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!
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.