Thursday, January 17, 2019

Volunteers Needed to Serve on RCMA Strategic Plan Work Groups

Dear RCMA Members:

Recently your Board of Councilors held its tri-annual Board Leadership Retreat to identify the Strategic Priorities for the RCMA for the next two years. DOWNLOAD REATREAT SUMMARY. Three top priorities were identified and we are now soliciting interest and expertise from our membership to help us attain these goals on behalf of our members.

Please consider volunteering to serve on one of three (3) workgroups that will be forming to address our Strategic Priorities. The Priorities are:

Priority #1: Assisting Members’ Practices in Transitioning to Value Based Care
This workgroup will help practices identify areas of improvement and provide strategies to increase efficiency, lower costs, prepare for risk-based contracts, use technology efficiently, design effective workflows, provide business training for physicians and staff and build effective teams.

Priority #2: Physician Wellness – “The Joy of Medicine”
The Physician Wellness Workgroup will collaborate with CMA on their new Statewide Wellness Program and develop local Riverside County programs and resources to support the local physician community including peer support groups, regional meetings/retreats, socials, community wellness/well-being committees, intervention best practices and work/life balance tools.

Priority #3: Membership
The Membership Workgroup will develop membership campaigns focused on different modes of practice, increase member engagement through the use of Podcasts/YouTube, local social group activities and identifying relevant educational programs to serve members and nonmembers,

To volunteer to serve on one of these workgroups, visit If you would like to read the Retreat Summary or more information on the Priorities please go to

We anticipate that each workgroup will meet via conference call 3-4 timers per year unless an in person meeting becomes necessary.

Thank you for volunteering and helping to guide the RCMA in continuing to develop programs and services to assist its members. Please feel free to call or email our Executive Director, Dolores Green, (951) 686-3342 or with any questions.

Best regards,

Raj Sindher, M.D.                 Frank Flowers, M.D.
President                              President-Elect

RCMA/CMA's Advocacy Secures $1 Billion+ for Medi-Cal Providers

In 2016, and with a $1 million investment, the California Medical Association (CMA) led a coalition to take on Big Tobacco to improve access to care through Medi-Cal.

California voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 56, which added a $2 tax on tobacco products and stipulated that funds should increase access by improving provider payments. California's 2018-2019 state budget continues to provide over $1 billion annually to improve provider payments so more Medi-Cal patients can access care when they need it most. Other key investments include graduate medical education (GME) funding increases and school loan repayments.

What Does This Mean For Riverside County Doctors?
This supplemental funding affects both fee-for-service Medi-Cal as well as Medi-Cal Managed Care. Click Here to view a comparison of Prop 56 payments by year as well as how these new reimbursements compare to current Medicare Rates in Riverside County.

RCMA has been informed that Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) will be paying FY 2018/2019 at the enhanced rates, including the additional E&M codes, starting July 1, 2018. However, given the lag in encounter data and timing of payments, the first enhanced payments physicians will see this Fall will be 2017/2018 timeframe payments.  The first quarter payment for 2018/2019 will not be until early 2019.  

Look for further communication from IEHP in the next few weeks. Payments will be made directly to IEHP providers based on encounter submissions reflecting the E&M codes shown in the Rate Comparison Chart

For Further Information Please Contact:
Riverside County Medical Assoication
(800) 472-6204


Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)
(909) 890-2054

AB 3087 Defeated

Assembly Bill 3087 (Kalra) has been defeated.  This dangerous legislation would have created a commission of unelected political appointees empowered to arbitrarily cap rates for all health care services in all clinics, hospitals and physician practices in California. 

Thousands of physician members contacted their legislators because AB 3087 would have:

  • Decimated California’s health care delivery system.
  • Disrupted care and limited choice for millions of California patients.
  • Caused 175,000 health care workers to lose their jobs.
  • Forced hospitals to close and pushed health care providers into early retirement.
  • Caused a “brain drain” of talented medical students and residents fleeing California for more ideal working conditions.


RCMA's Free Saving Private Practice Consortium 8/18/2018 Murrieta

All physicians and their practice administrators are invited to get the help they need to survive and thrive in the ever-changing world of healthcare. Free 15 minute personal one-on-one consultations will be scheduled with RCMA/CMA subject matter experts and industry experts serving the local physician community. This is a great opportunity for physicians to get their questions answered, problems solved, and explore resources that can help doctors continue caring for their patients irregardless of their mode of practice.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Janus Norman, Senior Vice President, CMA Centers for Government Relations & Political Operations

Download Flyer                              RSVP Online


  • All Practice & Personal Insurance
  • Billing & Collections
  • EHR & HIE Implementation
  • Estate Planning & Asset Protection
  • Information Technology
  • Legal Support
  • Malpractice Risk Management
  • Medi-Cal & Medicare
  • Office Staffing
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Payor Contracting
  • Payor Advocacy
  • Payor Reimbursement Support
  • Physician Employment Contracting
  • Physician Recruitment
  • Practice Management
  • Practice Cost Reduction
  • Strategic Planning


    California Medical Association Center for Economic Services
    Areas of Consultation: Practice Management, Medicare, Medi-Cal, Payor Contracting, Denied Claims
    CMA’s Center for Economic Services (CES) is staffed with practice management experts with over 125 years in medical practice operations experience. With the combined strength of all the departments of the CMA, CES is able to empower physician practices by providing resources and guidance to improve the success of the practice. Assistance ranges from coaching and education to direct intervention with payors or regulators.
    CMA CES experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include:
      Cheryl Bradley, Associate Director - Medicare
      Kris Mark, Associate Director - Medi-Cal & Contracting
      Mitzi Young, Physician Advocate - Practice Management & Denied Claims

    Inland Empire Health Information Organization (IEHIO)
    Areas of Consultation: HIE Connections, EHR Implementation, EHR Workflow & Documentation
    IEHIO is a non-profit grass-roots organization providing linkage between healthcare stakeholders in the Inland Empire and Manifest MedEX, California’s HIE. IEHIO goals are to coordinate data sharing services not only for treatment at the point of care, but also for care management and population health analytics specific to participant needs and programs; while promoting a community-wide data-sharing model that improves healthcare for all residents of the Inland Empire.
    IEHIO experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Stacy Proctor, IEHIO, Program Director & Cardelia Reid, RN, MSN, MBA, IEHIO Clinical Informatics Director.

    Areas of Consultation: Reducing Practice Costs, Purchasing
    Intalare is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) with more 35,000 physicians offices and clinics as clients nationwide who trust Intalare to provide the products and services they need most at the best possible price! By aggregating purchasing volume as a group practices can leverage superior pricing and save money on everything a physician practice buys.
    Intalare experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Jennifer Brons, Intalare, Account Manager

    MediQuest Staffing
    Areas of Consultation: Office Staffing (Hiring, Interviewing, Salary Surveys, Retention Strategies, Difficult Employees, etc.)
    MediQuest Staffing matches high-quality healthcare professionals with fully screened, talented medical support staff such as front and back office MAs, billers, coders, medical collections, and practice managers to name just a few.
    MediQuest experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Rachael McGarvey, MediQuest, Regional Service & Delivery Manager

    Mercer Health & Benefits Insurance Services, LLC
    Areas of Consultation: Practice Insurance & Personal Insurances
    RCMA’s endorsed Business Partner Mercer provides information to make informed decisions with your needs in mind. Available programs include: Workers’ Compensation, Individual and Small-Group Health insurance, Cyber Liability, Life, Disability, Business Owners Policies, Long-Term Care and more.
    Mercer experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Liz Fogle, Mercer, Relationship Manager

    NetServe Systems, Inc.
    Areas of Consultation: IT, Cloud Services, HIPAA, Network/Security Risk Assessments, Technical Consultations
    NetServe Systems is a comprehensive one-stop IT solution for medical offices handling ALL your IT needs.
    NetServe Systems experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Abdi Ahmed, NetServe Systems, CEO

    NORCAL Group
    Areas of Consultation:
    Medical Professional Liability Insurance, Risk Management
    As RCMA’s endorsed partner, NORCAL Group has over 32,000 insureds including physicians, medical groups, clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities. NORCAL continually strives to remain true to their history and values, and to maintain their singular focus on protecting their policyholders’ careers and professional reputations while supporting the delivery of safe, quality patient care.
    NORCAL Group experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include:
    Bradford S. Dunkin, MHA, NORCAL Group, Sr. Risk Management Specialist & Belinda Ramon, NORCAL Group, Regional Business Development Representative

    RCMA Physician Workforce Development
    Areas of Consultation:
    Physician & Mid-Level Provider Recruitment and Resources

    RCMA is committed to addressing the physician shortage in Inland Southern California and RCMA’s Physician Recruitment Development Director is available to meet with you and provide additional help and resources to help you hire an associate.
    RCMA experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include:
    Sonya Jackson, RCMA, Physician Workforce Development Director

    Thakur Law Firm, APC
    Areas of Consultation:
    Healthcare Law, Employment Law, Business &Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning & Asset Protection
    Thakur Law Firm is a full service law firm with expertise in Health Care Law, Business & Employment Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate, Tax Law and Litigation. Thakur Law Firm, APC is a full service law firm with expertise in Health Care Law, Business & Employment Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate, Tax Law and Litigation.
    Thakur Law Firm experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Pamela Thakur, Esq., Jas Sondh, Esq. & Ash Dudheker, Esq.

    Universal Financial Systems
    Areas of Consultation:
    Medical Billing & Collections
    Universal Financial Systems (UFS) is a Southern California based financial services company specializing in medical billing & collections, consumer & commercial collections, litigation & judgment collections, accounting services and general business consulting.
    UFS experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: George Christidis, UFS, COO

    Zymeda Provider Solutions
    Areas of Consultation:
    Practice Management, Strategic Planning, Payor Contracting, Billing Zymeda Provider Solutions is a full service practice management partner offering services in strategic planning, operational process improvement, billing, medical practice staffing and training, benefit administration and managed care operations.
    Zymeda experts onsite at Saving Private Practice include: Helene Beilman-Werner, Zymeda, CEO & Pam Geukens, Zymeda, Director of Operations

    Are You Ready to Check CURES?

    Effective October 2, 2018, physicians must consult California’s prescription drug monitoring database (the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES) – prior to prescribing Schedule II, III or IV controlled substances. All individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish or order controlled substances and a Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substance Registration Certificate must be registered to use CURES.

    Because of the critical importance of adequate technical support for physicians who will have to rely on CURES as a part of their prescribing workflow, the California Medical Association (CMA) negotiated into the final legislation a requirement that the mandate could not take effect until the California Department of Justice (DOJ) certified that the database was ready for statewide use and that the department had adequate staff to handle the related technical and administrative workload.

    On April 2, 2018—two years after the law was enacted—DOJ finally certified that CURES was ready for statewide use. The certification began a six-month transition period, with the duty-to-consult taking full effect on October 2, 2018.

    What Physicians Need to Know
    Under the new mandate, physicians must consult the database prior to prescribing 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 consult CURES no earlier than 24 hours or the previous business day prior to the prescribing, ordering, administering or furnishing of a controlled substance to the patient.

    The law provides, however, that the requirement to consult CURES would not apply if doing so would result in the patient’s inability to obtain a prescription in a timely manner and adversely impact the patient’s conditions, so long as the quantity of the controlled substance does not exceed a five-day supply.

    Physicians are also not held to this duty to consult when prescribing controlled substances to patients who are:

    • Admitted to a facility for use while on the premises;
    • In the emergency department of a general acute care hospital, so long as the quantity of the controlled substance does not exceed a seven-day supply;
    • As part of a surgical procedure in a clinic, outpatient setting, health facility or dental office, so long as the quantity of the controlled substance does not exceed a five-day supply; or
    • Receiving hospice care.

    In addition, there are exceptions to the duty to consult when access to CURES is not reasonably possible, CURES is not operational or the database cannot be accessed because of technological limitations that are beyond the control of the physician.

    CMA Fights for CURES Protections
    CMA worked closely with the bill's author and other stakeholders to reach mutually agreeable language, which was reflected in the final version of the bill (SB 482, Lara). Among the negotiated amendments are liability protections related to the duty to consult the database and changes to ensure that health care providers can meet the requirements under state and federal law to provide patients with their own medical information without penalty. The bill also clarifies that health care providers sharing the information within the parameters of HIPAA and the Confidential Medical Information Act, including adding the CURES report to the patient’s medical record, are not out of compliance with the CURES statute.

    Save the Date: CURES webinar with DOJ on 8/22
    CMA will be cohosting a live CURES webinar with DOJ on August 22, 2018. The webinar will be free to all interested parties. Registration will open soon at

    For More Information
    For more information, see CMA On-Call document #3212, “California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES).” On-Call documents are free to members in CMA's online resource library at Nonmembers can purchase documents for $2 per page.

    Additional Resources:
    CURES website:
    Medical Board CURES webpage:
    • CMA CURES webpage:
    • CMA Safe Prescribing webpage:

    CMA will continue to provide educational resources and work with DOJ to ensure a smooth implementation of the new requirement. Physicians who experience problems with the CURES database should contact the DOJ CURES Help Desk at (916) 227-3843 or

    Medical Assistant Survey

    RCMA is collaborating with Moreno Valley College to revise their Medical Assisting program. The goal is to create a program that will not only meet the national accreditation standards but to serve the needs of the physicians/clinics in the Inland Empire. We want our students to be a valuable asset to your office.  

    In order to do this, we would greatly appreciate your assistance by completing the Medical Assisting Skills Survey. In doing so, you will ensure that we design a program that will be beneficial to the students and relevant to the needs of your office.  
    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to complete the survey. Your input is greatly appreciated. 

    2016 RCMA Annual Report

    2016 RCMA Annual Outstanding Contribution Awards

    CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: The RCMA is soliciting nominations to recognize and honor deserving individuals for the 2016 Annual Outstanding Contributions Awards. Nominations will be screened by the Awards Committee, with final selection determined by the Board of Councilors. The awards will be presented at the RCMA Installation of Officers Dinner on Friday, January 27, 2017.

    Make A Nomination



    • Outstanding Contribution to Organized Medicine: Presented to a RCMA member who through his/her constant support and perpetual service has advanced and achieved the goals of organized medicine.
    • Outstanding Contribution to Medicine: Presented to a RCMA member who has displayed dedication to the advancement and improvement of the medical profession through his/her tireless efforts, innovative ideas and commitment to excellence.
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Medical Association and Its Goals: Presented to a RCMA member who has exhibited long-standing dedication and service to the RCMA over and above that expected by the membership-at-large.
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Community: Presented to a physician or lay person who has exhibited sustained interest and participation in one or more medicine-related activities which has benefited the members of his/her community.

    Make A Nomination

    Nominations Solicitation

    The CMA Committee on Nominations is now seeking nominations for elections of Mode of Practice delegates and alternate delegates for the 2016-2018 terms, which begins July 1, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2018. 

    The following seats are now open for nominations:

    • Academic Mode of Practice Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians practicing as part of a medical school faculty.
    • Administrative Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians practicing in administrative settings such as medical directors and administrators of medical organizations.
    • Government Employed Physicians Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians employed by the federal, state or county government.
    • Hospital Based Practice Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians whose practice is based in a hospital.
    • Medium-Size Group Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians who practice in professional medical corporations or partnerships with between five (5) and one-hundred and fifty (150) shareholders, partners, and/or physician employees.
    • Large Group Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians who practice in professional medical corporations or partnerships with between one-hundred and fifty (150) and one thousand (1,000) shareholders, partners and/or physician employees.
    • Very Large Group Forum Delegation represents the special concerns of physicians who practice in professional medical corporations or partnerships with over one thousand (1,000) shareholders, partners and/or physician employees.

    RCMA members can apply directly. Nominations must be submitted using the forms below and must be e-mailed no later than Thursday, April 14, 2016 to 

    Instructions: Please submit nominations to including:

    • Indication in your email subject line which office/ seat you are interested in
    • Statement of Interest/qualifications. If you are selected as a nominee, this statement will appear alongside your name on the ballot (not to exceed 250 words).

    For more information, please contact: Michelle Chapanian or (916) 551-2054


    RCMA Leadership Retreat Strategic Priorities Summary


    Membership in RCMA drives and supports all priorities

    RCMA Member Work Groups Now Forming.  Volunteer at:

    PRIORITY #1: Physician recruitment and retention in Riverside County

    What Makes Riverside County “THE” Place To Practice
       • Multi-faceted marketing campaign – which could
           o Identify Stakeholders in increasing doctors, health
              needs as well as economic impact (Riv. Co. EDD;
              Chambers, Hospitals, Medical Schools, Groups/IPAs, Clinics, Corporation,
              Health Plans, IEHP, Cities and County of Riverside)
           o Showcase Riverside County communities
              - 45 minutes to beaches, desert, mountains; Low Cost
                 of Living; Housing & Education; Plenty of opportunity to
                 build practice/patients
           o Showcase different models of practice opportunities in
              Riv. Co. using local RCMA physicians
           o Recruitment business partners
           o Focus groups of new docs – what did it take to get them
              to Riv. Co.
           o Focus groups of potential new docs – what would it take
               to come to Riv. Co.
           o Sustainability of doctors in community
           o Develop what a “package” would look like for the smaller
               physician practices needing to recruit
            o Recruitment Fairs for Residents and New Doctors
               - In person and virtual
               - Go to them, i.e. peer to peer (Young Physicians to Residents;
                    colleagues, friends, family; use CMA and AMA RSS and YPS Sections
            o Open Houses by local physicians/medical groups
            o RCMA develop a “” type of service using
               overall showcase of Riv.Co with links to doctors/groups
               hiring to highlight their organization
                dynamic with secured
                access to update regularly
            o Social Media: videos, u-tubes, email, etc
       • Survey existing RCMA/Non-Members on need for
          physicians in next 1 yr & 3-5 yrs
        • Develop innovative ideas in funding new doctors
        • Increase funding in RCMA’s Medical Student Scholarship
           Program and expand to Residents/New Physicians

        • Increase physician revenue

    Community based residency training
        • Increase number of residency trainings
        • Increase funding for residency programs
        • Job Fairs for residents
        • Provide economic incentives to stay

       • Create new physician mentoring program to help
          attachment to area
       • Develop more “social” mentoring programs to engage and
          make Residents & Interns want to stay in Riverside County.

    PRIORITY #2: Addressing physician burnout and discontent

    Burnout and discontent is in every mode of practice

    How can RCMA Help and Provide Resources?

    Practice redesign and innovation
       • Help with practice transformation
       • Identify and educate on new models of medicine
       • Identify creative ways of using extenders(ACPs)
         o Physician productivity – practice at top of license
         o Use of ACPs in hospitals-obstacles to overcome
         o Tools for utilizing staff at top of expertise/license
         o Reengineering staff to assist physicians
         o Identify Best Practices & Benchmarks
       • Physician and patient expectation management
       • Identifying physician burnout intervention methods
       • Tools for managing work and personal lifestyle, stress and
       • Provide coaching programs for increasing medical practice

    EMR Burden
       • Improving efficiency
       • Analyzing EMR tools and best practices
       • Work with top 10 EMR systems to provide additional trainings
          on best use of system (Kaiser model)
       • Trainings on Voice Recognition Tools (i.e. Dragon Speak)
       • EMR workplace balance training
       • Develop Scribe program offering
       • Improve office workflow

    Secondary Priorities as part of RCMA ongoing activities/expertise
    1. Co-opetition – RCMA serves as conveyer

         • HealthSystem Collaborative (City of Riverside)

    2. Continue to encourage participation in IEHIE

         • Physician Champions to assist IEHIE in bringing on more
            hospitals and provider entities

    3. Education on Implications of MACRA – Medicare Access
        and CHIP Re-Authorization Act

    I Need News & Information


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