Weekly Roundup: In Case You Missed It

January 20, 2023

Applications Open for Loan Repayment Program

You can now submit your application for the CalHealthCares Loan Repayment Program. CalHealthCares provides loan repayment physicians who provide care to Medi-Cal patients. Eligible physicians can apply for an award of up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation. Application deadline is March 3, although it is encouraged to apply during the early review period which ends February 3.

Dual Eligible Patients Now Enrolled in Medi-Cal Managed Care

Starting in January 2023, patients with both Medicare and Medi-Cal who are not already enrolled in a Medi-Cal managed care plan will need to enroll in a Medi-Cal plan. CMA is hosting a webinar on January 12 at 12:15 pm that will cover FAQs about this transition, particularly among Medicare providers. DHCS will highlight key points, including the fact that Medicare providers do not need to be enrolled in a Medi-Cal plan to continue seeing their dually eligible patients and continue receiving reimbursement. Most dually eligible patients statewide are already enrolled in Medi-Cal plans. This enrollment change is primarily occurring for patients in counties in the Central Valley and Bay Area. 

Sign the Data Sharing Agreement

CalHHS has opened its new online portal to allow practices to sign California’s Data Sharing Agreement (as part of the state’s new Data Exchange Framework). Under state law, physician practices and medical groups are required to sign a template Data Sharing Agreement by January 31, 2023. Signing the agreement is the first step in complying with the new framework. Find our brief overview of the framework here

X-Waiver Eliminated, Improving Access to Buprenorphine

As of Jan 1, X-waiver is no longer required per federal law. Going forward, all prescriptions for buprenorphine only require a standard DEA registration number. Additionally, there are no longer any limits or patient caps on the number of patients a prescriber may treat for opioid use disorder with buprenorphine. The new law also establishes new training requirements for all prescribers of controlled substances, which will take effect June 21. It requires all prescribers of schedule II – V controlled substances to meet a one-time eight-hour training requirement on identifying, treating, and managing patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. 

Medi-Cal Rx Transition: Phase II Begins

Phase II of the DHCS Medi-Cal Rx transition began last Friday, January 20. In Phase II—which will be implemented in two waves—Medi-Cal Rx prescribers will again be required to submit prior authorizations (PAs) for the remaining drug classes. 

  • Phase II Wave 1 (January 20, 2023): New start prescriptions in 39 drug classes 
  • Phase II Wave 2 (February 24, 2023): New start prescriptions in the remaining 21 drug classes. 

New start prescriptions for pediatric patients 21 years of age and under continue to be excluded to prevent additional administrative obligations for providers of specialty pediatric services who have been significantly impacted by the transition to Medi-Cal Rx. 

CDPH Launches COVID-19 Therapeutics Warmline


Call (866) 268-4322 (COVID-CA) to receive free and confidential consultation on COVID-19 testing and treatment. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Warmline is a real-time resource available to all California health care providers and is managed by the UCSF National Clinician Consultation Center. The Warmline is available M-F 6 am – 5 pm. 

Patients Must Receive Medical Board Notice

A new law enacted January 1 requires all physicians licensed by the Medical Board of California to provide an updated “notice to consumers” that informs patients that physicians are licensed and regulated by the medical board and provides details about how patients can check the status of a license or file a complaint. Under the new regulation, the notice must be provided in a language understood by the patient or patient representative and include a QR code that leads to the board’s Notice to Consumer webpage. Learn more here

Medicare Changes: 2023 and Beyond

Cheryl Bradley, Associate Director of the CMA Center for Economic Services, joins us to review the policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), and other Medicare Part B issues, effective for Calendar Year 2023 and beyond. This on demand webinar will provide you with the resources to help you maneuver regulatory and procedural challenges that impact your practice. Watch now. CME is available.

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New Laws Affecting Physicians 2023 

Tuesday, January 24 | 12:15 to 1:15 pm 

Hosted by CMA 


Join Sheirin Ghoddoucy, Senior Legal Counsel for CMA, to receive an overview of the new 2023 laws that affect you and your practice, pending health legislation, and CMA’s legal resources available to members.  


Register here

Managing Medicare in 2023 

Tuesday, January 31 | 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm 

Hosted by CMA 


Understand Medicare updates for the coming year, including E/M changes and documentation tips, targeted probe and education resuming, LCD decisions, responding to audits and appeals, Q&A about off-label use, new information-blocking rules and what physicians should know. 


Register here.

Bay Area Reading and Discussion Group 

Wednesday, February 1 | 6:00 to 7:30 pm 

CME Available 


All physicians are invited to join the Bay Area Reading and Discussion Group facilitated by Dr. Hilary Worthen, course director of the Physician Leadership Program. Reading the book is not required. The next meeting of the reading group will discuss the New York Times bestseller "The Culture Code". Tired of reading or too busy for it? Audiobooks are a great way to incorporate books back into your busy life.

Join via zoom

Updates on the Legal Landscape in Post-Roe America and the Impact of the Dobbs Decision 

Wednesday, February 8 | Noon 

Free | Hosted by UC Health 


The University of California Health Systemwide Grand Grounds will review the current legal landscape, as well as considerations for health care providers and medical staff as they attempt to navigate this rapidly evolving post-Roe legal landscape. An overview of restrictive state laws' impact on medical education and women's health will also be provided. 


Register here

Guided Nature Hike

Saturday March 25, 2023 | 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Join us for a hike on Saturday, March 25, at 10 a.m. and see sweeping views of Solano County and beyond. Open to all physicians and their families at no cost, the hike will be easy to moderate in difficulty, 4-6 miles total and led by Solano Land Trust docents. The hike will take place near Rockville Rd. and Suisun Valley Rd. Free for NSMS members + 3 Guests.

Register here.

The 2023 NSMS Awards Gala & Casino Night

Friday, May 19 | 6:00 to 9:30 pm

Eagle Vines Golf Club, American Canyon

Join over a hundred physicians, health care leaders and special guests for an evening of entertainment as we celebrate the following individuals:

  • Haroon Mojaddidi, M.D. - Physician of the Year (Solano)
  • Colleen Townsend, M.D. - Physician of the Year (Napa)
  • Karen Relucio, M.D. - Professor Emeritus
  • Eugene Eisenberg, M.D. - Lifetime Achievement

Stay after the awards ceremony to try your hand at blackjack, poker, craps and more. Gamble with complimentary chips, then turn them into raffle tickets for a shot at great prizes. Past raffle prizes have included hot air balloon rides, SF Giants and Golden State Warriors memorabilia, wine train dinners, golf rounds, and more. This event is free for NSMS members +1 guest.

Register here.

Health IT: Powering Value-Based Care 

Monday, May 22 | 9:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Sacramento, CA | Free for CMA members 


Save the date for CMA’s first annual healt IT conference. The conference will bring together thought leaders from across California and the nation to explore the intersection of technology and payment reform. CMA expects a diverse set of attendees that will include physicians, medical groups and IPAs, health plans, health information organizations (HIOs) and others who will take the learnings from this conference to change how care is delivered in this state. 


Register here

NSMS's On-Demand Library

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



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