Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


December 2012

• Marin docs invited to FREE Operation Access celebration on Dec. 11

• Pay your MMS/CMA dues by Jan. 15 and get a 5% discount

• Medi-Cal requiring re-enrollment

• AMA delegates set new policies at interim meeting

• Top stories from CMA Alert






Marin docs 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. Suggestions for older kids include gift cards, electronic items such as digital cameras or iPod shuffles, and sweat shirts. For younger kids, suggested gifts include soccer balls, dolls, toy trucks or anything else that young kids love.

Beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and wood-fired oven pizza will be offered at the event, 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. For more details, click on the link below.

Operation Access Dec. 11 Celebration flyer

Pay your MMS/CMA dues by Jan. 15 and get a 5% discount

Members who pay their 2013 MMS/CMA dues by Jan. 15 get a 5% discount. To qualify for the discount, dues must be received in CMA’s Sacramento office by Jan. 15, not just postmarked by that date. Dues invoices were mailed earlier this fall. If you need a copy, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or

Medi-Cal requiring re-enrollment

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will soon be notifying physicians that they must re-enroll in Medi-Cal as one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires every state Medicaid program (Medi-Cal in California) to revalidate provider enrollment information at least every five years beginning Jan. 2, 2013.

DHCS is currently working to identify an initial list of all physicians and other providers who will be required to revalidate. Notices of revalidation will be mailed beginning the second week of January 2013. Notices will be sent to business location on file with DHCS. Each notice will include information on which application(s) must be completed. Anyone receiving a notice must complete and return the requested form(s) and required attachments within 35 working days of the date of the notice. Failure to do so may result in payment delays.

Physicians who have revalidated, updated or submitted new applications to the Medicare program within the last 12 months (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012) will not be required to revalidate at this time. However, your Medicare enrollment information must match the information on file with the Medi-Cal program. If it doesn’t, you will receive notice from DHCS requiring you to revalidate.

The California Medical Association (CMA) and DHCS have worked collaboratively over the past year to establish a phased, tightly-controlled re-enrollment process within the confines of current state and federal laws and regulations.

In addition, CMA will host a live webinar training course with representatives from DHCS to walk attendees through the Medi-Cal enrollment process for both individual providers and groups. Also to be discussed will be program requirements and how to avoid common mistakes that can lead to delays, denials and exclusion from the Medi-Cal program. The webinar will be held Jan. 16, 2013, from 12:15 to 1:45 pm. These webinars are free and open to everyone. For more information, or to register, visit

AMA delegates set new policies at interim meeting

The American Medical Association (AMA) Interim Meeting in late November produced a wide number of resolutions, establishing new policies related to physician enrollment in Medicare, RAC audits, ICD-10 and anticompetitive practices by brand name drug manufacturers. Many of these resolutions were put forward by the California delegation.

Below is a summary of some of the resolutions adopted as policy:

Eliminate ICD-10. The delegates adopted a resolution that asks the AMA to vigorously advocate that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eliminate the implementation of ICD-10 as the burdens imposed by ICD-10 will force many physicians in small practices out of business.

Generic medications and pay for delay practices. Delegates took up the controversial anticompetitive practice of stifling the development of generic medicines by brand name drug manufacturers. Delegates voted to support federal legislation that would make it illegal for manufacturers to pay competitors not to bring lower-cost alternatives to market. According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study, these anticompetitive deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year. This resolution was introduced by the California Delegation.

Mandatory physician enrollment in Medicare. The delegates adopted a California resolution that asks the AMA to support every physician’s ability to choose not to enroll in Medicare and to seek the right of patients to collect from Medicare for covered services provided by unenrolled or disenrolled physicians.

RAC audits of E&M codes. The delegates adopted a California resolution that asks the AMA to oppose Recovery Audit Contractor audits of E&M codes. The resolution directs AMA to explain to CMS and Congress why these audits as currently conducted are deleterious to the provision of care to patients with complex health needs. It also asks AMA to urge CMS and elected Washington officials to require physician reimbursement for time and expense of appeals and to provide statistical data regarding the audits, including the specialties most affected, and the percentage of denied claims for E&M codes that are reversed on appeal.

Evidence-based utilization of services. The delegates adopted a California resolution that asks the AMA to support and educate physicians about the need for physician-led, evidence based, efforts to improve appropriate utilization of medical services.

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

* Physicians who wish to opt out of new Blue Cross network must act soon

* California one of five states with lowest antibiotic use in nation

* 2013 Medicare fee schedules posted

* Palmetto protests Medicare contract award

* DHCS ready for 5010 upgrade


Dr. Mehrdad Razavi, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, has opened the Marin Memory and Sleep Center in Larkspur. He offers consultations in memory disorders, Alzheimer’s dementia, cognitive assessment and sleep apnea. The Center also provides sleep studies, a CPAP support clinic and non-CPAP therapy. The location is 5 Bon Air Rd., Suite C-116 in Larkspur. Phone is 415-927-4990.

Buck Institute faculty member Dr. Robert Hughes was the lead author on a study of treatments for Huntington’s disease (HD) published in the Nov. 29 edition of PLoS Genetics. For the study, researchers at the Novato-based Buck Institute used RNA interference technology to identify hundreds of “druggable” molecular targets linked to the toxicity associated with HD. The study showed that RRAS, a gene involved in cell motility and neuronal development, is a potent modulator of HD toxicity in multiple HD models.


All three full-service hospitals in Marin County received good grades in the recent hospital safety scores from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit founded by large purchasers of health benefits. The grades, which run from A (best) to F (worst), reflect each hospital’s record for minimizing infections, patient injuries, and medical or medication errors. Kaiser San Rafael received an A, and both Marin General Hospital and Novato Community Hospital received a B. For complete listings of all 2,600 hospitals participating in the ratings nationwide, visit


The following CMA webinars are scheduled for December. 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.

* Impact of ICD-10 (Dec. 5)

* California's new Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) for dual eligibles

Medical volunteers of all types are needed for a Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps clinic to be held in the Coachella Valley in Southern California during April 2013. The clinic will provide free medical, dental and vision care to patients with limited access to care. For more information, or to volunteer, visit

CMA has posted actions of the 2012 House of Delegates on its website at The document summarizes all the actions taken at the recent HOD meeting. An abbreviated version containing only resolutions and priorities is available as well.


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.


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