Dec. 20, 2016
ATTENTION: DEA makes significant changes to registration renewal process; AMA expresses strong concerns
Through a notice on its website, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period, which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations. Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant's "mail to" address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided.

The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be available, and that failure to file a renewal application by midnight EST of the expiration date will result in the "retirement" of the registrant's DEA number. The original DEA registration will not be reinstated. In addition, paper renewal applications will not be accepted the day after the expiration date. If the DEA has not received the paper renewal application by the day of the expiration date, mailed in renewal applications will be returned and the registrant will have to apply for a new DEA registration.

CMS strongly supports the AMA's expressed concerns about this change in policy and the problems it could create for both patients and their physicians. In letters sent Dec. 9 to Charles Rosenberg, DEA acting administrator, and Louis Milione, assistant administrator for diversion control, the AMA urged the DEA to reverse the change to the renewal process.
Happy holidays from CMS
Read a year in review of 2016 and celebrate your success
This holiday season and all year long the Colorado Medical Society is grateful for the opportunity to serve Colorado physicians by bringing you the latest information and resources to make your job a little easier, advocating for you in the public policy arena, and connecting you to your peers from around the state. Thank you for all that you do to improve the health of Coloradans. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2017, and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.

We invite you to review our 2016 year-end-report that celebrates all of the successes by and for Colorado physicians. Access the full list here. They include:
  • Defeat of 2016 OON legislation that would have imposed treble damages on in-network physicians
  • Continued preservation of the liability and professional review climate
  • Wins in workers' compensation rule modifications
  • Successful collaboration with the AMA and 16 other state medical associations to oppose the insurance mega-mergers
  • Implementation of new member benefits, including leadership training, a first-in-the-nation virtual policy forum, and a completely redesigned Annual Meeting (view a photo slideshow here)
  • And more...
Colorado End-Of-Life Options Act" update and live program for health care providers in January 2017
With the passage of Proposition 106 in November, terminally ill, mentally capable adults in Colorado will soon have the right to request medical aid in dying (also called physician-assisted death). The act became effective Dec. 16, 2016. CMS is working on numerous fronts to assist physicians. Click here to review CMS comments on emergency documentation and reporting rules issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE).

These emergency rules are scheduled for approval and immediate effect on Jan. 20, 2017. However, because the emergency rule will be in place for no more than 120 days, CDPHE will work with stakeholders from January to March to adopt permanent rules in April 2017. See Colorado's Blue Book entry for Proposition 106 here.

The office of the CMS general council has prepared information physicians should know about the law. Click here to read this important summary that includes a sample form for patients to request aid-in-dying medication.

The Iris Project, which provides a variety of resources on end-of-life care, is offering an in-depth live program -- "Ins & Outs of Colorado's End-of-Life Options Act" -- in several locations in January 2017, each 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Space is limited and registration closes Jan. 10. Registration fee: $150.

Because Colorado End-of-Life Options Act will likely go into effect Jan. 10, 2017, or sooner, providers must have written policies in place or they cannot be enforced.

Choose from the following dates and locations:
  • Jan. 18, Olinger Crown Hill, 7777 West 29th Ave., Wheat Ridge.
  • Jan. 19, Donor Alliance, 8175 East First Ave., Denver.
  • Jan. 20, Donor Alliance, 8175 East First Ave., Denver.  
  • Jan. 24, Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care, 2550 Tenderfoot Hill Street, Colorado Springs.
  • Jan. 25, Temple Baptist Church, 3030 Thatcher Ave., Pueblo.
Learn more and register here.
ICD-10 code updates and impact on Q4 2016 Medicare quality programs
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released information about ICD-10 code updates. In a bulletin, the agency notified providers that updating the codes usually occurs annually but they froze all updates from October 2013 to the present to allow for a smooth transition to ICD-10.

Because of the large number of updates and the relationship between coding and quality reporting, the agency will not apply the 2017 or 2018 PQRS payment adjustments to any eligible provider or group practice that fails to satisfactorily report for CY 2016 solely as a result of the impact of ICD-10 code updates on quality data reported for fourth quarter 2016.

Become a CMS leader
Call for nominations: 2017 president-elect, AMA delegates and alternate delegates
The nomination period for the 2017 Colorado Medical Society all-member election will be open through Jan. 31, 2017. The Colorado Medical Society encourages all members to consider nominating a colleague or self-nominating for one of the open leadership positions: president-elect (one position open), AMA delegate (three positions open) and alternate delegate (three positions open).

The election guide is available here. This guide provides all the information a potential candidate needs about the duties, eligibility, terms of office and honorarium for each open position, as well as candidate requirements, campaign guidelines and the election process. The position descriptions and qualifications for office are available starting on page three of the election guide and the candidate requirements on page five of the election guide.
Announcing the Physician Leadership Skills Series (PLSS)
As changes in Colorado health care accelerate, it is more important than ever to have well-trained and active physician leaders guiding the way. Thanks to a generous grant from the Physicians Foundation, the Colorado Medical Society is proud to announce the Physician Leadership Skills Series (PLSS) to help enhance physician leadership capacity in Colorado and provide current and emerging physician leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to serve their patients, their practice, their profession and their community.

Officially launching in February 2017, the Physician Leadership Skills Series will feature eight innovative programs over the year in topic areas like teamwork, negotiation, conflict management, facilitating meetings, persuasion, public speaking and best practices in board service.

The programs will be held at convenient times and formats, like Saturday mornings in person around the state or weeknights via video conference, to minimize disruptions in your practice. The program is available free of charge to all current CMS members, including medical students and residents.

Learn more at
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For more information, call (720) 858-6000 or visit

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Two surveys on opioids
The Affected Family and Friends work group of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention is developing a database of individuals affected by opioids to meet an increased demand for media interviews and requests for speakers at community events.

The initial step in creating the database is to have affected family and friends complete a brief survey. From that survey the work group will screen respondents and help determine where and how their stories can best be used. Please distribute as appropriate.

Pharmacists from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy have developed a survey to assess provider knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding opioid education.

The results will be shared with the Provider Education Work Group of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to help improve patient education and address barriers to education. This survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete. Access the survey here.
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