Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

September 9, 2022

New Codes, Billing Resources for Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine


There are eight new codes for the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses from Moderna and Pfizer. The new product and administrate codes are now included in the CMA COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Physician Practices and CMA COVID-19 Vaccine Reimbursement Quick Guide. To help ensure accurate coding and reporting of COVID-19 vaccines and immunization services, AMA also offers a vaccine code finder resource to help identify the appropriate CPT code combination for the type and dose of COVID-19 vaccine provided to each patient.

Time-limited PSLF Opportunity


For a limited time, borrowers may receive PSLF credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. This current one-time waiver will allow individuals to rectify their federally held student loans and qualify for PSLF if they are working for a qualifying employer and apply before Oct. 31, 2022. This issue is critically important for medical students, residents and young physicians, as well as underrepresented populations of physicians who tend to hold more student loans.

Make Your Voice Heard: CMS Seeking Public Comment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a Request for Information seeking public input on accessing healthcare and related challenges, understanding provider experiences, advancing health equity, and assessing the impact of waivers and flexibilities provided in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. What the RFI aims to do is gather feedback and perspectives on the challenges of achieving equity, which CMS said would inform its efforts to encourage innovation, reduce burden and create efficiencies in the U.S. healthcare system. Click here to access the public comment form. 

CMA’s Medicare Survey Results Underscore Need for Payment Reform

Deeply alarmed about the growing financial instability of the Medicare physician payment system, CMA recently surveyed physicians about the financial health of their practices and how Medicare payment rates are impacting access to care. Since 2001, inflation has increased by 40%, yet physician Medicare payments have only increased by 7%. Today’s Medicare payments on average lag 40% behind the cost of providing care. According to the CMA survey results, 76% of physicians report that Medicare fee-for-service payments do not cover their costs to provide care, with 61% reporting average revenue losses between 11-50%. CMA’s alarming survey results emphasize the need for Congress to take immediate action to reform the Medicare physician payment system and protect patients’ access to care. Click here to read the full article. 

Senate Passes Bill to Install Trauma Kits in Buildings

A CMA-supported bill to require the installation of trauma bleeding kits in newly constructed public and private buildings has passed the Senate floor unanimously and now goes to the Governor's desk. AB 2260 will make CA the first state in the nation to add accessible first responder tools in non-residential areas where people gather. Uncontrolled bleeding is a major cause of preventative deaths. Approximately 40% of trauma-related deaths worldwide are due to bleeding or its consequences. Requiring trauma kits and training bystanders in their use can greatly reduce the potential loss of life during emergencies before trained medical professionals can arrive on the scene. 

Medi-Cal Announces New Commercial Managed Care Plan Contracts

DHCS recently announced the results of its first ever competitive Medi-Cal managed care procurement, which according to DHCS will redefine how care is delivered and which commercial payors will participate in California’s Medi-Cal managed care program beginning in 2024. All Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCP) statewide—including public plans and Kaiser Permanente—will also have to meet the new and enhanced MCP contract requirements when the new contract goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Click here to read more. 

AB 852 Would Provide More eRx Flexibility for Low Volume Prescribers

Assembly Bill 852 was passed by the state legislature and is now on Governor Newsom's desk. This CMA-supported bill would provide exemptions to e-prescribing requirements for low volume prescribers and practices affected by federal, state, or local emergencies and disasters. Since the e-prescribing mandate took effect in January, it has proven too be a costly burden for low volume prescribers. 

American Academy of Pediatrics Receives $2M for Mental Health Center

As part of the Biden Administration’s Strategy to Address the National Mental Health Crisis, HHS awarded the American Academy of Pediatrics $2 million to establish a National Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellness. The Center will focus on three priorities: 1) education and resources around the risks and benefits of social media use for children and youth; 2) culturally and linguistically appropriate technical assistance focusing on active learning, consultation, and support on how to best assist children and youth when interfacing with the digital world in a way that enhances their mental health while reducing harm; and 3) best practices and research updates. 


Work RVUs: Calculation and Compensation

On Demand | Free for members

Hosted by ACCMA

Work RVUs are increasingly becoming the compensation method of choice for hospital foundations, universities, private equity, and medical groups. Work RVUs are a measure of physician productivity without regard for insurance payor reimbursement rates or collections revenue. It is crucial for physicians to understand how to calculate WRVUS if joining an organization or being acquired. It is also imperative that physicians understand the compensation methodologies, how to negotiate dollars per WRVU and how monitor the recordation of WRVUs so compensation is accurate. This webinar is offered in three on demand sessions and presented by Debra Phairas, President & Liability Consultants, LLC. 

Access this on demand webinar.

Medi-Cal Reinstatement: A Phased Approach

On Demand | FREE 

Hosted by CMA, California Primary Care Association, & Magellan 


This webinar will help physicians understand the DHCS phased implementation plan for Medi-Cal Rx. Given systemwide issues in implementing the full pharmacy transition in January, DHCS decided to create a waiver to exempt the need to submit prior authorizations for most drugs and removed DUR codes. Now that we are eight months into Medi-Cal Rx implementation, DHCS reinstated DUR codes on July 22 and plans to begin reinstating PAs for certain drug classes as soon as September 16. 


Access the recorded webinar here

Monkeypox: Diagnosis, Treatment, & Prevention

On Demand | CME Available

ACCMA, in concordance with representatives from Alameda County, Division of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention (DCDCP) and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), present this on demand program that covers the nature of monkeypox, clinical manifestations, viral transmission, signs and symptoms, vaccinations and treatment, and public health measures that are underway.

Access the webinar here.

Therapeutics Webinar Series for Providers 

Monday, September 12 | 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

Tecovirimat (TPOXX) for Treatment of Monkeypox 

Tuesday, September 13 | 9:00 am 

Hosted by AMA 


Join experts from the AMA, FDA and CDC for a discussion about tecovirimat, or TPOXX, for the treatment of monkeypox in infected individuals. The discussion will provide background on tecovirimat, including its current status, availability and access while the drug is under an investigational new drug application. A moderated question and answer session will be held at the end of the discussion to help address any confusion or misinformation about patient access to TPOXX. 


Register here.

Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 Updates and Cardiac Manifestations of Long COVID 

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

FREE | Hosted by CMA


After a massive summer surge of COVID-19, with many Americans having had COVID-19 more than once, we are still grappling to understand the epidemiology, causes and manifestations of long COVID. After an update on the current status of COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases including monkeypox (MPX) from Erica Pan, M.D., MPH, we will be hosting Donald Grandis, M.D., a UC San Francisco cardiologist who will discuss the cardiac manifestations of long COVID.  


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.

Climate and Health Advocacy Bootcamp

Thursdays, September 29-October 27 | 12:00 to 1:30 pm 

Hosted by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health 


Health professionals are the most trusted voices in society and our collective voices are needed to prepare communities to effectively respond to the climate crisis. Through this 5-week bootcamp, you will grow your network by joining colleagues around the country to learn strategies to effectively channel your voice and action as a health professional to address the “greatest health threat” of the 21st Century. 


Register here.

Understanding the Climate Health Crisis and How California Physicians Can Make an Impact 

Friday, October 21 | 2:00 to 4:00 pm 

Hybrid: Virtual and In-person at L.A. Live 


This free event will be an engaging two-part panel discussion that will explore the health impacts of climate change in California and the opportunities for California's physicians to advance policy-level climate solutions with enormous public health co-benefits. Sponsored by Climate Health Now and the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy (CFEE) in coordination with CMA. 


Register here.

ACCMA's 154th Annual Meeting

Friday, November 4 | 6:00 pm

The Claremont Hotel, Berkeley

Join us back in person for the 154th ACCMA Annual Meeting this November! Enjoy a lively reception, formal dinner, and presentation featuring our 2023 ACCMA President, Edmon Soliman, MD, and a very special guest speaker. Keena Turner, Legendary #58 and 4-time super bowl champion for the SF 49ers, will join us to discuss sportsmanship, teamwork, the championship mindset, and what it took to win and sustain dominance during his eleven-year professional football career. Now, Vice President and Senior Advisor to the General Manager, Keena will highlight his "Team of the Decade", the future of today's Niners, and successful leadership tools and qualities. 

Reserve your spot here.

CMS Medicare Updates 2023 

Tuesday, November 8 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 

FREE | Hosted by CMA 


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Regional Chief Medical Officer Ashby Wolfe, M.D., will provide an update on CMS policy for the 2023 calendar year. Information presented will be relevant to practicing clinicians, including an overview of the updates to the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule. 


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.