Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


February 2011

Partnership HealthPlan dinners to focus on Medi-Cal changes

Partnership HealthPlan, which links Medi-Cal patients to primary care providers, is sponsoring two free dinners to answer questions from local physicians about pending changes to Medi-Cal, which will affect both physicians and patients. The presenters for both dinners will be Partnership’s chief medical officer, Dr. Ron Chapman, and the regional medical director for Marin County, Dr. Marshall Kubota.


Both dinners run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The first is set for Tuesday, March 29, at the Hilltop restaurant in Novato, and the second for Thursday, March 31, at Jason’s Restaurant in Greenbrae. The dinners are free, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or Please indicate your dinner choice: beef, chicken or vegetarian.


About 15,000 Medi-Cal patients throughout Marin County are eligible for Partnership’s managed care plan. The plan—currently implemented in Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Yolo counties—has proved effective in reducing emergency room usage and improving access to care. It also offers increased reimbursements to both primary care and specialist physicians.

Potluck dinner for women physicians on Feb. 17

All women physicians in Marin County—MMS members and nonmembers alike—are invited to an informal potluck dinner on Thursday evening, Feb. 17. The dinner, hosted by Dr. Lori Selleck, is a great opportunity to gather with your female colleagues in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. To RSVP and receive the address, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or

Marin County seeking new Public Health Officer

Marin County is seeking a new Public Health Officer to replace Dr. Fred Schwartz, who has retired. The filing deadline is Feb. 4, so time is of the essence. The Officer plans, organizes and directs public health programs, and enforces public health laws and regulations. Responsibilities include serving as county spokesperson on public health issues, advocating for disease prevention and health promotion, and developing public health policy. Salary range is $166,000 to $201,000 per year.


Application forms and instructions are available at Physicians with questions or suggestions should contact HHS Director Dr. Larry Meredith at or 415-499-6924, or Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Craig Lindquist at or 415-473-4047.

Save the date: CMA President to speak in Marin on April 12

Marin County trauma surgeon and CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale will speak at the MMS Spring Membership Dinner on April 12, at a location to be determined. Please save the date for this important event, to which all local physicians and their spouse or guests are invited. Final details will be published next month.

CMA pushing for improvements to Affordable Care Act

By CMA Vice President Elizabeth McNeil


Note: The following story is excerpted from Ms. McNeil’s Jan. 28 report to the CMA Board of Trustees.


On Jan. 19, the House of Representatives passed HR 2, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the measure is not expected to pass the Senate nor gain the support of the White House. CMA did not take a specific position on HR 2. In fact, none of the major national health care organizations took a position on HR 2.


CMA will be working vigorously to pursue improvements to the ACA, such as eliminating the IPAB (the non-elected board given broad new authority to govern Medicare), repeal of the Medicare SGR payment formula, increases in Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, augmenting graduate medical education, and improvements to quality reporting programs. CMA will continue to support provisions of the ACA that reform the abuses of the for-profit insurance industry, such as ending rescissions and coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, as well as forcing insurers to dedicate at least 80% of their revenue to direct patient care.


While a full repeal of the ACA is not expected to be successful, many predict that Congress will adopt some changes to the law on a bipartisan basis. For instance, both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to eliminate the Form 1099 new reporting requirement that requires businesses, including physician offices, to report certain payments.


AMA, CMA and the federation will be pushing legislation (The Medicare Patient Empowerment Act) to allow physicians to privately contract with Medicare patients. CMA was actively involved in crafting the bill, and several Republican leaders appear to be interested in introducing the legislation.


The AMA and many other state medical associations are pushing for federal medical liability reform that mirrors the successful laws in California and Texas. There will be several liability bills introduced and moved through the House, but passage of liability reform will be much more difficult in the Senate. CMA’s first priority will be to protect MICRA to ensure that federal law does not weaken California law.

Report from the CMA Board of Trustees

By District X Trustees James Bronk, MD, and Mark David, MD


Hello from San Francisco! We’ve just completed the Jan. 28-29 CMA Board and strategy meeting. Rebecca Patchin, recent chair of the AMA Board, reported the AMA is continuing to pursue medical liability reform at the national level. Many of us heard President Obama raise the possibility of liability reform during his recent State of the Union address. Whether his weighing in will lead to significant and appropriate national action remains a question. At our state level, there’s serious concern about a MICRA challenge this legislative session. CMA and its affiliate organizations are ready to take on this challenge. Do we merely defend MICRA, or do we try to promote and enhance it?


The concept of being a reactive organization versus a proactive organization is one of the key elements as CMA moves forward with its strategic plan. Many of you had a chance to see the initial “blueprint” of the plan during the CMA House of Delegates last fall. We spent much of the Jan. 28 session working on implementation of the plan, which focuses on growing membership, building relationships, providing leadership in policy development, and building CMA capacity. Over the next several weeks, reporting metrics will be developed to monitor our progress in implementing the plan. Your trustees will continue to report on this project on a regular basis.


In early April, part 1 of the new CMA website will be unveiled. The new website is part of the process of improving communication and expanding outreach. We are also working to strengthen the alignment with our component county societies, having taken the steps to establish a limited liability company to administer payroll services and fringe benefits for employees of component societies wishing to use this service.


We believe CMA has a renewed sense of purpose and energy. The day-to-day legislative and legal challenges will continue to be addressed. Ruth Haskins, the new chair of the CMA Council on Legislation, is energized and clearly ready to lead. We have the luxury of a top-notch staff at both the state and local levels working on our behalf. Having a long-range vision and plan to implement that vision is vital to medicine’s future. Your continued involvement is key to our collective success.

Preteen Vaccine Week begins Feb. 13

This year’s Preteen Vaccine Week begins shortly before Valentine’s Day, a fitting reminder of the need for vaccinations amid an outbreak of kissing. The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness of the new Tdap vaccine requirement for incoming students in grades 7-12, also known as “The New Rule: Shots Before School.” All students in those grades will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting public or private school in the fall.


In addition to Tdap, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that 11- and 12-year-olds receive meningococcal, varicella, HPV and annual flu vaccines. Complete details about Preteen Vaccine Week, including brochures, posters and multilingual materials, can be found on the California Department of Public Health website at


MMS President-Elect Dr. Irina deFischer has been appointed to the CMA Council on Legislation to represent CMA District X, which includes Marin County. The Council submits recommendations for CMA positions on federal and state legislative, regulatory and administrative proposals.


The Buck Institute for Research on Aging has received a $3.5 million donation from retired San Francisco real estate developer Douglas Rosenberg to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Buck neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen will lead the effort to find a treatment, using the results of small molecule screenings that show promise in cell culture and animal models of the disease. The goal is to raise at least $10 million to get drug candidates into clinical trials. Rosenberg—whose father, stepfather and stepmother died from the disease—said, “I can’t afford to wait. Big Pharma is not stepping up to the plate and the federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, is not providing money for this type of drug development either.”


Camille Brown, MD, Pediatrics*, 750 Las Gallinas Ave #210, San Rafael 94903, 479-7244, Fax 479-0917,, Case Western Reserve Univ 1999


Kathryn Davis, MD, Pediatrics*, 750 Las Gallinas Ave #210, San Rafael 94903, 479-7244, Fax 479-0917,, Duke Univ 2005


Inessa Gofman, MD, Pediatrics*, 750 Las Gallinas Ave #210, San Rafael 94903, 479-7244, Fax 479-0917,, UC Davis 2003


Albert Goldberg, MD, Pediatrics*, 750 Las Gallinas Ave #210, San Rafael 94903, 479-7244, Fax 479-0917,, New York Med Coll 1963


Cindy Greenberg, MD, Pediatrics*, 750 Las Gallinas Ave #210, San Rafael 94903, 479-7244, Fax 479-0917,, Med Coll Wisconsin 1993


Adam Nelson, MD, Psychiatry*, 145 Corte Madera Town Center #594, Corte Madera 94925, 460-6710, Fax 897-8185,


* board certified


A complete schedule of CMA webinars for 2011 is available at These popular bimonthly programs cover all aspects of medical practice and are FREE to MMS members. The webinars usually run from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., but some feature evening sessions from 6 to 7 p.m. Upcoming topics include:

• Feb. 2: Embezzlement—Don’t be a victim

• Feb. 9: How to enroll in the EHR incentive programs

• March 2: E&M coding: Don’t leave money on the table

To register, visit or call 800-786-4262.


Physician leaders are encouraged to attend the IMQ/PACE Platinum Training Program for Physician Leaders, to be held March 10-12 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. The program covers the practical knowledge and skills needed to lead medical staffs and offers an interactive forum to empower physicians and reinforce learning. For more details, or to register, visit or call Leslie Anne Iacopi at 415-882-5167.


The 18th annual HIV/AIDS Review runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 12 at the Hilton Hotel, 3555 Round Barn Blvd., in Santa Rosa. This educational seminar, sponsored by the North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center, includes breakfast, lunch and 6 units of AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Cost is just $45. To register, call 707-527-6223.


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 525-4281 or For more information, visit


Physicians who enjoy flying planes are invited to attend an Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa on April 29-30. The event, sponsored by the Santa Rosa-based Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation, features presentations by scientists from NASA and Lawrence Livermore Lab, among others. For more details, or to register, visit


Physician wanted

Physician wanted for ethical medical weight control. Part time. Pleasant conditions. No billing, no on-call. Short shifts. Perfect for semi-retired or someone looking for a little extra work. Locations in Vallejo and San Francisco. Please call 415-447-4200 or email

Medical office space

Largest available medical office space in Marin County, with spaces from 10,000 sf to 70,000 sf at 1 Thorndale in San Rafael. Contact Bayside Realty Partners, medical office specialists, at 650-949-0700 or


How to submit a classified ad

To submit a classified ad for MMS News Briefs or Marin Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.


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.


© MMS 2011
PO Box 246
Corte Madera, CA 94976