Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


January 2015

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Marin County GPCI fix

In 2014, during one of the most dysfunctional Congresses in history, CMA won passage of California-only legislation that reformed the outdated California Medicare payment localities and brought substantial payment increases to physicians in 14 counties, including Marin County. CMA believes this will maintain and improve access to physicians.

> Over the next decade, more than $1 billion in additional payments will be made to California physicians through Medicare FFS, Medicare Advantage and private contracts tied to the Medicare Fee Schedule. Starting in 2017, the new law phases in the new payment rates moving the current county-based payment localities to a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) system: Medicare pays hospitals this way. Physicians will be paid according to their local costs to provide care, and the payments will be updated annually to reflect the rise in local practice costs.

> Depending on the economy, the new law will increase payments to Marin County physicians from 5.1% to 10.1% or more. Thirteen other counties receiving payment increases are included in this legislation (El Dorado, Monterey, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and Yolo).

> The legislation establishes a payment floor for rural California physicians set at current levels so when another recession hits, payments will not go down. ::

We think we've earned your membership

Have you renewed for 2015? Below are some of the reasons we think we've earned your membership. We want you to rejoin, or join, MMS!

> Prop. 46 was defeated (NO: 67% YES: 33%)! CMA-MMS spent $8 million of CMA reserves and raised $52 million to protect MICRA.

> The GPCI inequity for Marin County has been permanently solved. (See story above.)

> CMA held off a 10% Medi-Cal cut for three years, ensuring the cut would not have to be repaid.

> Among many other examples, legislative advocacy kept optometrists from practicing ophthalmology.

Click here to join MMS or to renew your 2015 membership online. Call Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 if you need a copy of your dues invoice. She can answer your questions, or handle payment over the phone. ::

Save the date: Legislative Advocacy Day April 14

MMS members are invited to CMA's annual Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Attended by several hundred physicians, this conference provides an opportunity to meet with local legislators regarding pressing health care issues after morning speeches by CMA's president, Dr. Luther Cobb, and Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. This year's keynote speaker is expected to be Governor Jerry Brown, followed by a political panel discussion and afternoon sessions with local legislators in their offices. For more information, visit or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or :: 

PPFMC grant proposals due April 2

Nonprofit health organizations in Marin County are encouraged to apply for Community Grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care. The grants, generally in the $10,000 range, are awarded twice a year by the nonprofit foundation to support local projects that enhance health services. The application deadline for the next round of grants is April 2. For application materials, contact Kathy Pass at 707-525-4281 or For more information, visit :: 


Adrianna Browne, MD, Dermatology*, 535 Miller Ave., Mill Valley 94941, Johns Hopkins Univ 2007 * = board certified


Marin General Hospital earns "Top Performer" recognition

MGH was recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission as part of its 2014 annual report, "America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety," for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations. For more information about the Top Performer program, visit the Joint Commission's website.


2015 new health care laws

The California Legislature had an active year, passing many new laws affecting health care. In particular, there was a strong focus on scope of practice for allied health professionals, prescription drug abuse, public health issues and health care coverage. The following article from Sonoma Medicine provides summaries of the most significant new health laws of interest to physicians: download PDF or link to online article. ::

Top Stories from CMA ALERT

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association. Read the current issue here. Articles include:

  • CMA files amicus brief to protect patient privacy in Oregon prescription drug database case
  • CMA files brief in Medicaid case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court • Insurance commissioner issues emergency regulation requiring health insurers to have sufficient networks
  • Insurance commissioner issues emergency regulation requiring health insurers to have sufficient networks
  • Governor's January budget proposal leaves state's woeful Medi-Cal reimbursement rates untouched
  • • Meet and interact with internationally lauded authors at the 2015 Leadership Academy
  • Disneyland measles outbreak continues to grow; physicians advised to look for signs of the disease in patients
  • How to request an IMQ physician surveyor for your hospital accreditation survey • 100,000 Covered California enrollees being transitioned into Medi-Cal managed care in January
  • U.S. Supreme Court to hear ACA subsidy case on March 4
  • Deadline approaching for physicians wishing to opt out of new United Healthcare Medi-Cal managed care network
  •  CMA creates new resource summarizing Medicare incentive and penalty programs
  • CMS to hold Medicare claims for first two weeks of January 
  • CCalifornia ACEP publishes safe prescribing handout for patients


CPR: CMA Practice Resources

CPR is a free monthly e-bulletin from CMA's practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and health care industry changes and how they directly impact the business of a physician practice. Each issue includes tips on reimbursement and contracting-related issues along with information on the latest practice management news. Read the current issue here. Titles include:

  • Be prepared for Covered California changes in 2015
  • Verifying your patients' eligibility and benefits in 2015 may save your practice thousands of dollars
  •  Potential Medicare pay cuts coming in 2015; participation selections due Dec. 31
  • CMA creates new resource summarizing Medicare incentive and penalty programs
  • DHCS identifies glitch in UCR web app for CHDP primary care rate increase payments 
  • Don't miss out on increased Medi-Cal payments! Deadline to attest is Dec. 31
  •  Annual Medicare benefit changes • New Reassignment of Medicare Benefits (855R) enrollment form coming
  •  DMHC audit finds Anthem, Blue Shield Covered California directories misleading and violate state law
  • Duals project sees additional setbacks
  •  Medi-Cal provider training announced
  • Reminder: Anthem expanding its Medi-Cal managed care network
  •  The Coding Corner: CPT 2015: Summary of additions and revisions

Dementia Care conference coming in February 2015

The California Partnership to Improve Dementia Care is presenting a one-day conference, Dementia Care California: Sustaining Momentum and Success, in Sacramento on Feb. 23, and in Pasadena on Feb. 25. The program will look at where things are now and how to bridge the gap in transitional care for persons with dementia. Physicians, nurses, nursing home administrators and social workers are encouraged to attend. Continuing education credits will be available for nursing home administrators, nurses and social workers. The featured speaker will be G. Allen Power, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester, and author of Dementia Beyond Drugs and Dementia Beyond Disease. For more information or to register for the event, click here. ::

Childhood Obesity Bay Area Annual Conference

This annual conference, to be held March 6 and 7 at UCSF Medical Center, brings together local stakeholders in childhood obesity prevention to promote innovation and provide insight into work being done on this critical issue. The program features keynote presentations, professional panels, breakout sessions, networking events and a garden tour, plus a locally-catered breakfast, lunch, and wine reception. To get your tickets visit:


Medical condo for sale
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MMS members get free classifieds!
MMS members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Marin Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Susan Gumucio at or 707-525-0102. 


The Marin Medical Society, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1898, MMS is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Visit us at  ©

 2015 MMS, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403