PULSE is our electronic publication emailed weekly to keep physicians' practices up to date with time sensitive information.
December 21, 2020
Kern Public Health Vaccine Information
Kern County Public Health Services Department has developed a webpage and a couple of flyers to help physicians and their patients understand the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the vaccine distribution process.

CMA publishes COVID-19 vaccine resource center
News on the availability, distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine is changing quickly. As we have throughout this pandemic, the California Medical Association (CMA) has curated resources for physicians to follow the latest information on all things vaccine-related, including the latest information from state officials and your frequently asked questions about the vaccine.
You can find the new CMA COVID vaccine page.
CMA Update: Final Congressional Action on Medicare Payments, COVID Relief & Surprise Billing
On December 21, 2020, the 116th Congress is set to adjourn for the year after one of the most acrimonious sessions in recent memory. 
Congress is set to adopt a massive $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government and a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. They also adopted changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule, extended several important health care programs, provided 1,000 new GME slots, and passed a surprise medical billing agreement. The bill is thousands of pages and CMA is still reviewing the details. However, we have prepared this brief summary. We are also working on a more detailed summary of the surprise billing legislation and the 40 plus health care bills that were included in the package.  
While this was a tumultuous Congress, it was also one of the most difficult and unprecedented times in our nation’s history. After Congress spent trillions of dollars on the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year, Senate leadership became more cautious about future spending on the pandemic, Medicare payments, and other issues. While there are disappointments in this year-end package, Congress did dedicate billions to help physicians during the pandemic and CMA will be fighting for more.
Our California Congressional leaders are already committing to future COVID aid packages, more opportunities for additional Medicare payment assistance, and surprise billing clean-up next year.
Despite the difficult Congressional environment, CMA will never, ever give up. We will keep fighting so that you can focus on your patients and not be distracted or brought down by administrative burdens, declining reimbursements, outside corporate influences, or a devastating virus. You are the true heroes in this pandemic and we will continue to advocate for you!
Thank you for all of your efforts this year to advocate on behalf of physicians in the virtual Halls of Congress! CMA wishes you and your families a safe and happy holidays!
Medicare Changes: 2021 and Beyond

JANUARY 21, 2021
Join KCMS as we bring you our Medicare Changes event with Cheryl Bradley! Our event will be virtual but it is sure to be fun and informative with Cheryl as the presenter. More information and registration details to come soon.
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.
Care 4 Caregivers Now-Supporting Caregivers' Empowerment and Well-Being
Healing your patients requires passion and resiliency while juggling stressful work conditions and time-consuming administrative burdens. Burnout was on the rise before COVID-19, and the global pandemic has only put increasing strain on California’s health care system.

The California Medical Association (CMA) has long been dedicated to addressing burnout at the organizational and systemic level while providing innovative resources to increase wellness and empowerment. More...
Preparing for the 2021 E/M coding changes
With modifications to the outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) coding guidelines set to take effect on January 1, 2021, physician practices must understand and be ready to implement the most impactful overhaul of E/M codes in more than 25 years. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the upcoming code modifications were designed to make E/M office visit coding and documentation simpler and more flexible, freeing physicians and care teams from clinically irrelevant administrative burdens that led to time-wasting note bloat and box checking. More...
Important tax info for physicians receiving Provider Relief Fund payments
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted a recent update to its Provider Relief Fund frequently asked questions (FAQ) document regarding important tax information for physicians.

HHS announced that Form 1099s will be sent to physicians who received a payment in excess of $600 during the 2020 calendar year, from either the Provider Relief Fund or the COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured. More...
DHCS announces plan for COVID-19 vaccine administration reimbursement
On Friday, December 18, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced its plan for reimbursement of the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the announcement, DHCS will follow Medicare policy and reimburse physicians for COVID-19 vaccine administration at Medicare rates. More...
CMA publishes guide to help physicians prepare for Covered CA changes in 2021
In 2020, Covered California, California's health benefit exchange, enrolled approximately 1.53 million individuals in qualified health plans. To help physician practices understand their participation status, which products are being offered and what changes to expect, the California Medical Association has published a new tip sheet, “Surviving Covered California: Preparing for changes in 2021.” The tip sheet is available free to members.
Upcoming FREE CMA Webinars
E/M Coding Changes 2021

January 12, 2021 | 12:15PM - 1:15PM

Telehealth Series for Small and Medium Sized Practices (Pt. 9): Telehealth 2021 Overview

January 14, 2021 | 12:15PM - 1:15PM