PULSE is our electronic publication emailed weekly to keep physicians' practices up to date with time sensitive information.
July 2, 2020
Governor Newsom Signs the 2020-21 Budget Agreement
June 29, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the final budget package for 2020-2021. This year’s budget process was greatly accelerated, with what would normally take six months, the State Legislature and Governor were forced to forge an agreement in just over one month. California began 2020 with a strong economy, historic reserves, a structurally balanced budget, and a projected surplus of $5.6 billion. However, by May, the Legislature and the Governor’s office found themselves working to close a $54.3 billion budget deficit due precipitous state revenue declines and caseload increases due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

CMA advocacy proved successful in a difficult environment, ensuring that all of Proposition 56 revenue supports access for Medi-Cal patients and not the state’s general fund. The effective deployment of grassroots advocacy, including the first year of Loan Repayment Program awardees and second year applicants, paired with the legislature’s continued commitment to the voter intent of Proposition 56 was a winning combination.

The spending plan signed today avoided actions that could worsen the public health crisis and/or compound economic challenges of physician practices. CMA was successful in protecting the following programs and funding for the 2020-21 budget year. More...
Anthem Blue Cross preps for entry into additional Medi-Cal markets (Central Valley)
Anthem Blue Cross recently began notifying physicians it will seek approval to participate as a Medi-Cal managed care plan in  several additional Inland Empire and Central Valley counties  beginning in 2024. Physicians in the chosen counties report receiving a letter of intent from Blue Cross of California Partnership Plan seeking to secure their intent to participate in Anthem’s Medi-Cal Managed Care program. More...
CMA sponsors bill to protect health officers
The California Medical Association (CMA) is sponsoring a bill authored by state Senator Richard Pan, M.D., that will protect California’s public health officers. Under current law, the home addresses of members of the legislature, city councils, board of supervisors and other officials are prohibited from appearing in Department of Motor Vehicle records that can be accessed by the public. Dr. Pan’s bill (SB 483) would extend that prohibition to the disclosure of the home addresses of public health officers. More...
USMLE Step 2 CS Announcement from the MBC
Due to the recent United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) decision to suspend administration of Step 2CS for 12-18 months, passage of Step 2 CS is no longer required as part of the Postgraduate Training License (PTL) application requirements. To meet the minimum examination requirement for a PTL, an applicant must have taken and passed Steps 1 and 2CK of the USMLE or all parts of the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) examination per Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations section 1328.

If an individual has already submitted a PTL application to the Board, no action is required.
For new applicants, the PTL application information and checklist has been updated to reflect this change.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Board’s Consumer Information Unit at (800) 633-2322.
First COVID-19 Virtual Grand Rounds webinar is July 14; Register today
With COVID-19 likely to be part of the clinical landscape for the foreseeable future, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) and the California Medical Association (CMA), in partnership with the California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) and Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (OPSC), are  hosting a monthly Virtual Grand Rounds series  on the evolution of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and management of COVID-19 patients. More...

Effective July 1, physicians must complete training to continue being reimbursed for ACEs screenings
Recognizing that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a strong and life-long correlation to numerous health, social and behavioral problems, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with the California Office of the Surgeon General, in January launched a first-in-the-nation statewide effort to screen patients for trauma and the increased likelihood of ACEs-associated health conditions due to toxic stress. The goal of this initiative is to reduce ACEs and toxic stress by half in one generation. More...
DHCS publishes video tour of new Medi-Cal website
On June 15, 2020, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched a new Medi-Cal website. The initial reception was negative, with delays and confusion about the site navigation. In response, DHCS has posted a  video website tour  to help providers familiarize themselves with the new website. More...
CMA urges Anthem to delay specialty medication policy
The California Medical Association (CMA) and a number of specialty medical associations  have asked  Anthem Blue Cross to delay implementation of a  new policy  requiring that specialty pharmacy medications administered in the office or outpatient hospital setting be obtained exclusively through CVS Specialty pharmacy. The new policy applies to Anthem’s commercial HMO and Medi-Cal managed care products effective with July 1, 2020, dates of service where Anthem is financially at risk for the specialty medications. More...
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