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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 - 2012 - Volume 1 - Issue 4



Now Available: 2012 Cough/Cold Kits for
Physician Offices

The CMA Foundation is offering free cough/cold kits to physician offices. Each kit, to be provided to patients, contains educational cough and cold materials, as well as a packet of tissues, a “fever strip,” and sample cough/cold products. Click here to place an order through the CMAF’s AWARE website.

A Guide to Record Retention Under California law
The California Medical Association’s (CMA) ON-CALL document #1160, “Retention of Medical Records,” discusses the major issues raised by the retention, abandonment, theft and destruction of medical or health insurance information and physician practice business records, including: statutory record retention requirements, the rules applicable to records abandoned in bankruptcy or otherwise, recommended retention periods, options for record management on the sale or closing of a medical practice, record destruction requirements, and obligations for safeguarding patients personal information and for responding when records containing identifying information are stolen or otherwise breached.  This document is available at no charge to members.  Click here to download your copy.



ICD-10 Implementation Delayed Until October, 2014
CMS has announced a delay in the implementation of ICD-10 from October 2013 to October 2014.  CMA had urged CMS and HHS to delay the compliance implementation deadline because of the “enormous cost and hassle” for physicians.Click here for more information.

CMS Reopens Hardship Requests Line for Physicians Looking to Avoid the 2013 E-prescribing Penalty
Physicians seeking waivers will have until June 30 to file exemption requests.  A request for a feedback report and an application for a hardship exemption can be filed online by clicking here.  CMA has published a guide to the e-prescribing process with pertinent deadlines and qualifications. Click here for details.

CMA Asks Medicare to Reduce 10-year Look-backs for Overpayment to 3-Years.
CMA, along with AMA and other medical associations, sent a letter to CMS on April 16 commenting on the proposed ACA rule requiring physicians receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to report and return overpayments.  If published as currently drafted, the rule would subject physicians to a 10-year “look-back” period.  CMA's letter suggests (among other things) that the rule should remain consistent with other CMS overpayment initiatives and provide for a 3-year look-back period.  Click here for further details and to read the letter.

CMA Requests Amendments to Medical Liability Reform.On March 15, the California Medical Association (CMA) sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives leadership opposing H.R. 5, a medical liability reform bill that now includes language to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  While CMA strongly supports the repeal of IPAB, there are concerns with two additional medical liability provisions that would expose California physicians to even greater liability and increase physician liability premiums in California.  CMA requested two amendments to the law that would recognize state laws already in place, including MICRA.  Click here for more information.



SSVMS Participates in CMA’s 2012 Legislative
Leadership Day
SSVMS member physicians, residents, and medical students participated in CMA’s 2012 Legislative Leadership Day on April 17, by meeting with the offices of Assemblymembers Beth Gaines, Roger Dickinson, Richard Pan, and Senators Darrell Steinberg and Ted Gaines to discuss CMA sponsored bills, including the following:

  • SB 1318 (Wolk) - Health facilities: influenza vaccinations.  This bill would require all health care workers in health care facilities to either receive the influenza vaccination or wear a mask.
  • AB 1742 (Pan) - Assignment of Benefits.  This bill would require health insurers to provide payment directly to the physician who provided the service when the patient has signed an Assignment of Benefits.
  • AB 1746 (Williams) - Sale of Sports Drinks in Schools.  This bill would ban the sale of sugary sports drinks during school hours at middle and high school campuses throughout California.
  • AB 2109 (Pan) - Childhood Immunizations.  This bill would require a parent or guardian seeking a personal belief exemption for their child to obtain a document signed by themselves and a licensed health care practitioner saying they have been informed of the risks and benefits of the immunizations, as well as the public health risks of the specified communicable diseases.
  • AB 2063 (V. Manuel Perez) - Reimbursement for Immunizations.  Requires insurers to reimburse physicians for immunizations in an amount not less than the actual cost of acquiring and administering the vaccine.

Click here for more information on these and other CMA sponsored bills.

Don’t Miss SSVMS Medical History Display at the
Capitol Museum
Looking for a chance to see medical arsenic, bone drills and 19th century amputation kits up close?  SSVMS currently has all these things and more on display in an exhibit at the Capitol.  The California Medicine: From the Frontier to the Cutting-Edge exhibit chronicles the progress made by California physicians from the early days of statehood into the modern age.  This exhibit provides physicians and visitors to the Capitol alike, the opportunity to view various pieces of California’s medical history and runs through April 30.

Aetna Erroneously Terminates Providers From
California Network
.  Aetna incorrectly issued letters to over 8,000 patients statewide advising that their provider had been terminated from the Aetna network and would no longer be accessible to provide care.  Aetna is in the process of issuing retractions of termination notices to both members and physicians, and has corrected their provider database. Click here for details.

California Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) — What Is It?  PCIP helps uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions obtain affordable health insurance.  Authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, PCIP offers health insurance to uninsured Californians who have been denied health insurance or offered only unaffordable insurance due to a pre-existing condition.  PCIP will last until 2014, when national health reform begins and health insurance companies won’t be able to refuse coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  Click here for further details.



Last Chance to Register for the SSVMS Alliance’s Art of Medicine Auction and Concert, being held at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento on April 29thThis event is sponsored by the SSVMS Alliance and benefits Community Health Grants and Scholarships for those entering the medical professions.  For more information and to register, click here or contact Gabriella Neubuerger at

APR 23:  California’s Public Health Insurance Programs (Webinar) 12:15 – 1:15 pm.  This session will provide an introduction to California’s public health insurance programs.  It will include an overview of the programs broken down by population eligibility, including a short example of what it is like to navigate the public health insurance system.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

APR 25:  2012 Legislative Update (Webinar) 12:15 – 1:15 pm.  Vice President of Government Relations Jodi Hicks will host a webinar which will provide physicians and their staff the latest information on the bills making their way through the State Legislature this year.  Topics being discussed include immunizations, children’s health, physical therapists, physician health and more.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

APR 27-29:  California Health Care Leadership Conference, Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim.
Last chance to register for the West Coast’s premiere opportunity for physicians, practice managers, and other health care leaders to learn about the leading-edge trends and developments in the rapidly changing health care marketplace.  For more information and to register, call (800) 795-2262 or visit or click here.

MAY 2:  Medicare Audits:  How and Why (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  Learn more about the medical review audits currently being conducted by Palmetto GBA, California's Medicare accounting contractor.  This webinar will discuss how to respond to documentation requests and tips for writing effective appeals.  Representatives from Palmetto will provide an in-depth discussion of the findings of the recent Medicare audits, with an extended question and answer session.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

MAY 3-4:  IMQ Conference for CME Providers, Hotel Sofitel, Redwood City.  CMA’s Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) will provide continuing medical education (CME) training for physicians and professional staff.  Program offerings include planning and evaluating CME activities and accreditation-related documentation.  Richard Berger, MD, Dean of the Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development, is the featured keynote speaker.  For more information and to register, click here

MAY 9:  Marketing 101 (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  Learn how to market your medical practice, how patients are making decisions on health care today, and how you can become part of that decision making process.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

MAY 16:  Telephone Etiquette for Medical Personnel (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  Proper telephone etiquette is key for people working in a medical office.  Learn how to communicate effectively with patients, other healthcare professionals, and vendors – all customers of your medical practice.  The webinar will discuss being an active listener, having good phone manners, maintaining confidentiality and other important things to remember.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

MAY 23:  Strategic Planning for Solo, Small & Medium Group Practice (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  Learn how strategic planning and performance coaching can get you and your practice where you want to go.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information and to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

MAY 30:  California’s Changing Insurance Marketplace (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  Beginning in 2014, individuals and small employers will be able to purchase health insurance coverage through a state-run health insurance exchange.  Learn more about California’s Health Benefits Exchange and what it will mean for physicians.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information or to register, click here, or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or

JUNE 6:  A Manager’s Guide to Lowering Practice Costs (Webinar) 12:15-1:15pm.  There are only three ways to realize increased net income: raise fees, increase productivity or decrease overhead.  This webinar will provide information on how to control and reduce overhead expenses.  This webinar is offered at no cost to SSVMS/CMA members.  Nonmember cost is $99.  For more information and to register, click here or contact CMA’s member-help center, (800) 786-4262 or



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.

APR 24:  Palmetto/Medicare Spring Fling, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm Sacramento Convention Center.  Physicians and billing staff will receive updates on Medicare Part B, website navigation; top claims submission errors, best practices for Medicare compliance, surviving Medicare audits, ICD-10 and more.  To access the event registration portal click here.

APR 28:  23rd Annual Kids Day in the Park, 11 am – 3 pm, Hagen Park, 2197 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova.  In recognition of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, enjoy this free event, featuring free swimming from 1-3 pm, children’s crafts & games, petting barn, kids’ stage, rides, jump houses, and over 100 exhibits.  There will also be health screenings, free parent resources, and a drop-off to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.

MAY 23:  24th Annual Western States Regional Conference on Physicians’ Well-Being, 8 am – 4:45 pm, University of California, Riverside Extension Center.  This is a live CME program endorsed by the California Medical Association, California Society of Addiction Medicine, and California Public Protection & Physician Health.  For additional information please contact Tamme Perdue at (951) 686-3342, or email at  To register, click here

MAY 26-28:  Sacramento Music Festival.  SSVMS members receive a 15% discount off admission to the Sacramento Music Festival, formerly the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, to be held Memorial Day weekend.  To receive the discount, contact Group Sales at (916) 428-5719 or email Jim Fusaro at  You must mention SSVMS to get the discount.  Final deadline for all discounted ticket orders is Thursday, May 27th



NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company Offers Premium Discounts to SSVMS Members

Physicians who practice as solos or in small groups of two to four physicians and are members of SSVMS may now qualify for a 7% reduction on NORCAL Mutual malpractice premiums.* NORCAL Mutual’s 5% discount for completing two risk management CME credits is now 7% for policyholders who complete a third CME credit and are members of SSVMS.  This expanded Risk Management Discount for SSVMS members is applicable to policies renewing January 1, 2012, or later.  Policyholders must have earned the three CME credits and have been active members of SSVMS for not less than 90 days prior to their policy renewal in order to receive the 7% discount in 2012.  Remember to keep your SSVMS membership current in order to get the full 7% discount for 2013.  In addition to offering this extra savings to SSVMS members, NORCAL Mutual is reducing California rates an overall 7.07%.  The rate reduction impact per policyholder will vary depending on a number of factors such as the area of the state where they practice and their medical specialty.  If you are currently insured through NORCAL and have questions about the rate decrease or the SSVMS member discount, contact NORCAL’s Policyholder Services at (877) 443-7232.  Not insured with NORCAL Mutual?  Contact Ken Stacy, Senior Account Executive at (800) 652-1051, ext. 2054 or

*Groups that are insured with NORCAL on an experience basis or currently participate in NORCAL’s surcharge program are not eligible for the Risk Management Discount.