june 20, 2017
Speak Out NOW against the American Health Care Act
The California Academy of Family Physicians joins the American Academy of Family Physicians in opposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), now being considered in the United States Senate behind closed doors. The next 10 days are critical; the Senate could vote on this legislation (without a public hearing) the week of June 26 or soon after July 4.
We strongly urge family physicians to contact California’s Senators to ask for their opposition. Family physicians are a respected voice in the health reform discussion. Please use AAFP’s Speak Out system to write and call Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris as soon as possible. Although our Senators have made clear they oppose the AHCA, it is important that they let their Republican colleagues know the depth and breadth of California’s opposition.
The AHCA would repeal major portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is not a perfect law, but it has made significant progress in areas important to family medicine, including increased insurance coverage, minimum essential health benefit coverage, augmented primary care payment, support for family medicine residency programs and numerous patient protections.
The AHCA, by contrast, would increase the numbers of uninsured, dismantle Medicaid, disrupt insurance markets and raise costs for everyone. Please let our Senators know that:
- The Congressional Budget Office estimates 14 million people would lose health care coverage in 2018 and 23 million by 2026 under the AHCA.
- The AHCA would eliminate numerous consumer protections that prohibit discrimination in insurance underwriting based on age, gender or health status.
- The AHCA’s $800 billion cut to Medicaid would be devastating for children, the elderly and low-income adults. Cuts of this size would result in millions under Medicaid losing their health care coverage and would place substantial strain on state budgets, particularly California’s.
The AHCA does nothing to improve upon the ACA. It threatens the health care of California’s most vulnerable. As an early adopter of the ACA, our state would be hit hard by the ACA’s repeal. Your voice is crucial to protecting what California has built. Please take action today. Thank you.
Past President Jay Lee to Be on Clinical Innovators Panel at NCSC
Jay W. Lee, MD, MPH, a CAFP Past President and medical director at the Venice Community Clinic, will be featured at an opening main stage panel discussion, “Disrupting the Status Quo: Clinical Innovation in Primary Care,” sponsored by the Health is Primary campaign, at the upcoming AAFP National Conference of Students and Residents in Kansas City, MO.
Journalist and author T.R. Reid will moderate the panel. In addition to Dr. Lee, other panelists will include clinical innovators Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle from Iora Health and Drs. Sachin Jain and Manisha Sharma from CareMore.
CAFP Board Meets 7.15.17
CAFP’s Board will meet on Saturday, July 15 at a Los Angeles International Airport hotel to receive the Academy’s 2016 audit report, update positions on a variety of bills, receive an update on progress toward meeting the goals of the Academy’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan and get to know the many new directors who take office on the 15th.
REMINDER: CAFP members are invited to bring proposed policies to the Board of Directors throughout the year, not just at the All Member Advocacy Meeting (March 10-12, 2018 at The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento). For more information, contact Susan Hogeland at CAFP, email@example.com.
CAFP Writes All Members of CA Congressional Delegation about American Health Care Act
Members of the California Congressional Delegation were sent a five-page letter from CAFP President Michelle Quiogue, MD outlining the Academy’s opposition to the roll-back of current coverage, benefits and consumer protections that would take place if HR 1628, The American Health Care Act of 2017 (ACHA), is adopted. CAFP called on Congress to ensure the same or increased level of health insurance coverage that exists today; maintain current insurance reforms and patient protections; and increase investment in primary care.
Dr. Quiogue noted CAFP’s deep concern about the independent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office estimating that in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under HR 1628 than under current law, reaching 19 million by 2020 and 23 million by 2026. Her letter stated that the bulk of coverage losses would be experienced by those who most need access to care: the financially disadvantaged who qualified for subsidies to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act or are enrolled in Medicaid.
The potential impact of the AHCA was also a topic of discussion by CAFP members with California’s Congressional representatives at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. in latter May.
Covered California Plans Match 99 Percent of Patients with a Primary Care Provider
Covered California requires plans selling insurance on the state's health care marketplace to match patients with a primary care provider. In just under nine months, 99 percent of enrollees in exchange plans have been matched; a bold move toward improving primary care utilization and enhancing the continuity and reliability of care. CAFP has worked closely with Covered California since its inception and collaborated with its Chief Medical Officer, Lance Lang, MD, to prepare members for the match.
Dr. Lang also co-authored a blog post for Health Affairs with Covered California Executive Director Peter E. Lee and CAFP member Kevin Grumbach, MD, Chair of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine. The blog post, “Moving the Needle on Primary Care: Covered California's Strategy to Lower Costs and Improve Quality,” describes the four ways Covered California emphasizes primary care to improve care in the state: benefit design, a primary care physician for every enrollee, payment reform and patient-centered medical home recognition.
Do You Provide DOT Physical Exams for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers?
All clinicians providing this service must now be certified and listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). To be listed on the NRCME, providers must take a certified medical examiner training course and pass an in-person certification test.
CAFP is an approved provider of this training and offers an advanced-level course for those who have prior mastery and a skillset in the basics of history and physical examination techniques. Our course includes a comprehensive “Resources/FAQ” section with study guides, sample test questions and more; is accredited for 2.5 AAFP Prescribed credit and 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™; and our learners enjoy a 90+ percent pass rate.
Go to CAFP Medical Examiner Certification Training for more information and register today!
Be Aware of New Medi-Cal Payment Change
Starting July 1, 2017, Medi-Cal will only reimburse claims for covered medical and incontinence supplies and enteral nutrition products if the prescription is written by a physician. The new regulation also requires that a patient’s need for such medical supplies be reviewed annually by the physician. CAFP is working to understand the intended purpose of these changes. We encourage all affected family physicians to contact Manager of Medical Practice Affairs, Sonia Kantak, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns to help guide our efforts to clarify the change.