Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


March 2011

Dates for Partnership HealthPlan dinners changed to March 17, April 18

Because of scheduling conflicts, dates for the two free dinners sponsored by Partnership HealthPlan have been changed to March 17 and April 18. Partnership, which links Medi-Cal patients to primary care providers, is sponsoring the 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 Thursday, March 17, at the Hilltop restaurant in Novato, and the second for Monday, April 18, 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.

CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale to speak at MMS dinner on April 12

All Marin County physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to the Marin Medical Society’s spring membership dinner on April 12, featuring CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale, who directs trauma at Marin General Hospital. He will speak about CMA’s leadership in health care reform and the challenges facing California physicians in 2011.


The dinner, to be held at the Servino Ristorante in Tiburon, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7. Tickets are just $45 per person. Dinner choices include petrale sole, flank steak and vegetarian pasta. To purchase tickets and indicate your dinner choice, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or

Medicare coding courses offered during April

“Coding and Medicare Updates 2011,” a valuable three-hour course for physicians and office staff, will be offered at three North Bay locations during April. The course, developed by the Practice Management Institute, focuses on sweeping changes affecting your 2011 Medicare reimbursements. Participants will review major changes for 2011 coding, learn how to improve claim accuracy, and maximize reimbursement opportunities with Medicare incentive programs.


Course times and locations are listed below. Cost is $105 for MMS members and their staff and $165 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or

• April 13, 1 to 4 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 2200 Gateway Blvd., Fairfield

• April 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Queen of the Valley, 1000 Trancas St., Napa

• April 15, 1 to 4 p.m., Fountaingrove Inn, 101 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa

Nominations needed for MMS election

In preparation for the upcoming MMS election, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 18. Nominees must be MMS members in good standing. Nominations are requested for the following positions:

• MMS president-elect

• MMS secretary-treasurer

• MMS board representatives (4)

• CMA delegate

• CMA alternate delegate


All positions require a three-year commitment, beginning July 1. Nominations can be e-mailed to, faxed to 924-2749, or mailed to MMS, PO Box 246, Corte Madera 94976. Each nomination should include a brief statement about the nominee’s qualifications.

Act now to prepare for new Tdap booster law

Under a new law, all California students in grades 7-12 will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school next fall. Act now to ensure your adolescent patients are protected against the ongoing threat of pertussis by taking the following steps:


View the free one-hour CME webcast, “Shots For School: Clinicians’ Role in California’s New Tdap Requirement,” available at


Send reminder and recall phone calls and notices to your patients who have not yet received a Tdap booster, including those who have received a dose of Td but not Tdap.


Order enough Tdap vaccine to immunize your patients affected by the new law. Before ordering, ensure you have adequate storage in your vaccine refrigerator for your orders. In many clinics, multiple orders will be indicated.


Immunize with Tdap now at every opportunity, including sports physicals and visits for mild illness or injury, and give other recommended immunizations: meningococcal conjugate, HPV, influenza, and any catch-up doses of varicella, MMR, and hepatitis B.


Provide clear and accurate documentation about Tdap immunization for your patients and their schools. Vaccines have similar names and abbreviations, e.g., Tdap, Td, DTaP, DT—which can be confusing to school staff who will be keeping records for the new law. If you use the California Immunization Registry, consider printing out a copy of the Blue Card after Tdap has been given for the student to take to school.


For additional information on the new Tdap school requirement, visit

RSVPs needed for Legislative Day in Sacramento

Local physicians interested in attending CMA’s free Legislative Leadership Conference in Sacramento on April 5 should RSVP by March 31. The annual conference, which last year drew more than 400 physicians and CMA Alliance members, allows doctors to meet with legislators and express their views on pending health legislation. The conference also includes a morning session featuring speakers from across the political spectrum.


To RSVP, contact Cynthia Melody at or 924-3891.


A free education module titled “Answering the Questions: Implementing Routine HIV Testing in Primary Care Settings” is available at The course, which offers up to 1.25 hours of Category 1 credit, compares different HIV testing technologies and describes key features of pretest and post-test counseling. An estimated 25% of HIV-infected people in the United States are unaware of their status, and the CDC recently recommended that all patients 13-64 years old be screened for HIV.


Physicians considering switching to electronic medical records can estimate savings and return on investment (ROI) by using the ROI Calculator, a new resource from CMA. To use the free calculator, visit and answer a few basic questions about your practice. You will then be able to estimate your administrative savings, how much you qualify for in federal incentive payments, and what the overall ROI would be for converting to electronic health records.


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:

• March 16: Key financial ratios to increase profitability

• April 6: Coding for medical necessity and quality care

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


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


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 needed

Busy physician practice looking to lease or sublease 2,000 to 3,000 square feet beginning in the summer. Would prefer Greenbrae or San Rafael. Please call Carole at 415-461-2080.


Medical office space available

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.


© 2011 MMS, PO Box 246, Corte Madera, CA 94976