Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


Decemeber 2014

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Dr. Peter Bretan honored with AMA award

Peter N. Bretan, Jr., MD, FACS, a urological and transplant surgeon practicing in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties, received the Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service from the American Medical Association (AMA). The award recognizes physicians who have performed beyond expectations and made extraordinary public service contributions. Dr. Bretan received the award during the opening session of the 2014 AMA interim meeting in Dallas, TX, on Nov. 8. It was presented by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.

The AMA honors Dr. Bretan for his innovative work as a renal transplant surgeon and urologist as well as his participation in global disaster relief efforts. He is the founder of Life Plant International, a charitable organization that promotes disaster preparedness, organ donation, and early disease screening worldwide. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA, in 2005, Dr. Bretan provided free medical care as part of "Team Orleans." Since 2002, he also has made nearly 20 medical mission trips to the Philippines to perform and teach local physicians about kidney transplant and laparoscopic kidney removal operations. More recently, he served as part of a medical mission to the Philippines to provide care to victims of Typhoon Halyan.

View the AMA press release announcing the award to Dr. Bretan.

Operation Access celebrates medical volunteers Dec. 9

Come enjoy craft beer, oysters, artisan pizza, and live music (Bootleg Honeys) at Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Please join us as we celebrate the contributions of Operation Access medical volunteers who donate their skills to Bay Area residents without access to specialty care.

This year's awards and honorees include: All Hands On Deck Award: Kaiser Permanente San Rafael/Petaluma Gastroenterology Team, including Drs. Jeff Fox, Jennifer Hewett, Brock MacDonald, James Martin, Jeffrey Rothman, and Andrew Spears; Legacy Award: Abdul Harris, MD; Champion Award: Laura Pak, MD; Unsung Hero Award: Daniel Solomon, MD, and Spirit Award: Mary Rogers, RN.

Click here to buy tickets ($25). Proceeds support the Operation Access program in the North Bay.


Vote No on 46: VICTORY!!
On Nov. 4, the voters of California spoke loudly and definitively, sending the trial lawyers' Proposition 46 to defeat by a vote of 67 to 33 percent. The message is clear--Californians simply don't want to increase health care costs and reduce health care access so trial attorneys can file more lawsuits.

The efforts of CMA and the county medical associations across the state are a tremendous showing of what we can do for the future of health care, the quality of medicine and the dedication to patients everywhere. Working together to spread the truth about Prop. 46, building coalitions across communities, and standing strong as one united voice are what helped carry us to victory.

This was one of the most contentious and high-stakes ballot fights in California history, and we rose to the occasion. We must use this unity moving forward and showcase to our colleagues the value the California Medical Association brings to our great profession--staying united for whatever comes our way next.

Humboldt physician installed as CMA's 147th president

The California Medical Association (CMA) has installed Humboldt County physician Luther Cobb, MD, as its 147th president. He takes office on the heels of the momentous defeat of Proposition 46, a campaign in which doctors and health care providers across California rallied together to oppose the measure that ultimately failed 33 to 67 percent.

After attending Stanford Medical School, Dr. Cobb went on to his residency at Stanford and did a two-year fellowship to study pancreatic islet transplantation for diabetes. He later joined the Stanford faculty and worked at the affiliated county hospital in Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Dr. Cobb is a former chair of the CMA Council on Legislation and has served on the organization's executive committee since 2006. He is also past president of the Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society. Dr. Cobb's term as CMA president will run from November 2014 through October 2015.

CMA needs your feedback by Dec. 4 on how workers' comp reform is working

CMA is asking for physician feedback through a survey on how the workers' compensation reforms implemented last year have impacted their practices.

The reforms were implemented in phases beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, and have incorporated changes to the workers' compensation program, including implementation of an independent medical review process to resolve disputes about the medical treatment of injured employees, an independent bill review process to resolve disputes regarding provider payment issues and a fee schedule based on a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) similar to Medicare's. CMA's survey is focused on these key areas.

Feedback from physician members thus far indicates potential problems with workers' compensation reform. CMA is asking physicians to share their experience by responding to a brief survey. The results of the survey will help CMA assess areas of reform that working and those that need improvement so we can focus our efforts accordingly.

Are you interested in joining Anthem's Medi-Cal managed care network?

In an effort to expand its Medi-Cal managed care provider network across the state, Anthem Blue Cross is reaching out to CMA member physicians who are interested in joining the insurer's network. Physicians who would like to learn more about this opportunity are asked to provide CMA with some basic information by filling out this brief form. Anthem will follow up with additional details.


Marin General Hospital introduced a new collection of patient gowns offering patients an enhanced level of comfort and dignity. Made of pajama-like material, the gowns have been designed with extra fabric and side ties and are created with the caregiver in mind as well, and easily accommodate medical treatments, equipment and monitoring devices.

Marin General Hospital is the most recent hospital to invest in the new style gowns along with Stanford Medical Center, Emory University Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Mayo Clinic.


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. The November issue includes:

  • Blue Shield announces changes to 2015 exchange/mirror products
  • Are you interested in joining Anthem's Medi-Cal managed care network?
  • Health Net modifying exchange/mirror products
  • Voters resoundingly defeat Proposition 46
  • Anthem to require NDC on claims for certain physician-administered drugs
  • CMA publishes duals project FAQ
  • Don't miss out on increased Medi-Cal payments! Deadline to attest is Dec. 31
  • Blue Shield makes positive changes to reimbursement policy for physicians treating out-of-network exchange PPO patients
  • United issues new Premium Designation physician results
  • United Healthcare to host webinars about its Premium Designation Program for contracted physicians
  • CMA wants to hear from practices experiencing problems with the new prescription drug prior authorization form
  • Counting down to ICD-10 implementation
  • State issues report cards for HMOs, PPOs and large medical groups
  • Ask the Expert: Do I enter a qualifier in box 14 of the claim form if the patient has Medicare prime and a secondary insurance?
  • Meet your CMA Affinity Partner: Union Bank
  • The Coding Corner: Modifier 59 and beyond
  • Workshop for Physician Health Committees

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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

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