Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

July 22, 2022

*Please note, there will be no newsletter next week. We look forward to connecting with you soon.*

Solano County Reports Monkeypox Case

This past week the first case of monkeypox was reported in Solano County. As of Tuesday, there were 356 cases of monkeypox in California. Access CDPH’s communications toolkit to find fact sheets and messaging that you can utilize in your practice and on social media. Physicians should immediately report a suspected case of Monkeypox: 

  • Napa County Communicable Disease Unit, 707-253-4231 or 415-906-1799 (after hours) 
  • Solano County Communicable Diseases, 707-784-8001 

Six Cases of Legionnaire’s Disease Reported in Napa County

Napa County Health and Human Services released a health advisory regarding six confirmed cases of Legionairre’s disease in Napa County. Physicians should be alert for patients who report respiratory illness consistent with legionella. View the health advisory for more information and actions requested of healthcare professionals.

Medi-Cal Rx: DUR 88 in Effect, Reject Code 80 Postponed

Earlier this year the DHCS began waiving prior authorizations from the Medi-Cal Rx program to minimize disruptions in patient access to prescription medications that occurred due to challenges with the Medi-Cal Rx transition. Claim edits for Drug Utilization Review (DUR) edits will be turned on effective July 22. DUR Reject Code 88 alerts are triggered by instances such as drug-drug interactions, high dose, early refills, etc. DHCS has decided to further delay implementation of Reject Code 80 due to feedback that implementation could interfere with the delivery of timely and safe pharmacy services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

Medi-Cal Halts Mailing of RADs Due to Supply Chain Issues

Effective immediately, Medi-Cal will no longer mail Remittance Advice Details (RADs), Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) statements or No Pay documents. Providers who have not yet transitioned to PDF RADs – which includes the embedded financial summary information – are strongly encouraged to do so at this time. Click here for instructions and more information.

CMS Proposes Physician Payment Rule, Subsequent Pay Cuts


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule. CMS is hosting a webinar next week on the 2023 Quality Payment Program proposed changes. Find more info below in our events section. 


AMA President stated “It is immediately apparent that the rule not only fails to account for inflation in practice costs and COVID-related challenges to practice sustainability, but also includes a significant and damaging across-the-board reduction in payment rates.” Click here to read more on AMA’s concerns about the proposal. 

CalHHS Data Exchange Framework, Compliance Required by 2024

On July 5, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) published the Data Exchange Framework—a first-ever statewide data sharing agreement that is intended to support health information exchange between all health and human services organizations throughout California. By law, physician practices and medical groups must comply with the requirements of the framework by January 31, 2024 (2026 for smaller practices). CMA has published a fact sheet to help physicians understand the new framework and how it will affect California health care providers.

Protein-Based COVID Vaccine Authorized for Use in the U.S.

The FDA authorized use of Novavax, the first protein vaccine against COVID-19. The CDC endorsed a two-shot primary series and vaccinations are expected to begin within the next few weeks.

EDs Receive Additional Funding

DHCS is expanding the emergency department workforce to increase access to behavioral health patient care and substance use services. Eighty-one EDs will receive up to $120K to establish and train behavioral health navigators; identify and screen patients with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions and link them to appropriate treatment; educate providers about MAT; and help patients navigate to outpatient treatment. The $9.6 million funding total comes from the CalBridge Behavioral Health Navigator Program as part of Medi-Cal's Home and Community-Based Services.

Participate in Developing AMA Racial Justice and Equity Impact Tool

The AMA, together with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is developing a tool to measure the impact of racial justice and equity education on concrete behavioral changes and actions. They are recruiting volunteers to participate in a validation study taking place in August. Click here to communicate your interest in participating in the study or email Kristina Hancock (AMA Program Manager) at [email protected]

Private Practice Solutions: Increasing Efficiency in Your Practice


AMA is hosting a series of rapid learning cycles designed to increase efficiency in your private practice. Each 8-week learning session focuses on one topic area, and busy physicians can access pre-recorded content by subject matter experts at a pace and time that works best for them. Access the first recording here. Sessions are free and open to all.

2022 PHC Leadership Awards Nominations Deadline Extended to July 29

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) and the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) are seeking nominations of extraordinary individuals and organizations for the 2022 Leadership Awards, which celebrate the efforts of those who make a difference in the health of Californians. These awards will be presented virtually during the 19th Annual NEPO Summit on Thursday, October 6, 2022. Nominations are due on July 29


Managing Pain Safely: Non-Pharmacological Treatments 

Available On Demand | Free 


This webinar discusses some of the evidence-based non-pharmacological treatments recommended in the treatment guidelines. Conditions usually not considered for non-pharmacological treatments are discussed to help improve the management of more difficult conditions such as osteoarthritis and disc herniations. A colleague that regularly utilizes non-pharmacological treatments shares tips in patient management. This webinar is hosted by the East Bay Safe Prescribing Coalition, Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, and Napa Solano Medical Society. 


Access the webinar here

2023 Proposed Rule for the Quality Payment Program 

Tuesday, July 26 | 1:30 pm 

Hosted by CMS 


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) subject matter experts will highlight future direction of the Quality Payment Program; 2023 proposed policy changes for traditional MIPS, MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs), the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), and Advanced APMs; and key differences between 2022 and proposed 2023 requirements. 


Register here

Medicare Payment Principles 

Wednesday, July 27 | 8:00 to 9:00 am 

Hosted by AMA 


The Medicare physician payment system needs an overhaul to remedy financial instabilities impacting physician practices due to the pandemic, statutory payment cuts, lack of inflationary updates and significant administrative burdens. To define the goals of reform, the AMA and 120 state medical and national specialty societies created the Characteristics of a Rational Medicare Physician Payment System. Hear what these principles call on Congress to do to improve the Medicare physician payment system in a new AMA webinar hosted by Sandra Fryhofer, MD, chair, AMA Board of Trustees. 


Register here

Medication Errors and Your Liability: Tips for Reducing Risk 

Wednesday, July 27 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm 

FREE | Hosted by the Cooperative of American Physicians 


Approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits each year are due to adverse drug events, which in many cases are unknowingly the result of medication errors made by physicians and other healthcare professionals. This webinar will help strengthen your practice’s medication management procedures and reduce your risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit by understanding how to utilize Drug Information Resources for safe medication prescribing, how to identify high risk medications and much more. The webinar will be followed by audience Q&A. All registrants will receive the recording and slides once they are available. 


Register here

ADA National Network Learning Session - Effective Communication: Leveraging Alternate Formats in Healthcare 

Thursday, July 28 | 11:30 to 1:00 pm 

Hosted by the Pacific ADA Center 


The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that covered entities communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities. It is essential to ensure that communication is equally effective for all. Ensuring that we engage in effective communication in every aspect of life is key to successful relationships both personal and professional. This webinar will review how to effectively leverage alternate formats in a Healthcare setting to ensure that the principles of Effective Communication are being met. 


Register here.

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

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

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.

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.

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



Please contact NSMS at [email protected] or (707) 255-3622with any questions or concerns you have.