Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


September 2010

MMS members offered FREE tickets to Sept. 11 wine tasting reception

Each MMS member is entitled to two FREE tickets (a $100 value) to the LifePlant International wine tasting reception in Novato on Saturday evening, Sept. 11. The reception includes unlimited tastings from eight North Bay wineries, along with hors d’oeuvres and a commemorative wine glass.

State Assemblymember Jared Huffman and other local representatives will be attending the event, to be held at Novato’s Old City Hall, 901 Sherman Ave. Proceeds will help fund Lifeplant’s overseas kidney transplant missions and Marin County disaster preparedness efforts. Cosponsors include the Rotary Club of Novato, the MMS Disaster Preparedness Physician Volunteer Group, Cal Career Center, and the Sutter Health North Bay Regional Surgery Center & Physicians.

MMS members can get their free tickets by contacting Jessica Whittom at or 924-3891. Nonmembers can purchase tickets for $50 per person by contacting Jessica or visiting

Former Surgeon General to speak at MMS Fall Membership Dinner on Oct. 28

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona is the featured speaker at the MMS Fall Membership Dinner on Thursday evening, Oct. 28. Dr. Carmona, a UCSF graduate, trauma surgeon and public health expert, is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona with appointments in public health, surgery and pharmacy practice. He will speak about the role of state and local medical societies in disaster preparedness from his experience as Surgeon General.

The event, to be held at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Dinner choices include pork loin, sea bass or a vegetarian entree. Tickets are $45 per person. To RSVP and identify your dinner choice, contact Jessica Whittom at or 924-3891.

Public Health offers free pertussis webinar on Sept. 2

The California Department of Public Health is hosting a free one-hour pertussis webinar at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2. Pediatric infectious disease specialist Mark Sawyer, MD, will present the latest information on California's pertussis epidemic, including epidemiological distribution, vulnerable populations, and a detailed review of the state’s expanded recommendations for immunizing children and adults.

Webinar participants will learn how to recognize pertussis disease for early intervention, order appropriate diagnostic testing, deliver effective treatments for at-risk patients, reduce disease transmission, and explain Tdap and DTaP recommendations to their patients and community.

To register for the webinar, which is open to all physicians, visit If you are unable to participate in the live webinar, it will be archived for on-demand viewing. CMEs are pending.

RotaCare Clinic in San Rafael needs physician volunteers

The RotaCare Clinic San Rafael is a free clinic providing medical care to patients in need who cannot pay. Supported and sponsored by Marin Sunrise Rotary of Corte Madera, the clinic is staffed by volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and interpreters. The clinic is open on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in space donated by Kaiser San Rafael.

More volunteer primary care physicians and nurse practitioners are needed for the clinic. The commitment is for just one evening a month or every other month. To volunteer, call the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Steven Berkov, at 306-3928.

What you need to know about ACOs and Medical Foundations

Many physicians across the state are being approached by hospital systems about joining new hospital-physician organizations. These new entities contemplate being organized either through state law as 1206(l) Medical Foundations, or through Medicare as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which were recently authorized by Congress in the federal health care reform legislation. Some physicians are concerned that hospitals are forming these organizations to exert more control over physician practices and to better position themselves financially in an environment of scarce resources. Other physicians would like to join these organizations, but need to understand their rights. And some physicians are seeking to form their own ACOs.

CMA is working to help physicians navigate these negotiations with their colleagues and possibly their local hospitals, and to plan a future where physicians have financial and clinical autonomy in the Medicare program and the private marketplace. To help physicians understand their rights and options, CMA is developing educational programs and materials, including legal and financial models to help them understand how to form these organizations, practical tips to assist physicians teaming up with hospitals, and policy to guide regulatory implementation advocacy.

CMA's overarching goal is to provide the best possible information to help physicians make decisions about the best practice arrangement for their specific professional situation. Below are some of the resources currently available:

Webinars. CMA has launched a series of webinars on ACOs, other payment models and the health care reform law in general to help familiarize physicians with the new law and the impact it will have on their practices. Upcoming webinars are posted on If you missed any recent webinars, they are available online for on-demand viewing.

ACO/Payment Model Issue Briefs. CMA issue briefs on ACOs, medical homes and other topics can be found at

Medical-Legal Documents. A new document explaining the 1206(l) Foundation Model has been added to CMA's online medical-legal library at “Legal and Practical Considerations Concerning Medical Foundations” explains the legal requirements for these foundations, and practical considerations involved in the decision of whether to join one.

Physician-Hospital Alignment Committee. CMA has formed a Physician-Hospital Alignment Technical Advisory Committee to advise the Board of Trustees on the development of future physician empowerment strategies, to guide CMA advocacy, and to oversee the development of documents, tools and models provided to CMA physician members.

For more information, contact Samantha Pellon at 916-551-2872 or

CMA offers free subscriptions to Practice Resources newsletter

CMA Practice Resources, a monthly e-mail bulletin prepared by CMA’s Center for Economic Services, is full of tips and tools to help physicians and their office staff improve practice efficiency and viability. To sign up for a free subscription, visit The current issue includes articles on unfair payment practices, upcoming Blue Cross policy changes, and claiming your share of the $350 million UnitedHealth settlement.

If you have questions about medical economics, contact the Center for Economic Services at 888-401-5911 or


Kaiser San Rafael has received a Gold Plus Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for meeting or exceeding evidence-based performance standards for stroke prevention. The award was reported in the recent “Best Hospitals” issue of US News & World Report.

Marin General Hospital has filed a lawsuit claiming that Sutter siphoned $120 million in revenue from the hospital to the statewide Sutter Health System from 2006 to 2010. Sutter declined comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, which was filed in Marin County Superior Court.


MMS Communications Director Steve Osborn has a new phone number: 707-525-0101. Physicians with items for News Briefs or article proposals for Marin Medicine should contact Osborn at his new number or at


Mary Burke, MD, Psychiatry*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422,, UC San Francisco 1988

Max Duncan, DO, Clinical Neurophysiology*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422,, Midwestern Univ 1982

Gyorgy Pataki, MD, Internal Medicine*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422,, Pecs Univ 1992

Christine Jacobson, MD, Dermatology*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422, Stanford Univ 2004

Na Li, MD, Internal Medicine*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422, Tianjih Med Univ 1998

Kara Reinke, MD, Dermatology*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422, UC San Francisco 2001

Ellen Rosenthal, MD, Internal Medicine*, 1350 S. Eliseo Dr.#220, Greenbrae 94904, 464-0411, Fax 464-0422, Yale Univ 1991

* board certified


Medical office space to share
Dermatology practice seeks full- or part-time physician to share medical space in San Rafael. Office is a beautifully remodeled building in great location. Two exam rooms with exam tables are available and use of additional rooms is negotiable. Shared restrooms and staff lounge. Contact Kathleen at 415-259-0131 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.

© MMS 2010
PO Box 246
Corte Madera, CA 94976