Gasline Newsletter February 2010

Volume 11, No. 10

CSA/CMA vs. Schwarzenegger

The CSA Board authorized moving forward with a lawsuit against the Governor over the legality of the opt-out; we subsequently received financial support from the ASA in support of that effort. At the Board of Directors retreat in January 2010, we updated the BOD on activity to date. Since that time the California Medical Association (CMA) agreed to partner with us on the litigation and to provide support in the form of their in-house attorneys and other backup services. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco on February 2, 2010, and is available in the Member News area of the CSA Web Site. The governor’s response to our lawsuit is pending. The CMA provided a press release at the time and several articles have appeared on the opt-out and our litigation in the health care media since then. The reaction to the litigation by members of the CRNA community has been quite vehement, and primarily focused on issues not related to the legal grounds for our lawsuit. A more balanced article appeared in the February 22, 2010 edition of American Medical News and may be accessed at the following link:

The CSA and CMA plan to stay the course on this issue in order to uphold the laws of this state which require physician supervision of CRNAs, protect our patient’s safety, and ensure that a physician will be involved in all patients’ anesthesia care.

National Health Care Reform Update

President Obama’s agenda of pursuing a global health care reform package occupied much of the energy of the ASA through the summer and fall. This issue proved to be divisive within organized medicine and the ASA was no exception, with a range of opinion among the members and leadership as to how to proceed. ASA leadership forcefully pursued its agenda of de-linking Medicare payment rates from those of any type of publicly sponsored plan. This effort was ultimately successfully reflected in the bill produced by the House of Representatives. Late last year the Senate produced its version of a health care reform bill which was opposed by the ASA and a number of other specialty societies. The health care reform effort seemed to be headed for a conference committee in Congress when the Senatorial election results in Massachusetts intervened. As I write, it is unclear exactly what will become of the health care reform effort, although the Democratic members of Congress do seem to be attempting to reconcile the two bills. In the meantime, President Obama has released a version of his health care proposal in anticipation of his health care reform summit scheduled for the last week in February. What is clear, however, is that each and every one of the CSA members who answered the ASA e-mails and calls to political action played an important role in moving forward the ASA’s positions and agenda on health care reform. It’s not over yet. Stay tuned!

CSA Elections are in Progress

CSA elections are now in progress for Districts 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13. Ballots (online or mail) are due in the CSA office no later than Monday, March 15, at 5 p.m.

Don’t Miss the 2010 CSA Annual Meeting and Clinical Anesthesia Update

Earn high-quality CME at the innovative educational sessions, network with your peers, reconnect with old friends, and hear the latest on the political front at the House of Delegates …

California Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting
and Clinical Anesthesia Update
May 14 – 16, 2010
Hilton Costa Mesa/Newport Beach
Costa Mesa, CA

What new technologies may dramatically improve our ability preoperatively to anticipate and modify Perioperative conditions or radically change procedural and anesthetic practice? Learn the answers from the lecture “How New Technologies and Practices Will Influence Perioperative Safety.”

Unclear on what determines staffing requirements for anesthesiology departments? Stymied by how anesthesia care is billed and paid? Get all the facts from the lecture “You’re Inefficient, Work Faster!”

What is going on with healthcare reform? What types of regulatory and payments changes are being contemplated? Get the answers you need from the lecture “Government Proposed Changes and Their Impact on Anesthesiology.”

What should you look for in an Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS)? How do you differentiate between various systems to determine which is the best match for your hospital? Find out when you hear “How to choose and Implement an AIMS in 6 Months or Less.”

These are just a sampling of the topics on tap for the CSA’s 2010 Clinical Anesthesia Update. In addition to several lectures, there will be a Hands-on Ultrasound for Regional Anesthesia Workshop (separate registration required), plus communications expert Cheri Kerr will lead a highly interactive session, with an eye toward improving your communication in the OR.

Take advantage of the special CSA room rate of $129. It has just been reduced! Reservations for the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa should be made by contacting the hotel at 1-800- HILTONS.

See the full program and register at

Call for Submission of Resolutions to the House of Delegates

Any CSA member may submit a resolution to the House of Delegates (your elected representatives) on any issue that he or she deems important to the membership. A resolution is a proposal that the CSA undertake an activity related to a current issue of concern to anesthesiologists. For example, a resolution might recommend that the CSA develop social networking capabilities for the members. For assistance in formulating a resolution, please contact Johnathan L. Pregler, M.D., Speaker of the House of Delegates. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2010.

The House of Delegates will meet on Saturday, May 15, 2010, as part of the CSA Annual Meeting at the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Hilton, Orange County, California. An Issues Discussion Forum (formerly the Reference Committee) meets prior to the House of Delegates to hear testimony on all matters to be considered by the House. For more information, contact the CSA office 650-345-3020 or 800-345-3691.

13th Annual California Health Care Leadership Academy The CMA’s 13th Annual California Health Care Leadership Academy will be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina on April 9-11, 2010. The conference is a perennially outstanding opportunity to learn about a broad variety of health care issues in California. For details, please see the information appended to this Gasline. Winter 2010 CSA Bulletin Online

The Winter 2010 CSA Bulletin is now online​.The Bulletin is also archived on the Web site by individual article. You can find current and archived issues under Publications on the left-side navigation of the CSA Web Site.

Linda B. Hertzberg, M.D.

The CSA Gasline, a monthly newsletter, is sent as a member service to CSA members who have e-mail addresses.
If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please send an e-mail to with the message “unsubscribe.”
CSA Gasline archives are available online at under “Publications.”


California Medical Association, the CMA Foundation and California Medical Group Management Association present the

13th Annual California Health Care Leadership Academy

April 9-11, 2010
San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina

The Era of Health Reform: Harnessing the Currents of Change
New for 2010: Academy Curricular Tracks

Health Information Technology Track 
HIT basics and detailed topics including incentive payments for “meaningful use” of an electronic health record (EHR) system, selecting and implementing EHR systems, e-prescribing, legal issues, data exchange and collaboration, and more:

HIT 101: What HIT Means for Medical Practice (and Why You Should Care)
Federal Funding for HIT – What (It Is) and How (to Get It)
EHR Lessons Learned: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
HIT and the Law: Minimizing Liability Exposure
E-prescribing Challenges and Opportunities
The Power of Data Exchange and Collaboration
Practice Management Track 
Best practices and tools to improve practice revenue, employee performance, patient satisfaction, and more:

Minimizing the Financial Hits During Difficult Economic Times
Payer Contracting: Tools to Improve the Bottom Line
Social Networking in Health Care – Opportunities and Risks
Dealing with the Low Performer
When a Physician Retires – or Should
If Disney Ran Your Practice
Leadership Development Track
Information, strategies, and techniques to enhance effectiveness as a leader of a medical practice, medical staff, medical group, or other organizational entity:

Qualities and Styles of Effective Leadership
Successful Organizational Leadership
Preparing a Strategy and Vision for the Future
Physician Leadership Success Factors
Leadership in a New Health Care Era
Advanced Communication Skills for Health Care Leaders
For more information and to register,
log onto
or call 1-800-795-2262

CONTINUING MEDICAL INFORMATION: The California Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The California Medical Association designates this educational activity for a maximum of 18.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.