Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


June 2011

CMA offers free EHR Desk Reference to all physicians

The 2009 federal economic stimulus package provided funding for physicians to purchase and use electronic health records (EHR) systems. Qualifying Medicare providers stand to receive up to $44,000, and Medi-Cal providers stand to receive as much as $63,750.


The promise of the federal EHR incentives is causing a wide range of reactions among California physicians. There is excitement about the financial benefits, but there is also confusion about issues such as how to get started, how to select the right system, and what does “meaningful use” mean?


To help physicians through this process, CMA and the CMA Foundation have published a comprehensive guide called the EHR Desk Reference. The reference was funded by a generous contribution from the Physicians Foundation and is available free-of-charge to any physician.


The EHR Desk Reference brings together information, tools, and resources from many sources into one comprehensive guide to help physicians and their practices make the transition to EHR. It can help both specialists and primary care physicians in all modes of practice and at any stage of the EHR implementation process. Some of the topics covered in the guide include:

• Understanding the federal incentive programs

• Selecting the right EHR for your practice

• Talking to your patients about your EHR

• HIPAA compliance

• Meaningful use


In conjunction with the release of the Desk Reference, CMA staff and physicians will be traveling the state distributing copies and speaking about EHR adoption. If you would like to schedule a speaker at your hospital medical staff meeting, medical group, or other gathering, contact the CMA member helpline at 800-786-4262.


To download your free copy of the EHR Desk Reference, visit

Reminder: Medicare electronic prescribing deadline is June 30

Physicians who don’t implement and employ a qualified electronic prescribing (eRx) system by June 30 will face a 1% penalty from Medicare in 2012. The penalties increase to 1.5% in 2013 and a 2% in 2014.


Medicare has excluded physicians who have fewer than 100 cases in the first half of 2011 containing an eligible ambulatory care visit code. Physicians may also be exempt if fewer than 10% of total allowed Part B charges are comprised of these codes.


Covered physicians who wish to avoid the 1% penalty in 2012 must report via claims their use of an eRx system for at least 10 patient visits before June 30. New and repeat patient visits qualify for the program. A patient visit in which the patient is given several prescriptions counts as one eRx.


For more information, get the CMA document “Medicare electronic prescribing overview: Payment incentives and payment reductions” at or visit the Medicare website at


Cast your vote in the annual MMS election by June 30

Now is the time for MMS members to cast their votes for MMS officers and board representatives, and for representatives to the CMA House of Delegates. Please indicate your approval or disapproval of the candidates listed below. You can vote by either:


• Sending an email with your preferences to or


• Downloading the MMS Ballot at and returning to MMS by fax or mail.


MMS President: Peter Bretan, MD: Yes___ No___


MMS President-Elect: Irina deFischer, MD: Yes___ No___


MMS Secretary/Treasurer: Georgianna Farren, MD: Yes___ No___


MMS Immediate Past President: Lori Selleck, MD: Yes___ No___


MMS Board of Directors (vote for two)


• Georgianna Farren, MD


• Lori Selleck, MD


CMA Delegates (vote for two)


• Lori Selleck, MD: Yes___ No___


• Peter Bretan, MD: Yes___ No___


CMA Alternate Delegate


Anne Cummings, MD: Yes___ No___

Health Information conference set for Santa Rosa

The fifth annual “Connecting California to Improve Patient Care” conference will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa on July 14 and 15. The conference, which is organized by the nonprofit Redwood MedNet, covers the latest developments in health information policy, clinical informatics and health information exchanges. Presenters include physicians and other experts in medical information technology.


The conference begins with a workshop on privacy and security on the afternoon of July 14, followed by a full day of presentations on July 15. Cost is $200 before July 1 and $250 thereafter. To register, and for more details, visit


The listing for Robert Yohai, MD, in the 2011 Marin County Physician Directory is incorrect. Dr. Yohai is board certified in ophthalmology. He also has a special medical interest in ophthalmic plastic surgery.


Sonoma Valley Hospital and the Marin Healthcare District, which operates Marin General Hospital, have signed a formal agreement that will allow the healthcare district to provide both management and medical services to Sonoma Valley. The agreement will give Sonoma patients access to specialty services at Marin General. “The synergies between the Marin and Sonoma communities make this an ideal partnership to benefit Bay Area residents,” said cardiologist Dr. Joel Sklar, chief medical officer at Marin General.


The 2011 edition of the Marin County Physician Directory, which was distributed free to MMS members in April, is now available for sale to nonmember physicians and the general public. The directory offers alphabetical and specialty listings for all Marin County physicians, along with detailed entries for MMS members. Cost is $40 for nonmember physicians, or $35 each when ordering five or more copies. Members can purchase additional copies for just $30. To order over the phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891, or order online at


CMA is offering two one-hour coding webinars during June. The first, which begins at 12:15 p.m. on June 1, covers ICD-10 coding. The second, beginning at 6:15 p.m. on June 8, covers E&M coding. For more details or to register, visit Webinars are free for SCMA members and their staff.


Marsh, the insurance carrier sponsored by MMS and CMA, is offering members a new long-term care insurance program through Long Term Care Resources. For details specific to MMS members, visit the LTCR website at


The new CMA website is loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. All members will need to activate their new web account in order to access the full suite of members-only tools and resources. Existing passwords from the old website were not carried over for security reasons. The process of activating your account is quick and easy. Simply:

1. Click on “activate web account” at the top of the page.

2. Enter your first and last name to locate your record in the database. Click on your name.

3. Verify your date of birth, enter your email address (this will be your username), and then select and verify your password (passwords must be at least 6 digits long).

If you have any questions, contact CMA's member help center at 800-786-4262 or


Can you donate a stethoscope or make a $10 donation to WorldScopes? This global philanthropic initiative collects and distributes stethoscopes to doctors around the world who do not have ready access to this basic medical instrument. To date, almost 9,000 stethoscopes have been collected and distributed in more than 50 countries. All shipping costs are paid by the American Medical Association, which sponsors the program. For instructions on how to ship a stethoscope or make a financial donation, visit the WorldScopes website at


Adam Baumgarten, MD, Internal Medicine*, Cardiovascular Disease, 2 Bon Air Rd. #100, Larkspur 94939, 927-0666, Fax 927-4173,, St. George’s Univ


Lynda Lam, MD, Neurology*, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, 99 Montecillo Rd., San Rafael 94903, 444-2905, Fax 444-4734,, Michigan State Univ 2002


* board certified



On-site guaranteed service. Office console provided. Stay compliant. Free consultation. Contact Marie Anderson at 415-721-7278 or


Office Space

Medical part-time office space available June 1 in Novato Community Hospital office building. Fully furnished. Availability of office hours flexible. Call Maxine at 415-464-9988.


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