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Monday Rx: Dr. C Freeman, COVID-19 Update, Halloween and Member Appreciation Event on Nov. 6th

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LACMA’s Past President Dr. C Freeman Bid for CMA President Update

San Diego physician Robert E. Wailes, MD, was installed as president of the CMA at the association’s annual House of Delegates (HOD). This year’s meeting was conducted virtually, due to the ongoing public health emergency. In his address to the delegates, Dr. Wailes—a Southern California pain specialist and board-certified anesthesiologist—recognized the great challenges and great accomplishments the profession of medicine faced over the past year.

“Working together our state became an example for others to follow on our pandemic response and vaccine efforts,” said Dr. Wailes. He also noted, however, that our progress went far beyond the pandemic.

Santa Cruz internist and hospitalist Donaldo (Don) M. Hernandez MD, FACP, was elected CMA's new president-elect. He will take office at the close of this year’s meeting and will serve on the CMA Executive Committee as president-elect for one year. Dr. Hernandez will be installed as president following next year’s House of Delegates.

LACMA’s former president, C Freeman, MD, MBA, ran a distinctive and unifying campaign putting California physicians first, but fell just short. “We need to be at the table, guiding the conversation, when formative discussions are taking place. I will make sure that we get there, and that healthcare decisions will not occur without our direct input,” Dr. Freeman said.

Dr. Freeman added: “The threats of scope creep, MICRA challenges, corporatization of medicine, and administrative burdens continue. Our young physicians are troubled by student loan debt, climate change, and health inequities. Many of them feel forced to abandon the idea of private practice.”

Congratulations Dr. Freeman for making history as LACMA’s first African American female president and for being the first African American female candidate for CMA president. Your vision and purpose are still central to LACMA’s progress in addressing those same issues you campaigned on!

COVID-19 Update

Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County dropped from previous weeks to 916 while hospitalizations decreased to 614 and deaths reached 10.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approved the wider distribution of booster shots Friday, following a recommendation Thursday from a CDC advisory panel.

Booster doses had previously been available only for people who received the Pfizer vaccine during their initial doses. The new CDC approval now offers booster shots to people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Under federal guidance, people can receive a different brand of booster shot than their original doses.

L.A. County began offering the boosters on Friday. Long Beach, which has its own health department, began doing the same Saturday.

And What Does Dr. Walensky Say About Halloween?

“I would say, ‘Put on those costumes, stay outside, and enjoy your trick-or-treating,’ ” Walensky said when asked on “Fox News Sunday” what she would say to children about the holiday coming up this weekend. Walensky added that she “wouldn’t gather in large settings outside and do screaming like you are seeing in those football games if you are unvaccinated — those kids that are unvaccinated.”

“But if you are spread out doing your trick-or-treating, that should be very safe for your children,” she said.

Earlier this month, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also encouraged Halloween activities. “Particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there. You’re outdoors for the most part,” he said in an Oct. 10 interview on CNN. “I mean, this is a time that children love.”

Dr. Lee on Clear as Mud

Dr. Jeffery Lee was featured in our latest Clear as Mud podcast to share his perspective on physician wellness and the launch of an exciting, groundbreaking LACMA effort to support struggling practices.

Listen here.

Soon, we will feature three physicians who’ve launched highly successful healthcare technology companies:

  • Dr. George Fernaine, co-founder of Mocingbird which streamlines continuing medical education and simplifies ongoing credentialing.
  • Dr. John Korangy, co-built CareClix into a leading global telehealth solution.
  • Dr. Fisayu Ositelu founded Gentem which helps physicians run viable medical practices and remain independent by simplifying the reimbursement experience.

We Want to Honor You on November 6th

As we celebrate LACMA’s 150th year, we want to honor our members, from independent physicians to medium size groups like Facey Medical Group, Federally Qualified Health Centers like AltaMed Health Services to our larger groups like Southern California Permanente Medical Group, on Saturday, November 6th from 3 PM to 5 PM at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. Without the support of our member partners, LACMA simply wouldn’t exist or provide the resources and help for all physician members. Please join us!

Click here to RSVP or email Noemi at noemi@lacmanet.org.

Webinar: What is Value-Based Care and What Does it Mean for My Practice?

There continues to be a big push away from paying physicians under traditional fee-for-service (FFS) models and toward payment based on providing high-value, population-based care. This shift was further supported by COVID, magnifying how important it is that physicians have the support and resources to be financially resilient when patient volume dips, but quality does not. 

CMA is hosting this webinar to discuss three different value-based care programs:

  1. Peter Long, Ph.D., Nina Birnbaum, M.D., and Laura Fox from Blue Shield of California will discuss the Primary Care Reimagined program and explain the model and what it could mean to you and your practice. 
  2. Gavin White will be joining us from Aledade to discuss their accountable care organization, which supports value-based care models, including the Medicare Shared Savings Program, and how they support practices in achieving shared savings. 
  3. Crystal Eubanks from PBGH’s California Quality Collaborative will discuss its Advanced Primary Care Standards, who is using them, and how practices are involved.

Date: October 27, 2021

Time: 12:15 - 1:15 PM

Register Here

Webinar: Medi-Cal Rx Transition

On January 1, 2022, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will be transitioning all Medi-Cal pharmacy services from managed care to fee for service, referred to as the “Medi-Cal Rx” initiative. Medi-Cal Rx is aimed at improving health care delivery by standardizing the Medi-Cal pharmacy benefit under one delivery system and improving access to pharmacy services with a network that includes a large majority of the state’s pharmacies. Medi-Cal Rx will also apply statewide utilization management protocols to all outpatient drugs.

Under the Medi-Cal Rx program, most physicians who write prescriptions for Medi-Cal or Medi-Cal managed care patients will use a new secure portal for key prescribing functions, such as:

  • Prior authorization information and instructions
  • Beneficiary eligibility look up
  • Claims submission, activities and inquiries

The California Medical Association (CMA) and DHCS are hosting a free webinar on Medi-Cal Rx transition that will address:

  • What’s changing
  • What’s staying the same
  • How to sign up to use the new portal
  • Where to go to learn more about Medi-Cal Rx

Date: October 28, 2021

Time: 12:15 - 1:15 PM

Register Here

#MondayMotivation

"It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.”

Gustavo Friederichsen

Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles County Medical Association

“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”

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