Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


August 2011

RSVP now for MMS Fall Dinner on Oct. 12

Right now is a great time to RSVP for the Oct. 12 MMS Fall Dinner, which features celebrated local physician and author Dr. Lee Lipsenthal, who will discuss his new book: Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last. In the book, Lipsenthal describes how his life changed after he received a terminal diagnosis. He will talk about growing the sense of meaning and purpose in your life while enhancing the quality of your work.


The event, to be held at Jason’s Restaurant in Greenbrae, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7. Dinner choices include salmon, ribeye steak, brandy chicken or vegetarian gnocchi. To RSVP and indicate your dinner choice, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891 or You can also fax the attached flyer to 415-924-2749.

MMS meeting with Public Health and MCC re physician volunteers

Representatives of the Marin Medical Society will be meeting with Marin County public health officials and Marin Community Clinic staff later this month to discuss physician volunteer efforts. Among the topics to be covered is a recent CMA resolution by MMS President Dr. Peter Bretan to have county medical societies organize physician volunteers not only for disaster preparedness, but also to help deliver care to the indigent and uninsured.


In the resolution, which has attracted the attention of the state’s Emergency Medical Services Authority, Bretan asks CMA to form a Technical Advisory Committee charged with designing a template that medical societies could use to organize physician volunteers. “Through volunteerism providing indigent medical care, a strong medical community would be formed,” he explained via email. “This prepared medical community would be in place for use in any acute medical need scenarios, not only on a local level, but as a response group to surrounding regional, national or international disasters.”


Bretan will present his resolution to the CMA House of Delegates at its annual meeting this fall.

Reminder: Adolescents need Tdap booster before school begins in fall

Physicians are reminded that a new state law requires all adolescents to have a Tdap booster for pertussis before school begins this fall. Pertussis is widespread in California, and more than 1 million of the state’s adolescents may not yet have received a Tdap booster. Doctors should keep track of which patients have or haven’t received Tdap and should send patient reminders now. All adolescents will need clear documentation of Tdap immunization to enroll in school this fall. For more information, visit

Congressional Update

Physicians continue to face a 30% Medicare SGR payment cut on Jan. 1, 2012. Most experts do not think that Congress will allow a 30% payment cut to permanently take effect. However, physicians in certain sectors could be at-risk for payment reductions, particularly for imaging services.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has until Sept. 30 to make a determination about the State of California’s proposed 10% physician payment reduction. CMA has organized a trip to Washington, DC, for over 30 health care provider and patient groups to urge CMS and Congress to stop the cuts. CMA believes the cuts will actually increase federal and state spending by 30% for delayed care sought in the ER and the hospital.


Given the economic crisis we are facing in California and across the nation, California physicians and patients must be prepared for major changes in health care programs. All health care programs are under scrutiny. Physicians and patients must join together in an unprecedented way to protect the practice of medicine and access to care in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. And both of these programs have enormous influence on the private sector. We must be more vigilant in educating our elected officials about the impact their decisions will have on the future of health care. For instance, as Congress reduces access to professional school student loans, our already inadequate California physician workforce will be further challenged to meet the needs of a growing population.


The CMA Medicare Committee will be convening to develop alternatives to the Medicare SGR payment system in conjunction with general Medicare program reforms to influence the short-term and long-term legislation in Washington. We are also working with the AMA’s multi-state, multi-specialty task force to develop alternatives. CMA will also be fighting to maintain the Medi-Cal program, which has been chronically underfunded for decades and serves our most vulnerable patients. We must also look for creative, alternative solutions, such as Medicare private contracting, that will improve access to care without costing the federal government more.


The email address for Dr. Adam Nelson, a Corte Madera psychiatrist, has changed to The email address listed in the 2011 Marin County Physician Directory is no longer correct.


Local physicians are encouraged to cast their vote in a Top Doctors Survey sponsored by Marin Magazine. Voting, which is restricted to licensed physicians, will help determine a list of the top doctors in the 415 area code, which includes both Marin County and San Francisco. The list will be published in the February 2012 issue of Marin Magazine. To cast your vote, visit Voting concludes on Aug. 31, so time is of the essence.


An hour-long CMA webinar on developing and adopting medical policies for Medicare will be held at 12:15 and 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Dr. Arthur Lurvey of Palmetto GBA will discuss how to understand and use coverage decisions; how to respond to requests for records; how and where to appeal claim denials; and the difference between denials and rejections. The webinar is free for MMS members; nonmembers pay $99. To register, visit


The Coastal Dermatology Symposium will be held at the Silverado Resort in Napa from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1. The event offers up to 12.25 hours of Category 1 credit. Presenters from across the country will provide updates on the diagnosis and treatment of various skin diseases. Cost is $350. To register, visit or call 502-569-1356.


Physicians switching to electronic health records are encouraged to visit the CalHIPSO website at CalHIPSO is a nonprofit that helps clinical providers navigate through the complex world of EHR implementation. The organization can help physicians qualify for Meaningful Use incentives and select an EHR system appropriate for their practice. CalHIPSO also sponsors webinars on privacy and security, vendor selection and other topics.


MMS members can activate their CMA web account by visiting and clicking on “Activate Web Account” at the top of the page. Once the account is established, members can get free access to a wealth of materials on the newly redesigned website, including an extensive medical-legal library and scores of other publications. One particularly useful newsletter is Practice Resources, a monthly bulletin full of tips and tools to help physicians and their office staff improve practice efficiency and viability.


David Goodman, MD, Public Health & General Preventive Medicine, Occupational Medicine, 6 Parkside Way, Greenbrae 94904, 672-4427, Fax 464-0250,, Harvard Med Sch 1993



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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