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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 4


Click here to read the Mar/Apr 2013 issue of SSV Medicine.

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SSVMS Membership Directory Portraits – Make Your Appointment Today.  SSVMS is updating our online membership directory and has engaged RCL Portrait Design to take member portraits.  RCL will be contacting you to make arrangements to take your photo for SSVMS’ online Physician Finder, membership directory, and DocBookMD mobile application.  There is no cost for physicians to participate.  Click here for more information or call RCL Portrait Design at (800) 951-8712 to schedule your appointment today.

A Special Event for SSVMS Members: Getting the Most from Social Security.  April 30, Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 5:30pm -7:00pm.  Members and a guest are invited to join Wells Fargo Advisors for a complimentary educational workshop.  Learn about key Social Security benefit decisions, simple steps to help maximize your benefit, and how to get started.  Click here to register, or contact Tamra Enriquez at (916) 491-6368 or

How Sequestration Impacts California Physicians.  Physicians should prepare for a 2 percent reduction in reimbursement from the Medicare program beginning with services provided on or after April 1, 2013, as required by the Sequestration Transparency Act.  CMA has prepared a Sequestration FAQ which answers the most commonly asked questions about the sequestration cuts as they relate to health care.

Help Organized Medicine Fight Medicare Cuts.  SSVMS and CMA are meeting with Congressional representatives to urge them to stop arbitrary across-the-board cuts that will exacerbate patient access to care problems.  For more information on how the 2013 sequestration cuts impact California, download a copy of the recently released White House report.  Physicians are encouraged to contact your U.S. representative and senators to urge them to stop the cuts to Medicare physician payments by calling AMA’s grassroots hotline at (800) 833-6354.  Enter your zip code and you will be automatically connected with your representatives.  Your patients can help too, by contacting Congress through the AMA’s Patients’ Action Network hotline at (888) 434-6200.


CMA Announces 2013-14 Sponsored Legislation.  The California Medical Association (CMA) has placed its legislative focus for 2013 on increasing the numbers of physicians in the state and fighting the proposed 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate reduction.  Click here for a list of the bills CMA will sponsor for 2013-14.

CMA Publishes Exchange Toolkit.  The California Medical Association (CMA) has developed a new toolkit entitled, CMA’s Got You Covered: A Physician’s Guide to Covered California, the State’s Health Benefit Exchange to educate physicians on the exchange and ensure that they are aware of important issues related to exchange plan contracting.  The toolkit is available at

Medi-Cal Extends 2012 EHR Attestation Deadline to April 30.  Xerox, the vendor in charge of the Medi-Cal EHR incentive payments, has resolved the technical difficulties that were complicating some providers' ability to complete their 2012 attestations.  Because of the difficulties and resulting attestation delays, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has received federal authorization to extend the 2012 attestation deadline to April 30, 2013.  Click here for details.

Update on Medicare MAC Contract.  Palmetto GBA has filed complaints with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims challenging the Jurisdiction E MAC contract award, which was awarded to Noridian.  The protests were filed on February 1, 2013.  For at least the next several months, Medicare providers in Jurisdiction E, which includes California, will continue to file their Medicare claims with the incumbent Palmetto GBA.  For the latest developments in the Medicare MAC contract protest, click here.


Medicare Enrollment Required for Referring Physicians.  CMS announced that starting May 1, physicians who refer or order services for Medicare patients will be required to be enrolled in Medicare.  Claims submitted on or after May 1 that include the name and National Provider Identifier (NPI) of a physician who referred or ordered services for a Medicare patient but who is not enrolled in Medicare will be denied.  For more information on Medicare enrollment in general, please visit the AMA’s Medicare enrollment website.

Important Information on New TRICARE Contracts.  On April 1, 2013, UnitedHealth Military & Veterans Services (UMVS) will begin providing managed care services to 2.9 million TRICARE beneficiaries in the 21 western states, including California.  On that date, UMVS will be taking over the contract previously held by TriWest.  Physicians are advised to review the terms of the new contract carefully.  Click here for details.

Register for the California Prescription Drug Monitoring (CURES) Program.  Physicians are encouraged to register to use California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), CURES.  The CURES system is designed to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion through accurate and rapid tracking of Schedule II through IV controlled substances.  Click here for more information or to register to use the CURES system.

Interested in Serving on a CMA Council or Committee in 2014?  SSVMS will be submitting the names of members who wish to be nominated to the following CMA Councils and Committees:  Council on Ethical Affairs, Council on Information Technology, Council on Judicial Affairs, Council on Legislation, Committee on Medical Services, and Committee on Professional Liability.  Click here for a description of the committees’ purpose, responsibilities and meeting times.  Deadline is May 1.  Contact:  Chris Stincelli at or (916) 456-2018.


Community Resources for Older Adults Now Available.  The latest version of Community Resources for Older Adults, 2013-2014, is now available.  Click here to download a copy or visit the medical society office at 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, for copies to distribute to your patients and/or community organizations.

HSAG Offers Free Assistance with Meaningful Use.  Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), the CMS Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) of California, can provide free or low-cost technical assistance in meeting Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use to all eligible providers.  For more information, please contact Shanti Wilson at


All webinars, with the exception of the Essentials for ICD-10 series, 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

APRIL 3:  Strategic Planning From Vision to Action – A Self-Guided Process, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Learn how simplified strategic planning and personal coaching can get you, your practice or your organization where you want to go.  In this interactive webinar you will get to develop your own vision and strategic plan with tools to ensure you can walk away with immediate items, tools you can use again and how to obtain coaching support to implement the remaining steps of your plan.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

APRIL 9:  CMS Quality Reporting Programs:  What Physicians Need to Know and Do Now to Improve Care and Avoid Penalties, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:45pm.  Presented by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, attendees will understand the background and rationale for CMS incentives and payment adjustments, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the ePrescribing (eRx) Incentive Program, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, and the new Value Modifier (VM) program; be able to define what actions they need to take to receive each incentive and avoid payment adjustments; and know where to go to obtain further information about CMS quality programs and stay abreast of future developments.  1.50 CME CREDITS, 1.00 CEU CREDIT.

APRIL 10:  Preparing for EHR Implementation and Conversion, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Many EHR system implementations fail or stumble due to common mistakes made during implementation.  This webinar will review common pitfalls, what you should insist your vendor provide (project plans, timelines), setting up files (order sets, pick lists, etc.), the importance of all stakeholder involvement, the danger of scanning paper charts, and resources to support you.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

APRIL 16:  Legislative Leadership Conference, Sheraton Grand, 1230 J Street, Sacramento, CA, 9:00am – 5:00pm.  The California Medical Association (CMA) will host its 2013 Legislative Leadership Conference on April 16 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.


APRIL 17:  Valuing, Selling, Buying or Transitioning a Practice, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Considering retirement?  Selling or wanting to buy a practice?  Making this transition requires planning and sufficient time to accomplish this effectively for your patients, staff and family.  This seminar will discuss the 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.

APRIL 24:  California’s Health Benefit Exchange:  How it Will Impact Your Practice and Change Commercial Insurance, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:45pm.  Beginning in 2014, individuals and small employers will be able to purchase health insurance coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange, now named Covered California.  It is estimated that by the end of 2016, over one in five Californians will get their health insurance through the Exchange.  Furthermore, with the selection of exchange plans occurring no later than April of 2013, payors are likely to begin reaching out to physicians regarding exchange products soon, if they have not already (e.g., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California).  In this presentation, you will learn more about California’s exchange and what it will mean for physicians.  You will also gain an understanding of some of the risks and benefits of contracting to provide services to exchange enrollees.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

APRIL 30:  A Special Event for SSVMS Members: Getting the Most from Social Security, Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, 5:30pm -7:00pm.  Members and a guest are invited to join Wells Fargo Advisors for a complimentary educational workshop.  Learn about key Social Security benefit decisions, simple steps to help maximize your benefit, and how to get started.  Click here to register or contact Tamra Enriquez at (916) 491-6368 or


MAY 1:  The Power of the Pen – The Physician’s Responsibility in Prescribing and Referring for Medi-Cal Patients, (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  Presented by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), this webinar will help you understand the importance of documentation, understand the physician’s role in prescribing/ordering/referring, and increase awareness of fraud and abuse in prescribing and referring.

MAY 31 – JUNE 2:  California Health Care Leadership Academy, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.  Registration opened March 28.  The California Medical Association (CMA) will discuss the future of independent medical practice, in the wake of federal health system reform, at the 16th Annual California Health Care Leadership Academy.  For more information or to register, click here.

This free walking program is sponsored by SSVMS and 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 and 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.

APRIL 10:  Reporting Quality for Measures and Money, 11:30am – 1:30pm, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento.  The Sacramento Medical Group Management Association invites you to attend their April lunch meeting with guest speaker Donna K. Knapp, MA, FACMPE.  Information provided at this meeting will encourage participation in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and explain how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will reimburse physicians for Medicare services in the future.  To register, click here, or contact Lisa Brammer at or (916) 632-3221.

APRIL 10:  Reception in Honor of Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan, 5:30pm-6:30pm, 1201 K Street, 15th Floor Rotunda, Sacramento.  Join Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP), California Association of Physician Groups, California Dental Association, California Hospital Association and the California Medical Association for a reception in honor of Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan.  RSVP to Marissa Schriver at

MAY 4:  California Public Protection and Physician Health, Inc., 9:30am – 12:30pm, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento.  CPPPH offers this Workshop for Physician Health Committees to members of committees of hospital medical staffs, medical groups, specialty societies or county medical associations.  The guest speaker for this workshop will be Tom Specht, MD.  There is no fee; however, advance registration is required and accepted by email only.  Click here to register.

Highlighted Membership Benefit: CMA Practice Resources
CMA Practice Resources (CPR) is a free monthly e-bulletin from the California Medical Association’s practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and healthcare industry changes and how they directly impact the business of a physician practice.  Each issue includes tips on reimbursement and contracting related issues along with information on the latest practice management news. Sign up now for a free subscription.