April 12, 2018
RSVP today for a special evening of discussion about medical ethics - May 8 at medical campus in Aurora
The Colorado Medical Society Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) invites all physicians and their guests to attend a special event on Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 p.m., to discuss medical ethics past and present, and to see a traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The exhibit, "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race," is on display at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities at the medical campus through May 22. It examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder, and ultimately genocide. The exhibit is free to the public.

The special evening for physicians and their guests will also be held in the Fulginiti Pavilion and refreshments will be provided. There is no cost to attend. RSVP to dianna_fetter@cms.org to ensure adequate food and drinks.

"Deadly Medicine" is an expansion of the annual Week of Remembrance sponsored by the Holocaust Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics (HGCB) program of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities. Special events are going on all week this week, April 9-13, across all four CU campuses. Find more information on the exhibit and 2018 program here .
Earn 4 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and learn how to keep your best staff at free leadership program - April 21 in Denver
The CMS Physician Leadership Skills Series (PLSS) is back up and rolling in 2018. The second program of the series -- "Is turnover killing your practice?: Keep good help, lead your team and improve performance through engagement and stay interviews" -- will be held Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at CMS headquarters in Denver. Register today!

This workshop features practical strategies focused on physician engagement and best practices like "stay interviews" to help prevent turnover and drive optimal performance.  Read more here , including educational objectives and the CME accreditation statement.

SAVE THE DATE for future programs in the leadership skills series:
Sign up for an upcoming IT MATTTRs 2 provider training to receive the DEA waiver to prescribe buprenorphine
IT MATTTRs 2 is a program that offers compensation for providers and their practices for the time they invest in training to address the opioid crisis by using medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. Three IT MATTTRs 2 trainings are coming up: April 19 in Colorado Springs, April 27 in Durango, and June 13 in Denver.

Compensation is available for MDs, DOs and residents. More information and registration can be found here. Questions? Contact Allyson at Allyson.Gottsman@UCDenver.edu.
Colorado Health Institute report: Drugs are killing more Coloradans than ever
A recent report by the Colorado Health Institute reveals troubling statistics about drug use and overdose in Colorado.
  • Colorado recorded 912 drug overdose deaths from opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine and other substances in 2016, more than in any previous year. And new data, while not final, suggest the deaths increased to 959 in 2017.
  • That translates to a rate of 16.1 drug overdose deaths for each 100,000 residents, up 83 percent from a rate of 8.8 in 2001.
  • There are wide variations across Colorado's counties. El Paso County led the state with 141 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, followed by Denver County at 138. Colorado's populous counties, most located along the Front Range, generally have the highest numbers of overdose deaths, reflecting their larger populations.
  • Huerfano County, with about 6,600 residents, had six overdose deaths in 2016. That's a rate of 152.6 per 100,000, the highest in the state. In fact, nine of the 10 counties with the highest overdose death rates have populations of less than 50,000.
These latest statistics underscore the urgency and importance of the work of the Colorado Medical Society and other partners in the governor's Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. Read more and access the full report here.
Surgeon general urges more Americans to carry naloxone; AMA applauds the advisory
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., recently urged more Americans to carry naloxone, a lifesaving medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is already carried by many EMTs and police officers, thanks to the efforts of the governor's Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. 

Since 2015, Coloradans have been able to buy naloxone from participating pharmacies without getting a prescription. They are able to obtain the medication because the state's chief medical officer, Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, created a " standing order ," which removes the need for a prescription. 

The surgeon general is now recommending that more individuals, including family, friends and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, also keep the drug on hand.

An estimated 2.1 million people in the U.S. struggle with an opioid use disorder. Rates of opioid overdose deaths are rapidly increasing. Since 2010, the number of opioid overdose deaths has doubled from more than 21,000 to more than 42,000 in 2016, with the sharpest increase occurring among deaths related to illicitly made fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids).

The  surgeon general's advisory on naloxone and opioid overdose is part of the administration's ongoing effort to respond to the sharp increase among drug overdose deaths. The AMA applauds the advisory. Read more here.
Health care leaders collaborate to streamline prior authorization and improve timely access to treatment
Physicians, pharmacists, medical groups, hospitals and health insurance providers are working together to improve prior authorization processes for patients' medical treatments, also known as pre-approval, to help patients have access to safe, timely and affordable care, while reducing administrative burdens for both health care professionals, hospitals and health insurance providers.

When applied appropriately, prior authorization helps to maximize the value of every dollar spent on coverage and care, but these approvals can be burdensome for health care professionals, hospitals, health insurance providersand patients because the processes vary and can be repetitive. Streamlining approval processes will enhance patient access to timely, appropriate care and minimize potential disruptions. Enhanced transparency and communication also play critical roles in improving prior authorization processes, which underscores the importance of this new effort.

As the first step in this collaboration, the American Hospital Association (AHA), America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) have announced a Consensus Statement outlining their shared commitment to industry-wide improvements to prior authorization processes and patient-centered care.

Read the consensus statement here.
Time is running out: Register today for "Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders," May 10-11, 2018 in Avon, Colo. 
Make plans to attend the inaugural "Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders" conference, May 10-11, 2018 at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon, Colo. Register here.

This two-day conference will focus on the root of physician burnout as well as provide tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to physician wellness. Speakers from all over the country will share their research and experience on this important subject at this innovative and exciting event. Click here to view the agenda and speakers.
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Upcoming events
Practical Strategies to Combat Opioid Harm series - Thursdays in April
Telligen will hold a series of webinars at 11 a.m. MT to  explore resources to combat opioid harm. Topics will include opioid prescribing, treatment, education, tools, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP), risk screening and more.  Find more information and register here.
15th DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - April 28
The DEA will host its 15th Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 28, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., to give patients a secure way to turn in their unused prescription medications to help prevent drug addiction, accidental poisoning and overdose from diversion. Many Colorado communities have permanent take-back drop boxes for prescription medications. Find more information and drop box locations at TakeMedsBack.org.
Medical Spanish and Cultural Competency Class: April 20-23
To enhance physician communication capabilities with Spanish-speaking patients, Denver Medical Society is offering a four-day intensive, total-immersion learning experience in conversational and medical Spanish for physicians, nurses, PAs, NPs and other medical staff. Find more information here.
Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders: May 10-11
This two-day conference in Avon, Colo., will focus on the root of physician burnout and provide tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to physician wellness. Speakers from all over the country will share their research and experience on this important subject at this innovative and exciting event. Register here.
Save the date: 2018 Colorado Medical Society Annual Meeting - Sept. 14-16 in Vail
Save the date for the 148th CMS Annual Meeting, Sept. 14-16, 2018 at the Vail Marriott. The hotel group rate is available now. Registration will open this summer. Find more information here.
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