Advocacy & Legislative News Update

OC Primary Elections Results
To view results of the OC Primary Elections, visit

The OCMA Legislative Committee interviewed many of the candidates and will schedule another round prior to the general election in November. Based on these interviews, recommendations are made to CMA's CALPAC for campaign funding support.

LOCAL: CalOptima

Thanks in part to OCMA advocacy, in March, the CalOptima Board of Directors approved establishing a 'Community Network', allowing direct contracts with physicians in order to provide greater access to services for CalOptima enrollees.


Also in March, the County Board of Supervisors modified the county ordinance governing CalOptima to require an additional supervisor be added to the CalOptima Board of Directors. As a result, Supervisor Todd Spitzer has joined Supervisor Janet Nguyen on the CalOptima Board. 


For details and resources on the state's Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) - Dual Eligibles Demonstration, please click here.


Medicare SGR

Over CMA's strong opposition to another short term patch, on March 31, the night before the SGR cut, the House and Senate voted on the 17th patch in a decade.  With the President's signature, the bill takes effect and provides the following: 


 - Stops the 24% Medicare physician payment cut for 1 year until April 2015.


- Provides a 0.5% payment increase through Dec 31, 2014; 0% through April 1, 2015.


- Delays the burdensome ICD-10 coding system until October 2015.


- Permanently Reforms the California physician payment localities. 

STATE: Health Care Bills

Below is an update on a few critical health care bills. For a full list, review CMA's Legislative Hot List.


SB 1215 (Hernandez): Healing arts licensees: referrals (CMA Position: OPPOSE) - which aimed to eliminate the in-office exception to the self-referral law for advanced imaging, anatomic pathology, radiation therapy, and physical therapy. This bill would have been a major blow to the integrated care model, resulting in increased costs as these services would have been driven toward the more expensive hospital setting and inhibit the development of practices that integrate and coordinate care. We have successfully managed to defeat this harmful bill in committee.


SB 1000 (Monning) the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act (CMA Position: SPONSOR)  - passed the Senate Floor after receiving 21 yes votes. Facing significant opposition from the beverage industry, it was a hard-won vote. 


AB 1771 (V.M. Perez) Telehealth Reimbursement (CMA Position: SPONSOR)  - was approved through a 76-1 vote. This bill seeks to require health insurance companies licensed in the State of California to pay contracted physicians for telephone patient management. 


AB 2400 (Ridley-Thomas) Health care coverage: provider contracts (CMA Position: SPONSOR) - was approved through a 55-8 vote. If signed into law, this bill will prohibit contracts issued, amended or renewed after January 1, 2015, from including a provision that terminates a provider if he or she exercises the right to negotiate, accept or refuse a material change to the contract. It would also prohibit plans from requiring participation in unspecified current and future products or product networks, unless the plan discloses the reimbursement rate, method of payment and any other contract terms that are materially different from those of the underlying commercial agreement. 


State Budget


Recently, the Assembly and Senate announced their respective budget plans in anticipation of serious negotiations with the Administration. While the next two weeks will be crucial to securing the priorities of California physicians, the initial offerings by both houses closely reflect the priorities of CMA:


- Medi-Cal Provider Rates: After years of advocacy and litigation, the Assembly and Senate are poised to restore cuts to Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates that were enacted in 2011 and began being implemented earlier this year. Although details are still unclear, we believe the proposal from both houses is to begin the restoration of the cuts in April 2015.

- Primary Care Residency Funding: The Assembly is poised to increase funding for primary care residency programs by an additional $4 million over what the Governor proposed in January. In response to advocacy by CMA and the California Academy of Family Physicians, the Assembly will increase funding beyond the Governor's request and will require the increased funds to be used for expanding residency programs.

- EHR Technical Assistance for Medi-Cal Providers: The Senate proposal includes $3.75 million to provide a state match to draw down $37.5 million in federal funds related to EHR adoption and support for Medi-Cal providers. California has an opportunity to promote greater utilization of health information technology, particularly electronic health record (EHR) systems. 










The trial lawyer-sponsored ballot measure that aims to undermine the protections of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has officially qualified for the November 2014 ballot. The initiative is bad for consumers, taxpayers and health care as a whole, and there has never been a greater need for physicians to band together and fight for our patients.


Join today to get involved in the campaign to oppose the proposed ballot measure by completing a MICRA Commitment Card.


Medi-Cal Access Issues

CMA is collecting physician stories that demonstrate Medi-Cal network inadequacy and hindered access to continuous, quality care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Collecting as many stories as possible is essential for mobilizing effective advocacy efforts around access and payment reform with Medi-Cal managed care health plans and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). 


Please tell your story by filling out this Medi-Cal Access Reporting Survey.


Legislative Day

Each year doctors in their white coats converge upon the Capitol Building for CMA's Annual Legislative Day. This year, a group of 20 OCMA members flew up to Sacramento for very successful meetings with each OC legislator. 


To see pictures of our doctors in Sacramento, click here.
Legislative Committee

The OCMA Legislative Committee interviews candidates for political office including state assembly, state senate and county Board of Supervisors.

If you are interested in participating click here.
Orange County Medical Association | (949) 398-8100 | |
17322 Murphy Ave Irvine, CA 92614