Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


February 2017

Download PDF Here


Changes for MMS in 2017

Since the announcement and departure of MMS's longtime executive director, Cynthia Melody, the MMS board of directors has been in negotiations with the San Francisco Medical Society (SFMS) to merge the two organizations. SFMS Executive Director/CEO, Mary Lou Licwinko, and her staff are currently handling MMS administration. 

Marin physicians can continue to reach MMS-SFMS at: 

415-561-0850 (phone)
415-561-0833 (fax)
PO Box 246, Corte Madera CA 94976 

While there are many issues yet to be resolved, the merger should be complete by springtime. The leadership of both organizations aims to have a seamless transition and ensure that MMS members will not experience any disruption in their member benefits. If you have questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact MMS, or you can reach Dr. Peter Bretan, MMS President, at (415) 271-1192 or, or Dr. Michael Kwok, President-Elect, at (415) 925-3617 or

Fall/Winter Issue of Marin Medicine Now Available

Marin MedicineThis issue focuses on emergency medicine and features a special section with hospital reports on emergency care in Marin. Other theme articles include the ER, patient education and Kaiser's telestroke program. Departments cover a wide range of topics ranging from gun violence and public health to the fall House of Delegates. A Resources Spotlight offers tools and resources for solo and small group practices, and a photo spread from the MMS Awards Dinner rounds out the issue. Available online or in print.


Thanks to MIEC Dividend Program!

Save the Date: CMA Legislative Advocacy Day

Save The Date - April 18_ 2017April 18, 2017
Sheraton Grand, Sacramento
The California Medical Association (CMA) will host its 43rd annual Legislative Advocacy Day on April 18, 2017. Join MMS at the State Capitol to learn about legislative issues affecting medicine, foster relationships with state legislators, and gain hands on experience in the practical aspects of physician advocacy. MMS members will have the opportunity to meet with legislators. All meetings with legislators will be scheduled and coordinated by MMS. Registration information will be available soon.

Marin-based Doctors Network Wins Suit against Health Chain

Meritage - a Novato-based nonprofit network of 700 physicians that serves residents in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties - has won the first round in a court battle with St. Joseph Health. In July, Meritage sued St. Joseph Health, an Irvine-based hospital organization with more than $5 billion in annual revenues, alleging that St. Joseph illegally obtained confidential information that gave it an unfair advantage in its competition with Meritage. Marin Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Howard has issued a preliminary injunction preventing St. Joseph Health from using the information. A trial is scheduled for June 15. Read more.

Victory: Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger

In a recent landmark win for organized medicine and the nation's patients, federal judge John D. Bates blocked the proposed Aetna-Humana merger. The judge found that the merger would have substantially lessened competition in Medicare Advantage and commercial health insurance markets. The decision is an historic, stunning affirmation of the position urged by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the 17-state medical association antitrust coalition members. The court's ruling sets a notable legal precedent by recognizing Medicare Advantage as a separate and distinct market that does not compete with traditional Medicare.

Don't Lose Your MMS Benefits - Renew Today!

Don't let this be the last member eNewsletter you receive from MMS! Please renew your membership today before it lapses on March 1. Click here to renew.


CURES Mandate Implementation Date Remains Unclear
Under California law, all individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish or order controlled substances and a Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substance Registration Certificate (DEA Certificate) must be registered to use the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). Currently, physicians are encouraged-but not required-to check the database before prescribing controlled substances. Checking the CURES database will eventually be mandatory, under a law passed by the California Legislature in 2016. For more information on CURES, visit 


Step-by-Step Guide Available to Help Clinicians Taper Opioids for Patients with Chronic Pain
A detailed step-by-step guide from Partnership HealthPlan is available to help clinicians taper opioids for patients with chronic pain. The toolkit includes case studies and guidance on management of complications. Partnership HealthPlan designed the toolkit as part of its Managing Pain Safely program.

Covered California tax credit mix-ups cause headaches for consumers
Physicians should be aware that approximately 35,000 Californians insured through Covered California have, at least temporarily, lost federal premium subsidies or are facing higher-than-expected premium bills due to clerical errors by the state health exchange. Physicians who receive questions from their patients about either of these issues should direct them to contact Covered California directly at (800) 300-1506. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

2017 AMA National Advocacy Conference
Grand Hyatt Washington

Coalition for Compassionate Care of California Palliative Care Summit
Hyatt Regency, Sacramento

American Medical Women's Association Annual Meeting
Embassy Suites SFO Waterfront

2017 Physician Regional Spring Symposium
Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel and Spa, Santa Rosa   

CMA Legislative Advocacy Day
Sheraton Grand, Sacramento

24th Annual HIV/AIDS Review
Finley Community Center, Person Auditorium, Santa Rosa
Click here to register 

 Western Health Care Leadership Academy
5/5 - 5/7 
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Upcoming Webinars

Paying Employees Correctly: Wage and Hour Laws for Health Care Employers
2/22, 12:15pm - 1:15pm

Psychological Approaches to Pain Management for the Primary Care Provider
2/24, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

CMA Legislative Advocacy Day Webinar Training 
3/29, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

About MMS

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. © 2017 MMS, PO Box 246, Corte Madera, CA 94976