Monday Rx | April 29, 2019 | ICYMI: Legislative Advocacy Day Was a Success!
Leg Day Recap
Palpable success at last week’s Legislative Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Kudos to our leaders who attended including Dr. C Freeman, Dr. Sion Roy, Dr. Jeffery Lee, Dr. Jerry Abraham, Dr. Jack Chou, Dr. William Averill, Dr. Samuel Huang in addition to several members and students. The major topics of discussion were Assembly Bill 764 (Bonta) Prohibiting Manufacturer Discounts and Coupons of Soda and Senate Bill 276 (Pan) The Child Safety and Disease Prevention Act.
As I mentioned last week, Dr. Sion Roy, LACMA president-elect and I met with Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-66th District) to discuss AB 1038 that would require a California licensed physician to report to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for each contract they maintain with a payor and their negotiation. The bill was pulled from the committee and will no longer be discussed.
While in Sacramento, the Assemblyman shared with us AB 345 which addresses the link between proximity to oil and gas wells to a host of health impacts, including increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, pre-term births and high-risk pregnancies, and in some cases, cancer.
AB 345 will mandate a 2,500-foot health and safety buffer zone between new oil and gas wells and sensitive land uses, which include schools, day care centers, residential homes, and hospitals, thereby creating a safe distance between drilling operations and vulnerable populations in order to avoid serious public health and safety risks and impacts. What do members think?
On April 22nd, a health alert was issued that summarized the immediate steps to take when evaluating a person with possible measles. A notificationwas sent on April 26 to outline recommendations to protect patients, staff, and the community from measles.
If you would like to learn more, you can subscribeto the Los Angeles Health Alert Network (LAHAN) to receive these notifications directly.
Newest LACMA Team Member
The LACMA team continues to evolve based on strategic imperatives and revitalized value to members and communities.
Two weeks ago, Eve Canton joined us to overhaul our marketing and membership efforts and this week we’ve added Vitelio Aguilar Jr. to manage the districts and play a key role in support of the District Financial Oversight Committee to ensure activities continue in support of membership growth, retention and community impact.
CalHealthCares Loan Repayment Program
Due to technical difficulties, the application deadline for the inaugural cycle of the CalHealthCares loan repayment program has been extended to Friday May 3, 2019, at 11:59 p.m.
The program incentivizes physicians to provide care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries by repaying educational debt up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation. All awardees will be required to maintain a patient caseload of 30 percent or more Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
The program—which aims to increase access to care for California’s 13 million Medi-Cal patients—was made possible by Proposition 56, which provided a one-time allocation of $220 million for state loan repayment programs. The California Department of Health Care Services has contracted with Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to administer the loan repayment program.
Please visit CalHealthCares.orgfor more information.
Physician Practices Turn to Private Equity for Capital
Private-equity firms are accelerating their investments into physician practices, and expanding their portfolios into new specialty areas, such as orthopedics, urology and gastroenterology.
As physician groups look to expand to serve additional patients, recruit more physicians or demand higher payment, they need funding to fuel that growth. Private equity is competing with hospital systems and large physician organizations, such as UnitedHealth Group’s OptumCare, for a share of ownership.
There were 45 physician practice transactions that were announced or closed in the first quarter, which is on pace to surpass the 181 deals reported last year, according to an analysis published in Bloomberg Law.
Investors have previously shown interest in acquiring practices in ophthalmology, pain management, dermatology and dental. Now firms are scouting for deals in orthopedics, urology, gastroenterology, radiology and eye care, said Gary Herschman, an attorney at Epstein Becker & Green, who co-authored the analysis for Bloomberg Law.
The funding appears to be available to physicians in lucrative specialties that are already profitable, while doctors needing capital because they’re losing money are less likely to find a partner in private equity.
Firms typically invest for a three- to seven-year period and anticipate returns of more than 20% annually, according to a study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in January. More research is needed to determine the impact on patients, the study said.
USC Loses Accreditation
The University of Southern California is losing national accreditation for a medical training program dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education notified USC and Los Angeles County this week that their jointly run fellowship in cardiovascular disease will be stripped of accreditation next year.
The decision is final and would effectively shut down the program, which had 15 slots for a three-year curriculum. USC said it hoped to have a new cardiology fellowship program in place before the current one closes in June 2020.
The accreditation council gave no public reason for its decision. However, the Los Angeles Times said reported that USC’s medical school dean, Dr. Laura Mosqueda, announced the decision Thursday in a faculty memo that said it was based on concerns about “resident safety and wellness processes.”
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”
EVENTS AND COMMUNITY
Los Angeles County Medical Association’s Annual Installation of Officers
You are Invited!
WHEN: June 21, 2019
WHERE: Riviera Country Club
1250 Capri Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Don’t Miss Out: Ovarian Cancer Summit
Join the experts at City of Hope for a discussion that will offer unique perspectives on emerging topics in molecular testing in ovarian cancer, surgical options in new diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer and more!
WHERE: The Langham
1401 South Oak Knoll Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106Register Now!
What’s New With Town & Country
Join Town & Country for an exclusive event where you’ll learn what’s new with Regent Seven Seas:
- Fleet enhancements and a brand new ship
- Town & Country’s hosted sailings
- Go Local tours
- All-inclusive luxury
(Wine and Mediterranean-inspired appetizers will be served)
WHERE: Sunland Vintage Tasting Room
1321 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362RSVP: Email or call (805) 495-9888