Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

August 5, 2022

Members in the News: Dr. Eugene Eisenberg Highlighted in Napa Valley Register


“Eisenberg, 94, has been a doctor for 72 years. He’s practiced in Napa since 1995. But that streak has come to an end. Eisenberg retired on Friday from his longtime practice on Villa Lane.” Read the full article here

Legionnaire’s Disease Updates in Napa County


The Napa County Public Health Department and CDC have identified high levels of Legionella bacteria in a sample taken from a cooling tower at Embassy Suites Napa Valley. The cooling tower has since been taken offline, but Napa County Public Health is working to identify any additional sources with high levels of the bacteria. 12 Napa County residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease and hospitalized, one of which has died and three of which remain hospitalized. Please be alert for patients reporting flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. Click here for the latest news update.

Monkeypox Updates, Jynneos Vaccine Information


On August 1, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency to bolster the state’s vaccination efforts against monkeypox. Solano County Public Health released an advisory detailing action for providers and recommendations on Jynneos vaccine eligibility and prioritization. You can download the Jynneos Vaccine Accountability form which should be completed within 7 days of vaccine administration and returned to the CDC via email or fax.

August Recess Call to Action


Members of Congress will soon be heading home for their August district work period where they will be meeting with—and listening to—their constituents. Take action to remind them that there is still unfinished work on important health care issues, including looming cuts to physician Medicare payments and fixing the cumbersome prior authorization process. Physician Grassroots Network makes it easy for you to have your voice heard on important issues: send a message to Congress today.

KidsVaxGrant 2.0 for Providers Serving Pediatric Populations: Application Open



KidsVaxGrant 2.0 will help medical practices with 200 physicians or fewer serving pediatric populations administer COVID vaccines to their infant and toddler pediatric patients. Administered by Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC), CDPH is investing approximately $10 million to fund the KidsVaxGrant 2.0. Individual practices may be eligible for up to two grant opportunities – awards between $10K-25K. Providers serving pediatric populations that were previously awarded a KidsVaxGrant are eligible to apply for KidsVaxGrant 2.0. Click here to learn more and apply today. If you have any questions, attend PHC’s webinar on Tuesday, August 9 at 5 pm.

Send a Letter to U.S. Dept. Of Education Regarding Loan Forgiveness


CMA urgently needs all physicians, residents and medical students to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Education before August 12, urging them to allow qualified California and Texas physicians who provide care in private non-profit hospitals/clinics to receive federal student loan forgiveness. It will only take 3 minutes to submit a letter and helps send a strong message to the Dept. of Education to ensure that physicians in all 50 states can equally participate in this important program. Use CMA’s sample letter, and click here for further instructions.

Medi-Cal Now Ready to Accept Vaccine Administration Claims for Small Children


DHCS announced that they are now ready to accept Medi-Cal vaccine administration claims for individuals 6 months and older, a recent update after urging physicians to hold claims due to DHCS having not yet completed the system and changes required to correctly pay the claims. DHCS is reimbursing under the fee-for-service delivery system for both medical and pharmacy claims.

Monkeypox Testing and Vaccine CPT Coding


In late July, the American Medical Association Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel created and released CPT codes to streamline the reporting of orthopoxvirus and monkeypox testing and immunizations currently available in the United States. The code for laboratory testing is currently not programmed for billing in FFS Medi-Cal. Testing is available through several large commercial labs, including Labcorp and Quest. Both the CDPH and the CDC websites provide further guidance on monkeypox symptoms, testing, treatment, and vaccination.

DHCS Announces New Name for Dual Eligible Health Plans


DHCS recently announced a California-specific program name, Medicare Medi-Cal Plans (MMPs or Medi-Medi plans), for Exclusively Aligned Enrollment (EAE) D-SNPs. These are health plans that provide integrated Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits to dual eligible beneficiaries. Members of Cal MediConnect plans will automatically transition to MMPs on January 1, 2023, as part of the CalAIM initiative to continue providing integrated and coordinated care to dual eligible beneficiaries.

Medi-Cal Rx Updates


Effective September 11, Medi-Cal Rx prescribers will be required to submit prior authorizations for new start medications in 11 drug classes. Click here for more information. As a reminder, DUR Reject Code 88 edits have been turned on as of July 22. Activation of Reject Code 80 has been postponed due to provider feedback. Revised provider alerts and other informing materials have been issued and posted to the Medi-Cal Rx website.

ACEs Aware Report


The ACEs Aware initiative released a new quarterly data report detailing the number of Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) screenings conducted for children and adults in California between January 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. The data show that Medi-Cal clinicians – primarily pediatric, family medicine, and behavioral health professionals – conducted about 987,500 ACE screenings of more than 793,000 unique Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The report also shows that between December 4, 2019 and May 31, 2022, more than 23,400 individuals have taken the ACEs Aware training, 11,900 of whom are Medi-Cal clinicians who are ACEs Aware-certified and eligible to receive Medi-Cal payment for conducting ACE screenings.

WEBINARS & EVENTS

Social Determinants of Health 

Tuesday, August 9 | 10:00 to 11:30 am 

Hosted by AMA 

 

Panelists from Rush University Health System will present on how to engage your practice in addressing Social Determinants of Health. 

 

Register here

Virtual Grand Rounds: Pediatric Vaccines and New Vaccine Technology 

Tuesday, August 9 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm 

Hosted by CMA 

 

As summer wanes and school is about to begin, we now have new opportunities to vaccinate our youngest patients. At the same time, new vaccines made with old vaccine technology are becoming available. In this session, we will hear from California State Epidemiologist Erica Pan, M.D., about the state of COVID-19 in California, including variants, treatments and vaccine epidemiology. We will also hear from one of the country’s most articulate and experienced vaccine expert, Paul Offit, M.D. 

 

Register here.

Long Covid & Fatiguing Illness Recovery Program 

Thursday, August 11 | 12:00 pm 

 

This monthly webinar series aims to rapidly disseminate post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19 and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis findings and emerging best practices. This series is put on by Family Centers of San Diego, Project ECHO, University of Washington, University of Colorado, and funded by the CDC. 

 

Join on August 11, or register for one of the upcoming monthly webinars.

Therapeutics Webinar Series for Providers 

Monday, August 29 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm 

Hosted by CDPH 

 

This bi-weekly webinar series features CDPH subject matter experts who will provide updates, resources, and answers to providers’ questions. The webinar series will continue through at least the end of the year. 

 

Register for the whole series here.  

Addressing Adult Suicide Ideation in the Primary Care Setting 

Thursday, September 1 | 10:00 to 10:45 am 

Hosted by AMA STEPS Forward 

 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Building off the Practical Strategies for Managing Suicidal Ideation & Reducing Risk, this pre-recorded webinar focuses on how primary care practices can address suicidal ideation within their adult patient population. 

 

Register here.

Leadership Reading and Discussion Group 

Wednesday, September 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 selection for September 7 is “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back” by Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD. This book describes how the flawed system of health insurance and delivery has failed patients in the US, and proposes solutions for far-reaching reform. 

 

Register here

Dismantling Stigma for All: Addressing Physician and Patient Mental Health Including Suicide Risk 

Thursday, September 8 | 10:00 to 11:00 am 

Hosted by AMA STEPS Forward 

 

As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, this live, interactive forum will connect attendees with industry experts on suicidal ideation and physicians with lived experience to discuss solutions for dismantling the stigma around seeking mental health treatment. 

 

Register here.

Ballots & Brews 

Mare Island Brewing Co., Vallejo | Friday, Sept. 9 | 6:30 to 9:00 pm 

Free for members | $50/person for non-members 

 

Bring the family to Mare Island Brewing Co.'s "Whaleboat Room" to enjoy good food and good company. Sip some suds and learn about the biggest health care issues on the November ballot or eat some free food and play games outside (e.g. cornhole, giant Jenga, foosball, or bring your own from home!) with waterfront views. Micah Scheindlin, CMA Associate Vice President of Political Operations, will present on how 2022 ballot measures could impact you and your patients.  

 

Register here.

Bay Area Physician Wellness Collaborative 

Tuesday, September 13 | 6:00 to 8:00 pm 

FREE | CME Available | Online 

 

The Bay Area Physician Wellness Collaborative aims to bring together medical group leaders, chief wellness officers, wellness committee chairs, and others who have been charged with “fixing the physician burnout problem” from across the East Bay. Participants will: 

  

  • Receive a highly structured road map to make substantive changes over a three-year period that can fundamentally change the practice environment in your organization 
  • Learn from wellness experts who will provide curated information and implementation tools that they can bring back to their organizations 
  • Become part of an online community to share information and experiences 
  • Create a network of peers to support each other in this work 

 

The guest speaker for the September 13 session is Gaurava Agarwal, MD, CWO at Northwestern Medicine and a leader in CWO development nationwide. This collaborative is by invitation only; please click here to indicate your interest in joining the collaborative.

Drug Testing 2022 

Thursday, September 22 | 12:00 to 1:30 pm 

Hosted by CPPPH and CSAM 

 

This 90-minute session will be the first of two videoconferences based on the new CPPPH/CSAM guideline, “Drug Testing of Health Care Professionals: What to Test For, When, Why and How.” Participants will be able to: explain the reason why a medical staff may request or require the drug and/or alcohol testing of the members of the medical staff, describe the difference between a screening test and a confirmatory test, list 5 analytes included in a health care professionals panel, and describe the role of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) and explain why review by an MRO is required.  

 

Register here. Registration fee is $145 for the first person and a reduced fee for up to two additional persons from the same hospital/institution registering at the same time on this form.

NEPO Summit: Beyond Unconscious Bias to Health Care Equity 

Thursday, October 6 | 9:30 am to 4:00 pm 

Hosted by PHC and NEPO | $50 for members & non-members 

 

The Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) is a network of diverse physicians and patients that convene annually to advocate for community health, encourage physician leadership development, and promote cultural and linguistic competency in patient care. The summit will be virtual and cover topics critical to diverse physicians and patients including reproductive and maternal health outcome disparities, women physician well-being, and practice transformation. The NEPO Summit will also include the presentation of the Physicians for a Healthy California 2022 Leadership Awards. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate individuals or organizations who are champions of health equity. Nominations are open through July 18. 

 

Register here.

NSMS's On-Demand Library


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

 

QUESTIONS/CONCERNS?

Please contact NSMS at grogers@napasolanodocs.org or (707) 255-3622with any questions or concerns you have.