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December 19, 2013  



Medi-Cal Fee Schedule Reductions


A reminder that the first step in implementing the formerly enjoined 10% provider rate reduction for physicians will begin on 1/16/13. The first step is to reduce new payments by 10% . A clawback of overpayments of that 10% going back to June 1, 2011 will occur sometime at least 90 days after January 16th. Providers will be individually notified by letter of the specific dollar amount of overpayment .  The take back will occur over a 20 month payment in individual checkwrites out of future payments. We will provide specifics as they are finalized.


There is some hope that the Legislature may act to reverse these cuts in future budget actions. The effort this year to reverse the cut and eliminate the clawback of payments had bipartisan support but was opposed by the Governor and did not occur. Last week Assembly Democrats released their proposal for investing part of the newfound likely budget surpluses. The recommendations included restoration of funding to eliminate the 10% reduction but talked about doing so over time with little detail. The budget dance will begin in earnest in the spring.



Every Woman Counts Program 

Provides Coverage for HPV Co-Testing


The EWC program provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for some 250,000 women who have no private insurance and are not Medi-Cal eligible. The program has decided to initiate coverage for HPV co-testing at

5 year intervals for screening as opposed to prior reflex only coverage for HPV.      


The coverage details will hopefully be announced this month effective in January and retroactive to July 1, 2013.


At the urging of the CSP they are also going to include coverage for CPT 88342 for IHC evaluation. The coverage and retroactivity will also be the same. The information should be contained in the December Medi-Cal Provider Bulletin which has not yet been published. It is expected very soon and providers should confirm the information in the publication.



2014 Medicare Changes

for Pathology Reimbursement


There are a number of changes to pathology reimbursement and some bundling of lab payments into outpatient procedure payments in the new Medicare fee schedule that takes effect on 1/1/14. At our recent Annual Meeting we heard from Dr. Richard Friedberg from the CAP on the nature of the changes and also what changed from the initial proposed version. The CAP has tools available for pathologists to better understand the changes at their website at www.cap.org. You can find a link to their 12/4 webinar " Understanding the 2014 Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule" in their Resource Center.



Texas Society of Pathologists Annual Meeting


The Texas Society has provided membership pricing for California pathologists who might like to attend their upcoming Annual Meeting. Here is a copy of their letter to Dr Ellen Klapper, CSP President.


Dear Dr. Klapper:


On behalf of the Texas Society of Pathologists Board and Officers, I would like to extend a personal invitation to you to attend our annual meeting that will take place on the weekend of January 17-19, 2014 at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas. 


I am also pleased to offer our reciprocity program instituted by the Texas Society of Pathologists several years ago for members of other state societies.  Our hope is that this will be viewed as an additional benefit for membership in your state's society while at the same time increasing attendance at our meeting.  The program is quite simple:  members in good standing in any state pathology society in the nation can attend the TSP annual meeting at TSP member rates.


Our annual meeting includes scientific presentations by pathology residents and fellows from training programs throughout the state.  This provides our trainees the opportunity to discuss novel research projects as platform and poster presentations.  We have several lectures given by nationally and internationally known speakers on a variety of topics relevant to the practice of pathology.  Leaders from the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists also attend and address the audience about important issues related to the practice of pathology.


On Saturday evening we will hold our annual Caldwell Award Banquet.  During this banquet, the Texas Society of Pathologists honors one of its members with the prestigious Caldwell award.  The 2014 Caldwell award winner is V.O. Speights, Jr., DO, from the Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas. 


Our annual meeting provides attendees a valuable educational experience and the opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues.  We ask that you please communicate this opportunity to your membership.  Feel free to contact me (joesaad@mhd.com) or Jill Sutton, Executive Director, if you have any questions. We hope you can attend and take advantage of our Texas hospitality.


Warmest regards,


A. Joe Saad, MD

President, Texas Society of Pathologists



First Annual Cleveland Clinic Symposium Multispecialty Pathology Forum


Cleveland Clinic Florida is pleased to announce the First Annual Cleveland Clinic Multispecialty Pathology Symposium: A Practical Diagnostic Approach to Surgical Pathology & Cytology. This will take place February 1-2, 2014 at our David G. Jagelman, MD Conference Center in Weston, Florida.  Our program directors,

Dr. John Goldblum, Dr. Mariana Berho, and Dr. Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, would like to provide your members with an opportunity to participate in this exceptional educational activity!  


This one and a half day symposium will provide guidance to the attendees on diagnosing and handling challenging cases in clinical practice including esophageal diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, colon and rectal cancer, and prostate neoplasia. We hope to welcome Pathologists and Pathology Residents from all over the country for this conference. For more details, please go to our website at www.ClevelandClinicFloridaCME.org.


This program will focus on practical and evidence based aspects of managing commonly encountered dilemmas in Gastrointestinal, Urological surgical Pathology, and Cytopathology. Cytopathology will emphasize diagnostic challenges in EBUS, pancreatic, and thyroid FNAs, including the role of molecular testing. Each session will offer a didactic presentation that will allocate time for questions from the audience. This course will assist practicing pathologists and residents in maintaining, developing and increasing knowledge, competence and professional performance with the intent to improve patient care and reduce disease impact.
California Society of Pathologists
One Capitol Mall Suite 320
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Tel : 916-446-6001
Fax :  916-444-7462