Keeping You Connected

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


Monday Rx | July 29, 2019 | Monday Rx: MLK Jr. Partnership, LACMA District Events, No Surprises Act, and Opioid Battle.

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Historic Martin Luther King. Jr Community Hospital Partnership

Last week was a blend of a groundbreaking partnership as we rekindled old ones.

As you’ve heard, LACMA entered into a 5-year agreement with Martin Luther King. Jr Community Hospital’s new medical foundation model. Nine young physicians have joined MLK, and those nine are now members of LACMA. At our kick-off event last Thursday, our president, Dr. Sion Roy, immediate past president Dr. C Freeman, our gracious sponsor Jonathan Barerra with Westpac Wealth Partners, Assemblyman Mike Gipson, staff member representing Assemblywoman Burke and our LACMA staff were able to embrace these young, dynamic and committed physicians who are providing world-class care for the patients of MLK.

We heard from each physician as they provided personal testimony as to why they wanted to be doctors and what attracted them to serve the South Central Los Angeles community which already faces a physician shortage of over 1,000 physicians. Common themes were about “giving back” and “commitment to culturally appropriate care.”

Please join me in welcoming the following doctors to the LACMA family!

Dr. Juan Cabrales

Dr. Jenny Dai-Ju

Dr. Yamanda Edwards

Dr. Yulsi Fernandez Montero

Dr. PK Fonsworth

Dr. Maita Kuvhenguhwa

Dr. Tran Ly

Dr. Ancil Philip

Dr. Adan Romero


LACMA districts are ramping up again thanks to the work of one of our newest staff members, Vitelio Aguilar. District 10 (Southeast) and District 14 (Pamona/Foothill) hosted a dinner and invited CMA staff to share the latest on single-payer, universal access.


No Surprises Act: CMA Urges Congress to Develop a More Balanced Approach

When it comes to surprise billing, maybe New York has the answer? Last week, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the “No Surprises Act,” which is intended to protect patients from the financial hardship and emotional stress of surprise medical bills when their insurance fails them. While CMA is committed to working towards a solution that protects patients from surprise medical bills, they continue to oppose the underlying bill (H.R. 3630). The “No Surprises Act” mirrors California’s failing law in that insurers are not incentivized to contract with physicians and offer an appropriate network of physicians to ensure access to care. Like the California law, H.R. 3630 would establish an extremely low payment benchmark for out-of-network physicians and do not have an effective dispute resolution process with an independent database of rates.

While patients in California have been protected from surprise medical bills, the rest of the law has not worked. Under California’s surprise billing law (AB 72, 2017), insurance company physician networks are diminishing, patient access to in-network physicians is declining, patient access to emergency physicians and on-call physician specialists is in jeopardy, patient deductibles for out-of-network care are increasing, and patient complaints about access to care have increased by almost 50%.

CMA is urging Congress to develop a more balanced approach that ends balance billing but does not give insurers unilateral control of the market that causes more out-of-network care. CMA believes that Congress should adopt a system modeled after the successful New York law that has been in effect since 2015. The law has helped keep insurance rate hikes in New York well below the national average.

The New York system is a more balanced model that encourages physicians and insurers to be more reasonable, resolve their disputes and enter into contracts to ensure patients have an appropriate choice of physicians in their insurance company networks. There has been a 34% drop in out-of-network billing because networks have stabilized.

CMA and the American Medical Association have secured some amendments to the federal “No Surprises Act,” including a provision that add an appeal process for resolving out-of-network payment disputes. The addition of an appeals process, albeit imperfect, represents progress. We will continue to work with Congress to make further improvements on this and other elements in the legislation.

“CMA looks forward to continuing to work with the committee and others to further improve this legislation,” says CMA President David H. Aizuss, M.D. “We must protect patients from surprise medical bills, while also making sure rates paid by health plans are sufficient to ensure there are providers available in hospitals, emergency rooms, and clinics to treat patients who need care.”

Get more info about CMA and the "No Surprises Act":


Latest in Opioid Battle

In the national fight against opioid abuse, policymakers and politicians have deployed a range of strategies, including curbing access to the powerful prescription drugs. The logic: Stop addiction before it starts by restricting the amount of painkillers a patient can take.

But a new paper published Friday presents strong evidence that opioid users who take the drug for chronic pain -- but show no signs of addiction -- are suffering harmful, potentially deadly consequences of the crackdown, and are at risk of becoming "opioid refugees."

Slightly more than 4 in 10 doctors' offices refused to take on new patients who need opioids to control pain, according to the analysis, published in the online Journal of the American Medical Association.


Apply For The Patient Care Foundation's Scholarship Program 

Since 2008, The Patient Care Foundation's scholarship program has provided financial assistance to 50 medical students. Additionally, the PCF works to expand the pool of medical professionals by encouraging and mentoring a new cadre of community-based physicians poised to deliver high-quality healthcare to underserved populations.

Through its fundraising efforts, the Patient Care Foundation supports medical education institutions and medical students in a variety of ways including:

  • Helping alleviate the financial pressures of students who were raised in disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles County.
  • Championing programs that increase access to care and expand the pool of medical professionals in underserved populations.

Deadline: 11:59 pm PDT on Friday, September 13th

Apply Here:


The Los Angeles County Medical Association has partnered with LibertyID to provide LACMA members with the leading data breach preparedness and response service that includes fully-managed identity theft restoration for all your employees and families at a substantial savings.

The risk is real, the LibertyID solution is guaranteed, the savings to LACMA members is substantial.

LibertyID for Small Business is a unique identity theft and cyber breach response risk management solution for medical practices.

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Did you miss out on WestPac's Wealth Partners webinar last week? You can register with the link below to learn how to maximize your ability to save in taxes for 2019 before it's too late!

Watch Replay: 


Resident Fair Schedule

We would like to show appreciation and thank all the residents and fellows that stopped by our table at the recent resident fairs. Our last Resident Fair will be held at Cedars Sinai on August 1st.

We hope to see you there!

August 1st | 12:00pm - 1:30pm | Cedars Sinai 8700 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90048


2019 Medical Group Advocacy Symposium

The 2019 Medical Group Advocacy Symposium is on physician wellness: tools, resources, and best practices for the prevention of burnout, and treatment solutions. The California Medical Association (CMA) has convened the best and brightest thought leaders to this venue so that attendees can engage, consider and build initiatives that address wellness challenges, value-based health care models, and policy changes impacting medical groups.

We look forward to your participation as we are confident that the symposium will provide you and your organization the market research and expertise required to tackle emerging trends and future market needs.

Register Here:


2019 NEPO Summit

Standing Up for Health Care in California

The two-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural competency in clinical care.

August 23rd - 24th Westin Pasadena 191 N Robles Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Early bird discount deadline: August 1, 2019

Registration deadline: August 23, 2019 

Sign Up:



How to Promote Your Practice

Patients today are taking control of their healthcare choices more than ever before, demanding greater convenience and easy access to information. Three in four people have gone online to find out about a doctor or dentist, and more than 57 percent do so regularly. Attracting and retaining patients in this environment requires improving each digital touchpoint for patients, both before and after their visit.

You'll learn:  

  • How patients choose their providers in this era of consumerization
  • Insights on evolving patient demands
  • How technology can help attract, satisfy and retain patients
Join LACMA and PatientPop to learn how technology can create a better experience across the patient journey, and how every practice can benefit along the way.


Email Vitelio Here:


Advancements In Sickle Cell Disease

City of Hope

Exclusive Educational Symposium

WHAT TO EXPECT?  This invitation-only event provides an exclusive educational forum that promotes dialogue and interaction between leading experts and healthcare professionals at the front line of treatment and care for sickle cell disease (SCD) patients.

Participating HCPs will leave the program with a greater scientific and clinical understanding of treatment and management for patients living with sickle cell disease today.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This 1-day educational symposium is offered at no cost to a select number of healthcare professionals with a common interest in sickle cell disease, including: Hematologists, Pediatricians, and Clinical nurse specialists.

September 19, 2019 | 8 a.m. - 3p.m. | Westin Pasadena 191 N Robles Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Register Here:


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"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Anonymous

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