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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 - 2014 - Volume 3 - Issue 4


Click here to read the May/June 2014 issue of SSV Medicine.

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SSVMS Announces New Mission Statement.  At its recent leadership retreat, the SSVMS Board of Directors approved a new mission statement:

The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society is dedicated to bringing together physicians from all modes of practice to promote the art and science of quality medical care and to enhance the physical and mental health of our entire community.

The SSVMS Board of Directors is in the process of completing a 3-5 year strategic plan to align the goals and activities of the medical society with our new mission statement and our strategic goals:  to serve as a unified voice for all physicians, membership and outreach, advocacy for the profession of medicine, and community involvement.  Keep an eye on future issues of SSV Medical Society News and SSV Medicine for a copy of the final strategic plan.


Pledge Your Commitment to Protect MICRA.  With less than 200 days left until the 2014 general election, SSVMS/CMA is working hard to educate every physician in California about the efforts underway to defeat the trial lawyer-backed anti-MICRA ballot measure.  Ensuring that each and every California physician understands the importance of our state's landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) remains one of CMA's top priorities.
The ballot measure being pushed by trial lawyers would increase health care costs for everyone in California and decrease access to care – which is why such a broad coalition of doctors, community clinics, health centers, hospitals and other health care providers are opposed to the initiative.  The effect on our health care system would be devastating, limiting access to care for those who need it most, at a time when millions of newly insured patients are entering the health care system.

CMA and the campaign to defeat the anti-MICRA measure needs each and every one of you to help spread the word and educate your colleagues about the critical importance of MICRA.  We are asking all physicians to sign a MICRA commitment card, which can be completed online at  You may also request hard copies of the cards to distribute to your colleagues, by contacting CMA at (916) 551-2567, or  For more information about MICRA and what you can do to help in the fight, visit

Legislative Update.  On April 22, SSVMS staff and members participated in CMA’s Annual Legislative Leadership Day in Sacramento to lobby for CMA-sponsored legislation and oppose legislation that would negatively impact physicians and patients.  Our lobbying efforts were successful.

  1. Three CMA-sponsored bills to increase access to care (Assembly Bills 1805, 1759 and 2458) were each unanimously approved by the Assembly Committee on Health.  Each bill seeks to address the issue of access to care in a different way:
  • AB 1805 (Skinner/Pan) seeks to restore the 10 percent Medi-Cal cut made back in 2011.
  • AB 1759 (Pan) would extend through 2015, and indefinitely beyond, the reimbursement increase for certain Medi-Cal primary care providers, currently mandated by the ACA, but set to expire on December 31, 2014.
  • AB 2458 (Bonilla) would allocate $25 million in general fund dollars for one year, and another $2.8 million every year for three years from the California Health Data and Planning Fund, to establish 300 new residency spots in California. The bills now head the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
  1. CMA-sponsored AB 2400 (Ridley-Thomas) which aims to improve network adequacy and reduce consumer confusion, passed in the Assembly Health Committee after receiving 19 aye votes and one nay.  This bill will prohibit contracts issued, amended or renewed by health service plans and health insurers, after January 1, 2015, from including a provision that terminates the provider’s participation in the contract when the provider exercises the right to negotiate, accept or refuse a material change to the contract.  Further, contracts issued, amended or renewed shall not contain a provision that requires a provider agree to accept or participate in other products or product networks, including future products that have not yet been developed or adopted by the plan unless the plan discloses the reimbursement rate, method of payment, and any other materially different contract terms for those products from the underlying agreement.  The bill moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, date of hearing is yet to be determined.
  1. CMA-opposed  SB 1215 (Hernandez) which aimed to eliminate the in-office exception to the self-referral law for advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, and physical therapy was heard in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.  The bill died in committee after only receiving one vote.  This bill would have been a major blow to the integrated care model, resulting in increased costs as these services would of been driven toward the more expensive hospital setting and inhibit the development of practices that integrate and coordinate care.
Click here for a complete CMA Legislative Update.



CMA’s 2013 Annual Report.  Serving more than 39,000 members, CMA and its staff remain committed to the organization’s time-honored mission statement:  to promote the science and art of medicine, protection of public health, and the betterment of the medical profession.  Click here to download CMA’s 2013 Annual Report to see how CMA supported its mission, including advocacy efforts, member benefits, ways to get involved and more

Study:  California’s Physicians Account for $160+ Billion in Economic Impact and Almost One Million Jobs.  According to AMA’s recently released Economic Impact Study, each California physician supports approximately: 

  • 11.45 Jobs
  • $1.9 Million in Economic Output
  • $1.03 Million in Wages and Benefits
  • $90,814 in Local and State Tax Revenues
To view the full report and an interactive map of the United States, please visit


NORCAL Mutual Policyholders:  Vote Now.  Voting for the NORCAL Board of Directors is open until May 26.  Click here to submit your ballot electronically (you will need your policy number to complete the ballot.)  Did you know that NORCAL policyholders completing 3 CMEs and are members of SSVMS are eligible for a 7% discount off premium?  For more information on NORCAL’s SSVMS member discount, contact NORCAL’s Policyholder Services at (877) 443-7232, or visit

IMQ Introduces New Judicial Review Service.  CMA’s Institute for Medical Quality’s new Judicial Review Service refers credentialed physicians for service on judicial review panels.  In the case of certain disciplinary actions, physicians are entitled by California law to a fair hearing by their peers.  Hearings are scheduled in a variety of California locations and typically last three to five consecutive days.  To apply to serve as a physician panelist, contact Leslie Iacopi at or by calling (415) 882-5167.

What Physicians Need to Know About the Anthem Exchange Addendum.  Anthem Blue Cross sent an addendum to over 11,000 practices who are participating in their individual/exchange network.  The addendum makes changes to a prior addendum sent out in 2012.  While the addendum only applies to physicians who are currently participating in the Anthem individual/exchange product, there is a concern that many physicians are still unaware that they are actually participating in this network.  Click here to view the changes and how they may impact your practice.



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

MAY 6:  Workers’ Compensation Basics Part 1:  Don’t Be Afraid of Workers’ Compensation.  (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:00pm.  This series will cover the basics of workers' comp as a potential revenue source.  Directed mainly to those physicians who don't currently treat workers' compensation patients, this series will also be a good brush-up for those who already do.  Workers' comp can be a profitable part of a medical practice, if integrated correctly.  Many of the reimbursement rates are higher for workers' comp than for Medicare, and workers' comp is not affected by the Affordable Care Act.

MAY 13:  Workers’ Compensation Basics Part 2:  Being Prepared Means Being Paid for Workers’ Compensation Treatment.  (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:00pm.  Before an injured worker even walks through the door, medical practices need to be prepared.  Topics will include what kinds of information needs to be collected and the easy systems which need to be set up ahead of time.  We discuss how to alleviate the traditional administrative burdens of workers' comp using best practices and current technology.  (Part 1 was held on May 6th and Part 3 will be held on May 20th.)

MAY 14:  Merging Practices Strategies to Remain Independent.  (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:15pm.  In this new era of health care, consolidating practices can result in economies of scale, reduction of overhead, increased power in contracting, increased net income, ability to recruit new partners and retire partners.  But as in a marriage, good communication and shared values are key to compatibility and long term success.  This workshop covers practical strategies to manage a successful merger.  1.00 CEU CREDIT.

MAY 20:  Workers’ Compensation Basics Part 3:  Billing Strategies – Getting Paid for Treating Injured Workers.  (Webinar), 12:15pm – 1:00pm.  This webinar will cover the nuts and bolts of getting workers' comp medical bills paid.  We will cover the billing process, including timelines, forms, specific fields, and the appeals process.  (Parts 1 & 2 were held on May 6th and 13th respectively.)

JUNE 18:  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.  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.

  • MAY 3:  Arcade Creek, 6513 Omni Drive, Sacramento.  8:30am.
    Walk leader: Richard Pan, MD.

  • MAY 17:  Freedom Park, 3244 Freedom Park Drive, Sacramento.  8:30am.  Gather on the Freedom Park Drive side of the park under the covered picnic area.
    Walk leader:  Elizabeth Gutierrez, MD.

  • JUNE 21:  Elk Grove Regional Park.  8:30am.
    Enter at Gate 1 on Elk Grove-Florin Road and look for our signs.
    Walk leader: Richard Pan, MD.

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.)


MAY 3:  Assessing the Aging Physician – Part 2 – Legal Aspects(Part 1 was held on March 15: Neuropsychological and Psychological Factors Pertaining to Fitness for Duty); Location:  SSVMS, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 9:30am – 12:30pm.  The California Public Protection & Physician Health, Inc. (CPPPH), is offering this workshop to all interested persons with clinical roles related to neuropsychological examinations or roles related to policies and procedures in medical groups and medical staffs and hospital administration.  Advance registration is required, and you may register for one or both sessions.  For more information and to register, click here.

May 8:  Rate Regulation Ballot Initiative Physician Media Training (Webinar), 6:00-7:00pm.  SSVMS has joined a coalition including CMA, CAPG and other doctors and medical providers throughout the state, to defeat a health care rate regulation ballot measure that would impact payments to providers and limit patient access to care.  Doctors and medical providers are the most credible messengers on health care related issues, and having doctors serve as the face of the campaign will be critical to its defeat in November.  For more information or to register for the webinar, contact Megan Gamble

MAY 10:  Medical Bag Tour.  Location:  Historic City Cemetery, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento.  Walking Tour – 10:00am.  The early Sacramento medical community battled diseases like cholera and tuberculosis, and contended with calamities like fires, floods and collapsing buildings.  Some lost their lives as they were saving others.  Come and meet these medical pioneers on this tour led by Dr. Bob LaPerriere.  This tour is free, however, donations are always appreciated and benefit the cemetery preservation.

MAY 10:  Reception for Congressman Sam Farr.  Location:  Moss Landing, California.  The California Medical Association PAC (CalPAC) and the American Medical Association PAC (AMPAC) are hosting a fundraising reception for Congressman Sam Farr in Moss Landing (between Monterey and Santa Cruz).  Congressman Farr has been a great friend to medicine and a champion in expanding access to physicians for Medicare patients across California.  If you can’t attend, you can contribute online.  For more details, or to make an online contribution, click here.


MAY 17 – 18:  Professionalism (Ethics) Program.  (Conference), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel El Segundo-LAX in Los Angeles.  The IMQ Professionalism Program for Physicians will be address both the legal and ethical dimensions of the practice of medicine in California, and introduce participants to a range of resources to address present or future problems.  There will be a pre-course assessment, a two-day ethics course, and a series of longitudinal assessments to tract participants’ progress.  To ensure interactive learning, each program is limited to twelve participants.  For more information, click here.

MAY 30 & 31:  Latino Health Conference. Location:  Santa Clara Convention Center.  The educational program, sponsored by The Permanente Medical Group, UC Davis Health Systems and Latino Physicians of California, will provide evidence-based strategies for delivering more effective care to Latino patients.  This conference is designed specifically for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, fellows, residents and medical students.  Click here for more information and to register.