Keeping You Connected

The LACMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events

News

Monday Rx: LA Fire Relief, Surprise Billing Law, Webinar, and Events.

Monday Rx: LA Fire Relief, Surprise Billing Law, Webinar, and Events.

Fire Relief

As you are fully aware, the Getty and Tick fires have ravaged part of Los Angeles County and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives. LACMA is poised to support victims and physicians impacted by the fires. The organizations that we’ve identified to contribute to are: California Fire Foundation, California Community Foundation, LA County Fire Department Foundation, and LA United Way. If any member knows of a physician impacted by the fires, please let me know so we can best ascertain how LACMA can help. We want to ensure that our providers are supported as many continue to provide care during these times. CMA has been in touch with the Newsom Administration about issues stemming from the blackouts and can be a conduit between physicians and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), which may have resources available for practices and patients impacted by the blackouts.

Together, we can work to connect members to the appropriate channels at CalOES to help physicians continue to practice and provide care in the community while LACMA contributes to organizations that provide tangible support.

Here is a list of agencies we will contribute to: 

LA County Fire Department Foundation
CA Fire Foundation
United Way LA
Cal Fund
 

Surprise Billing Law

Despite the insurance industry claims to the contrary, research shows that California’s surprise billing law has decreased access to in-network physicians for thousands of California patients.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) released the results of a survey for California’s commercial health insurers. The insurers provided self-reported information about their own provider networks and claim that the number of in-network physicians has either grown or remained the same since California passed a surprise billing law, AB 72, in 2016.
 

There are plenty of reasons not to trust what the health plans are saying.

1. None of the insurer network information has been independently verified or audited.

2. An independent RAND Corporation study published in the American Journal of Managed Care reports a negative impact on physician specialty networks as a result of California’s surprise billing law that ultimately threatens patient access to physicians.

3. California patient complaints about Access to Care Problems increased 48% after the passage of California’s surprise billing law (California Department of Managed Health Care).

4. At least Nine Health Insurer –Provider Group Directories have deficient numbers of physicians, including ZERO Anesthesiologists, in multiple regions of the state.

5. Hundreds of California Physicians report that insurers are canceling contracts or have significantly reduced physician reimbursement since the passage of California’s surprise billing law. This law results in inadequate networks and threatens access to care for thousands of California patients.

6. The consolidation of California’s health care market is exacerbated by California’s surprise billing law, as reported by RAND in the American Journal of Managed Care. It is well-documented that consolidation drives up costs.

California’s experience should be a warning to Congressional policymakers. While California successfully protected patients from surprise bills, the low government-set rates have created new problems. The law has given even more leverage to the insurers and caused disruptions in contracting that have led to fewer in-network physicians, instability in the physician emergency on-call coverage networks, and hardships for physicians and hospitals caring for high numbers of Medicaid patients. The law is also accelerating the consolidation of independent provider practices, which will unnecessarily drive up health care costs.

There is a better way to protect patients. CMA continues to urge Congress to adopt the balanced framework in New York’s law that protects patients from surprise bills, establishes an IDR appeals process that incents insurers and physicians to resolve disputes, so there is appropriate patient access to in-network physicians and emergency services while maintaining affordability. LACMA president Dr. Sion Roy is joining me as we meet with the Los Angeles’ delegation, including this week’s meeting with Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-38th) to share our concerns with surprise billing. Numerous studies have demonstrated how California's market consolidation has substantially driven up health care costs, and according to RAND, this trend is exacerbated by California’s surprise billing law. CMA and LACMA urge Congress to enact balanced legislation that does not drive up health care costs through consolidation.

 

Save the date for our upcoming webinar with WestPac Wealth Partners on November 21, 2019, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PST!

As a medical professional, your time and money are valuable. That is why one of our top priorities is to address the unnecessary risk that is present in the vast majority of physicians’ financial plans. This webinar will walk through some of the latest advanced estate and tax strategies and how they work along some of the methods that have been around for ages.

Register Here
 

Member Retreat

We are addressing the #1 issue facing physicians, namely burnout. As you may know, LACMA has a partnership with the Four Seasons Resort Westlake Village and the California Health & Longevity Institute. If any members would like to take advantage of the retreat, here is a link to the experience highlights.

LACMA is readily available to work with you on availability and process. 

Experience Highlights
 

District 6 Educational Event

Dinner, networking, and a presentation on In-Home Aftercare 

by Daniel Nathanson, Ph.D.

HOME HELPERS, INC.

Please bring your business cards and/or a non-member!

November 13th,2019 | 7pm - 9pm |

Braemar Country Club - 4001 Reseda Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356

RSVP by November 11, 2019, to Vitelio Aguilar.

RSVP
 

#MotivationMondays

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
-Pauline R. Kezer


Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”