Keeping You Connected

The SMLMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events


2024 Physician Wellness Leadership awards announced

Nominations and award recipients were announced at the Physician Wellness EXPO and Dinner on April 26, 2024, in Petaluma. Awards were presented to physicians in six categories of wellness leadership achievement. Click here or the icon below for the full dinner program, which includes photographs and statements from each of the nominees. Additional details and list of awardees may be viewed in May 2024 News Briefs.

2024 Physician Wellness Expo & Dinner


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August 2016

Download PDF Here


Tobacco tax initiative on November ballot as Prop 56

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 has officially qualified for the November ballot as Proposition 56. Supported by a broad alliance of physicians, health care advocates, educators and others, Prop 56 would raise California's tobacco tax, which is currently among the lowest in the country, to $2.87 a pack. The majority of the money from the initiative's user fee on cigarettes and other tobacco products (including e-cigarettes containing nicotine), will be used for existing health programs and research into cures for cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking and tobacco products. For more information, go to


Updated mandatory reporting of communicable diseases

The California Department of Public Health has updated the Title 17 Section 2500 regulations regarding mandatory reporting of certain communicable diseases. See letter from the CDPH outlining changes and click here for Sonoma County instructions and forms.

Nominations needed for SCMA awards by Aug. 31

SCMA is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Contribution and Achievement awards, to be presented at the annual awards dinner Dec. 6. Nominations are needed by Aug. 31 for all four awards listed below:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Presented to an SCMA member whose work has benefited the community.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Local Medicine. Presented to an SCMA member who has improved local medical care.
  • Outstanding Contribution to SCMA. Presented to an SCMA member who has served the medical association beyond the call of duty.
  • Recognition of Achievement. Presented to an organization or nonphysician who has helped advance local medicine.

To nominate one of your colleagues, send his or her name with a brief description of accomplishments to Cynthia Melody at or via fax to 707-525-4328. Click here for a historical summary of past awards.


Free Lunch & Learn! How To Get Past "NO" With a Payor

When submitting a request to open a contract renegotiation discussion, best practice is to present a "business case" for why the payor wants to keep your practice in their network. Join us for complimentary lunch from Chloe's Café and to learn how to prevent the "auto-reply" and to create and submit a thoughtful renegotiation request. Free to SCMA members and their practice managers, the seminar will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Vista Family Health Center. See flier for details and to reserve your place.

SCMA applicants

Welcome, new SCMA/CMA members!

Stephen Lee, MD, Nephrology, 435 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa, Boston Univ 2011

TPMG - 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa
Douglas Green, MD, Vascular Surgery*, Harvard Med Sch 1997
Christopher Styles, MD, Emergency Medicine, St. Louis Univ 2013
Patrick Wuthrich, DO, Emergency Medicine, Touro Univ 2012

*board certified


The new provider directory accuracy law took effect July 1
Make sure your practice isn't penalized! The new law not only requires payors to maintain accurate and current directories, but it also requires physicians to do their part in keeping the information up-to-date. Failure to comply with the new requirements may result in payment delays, removal from directories and even contract termination. For more information on physicians' obligations under the new law, visit


Understanding MACRA: Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act
To help physicians understand the MACRA payment reforms and what they can do now to start preparing for the transition, CMA has published a MACRA resource center available at The resource center includes an overview of MACRA and a comprehensive list of tools, resources and information from CMA, AMA and CMS.

Updated Payor Profiles
CMA's Center for Economic Services has published updated profiles on each of the major payors in California including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, CIGNA, Health Net, United Healthcare, Medicare/Noridian and Medi-Cal. Each profile includes key information on health plan market penetration; a description of the plan's dispute resolution process; and the name and contact numbers for medical directors, provider relations, and other key contacts. Members can download CMA's Payor Profiles free of charge in the CMA Resource Library.

Practice Management Tip of the Month: August
Make sure your billing staff are aware of prohibitions on balance billing Medi-Medi patients. Click here to access CMA's Tip of the Month.


Northern California, Napa
Independent Medical Group is seeking qualified candidates to staff its minor emergency department. Candidates include: near retirement Emergency Physicians, Family Practice Physicians, Urgent Care Physicians or Emergency Department Nurse Practitioners. If interested, forward CV to Tony Mottalei, MD, at

Medical weight loss practice / retirement sale
Proven, highly recognized and profitable, established weight loss practice in beautiful Marin County. Current multiple 6 figures, room for expansion. Work-life balance, time freedom, financial security, relationship-driven practice.

I am 100% committed to assisting the new owner with all the support necessary to ensure a smooth transition. Please contact me for more information or to schedule a visit. Gail Altschuler, MD, 415-309-6258 or

Free classifieds for SCMA members!
SCMA members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Susan Gumucio at or 707-525-0102.

About SCMA

The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2016 SCMA, 2312 Bethards Dr. #6, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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