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Vaccine Hesitancy | A group of MD/MPH candidates at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California are working to generate educational material for physicians to help address COVID-19 vaccine-hesitancy. They recognize that physicians have a profound insight into the various factors that affect patient’s attitudes towards the various COVID-19 vaccines that are available.

They have designed a brief (less than 5 minute), anonymous survey which will help guide them in the creation of supplementary educational material that physicians can share with patients who are experiencing vaccine-hesitancy. This survey is for academic inquiry and there is no financial interest or purpose. They simply wish to support physicians’ efforts to keep our communities safe through this pandemic.

Take Survey Here


COVID-19 Updates

On Monday, Los Angeles County restaurants will again welcome diners indoors and movie theaters and fitness centers, with customers properly spaced, when the county shifts to the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” County officials confirmed the move on Friday when the state attained the benchmark of administering 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in high-risk communities across California, all hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Businesses in Orange and San Bernardino counties got a one-day jump on L.A., allowing red-tier openings on Sunday.

For the latest information on vaccine roll outs and current COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and mortality rates click here to view the LAC DPH Hub. Click here for the LAC DPH COVID-19 Data.


Underpayments for Antigen Tests

Several of our members have reached out regarding the lack of reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and commercial payors are shifting the financial risk of critical COVID-19 diagnostic testing to physicians on the front lines by reimbursing far below the cost of the test itself. CMA has asked the California Department of Managed Care (DMHC) and the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to investigate these concerns as this practice appears to be inconsistent with DMHC’s emergency regulations and CDI's guidance on COVID-19 diagnostic testing, as well as the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act.

The issue is specific to reimbursement of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. These inexpensive tests are used at the point of care and return a result within approximately 15 minutes. Each rapid antigen test kit costs physicians approximately $35-$40. However, CMA has heard from several physicians that Anthem and United Healthcare are reimbursing less than half of the physicians’ cost.

When payors shift the financial responsibility for COVID-19 testing to physicians, it becomes financially untenable for practices to utilize the rapid test for their patients. Ensuring physicians can administer rapid antigen tests is critical, particularly when experts are calling for more rapid tests to allow for the reopening of the economy and schools.

CMA has urged regulators to formally investigate and take appropriate action to ensure payors are not impeding patients’ access to appropriate and necessary COVID-19 testing in violation of state and federal law and profiting at the expense of treating physicians.

If you have experienced underpayment of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, CMA wants to hear from you. Please contact CMA's Reimbursement Helpline at (888) 401-5911 or economicservices@cmadocs.org or contact me directly at Gustavo@lacmanet.org.


Save the Date

The Patient Care Foundation’s annual LA Healthcare Awards will be taking place virtually on April 16, 2021.

For more information, click here.


47th Annual Legislative Advocacy Conference

The California Medical Association (CMA) will host its 47th Annual Legislative Advocacy Conference April 5 - 9, 2021, with an hour-long virtual program scheduled for Tuesday, April 6 at 10:00 a.m. Click here to register for the program.

Each county medical society will be coordinating their own legislator meetings. If you are interested in participating in LACMA’s legislator meetings (likely to be held on one day for 2 hours), please email Lisa Le at lisa@lacmanet.org.


LACMA Needs Volunteers!

As part of LACMA's efforts to impact vaccine distribution particularly to those hardest hit, we need volunteers to assist us on two fronts. First, the Los Angele County Department of Public Health’s mega pod vaccination sites,. Two, LACMA in partnership with LAC DPH and Hyundai Motor Corporation, will be rolling out a PPE and Vaccination Mobile Clinic. If you would like to volunteer for either or both let us know below!

Contact LACMA


Free Community PPE Drive

Following the success of the PPE event at Cliníca Oscar Romero, where LACMA delivered 50,000 three-ply masks and several hundred digital thermometers plus supplies for physicians and staff, we will be replicating the program at AltaMed Health Services, City of Hope, Northeast Valley Health Corporation and Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center, among others. If you are aware of a clinic or healthcare organization that needs PPE for patients, let me know.

Contact me at Gustavo@lacmanet.org.


District 6 Virtual Wine Tasting Event

The wine for this event has been generously discounted by Sextant Wines, and with LACMA Districts’ assistance, we are able to get participants a package of 3 bottles of wine for a reservation fee of $25. Wine will be picked up at San Fernando Valley location (TBD) or the LACMA office (Downtown LA).

Space is limited to 30 spots to receive this wine package.

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Zoom

Please RSVP to Vitelio at vitelio@lacmanet.org by March 19th, 2021.


ACEs and Black Maternal Health

The California Black Health Network (CBHN), which advocates for health equity for African Americans and Black immigrants, is hosting a free webinar exploring the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on black maternal health. The webinar ACEs and Black Maternal Health is scheduled for March 20, 2021, at 9 a.m. via Zoom.

Physicians who provide reproductive and perinatal care are encouraged to join. Attendees will better understand how toxic stress and trauma impacts maternal health. Speakers will also share practical advice on how best to implement ACEs and resiliency screening into clinical perinatal care to improve overall health, as well as black maternal health and infant mortality outcomes.

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Register Here


Webinar: Legislative Advocacy Conference Training

Learn how to be an effective advocate.

In preparation for the California Medical Association (CMA) Virtual Legislative Advocacy Conference, CMA's Center for Government Relations will host a special webinar on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

This webinar will review CMA's legislative priorities and bills to be lobbied, effective advocacy tips (for virtual meetings) and other relevant program information.

Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Register Here


#MondayMotivation

"I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."

Malala Yousafzai

Gustavo Friederichsen

Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles County Medical Association

“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”

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