CSIMS CONNECTS, February 2021

CSIMS Connects

Welcome to CSIMS CONNECTS, February 2021

 

Michael Amster MD, Vice President, Managing Editor CSIMS Connects

CSIMS is committed to you! Your organization is doing everything possible to support you. 2021 has been a very busy year for CSIMS. We are offering our members incredible value with twice a week offerings mini worker’s comp medical school. We will also offer 2 exciting continuing education conferences in the upcoming year. As a physician member, make sure not to miss out on the lively CSIMS messaging board where members can ask questions and post expert answers to help each other guide the challenging worker’s compensation environment. You can email Dr. Steven Feinberg if you would like to be added to the online community (stevenfeinberg@hotmail.com) for physician members only.

 

Ron Y. Goldstein MD, Executive Director, Editor-In-Chief CSIMS Connects

The pathway is becoming clearer as we reach out to our Members and Members to be: The “NEW CSIMS” is the most powerful organization in California whose foundation is the betterment of the Physicians. We are getting National and International requests by physicians who are hungry for our information and our collective knowledge in the Workers’ Compensation arena, and we are stepping up our game in every which way possible!

Our Bi-Weekly Zoominar Med-Legal Medical School Luncheon series has kicked off to a remarkable start, with hundreds of Physicians and Attorneys participating. The topics are current, and the teaching staff is powerful, disseminating information required for your practice and for your business.

For the first time ever, the “NEW CSIMS” is putting on 2 conferences in 2021. The “March Madness: Learn to Play the Work Comp Game and Win”, will be presented virtually and will run from Friday, March 26 through Sunday March 28. This conference will be focused on how our members can thrive as Treaters and more Pearls on how to maximize your QME efforts with all the upcoming changes.

We are also preparing to go back towards normal with our CSIMS 36th ANNUAL IN-PERSON CONFERENCE OCTOBER 21-24, 2021, which is already scheduled to be held at the Westin Gas Lamp District in San Diego.

Please, help me grow our Society so that I can help you succeed and grow your practices!!

 

Gabor Vari MD, Chairman, Advocacy Committee

The long-awaited QME fee schedule update was released by DWC on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 and a public hearing was held on Monday, December 14, 2020.

DWC heard comments from many providers, including CSIMS members, at the public hearing. DWC is still compiling all comments they received, whether they were submitted in writing or verbally at the public hearing. We are hearing that DWC will be posting their responses to these comments as well as some changes to the proposed fee schedule in early February. Our understanding is that the changes will be marginal and not significantly impact economics. Depending on the extent of changes to the fee schedule, there may be further public commentary periods or, alternatively, the fee schedule may be finalized and submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for adoption. DWC’s goal is still to have the new fee schedule in place by April 1, 2021. 

We have been following the fee schedule closely and have been front and center advocating for you. We will keep you posted as news develops around the fee schedule. 

Separately, we have a busy 2021 planned on the legislative front. We should have more news for you in early March related to bills which we have in the works. As our bills come to fruition, we will let you know. When the time is right, we will be looking to you to reach out to your California Senator and Assemblyperson to encourage them to support our bills as well.

I hope that you are staying healthy out there and have gotten your COVID vaccination. From all of us here at CSIMS, we wish you a happy and healthy 2021! 

 
 

Sana Khan MD, Chairman, Education Committee

January was the month of establishing the AMA Guides Foundational knowledge on CSIMS’ Med-Legal Medical School Luncheon Bi-Weekly Zoominar series. The lectures were held on Tuesdays 12:30PM – 1:30PM and Fridays 12:30PM – 1:30PM. The Zoominars are free of cost when seen live or for CSIMS members for later viewing. The next series of lectures is covering COVID-19 basic science, workers’ compensation laws and regulations, long term consequences and related AMA impairment ratings. This will be followed by the Brain Series (with particular focus on TBI) which will extend to mid-March after which there will be one week off before the CSIMS Spring conference. The Spring conference will be from March 26-28. 2021. Each day will be starting at 8:00AM and finishing at 12:30PM. The theme will focus on Primary Treaters, Med-Legal report writing and billing/collections. Lots of education is happening at CSIMS. Make sure to tune in and not miss the fun!!

 

Patricia Aranas, Assistant Director

January was a busy month for us at CSIMS! Here is a summary of what we have been up too:

January 15th was the launch of our CSIMS membership drive for our existing and new members. Our E-blast to our members provides information on the new membership pricing, all the benefits in becoming a CSIMS member, including our exciting weekly educational webinars, virtual conference in March of 2021 and our annual CSIMS conference in October 2021.

CSIMS is happy to announce we are currently working on the accreditation process for report writing so that we can offer online courses to our members. Our members have repeatedly requested it and we listened! We will keep our members updated on the progress through our newsletter and website.

As your CSIMS Assistant Director, I wanted to give a friendly reminder to members that attended the 35th Virtual Conference, to turn in your “Attendance and Evaluation” forms. You took the time and effort to attend, do not miss out on receiving your Certificate of Completion. Please send your completed evaluations to csimsaccreditation@gmail.com.

We look forward to your joining CSIMS! 

 
 

Bella Goldstein, Vice President, Communications

We just finished our first full month of our weekly Zoominars and have gotten an incredibly positive response from our growing number of attendees! As February begins, there will be an entirely new set of topics, so please make sure to sign up to participate.

Additionally, our social media accounts continue to grow each month, but if you have not followed us yet, please do to show your support!

Thank you everyone for your help in supporting CSIMS.

 

Board Member Spotlight

Dr. Leslie Levy

If CSIMS had a resident sommelier it would be Dr. Leslie Levy. Les always attends the board meetings with a glass of wine in hand!

Dr. Levy graduated from California College of Podiatric Medicine in 1979. Les has been practicing in Southern California for his entire career. He continues to be a treating physician, as well as a QME and a medical expert for medical malpractice cases. He also teaches at Western University Health Sciences in Pomona, and previously taught podiatric residents and students for 15 years at LAC USC Medical center in Los Angeles.

Les has served on the CSIMS board for over 10years. He is passionate to help forward the cause of improving the worker’s compensation system, helping the injured workers, and helping create better systems for physician reimbursement and high-quality reports.

In his spare time, Les enjoys tennis, skiing, cycling, cooking, coffee and of course wine. He has a satellite QME office in Sonoma County, so he can regularly visit his favorite wineries and appreciate all the new vintage wines. 

 

CSIMS CONNECTS, December 2020

CSIMS Connects

Welcome to CSIMS CONNECTS, December 2020

 

Michael Amster MD, Vice President, Managing Editor CSIMS Connects

Every month, CSIMS Connects will bring you the essential information for your practice’s success, including legislative and advocacy updates, advanced educational and practice tips, and pertinent information from your President, Executive Director, the Management team, and Board Members.

CSIMS is committed to you! Your organization is doing everything possible to support you. We are providing regular educational and emergency webinars on topics like virtual office and fee schedule updates. Our office has also increased our social media presence on our website, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We hope this newsletter will be yet another way for us to connect with you.

Our staff and leadership always welcome your feedback and suggestions for future topics. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to connecting with you much more in 2021. On behalf of myself and the Board, we wish you a healthy, happy, and peaceful holiday season!

 

Jacob Rosenberg MD, President, CSIMS

First, I want to congratulate Ron Goldstein, his Management team, and Sana Khan for the successful virtual conference. I am hoping to see many of you next year in San Diego.

The new Med-Legal fee schedule was recently published. There remain many flaws in the DWC proposal, which we addressed in a live webinar on 11/4/20. Your advocacy committee remains dedicated to finding a long-term solution that works for all providers.

While the fee schedule will be front and center for the next few months, CSIMS is planning to introduce legislation to help with MPN issues, Utilization Review, and insurance billing abuse. Hopefully, in 2021, we will collect specific complaints on UR abuses and insurance billing malfeasance. Sending specific complaints to the DWC as a part of a package will document the problem’s extent and set the stage for another audit.

I know change comes slowly, but without hard work, there isn’t any possibility of change. That is why we haven’t had a fee schedule change in 16 years. 

Please renew your membership so we have the funds to continue to advocate. Consider gifting a new membership to one of your friends and colleagues. Remember, we are stronger together. I look forward to serving you again next year.

 

Ron Y. Goldstein MD, Executive Director

The CSIMS 35th Annual “VIRTUAL” Conference was a huge success. Last year’s CSIMS 34th Annual “IN-PERSON” Conference in San Diego was also amazing. We are now forging forward with two conferences for 2021: Trifecta (CSIMS, BIACAL & CCA) in March and our CSIMS 36th Annual in October 2021. We are now experts (trying our best) at both In-person and Virtual, and we welcome you to join us as we continue to double the membership of the “NEW CSIMS”.

We have had tremendous support from our Corporate Members, who continue to support CSIMS in so many ways: expert advice, their time, and of course, financially. We now have the beginnings of a robust Corporate Advisory Council that works with our Board of Directors to push forth cutting-edge ideas about the “Business of Medicine.”

I am so excited to present our Mega-Webinar series for the next 12 months, focusing on the Treaters A-Z Webinar series, the Medschool Luncheon Webinar series, and our essential “EMERGENCY WEBINARS”. The “EMERGENCY WEBINARS” are determined by the President of CSIMS whenever he sees fit to present information to benefit every provider in California. The Webinars are free to all! The real value will come as we place the content into specially archived libraries of information, for CSIMS members-only, to have as a source of the best information that exists in the Workers’ Compensation world.

We have only begun to build our new dynamic Society. Please look for special rates to be a CSIMS Member in 2021, with all the extra’s coming to you, as promised…We now can confidently say that when we promise, we deliver!!

 

Sana U. Khan, MD, Ph.D., Education Committee Chair

Coming fresh off its Annual Conference, the California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery (CSIMS) is initiating a “Med-Legal Medical School Luncheon” Bi-Weekly Zoominar series on Ratable Injuries in the AMA Guides. Anatomy, Etiology, Pathophysiology, Treatment and AMA Guides 5th Edition impairment ratings for each Injury will be covered. The Zoominars are free of cost when seen live. For those that wish to view the information again in the future or for later viewing, the information will be in our library for CSIMS Members-only. In all cases, registration will be required. The first set of lectures will be covering Covid-19 then we will focus on the Brain (with particular focus on TBI). The lectures will be held on Tuesdays 12:30 PM-1:30 PM and Fridays 12:30 PM-1:30 PM beginning date is within the next few weeks (announcements to follow). 

The desired outcome is to educate doctors, attorneys, their staff as well as Claim Administrators on medical aspects of specific compensable injuries in the workers’ compensation system. Consequently, we anticipate more intelligent analyses/discussions of these cases by all parties involved. With a better understanding of the injuries, perhaps we will decrease the industry’s adversarial nature so that there may be less litigation and quicker case resolutions that are invariably better for all parties involved.

 

Gabor Vari, MD, Advocacy Committee Chair

The long-awaited QME fee schedule update was released by DWC on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. CSIMS held a webinar on November 4, 2020, in which we reviewed the pros and the cons of the fee schedule. A recording of the webinar is available for viewing for all CSIMS members.

This proposal formally begins the rulemaking process. Prior proposals put out by DWC in May 2018, August 2019, and June 2020 were not implemented as they were only released for public comment. Therefore, this time is different. A public hearing has been scheduled by the DWC for December 14, 2020, which will be held via Zoom. CSIMS will be there and we expect many of you will be there to provide your input as well.

This is shaping up to be an exciting end of the year from an advocacy perspective. I appreciate your loyalty and support during this challenging year, and we plan to finish the year strong with a new fee schedule that will work for you and your practice for the coming years.

 

Patricia Aranas, Assistant Director

In preparation for our virtual conference and the reaccreditation process, we hired Jacob Coverstone as a consultant. He is the Managing Director for Neurovations Education, Inc. Jacob has been a valuable help in developing the most accurate and up to date forms such as disclosures and evaluations for our event. He is responsible for reviewing all the documents, speakers’ topics, and any conflicts of interest for the conference.

The reaccreditation process has been challenging to say the least, primarily due to the CMA offices not being open for most of the year because of Covid. We needed more guidance than what was available to us and knew we needed a consultant to address any issues during the reaccreditation phase for CSIMS.

On another note, we will soon be making some changes to the registration process for our members to be able to renew and register more easily, online. In addition, we have recently upgraded our website. We now have one contact number for CSIMS: (949) 525-9102. I will be responsible for returning calls or directing them to another member of our CSIMS Management team to answer our members’ questions.

 

Bella Goldstein, Vice President, Communications 

The “NEW CSIMS” is growing exponentially. Our social media has over 400 followers on Twitter, 260 on LinkedIn, and 200 on Facebook (& if you haven’t yet followed, check out our handles below!). CSIMS is becoming a more recognizable name within our industry once again, with a growing engagement with our government officials, a substantial increase in sponsorship interest, and much much more.

Continuing on the increase in sponsorship interest, we’d like for you to check out CSIMSevents.org/2020-sponsors to learn more about our amazing Diamond, Platinum, and Gold sponsors. Each company is offering specials to our members that are exclusive to CSIMS, so do not miss out on these amazing opportunities. Additionally, do not forget to check out CSIMS’ Youtube channel to watch some of our sponsors’ short videos (https://youtu.be/hcYjB4JsCEM).

Lastly, a few more housekeeping items as the year continues- we will soon be starting our weekly webinars, so stay tuned for the up-to-date information. CSIMS merchandise will soon be added to CSIMSevents.org so you can show your support in a new kind of way, and don’t forget to follow and engage with us on social media! 

LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/company/CSIMS 

Facebook: facebook.com/CSIMS2020 

Twitter: CSIMS_org

 

BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

 

Ron Lerch, D.C., Treasurer

Ron Lerch, D.C., has been a proud member of CSIMS for more than 20 years. He currently serves as the CSIMS Treasurer, board member, and is a member of the CSIMS Corporate Advisory Council.

Dr. Lerch completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Rutgers University and obtained his Chiropractic degree in 1991 from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. Dr. Lerch established his practice, treating injured workers as a primary treating physician. He also became a QME and performed a large number of QME and AME evaluations for several years. In 1995, he co-founded Southern California Sports Rehabilitation (SCSR), a physical therapy company with offices throughout Southern California. Currently, SCSR provides land-based and aquatic physical therapy as well as acupuncture services.

In 2002, Dr. Lerch co-founded the Coalition For Injured Workers (CFIW), a non-profit society dedicated to serving injured workers’ needs. CFIW’s primary mission was to ensure that injured workers had access to quality healthcare providers. Dr. Lerch was elected President of CFIW in 2003 and was invited by Governor Schwarzenegger and the California legislature to sit at the table with other stakeholders to discuss and negotiate new California Work Comp reform. These efforts led to new legislation SB 899.

Dr. Lerch looks forward to continuing his work with CSIMS in the coming years and advocate for changes that improve injured workers’ access to quality medical care.

CSIMS CONNECTS, January 2021

CSIMS Connects

Welcome to CSIMS CONNECTS, January 2021

 

Michael Amster MD, Vice President, Managing Editor CSIMS Connects

Happy New Year! 2021 is going to be an exciting year for our members!

CSIMS is committed to you! Your organization is doing everything possible to support you. We provide emergency webinars and regular educational content on topics like mastering the AMA 5th edition (see Dr. Khan’s message below for exciting details starting on Friday, January 8th, 2021!).

In 2021, this monthly newsletter will be yet another way for us to connect with you. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to connecting with you much more in 2021. On behalf of myself and the board, we wish you a healthy, happy, and peaceful new year!

 

Jacob Rosenberg MD, President

CSIMS is planning a very busy year. We continue to monitor developments with the proposed fee schedule. We plan to document abuses of the provision for uncompensated supplemental reports and abuses if parties do not provide a list of medical records sent for review. We must remain vigilant with the roll out of the new fee schedule!

We will introduce a bill addressing MPNs, billing abuses, the problems caused by companies like One Call, and UR deadlines. A copy will be available for viewing on our website in March.

We will also have a very busy schedule of didactic sessions reviewing the AMA guides and a separate series delineating best office practices in Work Comp settings.

To continue this work and set the groundwork for the next year, we need your support. Please rejoin CSIMS and recruit a friend/colleague. Collectively we have improved the med-legal fee schedule. Collectively we have also improved access to care for patients while enhancing our ability to provide appropriate treatment. To continuing accomplishing our goals, we need to keep building our community of members.

 

Ron Y. Goldstein MD, Executive Director

As promised, the “NEW CSIMS” has reduced its membership rate to perhaps the lowest in our 40-year history. We are providing an ongoing Webinar/educational forum to enhance the “Business of Medicine”. In 2020, we achieved the greatest Education and Advocacy accomplishments that CSIMS has ever had. Last year we successfully navigated our first-ever Virtual Annual meeting with great success. This year, we will be producing TWO CONFERENCES: a very structured Virtual meeting in March and an in-person Annual meeting in October. Our advocacy efforts have been enormous with 100’s of man hours for the MLFS. Now, we are squarely at the proverbial “Table” … and that was just the beginning.

There is so much more to share, but first, the most necessary part of my job is to secure a grand audience with so many Members that our voices are heard throughout the great State of California!

Simply put, here is our 2021 gift to all the past and future Members…to be part of the greatest worker’s Compensation Physician group ever assembled:

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY
Group of 1-2 Physicians/Providers
Associate Member*
*Requires proof of being a member of one of our 9 Collaborating partners
Group of 3-9 Physicians/Providers
Group of 10-29 Physicians/Providers
Affiliate/Attorney Member
Corporate Vendor Members

RATES FOR 2021
$495/each
$470/each

$445/each
$395/each
$295/each
$295/each

With an active Membership, you will be invited to the “Members-only” TWO conferences which will also be offered at astoundingly low prices. Please join quickly and get involved in building the “NEW CSIMS” for the 2021 GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL TIMES!

Our membership opens up on Monday, January 11, 2021 and we look forward to your joining CSIMS!

 
 

Gabor Vari MD, Chairman, Advocacy Committee

The DWC released the long-awaited QME fee schedule update on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 and public hearing was on Monday, December 14, 2020. DWC heard comments from many providers, including CSIMS members, at the public hearing.

The next steps are for DWC to compile all comments they received, whether submitted in writing or verbally at the public hearing. DWC will be posting their responses to these comments and whether they are changing the proposed fee schedule. Depending on the extent of changes to the fee schedule, there may be further public commentary periods or, alternatively, the fee schedule may be finalized and submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for adoption. DWC’s goal is to have the new fee schedule in place by April 1, 2021.

We have been following the fee schedule closely and have been front and center advocating for you. We will keep you posted as news develops around the fee schedule.

Separately, we have a busy 2021 planned on the legislative front. We plan to tackle some long-standing issues impacting both treating physicians as well as QMEs. As our bills come to fruition, we will let you know. When the time is right, we will be looking to you to reach out to your California Senator and Assemblyperson to encourage them to support our bills as well.

Here is to a great end to the year and an exciting and action-packed 2021 from the CSIMS advocacy team. From all of us here at CSIMS, we wish you a happy and healthy Holiday season!

 

Sana Khan MD, Chairman, Education Committee

As we welcome the New Year, CSIMS’ “Med-Legal Medical School Luncheon” Bi-Weekly Zoominar series will focus in January on the foundation and usage of the AMA Guides 5th Edition impairment ratings. The moderators will be Christopher R. Brigham, MD and Sana Khan, MD, PhD with an Outstanding faculty participating, including Physicians, Judges, Guides’ Editor, Applicant and Defense Attorneys.

If you are currently a QME or AME, or want to become one, you do not want to miss this learning opportunity. Participants will be able to:

1. Explain what stakeholders are looking for in a quality report.
2. Demonstrate how to use the AMA Guides most effectively to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition, including principles and assessing specific impairments.
3. Describe best practices for medicolegal practices and how this is reflected in all of our practices
4. Discuss the uniqueness of California, from both medical and legal perspectives, in using the Guides.
5. Explain how to assess impairment and disability in the pain patient.
6. Describe how to apply best practices to evaluations and report preparation that greatly enhances quality and efficiency.

Each session involves leading experts who will share with you their insights. You will have an opportunity to submit questions before and during the sessions. In the virtual sessions, polling will be used to obtain your feedback and will encourage you to chat. The sessions will be held each Tuesday and Friday from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PST, starting January 8. The live programs are open to all, and only CSIMS members have access to recorded sessions.

Date: January 8, 2021, Friday
Time: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Session: Medical Legal Assessments: What are stakeholders, including the injured worker, looking for?
Faculty: Christopher R. Brigham, MD (moderator), Michael Amster, MD, William Zachry, Applicant Attorney (tba), Defense Attorney (tba), Judge (tba),

Date: January 12, 2021, Tuesday
Time: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Session: AMA Guides, Chapter 1, Philosophy, Purpose and Appropriate Use of the Guides: AMA Perspective
Faculty: Christopher R. Brigham, MD, Steven Demeter, MD, MPH

Date: January 15, 2021, Friday
Time: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Session: AMA Guides, Chapter 2, Practical Application of the Guides
Faculty: Christopher R. Brigham, MD, Steven Demeter, MD, MPH

 
 

Patricia Aranas, Assistant Director

The written section of the reaccreditation process is completed. This section involved providing data from prior conferences, this year’s virtual conference and the first two webinars on False MRIs with Dr. Khan. The next part of the reaccreditation process is the interview with CME, scheduled on March 21, 2020. Prior to the interview, I will be preparing for it with our consultant, Jacob Coverstone.

CSIMS is currently working on the 2021 membership renewal process and should have it completed within the month. We will be putting email blast to all our members and potential new members about all the exciting events we have planned throughout 2021. Due to the suggestions of our members, we are also making changes to the registration process which will resolve some of the issues our members were experiencing.

 

Bella Goldstein, Vice President, Communications

Happy New Year’s everyone! To wrap up this year, please read the few reminders below:

In December, we officially started our weekly Zoominars, and we are beyond excited to keep the momentum going for the new year.

Please sign up here for our weekly webinars. It is a one-time registration and you will receive all the notifications regarding the webinars.

We had another emergency webinar on December 9th. 2020 to discuss the Proposed Fee schedule. Please click here to access the recording and slides.

The access the October 2020 conference is only for the paid attendees of the virtual event, so if you need the link resent, please email someone on the team to have it privately sent to you.

Follow us on our social media accounts to get the latest at CSIMS.

Thank you again for your support in CSIMS, we are very excited to keep growing this organization throughout 2021 and continue fighting for you!