Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

October 14, 2022

Young Children Now Eligible to Receive Bivalent Booster

On October 12, the FDA amended the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna and Pfizer Bivalent vaccines to authorize their use as a single booster dose in young children. At least two months following completion of primary or booster vaccination, the Moderna Bivalent can be administered to children 6 years and up and the Pfizer bivalent can be administered to children 5 years and up.  

Biden Admin Extends COVID Public Health Emergency

In preparation for a potential surge of COVID infections this winter, the Biden Administration extended the Public Health Emergency for an additional 90 days, through January 11. Telehealth flexibilities and expanded Medicare coverage remain in place as a result. 

Physician Voter Guide for November Election

CMA published their November 2022 Physician Voter Guide detailing CMA’s positions on statewide ballots, endorsements for two CMA-supported physicians running for their first terms in office, and CALPAC supported candidates. 

House Passes Mental Health Matters Act

On Sept. 29, the House of Representatives passed HR 7780, the Mental Health Matters Act which would provide the U.S. Labor Department the authority to enforce the federal mental health and substance abuse parity requirements for employer-based group health plans. Among other provisions, the bill creates various grants to increase the number of school-based mental health services providers, establishes requirements for institutions of higher education concerning students with disabilities, and establishes an occupational research program on mental health. The bill now moves to the Senate. 

Anthem Blue Cross: 2022 Member Grievance and Appeals Attestation Requirement


Anthem Blue Cross has advised participating providers that its annual grievance and appeal attestation is due by October 18. Providers are directed to complete the required questionnaire and attestation via the survey link. As part of its compliance with California Health and Safety Code, Anthem requires providers to attest that grievance forms, a description of grievance procedures and assistance in filing grievances are readily available at each provider’s office or location. Additional information on this requirement, including access to forms (in multiple languages) and procedures, is located on Anthem’s website at anthem.com/ca/forms/. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please contact Elisa.Hangarter@anthem.com

Applications for Behavioral Health Navigator Program Due December 15th

Due to high demand, there will be only one more round of applications for the CalBridge Behavioral Health Navigator Program (Bridge Navigator Program). Funding is available for an additional 42 hospitals, and the final deadline is December 15th. This program provides funding and technical assistance to support emergency departments to treat substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, so hospitals are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Apply today.

COVID Vaccinations in 2021 Significantly Reduced Hospitalization, Deaths Among Medicare Beneficiaries

A new report from HHS shows that COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021 is linked to more than 650,000 fewer hospitalizations and over 300,000 fewer deaths among seniors and other Americans enrolled in Medicare. This reduction in hospitalizations and deaths can be attributed to the Biden Administration’s vaccination program which has gotten over 90% of seniors fully vaccinated and over 70% of seniors a booster shot.

Warn Your Patients About Gas Stoves


Gas stoves are a health risk. This is true especially for children and the elderly. People who live in homes with gas stoves have more asthma, lung disease, and perhaps even cancer. ACCMA’s My Green Doctor explains the data and offers advice in a short article that you can share with your patients. My Green Doctor is a free money-saving ACCMA membership benefit (saving you $60) -- just use discount code MGDACCMA when you/your practice registers as Partner Society members. Medical offices use My Green Doctor’s “Meeting-by-Meeting Guide” to learn how to adopt environmental sustainability, save resources, and help create healthier communities. The program adds just five minutes to each regular office staff meeting or weekly office “huddle”, making small changes at each meeting that over time really add up. (My Green Doctor also available en Español). 

ACPHD: JYNNEOS Eligibility and Other Monkeypox Updates

The Alameda County Public Health Department published a Health Advisory to update healthcare providers regarding: 1) JYNNEOS vaccine expanded eligibility criteria; 2) severe manifestations of MPX among people who are immunocompromised; and 3) screening suspected/confirmed MPX cases for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

Applications Open for The Physician Leadership Program


The Physician Leadership Program is back and – for the first time – completely free for ACCMA members through a full scholarship opportunity (a $1,400 value). The Physician Leadership Program addresses the fact that physicians are inherently leaders but often have limited formal opportunities to learn the concepts, skills, and tools of leadership. The 2023 Physician Leadership Program kicks off in January and takes on a hybrid format with two in-person sessions and four virtual sessions led by nationally recognized faculty. Visit the program webpage to learn more about session topics, dates, and to apply today. 


Climate and Health Advocacy Bootcamp

Running every Thursday until 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.

AMA Digital Health Research: 2022 Findings 

Wednesday, October 19 | 8:00 to 9:00 am 


First launched in 2016, the AMA conducts a study of physicians’ motivations and requirements for the adoption of digital health solutions. To maintain a pulse on trends, the AMA regularly refreshes this study every three years and most recently fielded the survey in Q1 of 2022. The findings report of this study will be released in mid-September. Join this session for an executive summary and walkthrough of this year's key insights along with a longitudinal analysis of key changes in physician motivations and requirements for the adoption of digital clinical tools compared to prior years. 


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.

Harm Reduction and Treatment Strategies for People Who Use Fentanyl

Wednesday, October 26 | 10:00 to 11:00 am 

Hosted by the National Overdose Prevention Network 


Many people use fentanyl, whether by choice or by accident. With overdose-related deaths continuing to rise, how do we keep people safe? This first session in our webinar series on fentanyl will focus on harm reduction strategies and treatment options for people who use fentanyl. We will hear from a harm reduction expert and a clinician on key strategies and opportunities to center people who use drugs and save lives. 


Register here

The Future of Primary Care in California 

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

FREE | Hosted by CMA 


Recently, six California payors signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to work together on a shared set of goals designed to improve the provision of primary care in California over the next three years. The goals include expanded transparency, value-based payment reform, increased investment and practice transformation support for person-centered care. In this webinar, physicians will learn about this new initiative and how it will help them provide higher quality patient care. In addition, physicians will hear a description of how one payor – Blue Shield of California – is implementing Advanced Primary Care in their network. With this knowledge, primary care physicians will be able to prepare their practices to meet the goals of the program, improving the experience of their patients. 


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.

Bay Area Physician Wellness Collaborative 

Tuesday, November 15 | 6:00 to 8:00 pm 

FREE | CME Available | Online 


Join a roundtable of your colleagues – leaders from medical groups, hospital medical staffs, residency programs and other physician organizations – to learn and share how to apply the organizational culture and practice changes that can reduce physician burnout and drive professional fulfillment. Learn more here


The next meeting of the collaborative will focus on creating a center or committee for physician wellbeing within your organization. Learn about self-care support systems, peer support resources, mental health referrals and consultation services, life-needs support mechanisms, and other comprehensive wellbeing resources. This collaborative is by invitation only; please click here to indicate your interest in joining the collaborative. 

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.