October 2, 2018
Susan Hogeland Health Policy Fellowship Launched
Applications are now open for the Susan Hogeland Health Policy Fellowship, which will be awarded annually to one medical student and one family medicine resident who have demonstrated their commitment to family medicine and interest in learning about, and advocating for, family medicine-driven health policy. The Fellowship’s goal is to increase the number and quality of family medicine physicians trained in health care policy. The Fellowship provides an annual stipend to support participation in activities over the course of a year.
Susan Hogeland served as the Executive Vice President of California Academy of Family Physicians for 27 years. Susan started her career in advocacy and health policy in the office of US Senator Everett Dirksen, worked as a federal legislative analyst with the California Medical Association and then became Assistant Executive Director of the San Francisco Medical Society (SFMS), overseeing all policy and advocacy work of the SFMS. In 1991, she became the Executive Vice President of California Academy of Family Physicians and completed her tenure on September 30, 2018. The Fellowship is sponsored by the CAFP Foundation and open to any third or fourth-year medical student and any second or third-year family medicine resident CAFP member.
New CURES Requirement Goes into Effect TODAY
As of October 2, all DEA-registered physicians must register with and consult CURES prior to prescribing Schedule II, III or IV controlled substances to a patient for the first time and at least once every four months thereafter if that substance remains part of the patient’s treatment. Physicians must also consult CURES no earlier than 24 hours, or the previous business day, before prescribing, ordering, administering or furnishing a controlled substance to the patient. Limited exemptions apply to these requirements. For questions or to request in-person CURES training, please email the CURES Help Desk or call 916-210-3187.
Governor Signs CAFP's Bill Limiting Drug Costs
CAFP co-sponsored legislation this year with the California Medical Association to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and protect patients from unfair drug pricing: AB 315 (Wood, Dahle, Nazarian and Stone). Signed by Governor Jerry Brown last weekend, the new law will require PBMs to register with the state and notify purchasers of any conflicts of interest in their practices. In addition, the bill bars PBMs and health plans from prohibiting providers from informing patients of a less costly alternative to a prescribed medication. It also requires pharmacies to inform customers whether the retail price of a prescription drug is lower than the applicable cost-sharing amount for that drug.
Governor Signs 13 CAFP-Supported Bills
In addition to signing CAFP’s sponsored bill to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, Governor Brown signed 13 other CAFP-supported bills this year:
- AB 2086 (Gallagher) – allows prescribers to generate a list of patients for whom they are linked to as a “prescriber” in the CURES database.
- AB 2202 (Gray) – creates an endowment fund to launch a University of California, San Francisco medical school in the San Joaquin Valley.
- AB 2289 (Weber) – creates flexibility for pregnant or parenting pupils, including excused absences from school to care for a sick child.
- AB 2472 (Wood) – requires the state to prepare an analysis and evaluation to determine the feasibility of creating a public health insurance plan option to increase competition and choice for health care consumers.
- AB 2487 (McCarty) – allows a physician to complete a one-time continuing education course on opiate-dependent patient treatment and management as an alternative to the mandatory continuing education course on pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients.
- AB 2499 (Arambula) – ensures that the current federal law requiring health plans to spend at least 85 percent of premium dollars on actual medical care and quality improvement activities does not change in California if the federal government weakens that provision.
- AB 2526 (Rubio) – improves and expedites the process by which a temporary emergency gun violence restraining orders is granted.
- AB 2785 (Rubio) – requires public colleges and universities in California to provide reasonable accommodations to lactating students and address other needs related to breast-feeding.
- AB 2861 (Salas) – requires Medi-Cal to pay for substance use counseling services provided through telehealth when medically necessary (to the extent federal financial participation and approval is obtained).
- AB 2863 (Nazarian) – limits the amount a health plan may require a patient to pay at the point of sale for a covered prescription to the lesser of the applicable cost-sharing amount or the retail price; prohibits a plan from requiring a pharmacy to charge a cost-sharing amount that exceeds the total retail price for the drug; and requires the payment to count toward any applicable cost sharing.
- SB 910 (Hernandez) – prohibits a health insurer from selling or renewing a short-term limited duration health insurance policy (sometimes referred to as “junk insurance”) after January 1, 2019.
- SB 972 (Portantino) – requires schools and universities serving any grade higher than seventh grade to issue pupil identification cards that include a telephone number for a suicide prevention hotline and/or Crisis Text Line.
- SB 1021 (Wiener) – requires health plans to cover medically necessary drug treatments for the prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)/Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Date Set for CAFP FM Clinical Forum
CAFP’s Family Medicine Clinical Forum will return to the Monterey Marriott on March 29-31, 2019! It will be two-and-a-half days of excellent CME along with time to enjoy the beautiful California coast with family and friends. Registration opens this fall. Questions? Contact Jerri Davis at email@example.com.
Looming Election Battles Lead to FP-PAC Change
Our state and country are facing problems that ONLY FAMILY MEDICINE CAN FIX. We must ensure that candidates who champion family medicine’s values have the resources they need to cross the finish line in what will be an extremely consequential election. CAFP and FP-PAC are launching a bold initiative to ensure family medicine’s place as a leader in health care. CAFP will increase 2019 dues by $24 and dedicate those funds to help elect family medicine-friendly candidates to office. This equates to less than $0.07 per day, an insignificant amount for each of us. Collectively, however, $0.07 per day from our more than 6,000 Active members means FP-PAC will have the resources to become a powerful health care PACs in the state. Please visit our website for details.
CAFP Participates in Prop 56 Advisory Meeting
In 2016, Proposition 56 was approved by voters, allocating $40 million annually from increased cigarette taxes to sustain, retain and expand California residency positions in primary care and emergency medicine. The University of California is charged with disbursing the funds and has contracted with Physicians for a Healthy California, formerly the California Medical Association Foundation, to administer the program. CAFP is a member of the Advisory Council responsible for providing recommendations regarding the development of a program to disburse these funds, including establishing grant eligibility criteria. The Advisory Council’s inaugural meeting took place last week in Sacramento, where Council members heard presentations on physician shortages and residency program challenges and opportunities. CAFP is dedicated to ensuring funds are disbursed in a way that maximizes the production of primary care physicians and emphasizes care for underserved populations.
October Member of the Month Robert Assibey, MD
Congratulations to our October Member of the Month, Dr. Robert Assibey. Dr. Assibey is a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine and a second-year resident at the San Joaquin General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. He is a member of the San Joaquin-Calaveras-Tuolumne chapter of CAFP and serves as Resident Co-Chair on the CAFP Board of Directors. “My best experience has been attending the CAFP Clinical Forum this past April. I was deeply moved and inspired by the work that my fellow family physicians have been doing. It gave me the motivation to be more involved and made me realize how much of a difference I could actually be making.”
Your Next CME: Reproductive Health Care
Reproductive health is an important element of full-spectrum family medicine. In collaboration with a diverse expert panel of family physicians, CAFP created a Reproductive Health Care Initiative that offers a full range of FREE education and training to support you and your practice teammates in providing essential reproductive health services to your patients.
In partnership with Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association, we developed an ABFM Part IV Improving Performance in Practice module designed to increase the use of One Key Question® for reproductive health planning, enhance physician-patient communication and improve team approaches to care. The module is approved for ABFM Part IV credit, includes 30 AAFP Prescribed credits upon completion and is based on a team-approach (AMA PRA Category 1™ Credit also is available).
The Learner Self-Assessment (LSA) will give you a sense of practice gaps and assist you in planning educational interventions to close those gaps. Colleagues from every state will be participating and you’ll be able to see where you fall in the scoring. The LSA is sponsored for .25 AAFP Prescribed or AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and is FREE to all health care clinicians.
Department of Transportation Certified Medical Examiner Training Course
Beginning November 19, family physicians can provide the required annual physical exam for commercial transportation workers with diabetes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will update their prior rule requiring an endocrinologist to sign off on physicals for these patients. The new rule allows transportation workers with diabetes to benefit from the continuity of care family physicians provide. CAFP offers an advanced Department of Transportation Certified Medical Examiner training course for those interested in becoming certified. This activity is accredited for 2.5 Prescribed CME hours but only available for a limited time!
Vaccine Season Is Here and CAFP Has Your Back
To help you prepare for vaccination season, CAFP has partnered with Atlantic Health Partners vaccine buying group to offer you competitive prices and terms for Sanofi, Merck and Pfizer vaccines, including booster and back-to-school vaccines such as TDAP, Meningitis and Meningitis B immunizations, an outstanding flu and pneumococcal program and an expanded shingles vaccine offering.
For more information about Atlantic Health Partners, contact Cindy Berenson or Jeff Winokur by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (800-741-2044) to determine how Atlantic’s program can benefit your practice.
Update on New Medicare Cards
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is on track to mail newly-designed Medicare cards by April 2019. To date, more than 35 million cards have been mailed. The new cards are meant to increase fraud protection for Medicare enrollees. All Californian Medicare enrollees should have received their cards at this time. If they did not, ask them to call 1-800-MEDICARE and use their current cards until their new cards arrive.