Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


May 2012

Physicians invited to interview congressional candidates on health policy

North Bay physicians will have a chance to pose health policy questions to candidates for the reconfigured 2nd Congressional District at a May 17 candidate interview sponsored by MMS. A dozen candidates are running for the seat currently occupied by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, who is retiring next year after two decades in Congress.


The candidate interview will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Wilkes-Weseman Conference Center at Novato Community Hospital.


Because of redistricting, Woolsey’s old congressional district, which was confined to Marin and Sonoma counties, will soon extend all the way up to Oregon, with the important exceptions of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. Those towns will shift to the 5th District, where incumbent Rep. Mike Thompson is running without significant opposition.


The leading candidates for Woolsey’s seat include Assemblyman Jared Huffman, activist Norman Solomon and businesswoman Stacey Lawson. Because of the new Open Primary Act, all candidates--Democratic, Republican and other--compete in the June primary. The two who receive the most votes move to the November election, regardless of party affiliation.


The May 17 candidate interview is intended for physicians, who are invited to submit health policy questions beforehand by sending an email by May 14 to Cynthia Melody at The format will be a panel interview, with each candidate answering each question in turn. MMS President Dr. Peter Bretan will moderate the interview.

MMS wage/benefit surveys and election ballots due May 31

MMS election ballots will be mailed to all members during the first week of May and are due back by May 31. Non-Kaiser members will also be receiving a staff wage and benefit survey. Physicians can use the results of this confidential survey to help manage their practice. Results will be sent by first-class mail, marked “confidential,” only to physicians who complete the survey. In other words, if you want to see the results, you must complete the survey.


Dr. Georgianna Farren, medical director of the Marin Community Clinics, has been nominated as MMS president-elect for 2012-13. Others nominated to the MMS Board of Directors are Drs. Jeff Stevenson, Paul Wasserstein and Michael Kwok. The nominees for the CMA delegation are Drs. Irina deFischer, Larry Bedard, Jeff Stevenson and Anne Cummings.


Board nominees will join the current board of directors, which includes Drs. Peter Bretan, Anne Cummings, Irina deFischer,  Scott Levy and Lori Selleck.


For more information, contact Cynthia Melody at or 415-924-3891.


Calling all photographers! Cover photo needed for MMS Directory

Do you have a high-resolution digital photo of Marin County that you’d like to share with your colleagues? If so, please email the photo to Steve Osborn at for possible use on the cover of the 2012-13 Marin County Physician Directory, which is scheduled for publication in June.


The photo needs to be vertically oriented and should have a file size of at least 3 megabytes. The final print size of the directory is 6.5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. Subject matter is wide open, but photos must be taken within Marin County. The cover of the current directory, for example, shows the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The deadline is May 15. For more information, contact Steve at 707-525-0101 or


DocBookMD expands to entire North Bay

MMS members can now use the DocBookMD mobile app to send HIPAA-compliant messages to their colleagues throughout the North Bay. The new, regional version includes medical society members in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Mendocino and Lake counties.


Getting started with DocBookMD is simplicity itself. Just follow the instructions below.

1. Download the free DocBookMD app from the iTunes App Store or Android Market to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android phone.

2. Click on Register.

3. Enter your email address.

4. Enter your state (CA) and county (Marin).

5. Enter your CMA/MMS ID number. (Call 415-924-3891 if you need your number.)

6. Create a password.

7. Answer sponsor questions.

8. Complete the HIPAA compliance agreement.


That’s it! Once you’re registered, you can send messages, images and more to your medical society colleagues throughout the North Bay. For more details, visit DocBookMD is supplied at no charge to MMS members thanks to the sponsorship of MIEC.

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


* Urgent survey response requested: State releases plan to move all Medicare/Medi-Cal patients into managed care plans


* Attorney General speaks to CMA physicians about advocating for CURES

and ACA


* Governor Brown asks California physicians to support his tax measure on

the fall ballot


* Panel sets stage for "year of chaos" in California politics


* CMA vaccination bill clears committee



A short film celebrating the life of the late Dr. Lee Lipsenthal has been posted on The film, which also serves as a trailer for Lipsenthal’s posthumously published book “Enjoy Every Sandwich,” features an interview with Lipsenthal, who served for many years as medical director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito before succumbing to cancer last year.


The founders of Operation Access--Drs. Douglas Grey, William Schechter and Paul Hoffman--have received an Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. The annual nationwide award is presented to individuals who have significantly improved health in their local communities. Operation Access provides free surgeries to uninsured patients throughout the Bay Area.


The Marin Cancer Institute at Marin General Hospital has received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College Surgeons. Out of more than 3,000 cancer centers nationwide, the Marin institute was one of only 106 to receive the award, and the only one in the North Bay. The award is granted to facilities that meet or exceed standards in several areas, including clinical management, research, community outreach and quality improvement.


The Marin-Sonoma IPA is moving to a larger space in Novato to accommodate its growing business. The move from 3 Hamilton Landing to 4 Hamilton Landing is not very far, but the amount of space will almost double. The rapidly growing IPA now includes nearly 300 physicians in Marin County, plus another 300 or so in Sonoma County. The group is hoping to become an accountable care organization by next January.


There will be eight CMA webinars during May, including four for CEU credit. All webinars begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or 1:45. To register, visit Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person. Here’s the lineup for May:

* Medicare audits (May 2; includes CEU)

* Marketing 101 (May 9; includes CEU)

* Telephone etiquette for medical personnel (May 16; includes CEU)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 1 (May 17)

* Strategic planning for solo and group practices (May 23; includes CEU)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 2 (May 24)

* California’s changing insurance marketplace (May 30)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 3 (May 31)


In recognition of the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, CMA has launched Reform Essentials, a regular newsletter designed to provide readers with the latest developments in California’s implementation of federal health care reform. The publication is available at Future installments of the newsletter will include updates from California's Health Benefit Exchange Board, information on essential health benefits, and other topics related to the Affordable Care Act.


Need help improving practice efficiency and viability? Try a free subscription to CMA Practice Resources (CPR), a monthly bulletin full of tips and tools for physicians and their office staff. To subscribe, visit The current issue includes articles on HIPAA 5010 enforcement, CPT codes, electronic prescribing, and much more.


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