Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It
June 25, 2021
COVID-19 Updates

The California Medical Association has received inquiries from physicians asking if there are changes coming soon to telehealth payment parity. According to the guidance from state regulators and the federal government, payors are required to continue with telehealth payment parity throughout the declared COVID-19 state of emergency or federal public health emergency, whichever is applicable (both of which remain in effect) or until further notice from the regulator. While the Governor has lifted most COVID-19 restrictions, the state Public Health Emergency has not yet been lifted, so the telehealth orders remain in effect. 

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency hosted three webinars for the public about the changes in Alameda County as the State of California lifts restrictions for most businesses and activities. Click here for slides from the webinars. The webinars were
  • Community Update: Beyond the Blueprint
  • Visual & Performing Arts Update: Beyond the Blueprint
  • Employer Update: Beyond the Blueprint 

Contra Costa County reported on Thursday that 78% of residents 12 years and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, and 71% are fully vaccinated.
Alameda County reported on Thursday that 80% of residents 12 years and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose, and 67% are fully vaccinated. 

Alameda County reports that it has administered more than 2,053,000 doses as of June 25. As of June 23, ICU capacity in the county is at 36% with 15 confirmed COVID patients hospitalized.

Contra Costa reports that it has administered more than 1,408,000 doses as of June 25. As of June 24, ICU capacity in the county is at 29% with 4 confirmed COVID patients hospitalized.

As of June 24, Statewide ICU capacity is 2,306 beds, a 2% increase from the day before.
ACCMA Sends Letters on SB 447 and AB 1130
On June 23, the ACCMA sent a letter to the Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, requesting that the committee opposed SB 447 (Laird) unless it is amended. The bill would allow non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering damages) to be awarded in survival actions. This will lead to increased costs to both health care providers and patients and will threaten the viability of provider practices to continue to deliver care to patients by placing yet another financial burden on physician practices. Review the full letter here.
Last week, the ACCMA sent a letter to local legislators, asking that they keep AB 1130 (Wood) in the policy process rather than including the proposal in the budget. AB 1130 would create an Office of Health Care Affordability and includes major policy changes with far-reaching implications for the health care delivery system. If the bill is included in the budget rather than going through the full policy process, it will not be given adequate focus and review and the specifics of the proposal will not be fully vetted. Review the full letter here.
Free Support for ACEs Screeners
The California Medical Association’s (CMA) wellness program (CMA Wellness) has launched free, online wellness engagement groups for health care teams that screen for ACEs and toxic stress to empower their personal wellness and prevent feelings of professional burnout. The groups will offer subject matter experts, best practices, and an open forum to share experiences, facilitated by trained, volunteer physicians. Registration is required and CME is available. Participants can choose between joining a Tuesday or Saturday series beginning in July for a 6-month duration.
Members Are Invited to Comment on CMA HOD Major Issues
CMA has released the two major issues that will be discussed during this year’s House of Delegates (HOD) in October. The major issues are
  • Racism and Other Barriers to Health Equity
  • Corporatization of Health Care
Members can comment on these major issues; the testimony provided will help guide the CMA councils in the development of their reports. 
Available on demand
Member $29.00 | Non-member $79.00

Now available! Current and new staff can receive on-demand training on HIPAA, OSHA, and customer service. Intended for all staff encountering patients in person or by telephone, this course covers customer service techniques, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For questions, contact Jenn Mullins, Education and Event Associate, at jmullins@accma.org.
Click here to register. 
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | noon-1:30 PM
FREE | CME Available | Presented by CMA 
Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency in California, Mark Ghaly, MD, is a pediatrician by training and has long worked in the safety net systems of California with a focus on caring for vulnerable patients in our state who fall through the cracks, from children with complex care needs to residents of our jails and prisons and those experiencing homelessness. Dr. Ghaly will share his experience as a key decision-maker and leader during these unprecedented times. 

We will also welcome back Erica Pan, MD, California State Epidemiologist, who will give us updates on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic nationally and in California, review the progress of the vaccine rollout, and the evolving story of COVID-19 variants.
Moderator: Kimberly Newell Green, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UCSF
Click here to register. 
Friday, July 16 | 8 AM –12:15 PM
CME Available | Presented by the Riverside County Medical Association
Topics to be covered at this year’s virtual conference include aging physicians, safe and legal monitoring of physicians in a treatment program, physician well-being committee roles and responsibilities, and more. The conference is open to anyone involved or interested in improving the health and well-being of physicians.
Speakers: David Bazzo, MD; Kai McDonald, MD; Ajeet Singhvi, MD; and Elizabeth Snelson, Esq.
Register here
Thursday, August 26 | 6:15–7:30 PM
FREE | CME Available
Using data and stories, together in conversation, we will focus on yourself, as well as your potential new directions and skills, and your “team,” whether at home or professionally.
Speaker: Linda Clever, MD, MACP
Click here to register.
ACCMA's On-Demand Library

To access all on-demand programs, go to learning.accma.org.

Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or accma@accma.orgwith any questions or concerns you have.