Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


November 2012

• Marin doctors invited to a free Operation Access celebration on Dec. 11

• CMA opposes Proposition 32

• CMA delegates set policy at annual meeting

• November is National COPD Awareness Month!

• Top stories from CMA Alert







Marin doctors invited to free Operation Access celebration on Dec. 11

Operation Access, which coordinates donated surgical and specialty care for uninsured and underserved patients, will co-host a Celebration of Medical Volunteerism with MMS and the Sonoma County Medical Association on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This informal free event will be held at the Lagunitas Brewery, 1280 N. McDowelll Blvd., Petaluma.

All local doctors and their spouses or significant others are invited to attend and are asked to bring an unwrapped holiday gift for a foster child. Beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and wood-fired oven pizza will be offered, along with live music from Under the Radar (folk, blues, bluegrass) and the Petaluma High School Jazz Combo. The evening also includes a brief program honoring community volunteers, with special recognition for Dr. Julie Clark, Dr. Anne Delaney, Dr. David Galland, and Gale O’Connor, CRNA.

To RSVP, contact Daniel Rabkin at or 415-733-0004. The event is cosponsored by the Meritage Medical Network, Kaiser Permanente, Marin General Hospital, Sutter Health and St. Joseph Health.

CMA opposes Proposition 32

The board of trustees of the California Medical Association has voted to oppose Proposition 32, which would ban corporate and labor union contributions to political candidates. The proposition would also prohibit government contractors from contributing money to government officials and would forbid the use of payroll-deducted funds for “political purposes.”

CMA believes that Prop. 32 would impact the ability of CMA’s political action committee to receive contributions from members who use a corporate entity to pay CMA dues. The proposition would also impact doctors or local medical societies who hold government contracts.

Consumer, education, environmental and health care groups throughout California--including Californians Allied for Patient Protection, which protects MICRA--are opposing Prop. 32. In addition, nearly every major newspaper in the state has editorialized against the proposition.

CMA delegates set policy at annual meeting

More than 700 California physicians convened in Sacramento Oct. 13-15 for the 2012 CMA House of Delegates. Each year, physician delegates from all 53 California counties, representing all modes of practice, meet to discuss issues related to health care policy, medicine and patient care, and to elect officers.

MMS President Dr. Irina deFischer was elected chair of the District 10 delegation, which represents more than 2,300 physicians in Marin and other Northern California counties. The delegates also elected Sacramento pediatrician Dr. Paul Phinney as CMA president for 2012-13, along with a full slate of other officers.

Over 120 resolutions were introduced and debated in reference committees on Oct. 13. Over the next two days, the complete house met again to debate and vote on reference committee recommendations. A total of 97 resolutions were adopted, including:

Clean air. The delegates voted that CMA should support implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which protects the health of Californians from climate change.

Electronic prescribing and EHR payment reductions. The delegates voted to oppose financial penalties by any payor for physicians who do not adopt health information technology, such as electronic medical records and electronic prescribing.

Health care equality for same-sex household members. The delegates unanimously voted to recognize that denying civil marriage contributes to poorer health outcomes for gay and lesbian individuals, couples and their families. The resolution also calls on CMA to support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance and survivor benefits afforded to opposite-sex households.

Pharmacist’s substitution of physician prescriptions. The delegates asked that CMA consider legislation to make it illegal for pharmacists to receive financial incentives to substitute a physician’s prescription.

Helping physicians improve their health. The delegates voted to encourage all physicians and physicians-in-training to properly manage their own physical and mental health and to serve as exemplars of healthy behaviors.

The complete actions of the 2012 House are available to members at under “Documents.”

November is National COPD Awareness Month!

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is one of the nation’s largest health care concerns and is severely underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to the COPD Foundation. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD and it is estimated that another 12 million may have COPD but not realize it.

Prevention of COPD begins with reducing or eliminating smoking initiation among teens and young adults and encouraging cessation among current smokers. Approximately 75% of COPD cases are attributed to cigarette smoking. You can take an active role in preventing COPD by talking to your patients about smoking cessation and providing them with resources, such as a referral to the California Smokers Helpline website at: They can also call 800-NO-BUTTS (662-8887) for counseling on cessation options.

Although tobacco use is a key factor in COPD, other factors, such as asthma and exposure to air pollutants, also play a role. A simple spirometry test can be used to measure pulmonary function and detect COPD in current and former smokers aged 45 years and older, and in anyone with breathing problems due to environmental exposure to smoke or occupational pollutants. By taking steps now and talking with your patient about smoking cessation, treatment options, and symptoms such as coughing or wheezing, many of these conditions can be treated with medications. For more information, go to the CMA Foundation website at

Top stories from CMA Alert

Here are the top stories from the latest CMA Alert, the California Medical Association’s biweekly email newsletter. For a free subscription, visit

* CMA tells Senate committees that elimination of Healthy Families is irresponsible

* CMA, AMA and others developing alternative Medicare payment system to replace SGR

* Unsure whether you should sign the new Blue Shield agreement?

* Recovery Audit Contractor overpayments: Pulmonary diagnostic testing and E/M services

* CMA opposes lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men


Marin General Hospital has expanded and upgraded its emergency department thanks largely to a $2.89 donation from the Schultz family. The new and improved ED features rapid registration for acute patients and five triage areas for less acute cases. “The notion that emergency rooms are only for victims of a shooting, a serious accident or heart attack is antiquated,” said Medical Director Dr. Jim Dietz. “We cover a broad spectrum of acute care needs. Someone with a torn muscle, smashed finger or troubling cough may not be able to wait to see their own doctor during business hours. This project has assured that patients are able to access the level of care needed without enduring a long wait.”

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, which specializes in developing and manufacturing orphan drugs for rare diseases, has relocated its headquarters from Novato to the Corporate Center in downtown San Rafael. About 300 of the company’s 900 Marin County employees have moved into the new office; the rest are scattered at several locations around the county. BioMarin, which was the subject of an article in Fall 2010 issue of Marin Medicine, has grown from 250 to 1,100 employees worldwide over the past seven years and currently has about 50 job openings.


The following CMA webinars are scheduled for November. Webinars begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or later. To register, visit Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person.

* Understanding ARC and CARC revenue codes (Nov. 7)

* 2013 updates to meaningful use (Nov. 8)

* State disability insurance online (Nov. 14)

* Successful Medi-Cal provider enrollment (Nov. 15)

* Understanding the CBAS transition for dual eligibles (Nov. 28)

* California: A physician melting pot (Nov. 29)

CMA members can get a $200 discount on ICD-10-CM training sessions offered by AAPC, the nation’s largest coding organization. Available in either classroom or online webinar, this 3-part series gives your staff a high-level overview and fundamental knowledge of ICD-10. You’ll learn documentation challenges, the differences with ICD-9, and how ICD-10 will affect each business area of your practice. The webinars run from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. or 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The next series begins on Nov. 29, with additional webinars on Dec. 6 and 13. To learn more, go to and log in to receive the discounted member price.


Needed: Regional Medical Director for Informatics

Sutter Community Connect (SCC) is searching for a Regional Medical Director (informatics) position for the Bay Area. The ideal candidate is a physician leader who will provide physician-to-physician interface between SCC and independent practice physicians. Ideal candidate has Epic experience and/or sufficient EHR and clinical informatics experience with another system. Strong working knowledge of the business aspects of medical practice, and excellent communication and relationship building skills are essential. SCC has retained KLKingsley to conduct the search for candidates. Please contact Kate Kingsley, President, KLKingsley Executive Search, 925-934-4306 or

Family medicine positions available

Family medicine positions available with Annadel Medical Group in Sonoma County. Contact

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 Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491.


Note: Because of Internet privacy concerns, News Briefs no longer lists phone numbers, fax numbers or email addresses in the Applicants section. Instead, that information will be listed in the next print edition of the Marin County Physician Directory.

Jonathan Rutchik, MD, Neurology*, Occupational Medicine*, 20 Sunnyside Ave. #A-321, Mill Valley, Hahnemann Univ 1990

* board certified


The Marin Medical Society, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. We are affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2012 MMS, PO Box 246, Corte Madera, CA 94976