MONDAY RX | JULY 1, 2019 | SUMMER IN JULY: CELEBRATING HISTORY AND INDEPENDENCE DAY!
Summer is officially here as is the time to provide additional good news for providers. The passage of Proposition 56 was, in many ways, a historic feat. On one hand, it strives to put a severe dent in tobacco products as the price of one pack of cigarettes in Los Angeles County hovers around $8 a pack. New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii lead the way relative to the most expensive price per pack between $9 and $10.50, respectively.
Under CMA’s leadership, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 56, which imposed a $2 per pack tax hike on tobacco products that will generate over $1 billion a year dedicated to increasing access to health care by improving provider payments and other crucial health care programs.
The most substantial portion of Proposition 56 funds – over $500 million with an additional $500 million federal match – is dedicated to increasing provider payments in the Medi-Cal program, which serves one-third of the state’s population and half of the state’s children, so that more Medi-Cal patients can access care when they need it most. The tobacco tax funds are being used to increase payments for a total of 23 CPT codes, through both the fee-for-service and managed care delivery systems.
Another $40 million will be provided to the University of California (UC) to sustain, retain and expand graduate medical education (GME) programs, with the goal of increasing the number of primary care and emergency physicians in California. This program will be administered by Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) on behalf of the UC and in coordination with a five-member executive board and 15-member Advisory Council. PHC expects to release these funds to GME programs in the current fiscal year. The Prop. 56 tobacco tax also provided $190 million in expanded loan repayment opportunities for physicians practicing in underserved areas. Nationally, for the class of 2017, 75 percent of medical school graduates had education debt, with a median medical education debt of $180,000.
Earlier in June, the California Department of Health Care Services issued instructions for Medi-Cal managed care plan distribution of the supplemental payments for FY 2018-2019. While DHCS released funds to the managed care plans in its March capitation payments, it was not until recently that it guided the plans on the distribution of funds to physicians. The supplemental payments – made possible by the Proposition 56 tobacco tax funding – increase payments on 23 CPT codes, including ten new preventive codes. Increases range from 24% for “other psychological services and pharmacologic management” to management at 240% for “previous visit, new patient, ages 1 year.”
For the full list, click here: http://bit.ly/2xmR6Ux
If you have questions about whether you’ve paid correctly, what actions are required for payment or if you have general questions, visit the DHCS web site: http://bit.ly/2NqKmjn
In the spirit of sharing important news on physician wellness, two items of note I would like to share: first, a podcast (for those of you who like that sort of thing) called “Dr. Burnout” and its interesting perspective on the crisis. Season 1, Episode 1 is found on Ted Talk or “ted.com.”
The second item is from the perspective of Ross Teague, Ph.D. who conducted extensive research on the causes of clinician burden and surprises. You can find the interview on http://bit.ly/323MsJe In summary: “Clinicians want to feel supported by technology and to feel confident about making the right decisions and being able to strike a better work-life balance.”
If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.
I’m humbled to report that the Executive Committee and Board of Directors have extended my contract another three years. I look forward to continuing to fight for physicians, creating value for providers in all specialties and finding new ways to engage medical groups, hospitals, and health systems thanks to our healthy partnership with CMA.
I’m pleased to announce that LACMA will be launching a new policy newsletter designed for legislators in Sacramento. The purpose of the new communication will be to engage, alert, and inform key policymakers about policies relevant to our members. The digital communication will be managed by Henry Rogers, LACMA’s government affairs consultant.
AltaMed Provider Fair Debrief
LACMA staff attended the AltaMed provider fair this past weekend in Huntington Beach, attended by over 200 providers. AltaMed physicians, nurses, and support staff, including leadership, witnessed our commitment to serving the AltaMed mission and vision to serve patients.
Thank you so much to all those who voted in the 148th LACMA Elections! Below are the election results. We want to thank all of the exceptional candidates for their leadership and extend our congratulations to those who were elected.
We look forward to working with you this year!
Omer Deen, MD – ELECTED
Maria Lymberis, MD
Councilor at Large
George Fouras, MD
Sunny Jha, MD – ELECTED
Kambiz Kosari, MD
Karen Sibert, MD – ELECTED
Valencia Walker, MD – ELECTED
Partner Spotlight: WestPac Wealth Partners
Please join us for this timely webinar hosted by WestPac Wealth Partners: How to maximize your ability to save in taxes for 2019 before it’s too late.
WestPac’s Jonathan Barrera will be presenting.
Registration details to follow.
Resident Fair Schedule
We would like to show appreciation and thank all the physicians that attended our Resident Fair’s thus far. 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
Unlike running a practice, applying for available government incentives can be easy.
If you own a successful practice and are innovative, you may be eligible for congressionally mandated tax credits and incentives. And our Free Analysis makes it easy to see if you qualify. Watch this video to learn more about the opportunity with LACMA’S newest partner, Business Group Resources.
Click to play video: http://bit.ly/BGR-Brumis
Happy Fourth of July!
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”