Headlines

Stories, events and developments affecting your practice in California.

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CSA and CASA Write Governor Newsom Urging Prioritization of COVID-19 Vaccine for Anesthesiologists in Non-Hospital Settings

December 22, 2020

ASCs are currently part of Phase 3 of the vaccine distribution plan under "other clinics," but CSA has urged the state to elevate the priority level for these healthcare practitioners.

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Medscape News

Anesthesiologists Try to Stop CRNA's from Practicing Independently

December 08, 2020

The battle lines between anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are being drawn even sharper as both sides respond to the possibility that Medicare will allow the latter to continue practicing without physician supervision after the pandemic ends.

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Politico

"Surprise Billing" Fix to Be Included in Spending Package

December 20, 2020

Sen. Bill Cassidy said the provision is "99 percent similar" to a compromise brokered last week by the key health care committees.

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Washington Post

Surprise Billing Reforms Look Set to be Included in Year-End Spending Bill

December 18, 2020

Congress looks poised to include surprise medical billing protections in a bill to keep the government funded beyond today.

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42% of Anesthesiologists Had Contracts Terminated in Last 6 Months

Jacqueline LaPointe

Anesthesiologists are being forced out of network as private insurers terminate their physician contracts with little to no notice...

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Anthem Blue Cross Gets Flagged And Fined More Than Other Insurers

California Healthline

One of California’s largest health insurance plans has distinguished itself, and not in a good way. The state Department of Managed Health Care hit Anthem Blue Cross with $9.6 million in fines from January 2014 through early November 2019, according to a California Healthline analysis of agency data.

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California Surprise-Billing Law Protects Patients But Aggravates Many Doctors

California Healthline

More than two years after California’s surprise-billing law took effect, there’s one thing on which consumer advocates, doctors and insurers all agree: The law has been effective at protecting many people from bills...from doctors who aren’t in their insurance network. But the consensus stops there.

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Physician experience highlights unintended consequences of CA's surprise billing laws

California Medical Association

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new survey of California physicians illustrates serious unintended consequences from California’s surprise billing law (AB 72) that will have long term impacts on patient access to care if not corrected.

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State Lawmaker Takes Aim At Health Care Titles

Christine Sexton, News Service of Florida

A Republican lawmaker wants to...change state law and allow health-care licensing boards to take disciplinary action against providers who are not physicians but use monikers that could imply they are, such as “anesthesiologist.”

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BROOKINGS Study: California saw reduction in out-of-network care from affected specialties after 2017 surprise billing law

The Brookings Institution

Federal legislators are looking to recent state policies as models as they put forward proposals to address surprise out-of-network medical bills, but in part because many of these state laws are relatively new, little empirical evidence exists about their impacts.

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In California, a ‘Surprise’ Billing Law Is Protecting Patients and Angering Doctors

New York Times

The state’s closely watched law is similar to an approach Congress is considering nationally.

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Newsom signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors

L.A. Times

California businesses will soon face new limits in their use of independent contractors under a closely watched proposal signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday.

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Charges Brought Against 34 Individuals for Alleged West Coast Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Schemes Totaling $258 Million

US Department of Justice

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today a health care fraud enforcement action in the state of California…

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Mystery Solved: Private-Equity-Backed Firms Are Behind Ad Blitz on ‘Surprise Billing’

New York Times

Two doctor-staffing companies are pushing back against legislation that could hit their bottom lines.

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Private equity's role in surprise billing 'an enormous scam,' US congressman says

Becker's Hospital Review

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent letters to private equity firms that own physician staffing companies, highlighting their concerns about the role firms may play in surprise medical bills

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AHIP Study: Can We Stop Surprise Medical Bills AND Strengthen Provider Networks? California Did

AJMC

Since California passed legislation in 2016 to protect patients from surprise medical bills, there have been questions about whether the law would reduce the number of in-network specialty physicians. A new, comprehensive study shows that in-network specialty doctors in the state have actually increased–not decreased–since 2017.

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Nursing Board Signs Off On ‘Anesthesiologist’ Title

WGCU News

John McDonough, an advanced practice registered nurse, has for years identified as a “nurse anesthesiologist,” and he tells his patients the same. Now he can do it with the blessing of the Florida Board of Nursing...

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RAND study: California Rules to Limit Surprise Medical Bills Are Working, but Influence Insurer-Provider Bargaining

RAND

A California law that limits the size of bills from out-of-network physicians for care delivered in hospitals appears to be protecting patients' financial liability…

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In wake of East Bay child’s death, dental group releases new guidance on anesthesia

Mercury News

The death last month of 4-year-old Lý Trí Dũng at an Oakland dental office has once again raised the question: Does California need stricter rules over the use of anesthesia in the dentist’s office?

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California hospital CEO gets no-confidence vote from medical staff

Becker's Hospital Review

Medical staff at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., part of CommonSpirit Health, unanimously approved a no-confidence vote in the hospital's president and CEO late last month.

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