Now is the time to advance to the next level of technology and put your practice on the web!  Choose from a Basic or Premier package depending on the needs and size of your practice.  Members receive up to $1,000 off a website package that also includes staff training, ongoing website maintenance, and providing a mobile-friendly web design.  For more information, contact SSVMS or (916) 452-2671, or visit