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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 8


Click here to read the July/August 2013 issue of SSV Medicine.

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Trial Lawyers Sponsor Ballot Measure to Repeal MICRA.  California’s trial attorneys made good on their May threat to ask voters to repeal California’s landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).  Language was submitted to the California Attorney General in Sacramento on July 25, 2013, the first step in placing an initiative on the ballot.  The initiative’s main provision would increase the cap on speculative, “non-economic” damages from the current $250,000 to more than $1.2 million with automatic increases every year.  The trial attorneys’ initiative would require mandatory drug and alcohol testing of physicians and an immediate suspense of the license of a physician that fails to submit to testing within 12 hours after an adverse event. 

California's critical MICRA protections are a national success story, safeguarding patients and access to care for almost 40 years.  This year, physicians practicing in El Dorado, Sacramento, and Yolo Counties are saving an average of $93,748 in malpractice premiums because of MICRAClick here to view the 2013 MICRA Savings Chart.  

Your help is critical to our continued success in protecting MICRA.  SSVMS/CMA membership is crucial – ask those who are not members to join.  Please also consider donating to CALPAC to your fullest ability and asking your colleagues to donate.  For more information on MICRA and the specifics of the trial attorney’s attack on MICRA, click here.

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 3 & 4, 2800 L Street, Sacramento.  Physicians are invited to attend the SSVMS Board of Directors meeting for a discussion of hot issues impacting the practice of medicine.  Dustin Corcoran, CEO, California Medical Association will provide an important update on the efforts to preserve MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act.  Click here to view the meeting announcement and details.


Are You Prepared for the September 16, Medicare Part B Transition from Palmetto to Noridian?

  • Are you taking advantage of the "early boarding" opportunity?
  • If you use a vendor to submit claims, do you need to take any action?
  • Are your NPI numbers updated in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and consistent with information in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS)?
  • Have you registered for the August 7 exclusive, CMA members-only webinar – Medicare Transition – MAC Jurisdiction E Implementation Overview?
Click here for the answers to these questions and more.


Health Benefit Exchange – Resources for Physicians.  Enrollment in Covered California, the state’s health benefit exchange begins on October 1, 2013.  SSVMS/CMA has everything you and your staff need to prepare, including the following:

For more information and additional resources, click here to visit CMA’s Exchange Resource page.



“Early Boarding” for Medicare Transition Now Available.  California’s Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) will transition from Palmetto GBA to Noridian Administrative Services on September 16, 2013.  “Early boarding” has begun for Medicare providers in California.  Early boarding allows vendors and clearinghouses to connect to Noridian’s Electronic Data Interchange Support Services (EDISS) gateway system prior to the actual transition date.  Submitting electronic claims and getting the connections to Noridian established and tested early, affords ample time to address any difficulties that may be encountered.  Information about how to set-up “early boarding” is available through this link to the Noridian website:  Early Boarding.

Medi-Cal Primary Care Physician Rate Increase Attestations.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released regulations in November 2012, implementing rate increases for primary care physicians treating Medicaid patients. To qualify for enhanced payments, physicians are required to self-attest eligibility online on the Medi-Cal website.  For more information click here.

Sacramento County Launches STD Home-testing Project.  The Sacramento County Department of Public Health has announced the launch of I Know Sacramento, a free chlamydia and gonorrhea home testing project for young women.  For more information click here.  To order outreach materials, call (916) 875-KNOW (5669).


All webinars are free for SSVMS/CMA members and their staff.  The nonmember price is $99 per webinar.  For more information, or to register, click on the links or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or visit

JULY 18:  Preparing for Phases 3 & 4 of the Healthy Families Program Transition to Medi-Cal, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Presented by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), this webinar will increase understanding and awareness of the transition planned for Phase 3 and Phase 4, scheduled to occur August 1 and September 1, respectively, and discuss adequacy of the provider network and ways to prepare for their patients’ questions on transition, continuity of care, and coverage.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

JULY 24:  Protect and Preserve Your Patient Relationships, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Presented by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), this webinar will help you increase understanding and awareness of the impact of fraud, waste and abuse on patient care, and discuss methods to prevent abuse and ways to preserve the integrity of the physician/patient relationship.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.


AUGUST 7:  Medical History Lecture Series, Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical History Museum, 5380 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, 7:00pm.  Bill Hollingshead and Dr. Margaret Portwood jointly present on Polio, Post Eradication, and the Post-Polio Syndrome.  Mr. Bill Hollingshead will share his experiences as a teenager, when he developed polio, and his involvement with Rotary International in worldwide polio eradication.  He will also share his current problems with post-polio syndrome and Dr. Portwood will also discuss various aspects of the post-polio syndrome.  Please RSVP to SSVMS at (916) 452-2671.  Seating is limited.

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, or to register for NEPO’s annual event, please click here.

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.

AUGUST 14:  Beginning the Conversation:  A One-Day POLST Workshop, (Seminar), 8:30am – 5:00pm, Mercy Learning Center, 1700 Tribute Road, Suite 100, Sacramento.  This workshop introduces professionals to the California POLST document and how it fits in the continuum of advance care planning.  Attendees also will improve their skills in helping patients with chronic or serious illness understand and document their choices for care.  For more information or to register, click here.

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.