Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

November 18, 2022

*Please note, there will be no newsletter next week. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.*

Serve on an ACCMA Committee 


ACCMA is currently accepting nominations from members to serve on committees in 2023. ACCMA committees are the workshops of the medical association and are responsible for developing many of the ACCMA’s policies and programs that assist physicians and improve the quality of medical care in our community. You can learn more about ACCMA committees here and apply by December 1. If you currently serve on ACCMA committees, you do not need to nominate yourself again. All current committee members will be automatically considered for reappointment in 2023. 

RSV is Overwhelming Our Local Hospitals


This is a reminder to encourage patients of all ages to get their flu shot and COVID boosters as we head into late fall. Hospitals and EDs in our local community are overwhelmed by the number of cases of pediatric respiratory illness, namely RSV. Although RSV is a normal part of the fall cycle of illnesses, this year is seeing an excessive amount of hospitalizations compared to other years. This is leading to overspill into EDs with very few hospital beds available for any other patients. Please bring awareness to this issue by educating patients and their families on the importance of being vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19. Read more about RSV from the CDC.

ACCMA Member in the News

Our very own Susan Ferguson, MD, was featured in the New York Times for her Letter to the Editor on ‘How Doctors View Patients with Disabilities’. Dr. Ferguson highlights what her patients with disabilities have taught her over the years, stating “I have learned to be humbled by my many patients who have struggled with trauma, drug abuse and the stress of societal prejudice, and yet have learned to care for themselves and to live life fully, with soul and a sense of humor”. She is a primary care physician at Lifelong Medical Care. 

PHC Awards $38 Million to Expand CA Physician Workforce

The Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) announced over $38 million to support medical training and residency programs across the state. CalMedForce funding, generated by voter-approved Prop. 56 tobacco tax of 2016 and administered by PHC, supports 210 residency positions in 129 GME programs at hospitals and clinics, with an emphasis on underserved communities. To date, CalMedForce has allocated over $189 million to retain and expand GME programs in primary care and emergency medicine. 

Join Your Colleagues for a Discussion about the State of EMRs and Health Info Technology

The ACCMA Medical Services, Quality, and Information Technology Committee will be hosting a virtual meeting (via zoom) on Thursday, December 1st at 6 PM for members to discuss the current state of health information technology (HIT) and electronic medical records (EMR). We will be joined by David Ford, CMA Vice President of HIT, who will share information about the current state of HIT, some of the policy issues confronting California physicians around EMR, and upcoming requirements related to health information exchange. David will also discuss current and planned advocacy efforts at the state and federal level. We will conclude with an open discussion to hear about your HIT/EMR experience. To RSVP and receive the zoom link, email rsvp@accma.org.  

Concerns About Expanding Scope of Practice of Nonphysician Practitioners

The Expanding Care and Access to Nurses Act (HR 8812) would allow nonphysicians practitioners to perform tasks and services outside their education and training, while narrowing or removing supervisory requirements. Additionally, the Board of Registered Nursing voted to issue regulations implementing AB 890 (2020) which changes the physician supervision requirements for two new classifications of NPs. 


Last week, researchers from Stanford published a study comparing the productivity of NPs to physicians. The study highlights that removing physicians from the care team leads to increased health costs, lower quality of care, an increase of preventable hospitalizations, and increased length of stay in the ED. Click here to read more from AMA on this study’s findings. 

CDC Releases Updated Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

The CDC has updated and replaced the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioid for Chronic Pain (previous version from 2016). In the update, the CDC removed the 2016 numeric thresholds for dose and quantity of opioid prescriptions from its recommendations, saying that “the recommendations are not intended to be implemented as absolute limits for policy or practice across populations by organizations, health care systems, or government entities.” In its revision, CDC said multiple times that the updated guideline “is meant to be a flexible clinical tool and should not be used as a rigid standard of care or one-size-fits-all policy or law.” We urge all stakeholders to follow the CDC and replace all current policies based on the old guideline to align with the 2022 guideline recommendations. Failure to do so will result in continued misapplication and harm to patients with pain and physicians who treat patients with pain. 

HHS Announces Hundreds of Millions in Funding to Expand Mental Health Services


New mental health funding includes $27 million to expand support for pediatric mental health care, including a $300,000 grant to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Portal; $315 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics; and $100 million for mental health emergency preparedness, crisis response, and expansion of 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline services. 

Cal MediConnect Transition to Medicare Medi-Cal Plans

Starting January 1, Cal MediConnect beneficiaries will automatically transition to Medicare Medi-Cal plans. For impacted beneficiaries, drug coverage will continue to be processed through coordination of benefits with Medicare Part B and Part D prior to coverage through Medi‑Cal. Pharmacy benefits for Medi‑Cal will be processed through Medi‑Cal Rx as the payor of last resort for drugs/products that are specifically excluded from Medicare Part D. Click here for more information. 


Making a Difference in 10 Minutes: Motivational Interviewing for Substance Use Disorders 

Tuesday, November 29 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 

Hosted by CMA 


Motivational interviewing (MI) may have more research to support its effectiveness than most medications and using it increases the chances our interactions with patients will be more rewarding, more connected and less argumentative. MI is applicable to any behavior change, has been studied cross-culturally, and employs some strategies that can actually shorten some visit types. In this practical workshop, you'll get a brief overview of the most current and compelling research on MI and substance use disorders (SUD); learn the five most powerful strategies for helping patients struggling with SUD or other behavior changes; and learn two anti-growth statements to avoid saying to patients to increase the likelihood of positive care outcomes. 


Register here.

Addiction Pharmacology: Enhancing Confidence and Comfort in Helping Pregnant Women 

Thursday, December 1 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 

Free for all | Hosted by CMA 


Medication-assisted treatment for addiction using buprenorphine is now primary care, yet not all physicians feel comfortable with the pharmacology. In this workshop, you’ll hear the current best practices for using buprenorphine to treat opioid disorder in pregnant and parenting women, with plenty of time for questions. 


Register here

SaludConTech Digital Health Equity Conference

Friday, December 2 | 10:00 am to 5:00 pm 

Free virtually | $250 In-Person 


Physicians are invited to join the Public Health Institute’s Latino Coalition Against COVID-19 at the SaludConTech Digital Health Equity Conference to hear from thought leaders across the healthcare spectrum and explore the role of technology in addressing health disparities to advance digital health equity in communities of color. Tune in virtually, or in person in Los Angeles. 


Register here

Crashing the Clinical Encounter 

Tuesday, December 6 | 5:00 to 6:00 pm 

Hosted by the Nocturnists, CMA 


This virtual storytelling workshop will explore political, legal, and corporate intrusion in the exam room, and its impact on the clinician-patient relationship. The Nocturnists medical storytelling podcast and live show amplifies physician voices by helping them tell their stories and enabling them to speak publicly about the fears, doubts, and joys that shape their personal and professional lives. 


Register here

Leadership Reading and Discussion Group  

Wednesday, December 7 | 6:00 to 7:30 pm  

FREE | CME Available | Online 


Physicians are free to join any meeting of the Leadership Reading and Discussion Group; reading the book is not required. Doctor Hilary Worthen, course director of the Physician Leadership Program, facilitates the discussion group that is held on Zoom. The book for the December discussion will be "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink. This is a relatively short and well written tour through the social science of motivation, in which Pink develops a framework he calls Motivation 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. 


Register here

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome vs. Neurobehavioral Deficits in the Newborn: The Differential Diagnosis 

Tuesday, December 13 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 

Free for all | Hosted by CMA 


Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a diagnosis that originally was restricted to infants going through withdrawal due to the effects of prenatal opioid exposure. However, over time, the term began to be applied to infants with jitteriness and irritability following prenatal exposure to other substances. A new term, neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS), recently emerged to ensure specificity in the diagnosis of infants affected by prenatal exposure to opioids. Whichever term is used, how do clinicians differentiate the effects of and infants’ dependence on opioids from infants with neurobehavioral deficits due to non-opioid exposure. This session will address that question and provide an effective approach to diagnosing NOWS in the newborn infant. 


Register here

ACCMA's On-Demand Library

To access all on-demand programs, go to https://www.pathlms.com/medical-society/courses 



Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or accma@accma.orgwith any questions or concerns you have.