Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

December 2, 2022

Retention Bonus Application Period Open Now

The application is now live for the health care worker retention bonuses administered by DHCS. Apply now! If you are an independent/solo physician, remember to register first. If you work in group practice, please be aware that your group should be registering and applying on your behalf. The application portal will close on December 30th. For more information, access CMA’s on demand webinar or view the presentation slides. 

What’s New with HIPAA

Review some of the most critical privacy and security standards in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Rules. In this one-hour webinar with expert HIPAA and practice management consultant David Ginsberg, you will receive important updates on who is covered, what information is protected, how you can stay secure in the Information Age, and how to avoid costly mistakes, as well as what is new for compliance. CME is available for this program. This on demand webinar is free for members and $49 for non-members. 

CMA 2022 Legislative Wrap-Up, Priorities for 2023

Find an insider’s take on what went down during this year’s legislative session in CMA’s Legislative Wrap-Up – Returning to (Almost) Normal. The wrap-up features a summary on health care reform, MICRA, health IT, reproductive rights, scope of practice, and more, as well as this year’s sponsored bills, priority support/oppose bills, and successfully negotiated bills. Looking forward to the new year, CMA also published a summary of the new health laws of interest to physicians in 2023. 

Medical Board Warns of New Physician Extortion Scam

The Medical Board of California is warning physicians that scam artists are posing as law enforcement officers, DEA agents, and medical board staff calling California physicians are part of an extortion scheme. The scammers’ phone number may show up as the medical board’s toll-free number (800) 633-2322, or, if posing as law enforcement, they may impersonate actual law enforcement officers using their real names. Click here to read more about what phone calls from scammers may entail and how to report these calls. Please be reminded that law enforcement officers, DEA agents, and medical board staff will never contact a physician by phone for payment. 

All California Physicians Now Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

CMA and your county medical society’s advocacy has officially ensured that all California (and Texas) physicians can participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, despite state prohibitions on physician employment. Prior to this new rule, only physicians “directly employed” by a hospital/clinic were eligible, leaving many California physicians unable to apply for loan forgiveness through PSLF. The final rule ensures that physicians in all 50 states have equal access to loan forgiveness. Applications will open in July 2023 under the new rules, which are retroactive for the last 10 years of work in public and private non-profit hospitals and clinics.

Reminder to Lower Barrier for Access to COVID-19 Treatment

There is an ample supply of COVID-19 therapeutics and evidence suggests that patients who may benefit from being treated for COVID-19 infection are not being treated. CDPH released a health advisory, reminding physicians of the following:  

  • Ensure all individuals with suspected COVID-19 receive testing for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, as appropriate, based on risk factors. 
  • Enable pathways for symptomatic individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and/or influenza to connect to a prescriber within 24 hours of seeking care, including new patients. Ensure all patients are aware that a new law enacted Sept 25, 2022 requires all health plans in California to cover out-of-network care for patients seeking COVID-19 therapeutics evaluation with no cost sharing to patients. 
  • Providers should have a low threshold to prescribe COVID-19 therapeutics given the broad range of individuals who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 and can benefit from COVID-19 treatment 

Update on Managing MPX in Patients Receiving Therapeutics

The CDC released a health alert highlighting updates to monkeypox management and reminding physicians that clinically sever cases are still popping up. There have been two cases of laboratory-confirmed tecovirimat resistance (in both cases, the patients had immunocompromising conditions, severe manifestations of MPX, and prolonged courses of tecovirimat). There are certain therapeutics which can be concurrently administered with tecovirimat, namely, cidofovir, brincidofovir, and VIGIV. Physicians are encouraged to test for tecovirimat resistance in patients with progressive/persistent MPX after completing 14 days of tecovirimat. Read more from the CDC here


Moreover, DHCS announced on Friday that they will reimburse the administration of MPX vaccine as a pharmacy benefit effective for dates of service on or after August 17, 2022.

Chemicals Harming You and Your Patients

My Green Doctor is a free money-saving membership benefit that allows medical offices to learn how to adopt environmental sustainability, save resources, and help create healthier communities. This month’s topic focuses on why PFAS are important and how your patients can avoid them. PFAS chemicals seem to be everywhere these days: at the top of Mount Everest, in umbilical cord blood, in breast milk, and in the news.  In 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new health advisories for PFAS in drinking water. Visit My Green Doctor and register as a partner society member for full access to materials forever, for free. Use discount code MGDACCMA. 


CMS Medicare Updates 

Available on demand | Free 

Hosted by CMA and CMS 


In this on demand webinar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Regional Chief Medical Officer Ashby Wolfe, M.D., provided an update on CMS policy for the 2023 calendar year. Information presented is to practicing clinicians, including an overview of the updates to the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule. 


Watch now

The Top HR Issues Impacting Medical Practices...and How to Handle Them

Available on demand | Free 

Hosted by the Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP)  


Whether you manage a team of one or 100, implementing structured human resources policies and procedures can improve staff efficiency and help you avoid employment-related lawsuits. CAP's SVP of Human Resources and Operations, Nancy Brusegaard Johnson, will address how to hire great staff, effectively manage HR issues, stay current on employment regulations, and much more.  


Watch now

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

Addressing Social Drivers of Health Through Payment Innovation and Collaboration

Wednesday, December 7 | 10:00 am 

Hosted by Blue Shield of California and The California Endowment 


At this webinar, participants will hear about a vision for how cross-sector investment can help sustainably fund effective coordination between health care and communities to address social needs and the social drivers of health that keep millions from being healthy. Explore examples of innovative funding solutions to support community-anchored referral networks and identify how stakeholders can engage to sustain access to social needs services and effective coordination of health and social care. 


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

Back to Basic: Buprenorphine 101 

Thursday, December 8 | 9:00 am 

Free | Virtual | Hosted by CA Bridge 


Ensure your hospital's medication for addiction treatment (MAT) program is up and running with this online training session. Providers will learn best practices for treating patients with buprenorphine in the emergency department. 


Register here

Virtual Grand Rounds: Updates on Emerging Viruses – COVID-19, MPX, & Enterovirus, Including Polio

Tuesday, December 13 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm 

Free | Hosted by CMA 


COVID-19 remains on our radar, but other infectious diseases are also causing new or unusual symptoms and warrant attention. In this Virtual Grand Rounds, Erica Pan, M.D., MPH, will bring us up to speed on COVID-19 and monkeypox (MPX). Joining her will be Carol Glaser, M.D., who will educate us on emerging enterovirus activity that is causing several respiratory illness and acute flaccid myelitis. Dr. Glaser will also speak on polio and the possible implications in California.    


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

Inequities in Dementia Detection and Cognitive Health Assessments: Primary Care Dementia Screening in Diverse Older Adult Populations 

Thursday, December 15 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm 

Free | Hosted by CMA, Alzheimer’s Association, & UCSF Dementia Care Aware Project 


Learn about the prevalence and projections of Alzheimer's disease in California; the impact in diverse communities disproportionately affected by the disease and significantly impacted by social determinants of health; how to do screening for dementia in diverse patient populations; and how to help patients optimize physical and cognitive health and support them and their families with resources. 


Register here

AMA Federation Health Equity Exchange 

Thursday, January 5 | 12:00 pm 

Free | Hosted by the American Medical Association 


Participants will learn how the Medical Association of the State of Alabama has long been a champion for greater health care access for disadvantaged and underserved communities. Hear how MASA has partnered with other associations and agencies in the Cover Alabama Coalition, a group specifically formed to promote expansion of Medicaid in Alabama and has championed legislative actions to provide incentives for physicians who open and maintain clinics in underserved areas. The Medical Association has encouraged diversity and inclusion within its membership and the medical community as a whole by awarding minority medical school scholarships and they will share that information as well. 


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.