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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 7


Visit Our New Website!  Interested in learning more about SSVMS/CMA’s legal, regulatory, legislative and/or economic advocacy on behalf of physicians? Want to know more about exclusive member benefits?  Visit our new website to update your physician directory profile today, or to read the latest issue of SSV Medicine on your computer or iPad using our interactive ISSUU bookshelf.


CMS Proposes Medicare Fee Increases for Primary Care, SGR Fight Set for Fall.  On July 9, CMS released its Physician Payment Rule for 2013 . The proposed rule will increase payment rates for primary care, including a 7 percent increase for family medicine, 5 percent for internal medicine and 3 percent for all other primary care physicians. Some specialists will see minor rate reductions, with the largest cut by far to radiation oncologists, who will see a 14 percent reduction. CMS also projects a 27 percent reduction in the Medicare fee-for-service payments due to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula unless Congress acts before January 1, 2013, to stop the cut.  Click here for more information. SSVMS physician leadership will be meeting with our Congressional Representatives in August to advocate for a permanent fix to the SGR.

SCOTUS Ruling on ACA: What it Means to Your Practice.  Now that the Supreme Court has issued its ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), figuring out what the ruling means for your practice is no small task. SSVMS and CMA are pleased to provide the following resources:

  • CMA’s “Overview of the Supreme Court’s Decision on the ACA” takes the more than 180 pages of majority, concurring and dissenting opinions and boils it all down to less than three pages of legal summary.

  • On-demand webinar, “Supreme Court Decision: What’s Next?” provides a recap of the ruling from both a legal and policy perspective, with CMA experts also providing information on the expansion of Medi-Cal and the transition of some enrollees to Medi-Cal managed care as well as physician concerns with the Health Benefit Exchange.

  • Those members looking for a deeper understanding of the ACA, in general, as well as California’s ongoing implementation of the law, are also encouraged to subscribe to CMA Reform Essentials, a biweekly newsletter dedicated to health care reform.



DHMC Orders Anthem Blue Cross to Stop Illegal Refund Requests. At the urging of the CMA, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has issued a “cease and desist” order to Anthem Blue Cross for violating California's unfair payment practices law. According to DMHC, between 2008 and 2011, Anthem’s Special Investigations Unit sought reimbursement from at least 535 providers for claims that were more than one year old, a violation of the Knox Keene Act.  Click here for a full copy of DMHC’s press release and order.

To help physicians understand their rights and options when it comes to health plan refund requests, CMA has published a “Special Investigations Unit Audit Guide.” This document is available free to members in CMA’s online resource library at

Court Refuses to Require Physician Supervision of Nurse Anesthetists. The California Supreme Court refused to review a 2009 decision by former Gov. Schwarzenegger to exempt California from federal rules requiring physician supervision of nurse anesthetists in Medicare-participating hospitals. CMA and the California Society of Anesthesiologists challenged the decision in court, believing it was inconsistent with California law, which requires that a physician always retain responsibility and control over the medical care of his or her patient. Click here for details.

California DMV Updates Disability Placard Forms. The California DMV recently issued a revision to the application forms required to issue a disability placard or license plate. The DMV is no longer able to accept versions of the Reg. 195 form that were issued prior to June 2010. Revision dates are listed in the lower right-hand corner of the form. Click here for details.

The August 2012 issue of CMA Practice Resources (CPR) is now available.  Highlights include HHS audits to assess HIPAA compliance, CMA lawsuit against Aetna, Coding Corner, updated payor profiles and more.



LIHP Implementation Targeted for October 1, 2012.  In November 2010, the State Department of Health Services (DHCS) negotiated the 1115 waiver which allows California counties to partner with the Federal government for funding to increase services to very-low-income, childless adults. Now called the Low Income Health Program (LIHP), Sacramento County is partnering with Molina Healthcare of California to provide services to very-low-income, childless adults up to 67% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Although implementation of the program has been delayed due to hospital contract negotiations, the County now anticipates being able to implement the LIHP program in October. Click here for more information.

Blue Shield Launches Recontracting Initiative in Sacramento County.  Blue Shield is in the process of recontracting with physicians across the state and has sent recontracting notices to physicians.  To assist physicians, CMA has completed an analysis of the new Blue Shield contract, which is available to SSVMS/CMA members at no charge at  Physicians are encouraged to carefully review and understand the vast range of legal and practical implications associated with the execution of any contract for the delivery of medical services or the associated management and administration services.  Physicians concerned about the new contract terms are encouraged to contact Blue Shield Provider Services at (800) 258-3091.

Deadline to Submit Resolutions to CMA House of Delegates is August 14, 2012.  The California Medical Association’s House of Delegates will convene October 13-15, 2012, at the Sacramento Convention Center.  The deadline to submit resolutions is August 14, 2012.  Click here for instructions on how to write a resolution.  To identify the appropriate channel for introducing a resolution, contact Chris Stincelli at (916) 452-2671 or

SSVMS Member Appointed Physician-In-Chief at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center. SSVMS member Robert Azevedo, MD, assumed his new role as physician-in-chief of the Sacramento Medical Center on July 1st. He replaces Jack Rozance, MD, who stepped down when his term expired after 18 years in the position.

SSVMS Member Named Chair of SPIRIT Management Committee.  SSVMS member Jack Rozance, MD, former Physician-in-Chief at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, has assumed his new role as Chair of the Management Committee for SSVMS’s Sacramento Physicians Initiative to Reach Out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT) program, which recruits physician volunteers to provide medical services to our community’s uninsured.  Click here for more information on volunteering.



AUGUST 7-8:  CME Essentials, the California Endowment’s Oakland Conference Center, 1111 Broadway, 7th Floor, Oakland, CA.  The California Medical Association’s Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ) is now accepting registration for its CME Essentials workshop.  The program is a “nuts and bolts” workshop for continuing medical education (CME) providers.  This is a day-and-a-half workshop to help participants learn how to plan and evaluate both individual activities and overall CME programs as accredited CME providers.  For more details, or to register, click here.  If you have any questions, please contact Lisa San Gabriel at (415) 882-3314 or

AUGUST 8:  Quality Counts luncheon meeting, at SSVMS, 5380 Elvas Avenue, Sacramento, 11:30 am -- 1:30 pm.  Sacramento Medical Group Management Association will host a luncheon presentation by Donna Knapp, MA, FACMPE, to help physicians identify projects and resources to determine physician quality expectations in the new Health Care Reform, discuss how quality will be applied to reimbursement potential, and discuss the necessity for transitioning the “claims” process to a “quality reporting for payment” process.  Cost to attend is $15 for SMGMA members and $20 for non-members.  To register, click here, or contact Lisa Brammer at (916) 632-3221, or email

AUGUST 8:  CMA and the Courts/Accessing CMA’s Legal Library (Webinar), 12:15-1:15 pm.  Learn more about CMA’s role in important litigation in California and nationwide, and learn how to navigate CMA’s health law library.  The Legal Hotline staff will provide an overview of the wide array of topics covered by CMA’s online library.  NOTE:  This webinar was rescheduled from June 13th.  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

AUGUST 14:  Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE) Organizational Meeting, 4:30pm, Lecture Hall 1204, UCDHS Education Building, 4610X Street, SacramentoSARTA’s MedStart initiative, a collaborative working towards a thriving medical device and medical technology industry in the Sacramento region, is looking for potential physician entrepreneurs interested in establishing a local chapter of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE).  Interested physicians are encouraged to attend the introductory meeting.  Click here to RSVP.  Click on the following links for more information about SoPE and about SARTA MedStart.

SEPTEMBER 27: Learning from Lawsuits: Strategies and Resources for Reducing Risk, Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, 6:00pm – 8:00pm.Who’s getting sued for medical malpractice these days, and how can they protect themselves? For some answers, join SSVMS and NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company for a special dinner and CME event. Two experts in the fields of risk management and the law will provide insights into current trends in medical malpractice lawsuits – and you’ll learn some new and innovative ways to reduce the risks you face every day.  Free for SSVMS members and NORCAL insured, $99 for nonmembers. Space is limited, so register today by clicking here.

SEPTEMBER 29:  Walk With a Doc Kick-off Event, State Capitol, 8:30 am.  SSVMS is joining with the CMA Foundation to start a local Walk with a Doc Program, created to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages.  Physician volunteers are needed to lead walks in local parks on Saturday mornings.  Please join us for the kick-off event.  To volunteer, contact SSVMS at (916) 452-2671,, or click here for more information.

OCTOBER 12:  Organized Medical Staff Section 2012 Annual Assembly, Sacramento Convention Center, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.  All physicians concerned about the role of strong self-governed medical staffs in improving patient care and safety should plan to attend.  Free registration for OMSS Representatives and Chiefs of Staff of OMSS Member Medical Staffs!  To register, click here or for more information, call (800) 786-4262 or email

OCTOBER 14: CMA President's Reception and Awards Gala, The California Museum, 1020 O Street, Sacramento.  This year’s gala is honoring Incoming CMA President and SSVMS Past President Paul Phinney, MD.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.


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 24-25: CDA Cares, Cal Expo, 1600 Expedition Blvd.  The California Dental Association Foundation is recruiting volunteers for CDA Cares, a free dental clinic.  Physician and nurses volunteers are needed in the clinic’s medical triage area where patients will be assessed for contraindications prior to receiving care.  Volunteers are also needed to dispense medication, escort patients, translate, set-up and tear down clinic, register patients and volunteers, conduct exit interviews, enter data, and provide oral health.  For more information, visit

OCTOBER 6:  Putt for Your Butt Golf Tournament, Turkey Creek Golf Course.  Please join to California Colorectal Cancer Coalition to have a great time and raise money to help increase colorectal cancer awareness, access to screening, and projects to help uninsured and underinsured Californians get screened.  To register, click here.  For more information, contact Michele Limoges at (916) 985-9200, or

OCTOBER 7:  Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter Annual Dinner, California State University, Sacramento Alumni Center, 6:00 pm. Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Health System, UC Davis Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences, and Dean, UC Davis School of Medicine, will speak on health disparities and the social determinants of health.  For more information or to register, visit Upcoming Events at or call (916) 955-6333.

SSVMS and CMA have collaborated with Wells Fargo Advisors to offer an optimal suite of investment planning resources for our members.  Wells Fargo Advisors offers dedicated resources from medical school through retirement to address your unique financial needs at the various stages of your medical career.   Many fees for investment advisory programs have either been waived or negotiated.  For more information, contact Timothy Johnson or Mark Aizenberg, Investment Officers at (855) CALIF-MD (855-225-4363) or