e-News is our electronic publication emailed as needed to keep physicians' practices up to date with time sensitive information.
June 3, 2020
Congressional leaders demand answers to why HHS hasn’t disbursed relief funds to Medicaid providers
On Wednesday, key Congressional leaders  wrote  to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar raising concerns and demanding answers about the delay in disbursing provider relief funds to Medicaid-dependent providers. More...
Senate and Assembly Reach an Agreement on the 2020-21 Budget
The Senate and Assembly reached an agreement today on the 2020-21 Budget. Included is restoration of all of Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenue provider payments and programs, as well as all future years of the Physician and Dentist Loan Repayment Program, and continuation of the Song Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Program.
Now the Legislature will pivot to negotiate with the Governor to reconcile differences between his May Revise spending plan and their solution to solving the $54 billion budget deficit.
CMA staff will work over the coming weeks, prior to the June 15th budget deadline, to ensure Proposition 56 is protected and will continue to increase access to care for Medi-cal patients.

Will California sacrifice access to health care during a pandemic?
By P. Brian Savino, M.D., MPH., FACEP

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on society. As of late May, there have been over 100,000 cases in California and nearly 4,000 deaths. Millions more have been affected by unemployment, mental health challenges and loss of health insurance. It is an unprecedented time when our state leadership should be rallying to create a robust and secure health care system. More...
CMA publishes templates for communicating with patients about reopening
As medical practices begin the process of reopening after the COVID-19 shut down, one of the more difficult parts of the process may be  communicating with patients and others .

Patients, who have spent months at home hearing about the dangers of the pandemic, may not know that it is okay to come to the practice for routine, non-COVID check-ups and treatments. They may also be afraid of the risk of infection that could come from interacting with the health care system. More...
Reminder: Deadline to complete ACES training is July 1
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...
Provider relief expected soon for specialties without heavy Medicare caseloads
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is beta testing a new portal to facilitate distribution of provider relief funds to physicians who were not eligible for the first two traunches. This would include physicians and specialties who do not have a Medicare-heavy caseload, such as Medicaid providers, pediatricians, obstetricians, allergists and psychiatrists.  More...
House passes bill to provide flexibility for PPP loans
The U.S. House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly passed the “ Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act ” (HR 6886) to give small businesses more time and flexibility to use their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. More...
Medi-Cal pharmacy benefit to transition to FFS “Medi-Cal Rx” program by Jan. 2021
Within hours of taking office in 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an  executive order  to achieve cost-savings for prescription drug purchases made by the state.

A key component of executive order requires the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) transition all Medi-Cal pharmacy services from managed care to fee-for-service (FFS) effective January 1, 2021. The Medi-Cal pharmacy benefits and services administered by DHCS in the FFS delivery system is collectively referred to as “Medi-Cal Rx.” The goal of Medi-Cal Rx is to create cost savings and streamline the administration of drug benefits in the Medi-Cal system.  More...
Bill introduced to protect physicians from unfair lawsuits during COVID-19 pandemic
Congress will be considering a bill – the Coronavirus Provider Protection Act (HR 7059) – that would provide health care professionals, and the facilities in which they work, protections from COVID-19-related lawsuits. The legislation was introduced by representatives Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif).  More...
Kern County ( Kern County Public Health )
Total Resident Cases - 2,418
Non-Resident Cases - 10
Recovered Residents - 1,589
Kern Resident Deaths - 40

Confirmed Cases - 117,687
Deaths - 4,361

Confirmed Cases - 1,827,425
Deaths - 106,202

Confirmed Cases - 6,287,771
Deaths - 379,941

All of these numbers were pulled from the respective websites 6/3/20, 5:30PM.
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