June 27, 2017
CMS joins national groups to urge congress to "protect patients first" in federal health care reform debate
CMS and AMA polls show strong disapproval of proposal
CMS president addresses media at June 27 press event

Today, June 27, the Colorado Medical Society joined several leading national organizations, including the American Medical Association, AARP, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, among others, to urge lawmakers to "Protect Patients First" in the federal health care debate. The groups highlighted shortcomings in four main areas: affordability of insurance, access to essential care, protection for those on Medicaid, and protections for those with employer-sponsored health insurance.

CMS President Katie Lozano, MD, FACR, moderated the press conference. In her opening remarks, Dr. Lozano suggested, "at a minimum, Congress should first do no harm. The senate bill needs to be methodically thought through, not hurried."  She also summarized the highlights of a CMS-member poll conducted June 23-26. Noting that "79% of CMS members disapprove of the approach U.S. Senate and House leaders are taking with the nation's health delivery system. Should this legislation pass as written, many doctors could be forced into early retirement, stop investments in practice infrastructure, and be left unable to spend enough time with patients to deliver proper care."

Click here to read a summary of the survey results.

Brian Eades, MD, an ob-gyn in Delta County, also spoke at the media event and at Fox 31 Denver. "In our hospital, 85% of the patients are on Medicaid or Medicare. This bill could force rural hospitals to close, forcing Delta county residents to drive 40-60 miles to see a doctor, which means they will delay needed care or won't see a doctor at all.... Ultimately this bill could end up closing facilities up and down the western slope, leaving Coloradans without the care they need."

Also today, the AMA released poll data of registered voters in Colorado that shows strong disapproval of policies currently under consideration -- particularly Medicaid cuts and narrowed coverage plans. A vote on the senate health reform bill was expected today but has been temporarily postponed. Later in the day Senate Republican leadership reported that they are delaying the vote on the Senate bill until after the July 4 congressional recess.

Nearly half of Coloradans polled (47%) believe the ACA is a good idea; 36% believe it is a bad idea. A majority of voters (58%) believe the House health care legislation is a bad idea; 17% believe it is a good idea. See the AMA's Colorado poll summary here.
Yesterday, June 26, the AMA sent a letter to Senate leaders outlining its opposition to the bill. Throughout the health system reform debate, the AMA has urged that reforms not result in individuals with health insurance losing access to affordable, quality coverage; that Medicaid, CHIP and other safety net programs be adequately funded; and that key market reforms, such as pre-existing conditions, be maintained. After analysis, they assert that the Senate draft violates many of those principles.
Read more about AMA's advocacy efforts  here . Contact Congress here .
Meet the candidates for CMS election!

Deb Parsons, MD, asks for your vote for CMS president-elect
Deb Parsons, MD, asks for your vote for CMS president-elect

The Colorado Medical Society will hold our second all-member election of CMS officers in August 2017. We encourage all members to
visit the election page on CMS.org to view each candidate's profile, CV and personal statement, as well as a brief video address. Eleven exemplary physicians are running for eight positions for CMS delegate to the AMA. Above is the campaign video for Deb Parsons, MD, candidate for CMS president-elect.
All CMS members are eligible to vote for CMS officers via electronic ballot. Watch for more information on voting in the July/August 2017 Colorado Medicine and by email. Are you receiving CMS email newsletters? If not, we may not have your correct email address. Please contact membership@cms.org with any contact information corrections.

CMS Annual Meeting: First look at the agenda!
Mark your calendars and save your spot for the 2017 CMS Annual Meeting in Breckenridge, Sept. 15-17. Register today to join your peers from across Colorado in the best education, social events and recreation in the state. Informative panel discussions and workshops will delve into the hottest topics -- end-of-life care, compassion fatigue, cyber security, opioid abuse, and more -- led by an impressive slate of state and national speakers. Click here for your first look at the 2017 agenda!


Your family and friends will have plenty to do in this mountain paradise, too, with  childcare provided during many conference events (hours extended!). Advance registration is required to ensure proper child-to-caregiver ratios.
Register here As always, registration and all meals, programming and social events are free for members. Reserve your lodging at the Beaver Run Resort here .
Don't miss this opportunity! 8 hours of CME and improved communications skills through free, CMS-members-only program
Register today for the next event in the Physician Leadership Skills Series on July 8, "Communications: Mastering the skill of getting to the point," with speaker Norm Hartman, veteran news director. The program will be held 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at CMS Headquarters in Denver and attendees can earn up to 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
As a physician leader you are likely constantly called upon to capture others' attention so that they will understand and act upon your message. Now is the time to master how to get your point across by phone, by email or in person in the patient exam room, the boardroom, the community center or even your own home.
Space is limited! Register today at www.cms.org/register and master the skill of getting to the point. Be sure to click the drop down box on this registration page to select the 7/8 PLSS event.
CU Anschutz podcast asks listeners to vote on life and death decisions
The Center for Bioethics and Humanities has released  Hard Call , a new podcast that presents some of the toughest issues facing patients, professionals and loved ones. In such cases, the right or wrong choice may be unclear -- or even unknowable. Hard Call  follows true stories of people making some of the most difficult and emotional choices of their lives. The podcast also asks listeners to cast votes on what they would do if it they were faced with making these hard calls. The first two episodes, now on  iTunes Google Play , and online , are part of a five-part series titled "Derailed: When Mental Illness Throws a Life Off Track." 

"Derailed" follows a wealthy entrepreneur living with a serious mental illness through five challenging episodes, asking questions like "Would you hospitalize this man against his will?" and "Should he tell his business associates about his illness?" The second story, "The Electronic Heart," includes four episodes that track a man confronting a very risky and expensive treatment at the end of life. 

Hard Call is a collaboration between Center Director and CMS member Matt Wynia, MD, MPH, veteran journalist and radio producer Elaine Grant, and the local theater community.   Listen to the trailer here.
Colorado QPP Coalition June Fast Facts
Have you seen the June Quality Payment Program (QPP) Updates and News Releases for the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) tracks? Be sure to check out the QPP website for new information that is being posted frequently. This month, the following guides, fact sheets and information were released:
New video shows physicians how to avoid Medicare payment penalties
June 26-30 is "Pick Your Pace Week"

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) is the new physician payment system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (federal CMS). Because the QPP is new this year, the Colorado Medical Society and the AMA want to make sure physicians know what they have to do to participate and the QPP's "pick your pace" options for reporting. This is especially important for those physicians who have not participated in past Medicare reporting and programs, and may be less knowledgeable about the steps they can take to avoid being penalized under the QPP.
The AMA and the federation stressed to the federal CMS the importance of establishing a transition period to QPP and, as a result, physicians only need to report on at least one quality measure for one patient during 2017 to avoid a payment penalty in 2019 under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
A new short video developed by the AMA, "One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting," offers step-by-step instructions on how to report so physicians can avoid a negative 4-percent payment adjustment in 2019. On this website, ama-assn.org/qpp-reporting, there are also links to the federal CMS' quality measure tools and an example of what a completed 1500 billing form looks like.
Get covered with COPIC

COPIC Insurance Company is Colorado's leading medical liability insurance provider. Three out of four physicians choose COPIC for this critically important coverage. CMS members receive a 10 percent premium discount from COPIC.

For more information, call (720) 858-6000 or visit www.callcopic.com.

Is your lease expiring within 18-months? If so, we can help. Carr Healthcare Realty is the nation's leading provider of commercial real estate services for healthcare tenants and buyers. Visit: www.carrhr.com 

The average physician can save $38,000 by refinancing their student loans with LendKey! CMS members get a $400 cash bonus when refinancing through this partnership.

Rates as low as 2.14% variable and 3.25% fixed. Visit www.LKrefi.com/co-med. Phone: 888-549-9050 Email: customer.care@lendkey.com

National Internet Banking Platform with Portfolio / Physician Loan Specific Programs for Residential Lending needs. 100% financing available on conforming loan amounts and Jumbo financing available to $1MM. Visit www.northpointe.com/shawn-watts call 303-408-4648 or email: shawn.watts@northpointe.com

Transcription Outsourcing, LLC is the leading U.S. provider of medical transcription services. We provide physicians with the ability to be more productive and more profitable. To learn more, call 720-287-3710, visit www.transcriptionoutsourcing.net or email bwalker@transcription

CO Drug Card
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Our cloud-based compliance solution is discounted for all CMS members. Please contact us today for a demo! Call 888-54-FIRST or email info@1sthcc.com. Visit www.1sthcc.com/cms. White Papers - download the latest white papers; webinars - register for our complimentary webinar and receive CEU.

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CME: End-of-Life Options Act - Aug. 24
The El Paso County Medical Society presents: "Colorado End-of-Life Options Act: It's Now a State Law!"

Aug. 24, 2017, 12-1 p.m.; Earn 1 free CME credit. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Cancer Conference Rooms A, B, C, 2222 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs. Learn more here.

Go to www.epcms.org/events to register.
To comment on something you read in ASAP or to update your contact information, send an e-mail to enews_editor@cms.org. Visit us online at www.cms.org.
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