PULSE is our electronic publication emailed weekly to keep physicians' practices up to date with time sensitive information.
October 22, 2020
California Medical Association's 2020 Legislative Wrap-Up

By Janus L. Norman, CMA Senior Vice President of Government and Political Relations

As 2019 concluded, reasonable assumptions about 2020 began to emerge. The year was expected to be busy and more polarizing due to the presidential election occurring in November. Large-scale issue-based campaigns calling for new state programs supported by the expected state budget surplus were being announced. State legislators were finalizing their legislative packages. And lastly, the California Medical Association (CMA) was preparing to defeat yet another attempt to eliminate the cap on non-economic damages incorporated in California’s long-standing professional liability reform law, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

In March, the world changed, and California politics and the legislative process went through an unprecedented transformation. More...
The Kern County Medical Society will be hosting a virtual Annual Meeting, Installation and Awards on November 19, 2020 at 7:00PM. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!
Free Training to Fulfill California’s Harassment Avoidance Requirements
Did you know that California employers with five or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment avoidance training for all employees by January 1, 2021?
Through the end of 2020, the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) is pleased to offer you and your staff complimentary access to both a two-hour supervisory course and one-hour non-supervisory course to help your practice meet the fast-approaching deadline.
Until now, CAP has offered this free on-demand course, which can cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere, exclusively to its physician members. As part of our commitment to helping all physicians succeed in their practices, CAP is waiving the membership requirement and recommends that your practice train your employees now and not wait until the end of 2020.
Once you sign up to take the course, you will receive specific instructions for you and your staff to enroll. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to save the certificate of completion as a PDF that can be printed or saved to prove compliance.
CAP, a leading provider of medical malpractice coverage for California physicians, offers a wide array of risk and practice management benefits, such as these free programs, to its members.
To learn more about becoming a CAP member, please contact Les Fujimoto at 213-473-8789 or via email at [email protected]Request an Instant Quote Today to learn how much you can save on medical malpractice coverage with CAP.
If you are a CAP member and have questions about the training or general HR matters, please call Nancy Brusegaard Johnson at 213-473-8664.
New “info blocking” rule takes effect Nov. 2; AMA asks ONC to allow physicians more time to comply
In early March, just days before the United States began to experience the COVID-19 pandemic in earnest, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) published a final rule that detailed requirements for implementation of the new “information blocking” rules put in place under the 21st Century Cures Act, which is intended to enable more widespread access, use and exchange of patient data. The final rule requires all physicians to come into compliance with the new requirements by November 2, 2020. More...
CMA survey finds 87% of physician practices still worried about financial health due to pandemic
In April, the California Medical Association’s (CMA) first COVID-19 Physician Financial Health Survey found widespread concern about the financial health of physician practices. At that time, 95% of practices reported they worried about their financial health due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, with an average revenue decrease of 64%. Now that we are more than six months into the pandemic, CMA conducted a follow-up survey to reevaluate practice viability. More...
HHS updates provider relief FAQ with details on new phase 3 provider relief funding
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced $20 billion in new funding for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments can now apply for additional funding beyond the 2% of annual revenue previously allowed to account for revenue losses and changes in operating expenses attributed to coronavirus. Previously ineligible providers, such as behavioral health providers and those who began practicing in 2020, will also be eligible to receive funding from this new $20 billion tranche. More...
Ask the Expert: Is telehealth payment parity ending soon?
Over the past few months, the California Medical Association (CMA) has received a number of inquiries from physician practices concerned that the requirement to reimburse providers at in-office rates for telehealth services, including telephonic visits, may be ending. However, according to guidance from California regulators, payors are required to continue with telehealth payment parity. More...
New prescribing and reporting rules for controlled substances coming January 1, 2021
On January 1, 2021, all security prescription forms will be required to have a uniquely serialized number, a corresponding barcode and other security features.

California-approved security printers have been issuing these prescription pads since the beginning of 2020. Starting January 1, 2021, except for limited emergency situations, pharmacists will be unable to fill a controlled substances prescription that is not on a compliant form. More...
Physicians encouraged to register early for new Medi-Cal Rx portal
On January 7, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order aimed at achieving cost savings for drug purchases made by the state. A key component of the order requires the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to transition all Medi-Cal pharmacy services from managed care to fee for service (FFS) by January 1, 2021. The Medi-Cal pharmacy benefits and services administered by DHCS in the FFS delivery system are collectively referred to as “Medi-Cal Rx.” More...
Gov. Newsom creates Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to advise on COVID-19 vaccines
As California continues to wrestle with the COVID-19 outbreak, the state is already making plans about how a vaccine will be distributed to the general public when the time comes. More...
Anthem Blue Cross introduces new narrow network for 2021
Anthem Blue Cross has begun marketing a new, narrow “high performance” network for 2021. The Anthem High Performance/Blue High Performance Network (Blue HPN®) is part of a national network of Blue High Performance networks being created in collaboration with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The new narrow network of physicians is a subset of its broader Anthem Prudent Buyer PPO network and will be utilized for its EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) product line. While specific criteria for physician participation in the Blue HPN are unspecified, Anthem’s notice states that the Blue HPN is designed to focused on improved health outcomes and affordability of care for national employer groups. More...
ACEs Aware initiative trains nearly 14,000 health care providers in trauma-informed care
Nearly 14,000 health care providers have completed the ACEs Aware initiative’s core training program, "Becoming ACEs Aware in California." The program trains health care providers to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to recognize and respond to the symptoms of toxic stress. Of those trained, 8,300 are Medi-Cal providers who are now eligible to receive payment for providing ACE screenings. More...
The New Rules of Communicating During COVID-19
The Fresno-Madera Medical Society is inviting you to participate in their November 4 Office Manager's Forum. More...
Upcoming FREE CMA Webinars
Telehealth Series for Small and Medium Sized Practices: (Pt. 6) Strategies for an Effective Telephone Visit

October 29, 2020 | 12:15PM - 1:15PM

Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 Vaccine Update *CME Available

November 10, 2020 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM