CMA working to fix security prescription legislation    
Flawed implementation of a new state law that requires all security prescription forms to have a uniquely serialized number law has left pharmacies unable to fill prescriptions and patients being refused necessary medications.
The California Medical Association (CMA) is currently working on a legislative fix to address this issue immediately to ensure no patient goes without the essential medicine and care they need. This month, the Assembly voted on AB 149 (Assembly members Cooper, Arambula and Low) to correct the flawed implementation of the new law, which was intended to improve the security of physician prescription pads as a solution to the opioid crisis. 
AB 149 will ensure California patients are able to receive necessary medications! This bill corrects the flawed implementation of AB 1753, which was intended to improve the security of physician prescription pads as a solution to the opioid crisis. However, flawed implementation has resulted in multiple challenges to the new law, leaving pharmacies unable to fill prescriptions as patients are refused necessary medications.
AB 149 (Cooper) delays the implementation of the recently enacted law, which has resulted in non-compliant physician prescription pads. This bill will offer the Department of Justice, Medical Board of California and California State Board of Pharmacy the proper time necessary to implement the law and in the meantime will allow physicians to utilize recently purchased prescription pads.
AB 149 passed the Assembly Floor and will now head to the Senate  
CMA Announces New Statewide Effort to Promote Physician Wellness  
 by Katherine Boroski  
                As the delivery of health care undergoes fundamental shifts and the rate of burnout among physicians continues to rise, physician wellness and professional fulfillment have become hot topics throughout the health care community–and for good reason. In a recent Medscape survey, nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors said they felt burned out, depressed or both. More troubling still, one-third of respondents said such feelings affected their relationships with patients. Burnout can erode the quality of patient care and decrease patient satisfaction. It can also limit patient access to care, as physicians experiencing burnout often cope by reducing the number of patients they see, reducing their clinical time or leaving the profession entirely.  
               To help physicians succeed in their life's work of caring for patients, the California Medical Association (CMA) has made physician wellness and the prevention of burnout a core priority. By advancing initiatives that enhance efficiency, professional satisfaction and the delivery of care, CMA is striving to help physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment. To that end, CMA is working with nationally recognized leaders on physician wellness who bring unparalleled academic expertise and hands-on experience to build an organizational initiative to improve physician fulfillment and well-being.  
               The new initiative is a statewide collaborative effort with physician wellness experts from the Stanford Medicine Well MD Center: Tait Shanafelt, M.D., associate dean, chief wellness officer and professor of hematology; and Mickey Trockel, M.D., project co-leader and clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Under the leadership of CEO Kathleen Creason, CMA’s Physician Wellness Services will be the most comprehensive effort in the country to increase physician wellness as a vehicle to improve the quality of care they provide patients. “CMA is extremely proud to work with Dr. Shanafelt and his team to better combat physician burnout, which occurs from medical school through active practice,” said CMA President David H. Aizuss, M.D. “This program’s scope, innovative approach and resources are unmatched in the nation, and it will substantially improve physician wellness while supporting patient access to quality care.”       The program will utilize a population health framework to address systemic contributors to physician burnout, along with providing tailored support for physicians at increased risk or experiencing specific challenges. In addition to creating tools to support changes that the health care system can make to increase physician well-being, the program will assist those already expressing signs of burnout. “This collaboration will implement a comprehensive approach to promote the wellness of California’s physicians,” said Dr. Shanafelt. “Given the strong links between physician distress and the care they provide patients, we believe improving physician wellness benefits not only physicians, but the patients and communities they serve.” The program will also include offerings that range from local physician commensality groups (to help physicians reconnect with their peers and to find meaning in their work) to tools that help physicians calibrate their wellbeing, while also linking those physicians who have markers of burnout to additional resources. 
               Training will be made available to empower physician leaders to build practice environments that support professional fulfillment. The program will also include an annual comprehensive, longitudinal assessment of the experiences of California physicians to identify new opportunities and measure progress. “This project aims to promote wellness for all physicians, deliver specific interventions to those most at risk for burnout, and provide timely interventions to those already in distress,” said Dr. Trockel. “Along with broad focus on promoting well-being, this tiered approach also sets the ambitious goal of preventing physician suicide in California.” National studies led by Dr. Shanafelt indicate that burnout is more common among physicians than U.S. workers in other fields. Physician burnout has also been associated with risk for suicide among physicians. “The well-being of the nation’s physicians is a critical factor in maintaining access to care and the quality of our health care system,” said Creason. “The program will help physicians conquer these issues, so they can do what they do best– care for patients.”

For more information contact Kathleen Creason at or (916) 551-2031.
TCMS Benefit?
Physician’s Assistance Program
More than half of physicians felt emotionally exhausted and ineffective.  
More than half also said that work was less meaningful. (“Burnout Increasing Among U.S. Doctors” Washington Post—12/08/15)
Did you know as a member of the Medical Society of Tulare and Kings Counties or the Tulare
Kings Foundation for Medical Care (TKFMC) Panel you can seek up to six (6) out patient visits of professional counseling resources? This benefit also extends to spouses of the member .  
This assistance is COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL and services are directly billed to TKFMC but will not reveal to whom services were provided to.
To access this program, please contact one of the below participating providers:
Barry Somner or Kristin Alldredge at 559-738-0644
If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Amaral at 559-734-0393.
All inquiries will be kept confidential. 
Medical Society upcoming events :

February 21st, 2019 "Medicine on Trial"
Presentation by CAP - Visalia Country Club 6pm

March 28th, 2019 Spring General Meeting
Visalia Country Club 6pm

April 26th, 2019 Medical Society Wine Social
Chinese Cultural Center

May 2019 High School Physicals