July 19, 2017
AMA launches opioid education microsite
New site features Opioid Task Force recommendations and resources from state and specialty societies

As part of its continued advocacy efforts to help reverse the nation's opioid epidemic, the American Medical Association launched a website focused on providing physicians with state- and specialty-specific education and training resources. The microsite,  www.end-opioid-epidemic.org , includes nearly 300 education and training resources across three major categories:
  1. Recommendations from the AMA Opioid Task Force  
  2. State medical society resources
  3. Medical specialty society resources
Physicians can use the site's "State Selector" and "Specialty Selector" to find tailored education and training resources. The AMA Opioid Task Force also has identified numerous national education and training resources. The site highlights the progress physicians have made in using prescription drug monitoring programs, reducing the nation's opioid supply, increasing treatment capacity and increasing access to naloxone. 

To further support physicians and patients locating physicians authorized to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine by state, each state-specific page includes a link to the  U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator

America's medical community continues to focus on ways to support patients who need treatment as well as help increase overdose prevention efforts. The AMA Opioid Task Force also recently  issued recommendations focused on safe storage and disposal, encouraging physicians to:
  1. Talk to your patients about proper use of opioid analgesics
  2. Remind your patients to safely store medicines away from children and never share prescriptions
  3. Urge your patients to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, and unused medications, utilizing pharmacy and law enforcement "Take Back" resources
CMS board adopts new policies on opioid prescribing and treatment for the emergency department
The CMS Board of Directors adopted new policies on opioid prescribing and treatment for the emergency department setting at their July meeting. John Hughes, MD, an occupational medicine physician in Littleton, proposed the policy through Central Line, CMS's virtual engagement platform, and members had the chance to review and vote on the policy before the meeting and after the board took action.
 
The new policy adopts the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians 2017 Colorado Emergency Department Opioid Prescribing and Treatment Guidelines that encourage strategies for:
  • Limiting opioid use in the emergency department,
  • Using alternatives to opioids for the treatment of pain,
  • Deploying harm reduction in the emergency department, and
  • Facilitating treatment of opioid addiction.
CMS encourages all emergency medicine physicians to review and consider the application of the 2017 Colorado Emergency Department Opioid Prescribing and Treatment Guidelines in their practice. Click here to view the guidelines.
 
"CMS recognizes the current public health crisis caused by opioid misuse and abuse," the board noted. "These emergency department guidelines are an important part of addressing this complex issue - they do not replace clinical judgment. CMS calls on other physician specialties to develop innovative, integrated approaches to help combat this crisis."
Survey: Help identify strengths and weaknesses of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) have been identified as a promising practice to reduce risky opioid prescribing. To improve provider utilization of the PDMP in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is directing multiple projects to improve access to the PDMP and the overall user experience. To guide Colorado's PDMP enhancement projects, we are requesting your participation in the PDMP User Survey. Findings from the PDMP User Survey will inform system enhancement to help improve PDMP use as a clinical tool. Gathering information from those who use the system is the most effective way to make meaningful changes to the PDMP and reduce prescription drug misuse. Your assistance in completing and distributing this survey is greatly appreciated. Click here to take the survey. It will be open through the end of July.
Help establish a permanent prescription drug dropbox in each Colorado county

The Safe Disposal Work Group of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention has a goal to place at least one permanent medication disposal drop box in each Colorado county. Currently, there are no drop box locations in 23 Colorado counties (listed below). We need your help! 
 
Please review this list and reach out to any contacts you may have in these counties. Anyone interested in more information about obtaining a drop box can contact Greg Fabisiak ( greg.fabisiak@state.co.us).
 
The Household Medication Disposal Program provides resources to DEA-registered law enforcement agencies and pharmacies (either stand-alone or as part of a hospital or clinic) to establish and maintain a permanent drop box. With the exception of 15-20 minutes of staff time required to change packing materials when the box is full and to contact UPS to schedule a pick-up, all costs are covered.
These counties are in need of drop boxes:
Archuleta
Gilpin Phillips
Baca Hinsdale Rio Grande
Broomfield Huerfano Saguache
Cheyenne Jackson San Juan
Conejos Kiowa Sedgwick
Costilla Kit Carson Teller
Custer Lincoln Washington
Dolores Mineral
Elbert Park

Find out more about being a collector by watching this video
Review the Safe Disposal toolkit here .
Special opioid issue of Colorado Medicine: Share your story or resource
The September-October issue of Colorado Medicine, the award-winning publication of the Colorado Medical Society, will focus on the opioid epidemic and what physicians can do to help reduce opioid abuse/misuse. We want to provide helpful information to practicing physicians and help our readers understand the high-profile nature of the opioid crisis. Do you have a story to tell or a resource to share that has helped you? Email enews_editor@cms.org to submit your ideas. Deadline: July 31.
Check out the July-August Colorado Medicine for a full legislative report with photos, plus CMS campaign coverage!
View the virtual issue of the July-August Colorado Medicine before it arrives in your mailbox! This extraordinary issue takes readers behind the scenes of the 2017 Colorado General Assembly to show how the coordinated effort of the Colorado Medical Society, other health profession advocates, physicians and legislators worked together to push through an impressive slate of managed care reforms. 
CMS member Ethan Lazarus, MD, featured in AMA Wire: "Person-first, preventive approach needed to tackle obesity"
Ethan Lazarus, MD
CMS member Ethan Lazarus, MD, was featured in a July 12 article in AMA Wire, " Person-first, preventive approach needed to tackle obesity." The article described an education session he presented at a recent AMA meeting. He said physicians sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about obesity with patients. Lazarus recommends using "person-first" language to open the conversation. 

"The problem lies in the discussion," he said. "Physicians are not comfortable speaking about obesity. It's a different style of care than we would do with other diseases because there's so much bias and stigma with weight."  If physicians can overcome the idea that obesity is a fault-based disease, treatment can improve, he added.

Access the full article here.
CMS Annual Meeting: Make your lodging reservations before Aug. 14 to get the best rate
Register today for the 2017 CMS Annual Meeting in Breckenridge Sept. 15-17, and make your lodging reservations. The group rate is guaranteed for reservations made before Aug. 14. 

Annual Meeting attendees and their guests will enjoy the best physician education, social events and recreation in the state. Informative panel discussions and workshops led by renowned speakers will take you into the biggest issues facing our profession -- end-of-life care, compassion fatigue, cyber security, opioid abuse, and more. Click here to view the 2017 agenda.

 

Your family and friends will have plenty to do in this mountain paradise, too, with  child care 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 .
"Hard Call" podcast engages listeners with life-and-death decisions
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Center for Bioethics and Humanities has created a new podcast, Hard Call , that presents some of the toughest issues facing patients, professionals and loved ones.

The fourth episode is now available.
This episode follows Jeff as he considers applying for disability while experiencing suicidal thoughts and struggling to run his business.

Why tell this story?  Few people suffer as much from secrecy as patients and families touched by mental illness. Secrecy hurts. It contributes to the dilemmas that face us whether we or our loved ones suffer from an intermittent mood disorder or from a severe mental illness that makes a productive life hard or impossible. Derailed helps to break the silence by bringing to life the authentic experience of a patient suffering from mental illness, including the excruciating dilemmas - the "hard calls" - that face everyone in a patient's circle - partners, kids, relatives, colleagues and doctors. Shining a light on these dilemmas, and on a broken system, is a first and important step toward change.

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. Access Hard Call on iTunes Google Play, and online.
Colorado QPP Coalition July Fast Facts
Don't let the June 20 release of the CMS Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule confuse you! The changes in the Proposed Rule do not effect the 2017 reporting period and are proposed to begin in the second year (2018) of the QPP program. As written now, the Proposed Rule aims to simplify reporting requirements, increase low-volume threshold, change reporting periods, add virtual groups and allow for more flexibility. Comments are due by Aug. 21 with the expected release of the QPP Final Rule for Year 2 in the fall of 2017.
  • For a Fact Sheet on the comparison between performance year 2017 and the 2018 proposed rule click here.
  • Have you seen the official Merit Based Incentive Payment Program 2017 Approved list of Qualified Clinical Data Registries? Check it out here.
  • The federal CMS released the 2017 Approved Qualified Registry list. You can review it here.
  • Wondering how to participate as a group when reporting for the 2017 Quality Payment Program under the Merit Based Incentive Payment System track? This guide provides all the information you need to know! Click here.
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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.
Call for stories:
Raising the volume
on oral health
Have you witnessed first-hand the connection of oral health to one's overall health? The Colorado Medical Society is teaming up with Delta Dental of Colorado and a statewide coalition to better inform businesses, health professionals and the public about how closely connected oral health is to overall health. And we need your help!

If you have a story that demonstrates the connection of oral health to overall health, we'd love to consider including it in the #TeethMatter campaign. Click here for more information.
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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