Feb. 28, 2018
Anthem agrees to fully rescind modifier 25 cuts

The Colorado Medical Society, American Medical Association, and other specialty and state medical societies successfully advocated against a plan by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to reduce payment for significant, separately identifiable evaluation and management (E/M) services that are provided on the same day a procedure is performed or a wellness exam is conducted.

Craig E. Samitt, MD, MBA, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Anthem, Inc. notified Jack Resneck Jr., MD, chair-elect of the AMA Board of Trustees, of the reversal in a Feb. 23 letter and said the company plans to formally notify its contracted providers "within the next few days."
Anthem originally announced in December that it would implement a pay cut of 50 percent for E/M services provided on the same day by the same provider, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Later in December , following pressure from organized medicine, the company announced that it would reduce the size of its planned pay cut from 50 percent to 25 percent and push back the implementation date to March 1, 2018.

On the state level, CMS President M. Robert Yakely, MD, and Elizabeth Kraft, MD, medical director of Anthem BCBS in Colorado, exchanged several letters about the issue while the AMA and other states waged similar campaigns. Our organizations  continually expressed that the rationale for the pay cut cited by Anthem was incorrect and the reduction was inappropriate.

In the Feb. 23 letter, Samitt expressed Anthem's commitment to continuing to work with the AMA, state medical associations, and national medical specialty societies to address physician concerns with other policies and guidelines. The AMA has already raised concerns regarding Anthem's policies on the retrospective denial of payment for emergency room visits, restrictions on advanced imaging in hospital outpatient facilities, and the denial of payment for monitored anesthesia care or general anesthesia for cataract surgery.

In a Feb. 23 email from Resneck to state society executives, he expressed the AMA's gratitude for  the strong advocacy efforts carried out on the state level over the past few months. He said, "We believe that Anthem's decision reflects the growing recognition of the need for a different type of dialogue and engagement between health plans and the physician community to improve health care quality, access and affordability."
CMS Physician Leadership Skills Series 2018: "Persuasion and the Art of the Elevator Speech" - March 10 
When: March 10, 2018 - 8 a.m. - Noon
Where: Colorado Medical Society offices, Denver, CO
Odds are that as a physician you face situations daily where you must persuade others to act. Whether it is with your patients, your practice team, physician colleagues, business partners and even your family, getting your messaging just right to coax change is an art that can be learned and constantly refined.
Plan on attending the next installment of the CMS Physician Leadership Skills Series on Saturday, March 10 in Denver to get the expert tips and interactive practice you need to hone your persuasion skills.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  1. Craft a brief statement to secure the attention of another person in less than a minute, using the 27-9-3 Rule.
  2. Craft an effective appeal so that your audience is more likely to listen. 
The program will feature Janna West-Kowlaski and Kathy Kennedy, DrPh.
Don't miss this opportunity! Registration for this program is free for CMS members thanks to a grant from the Physicians Foundation and support from CMS. Register now.

And watch for more information on the 2018 series as it is available!
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: www.regonline.com/physicianburnout.

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.
AMA launches podcasts to help physicians navigate the Quality Payment Program in 2018 
As physicians begin the second year of quality reporting under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Quality Payment Program (QPP), the American Medical Association has launched a series of podcasts on ReachMD to help physicians successfully navigate the new regulations. Physicians can stay up to date with the latest QPP developments by listening to the new series, " Inside Medicare's New Payment System ."

Three new 15-minute podcasts are available to download and listen on demand: 
Transcripts are also available. Additional podcasts will be released soon, and the  AMA QPP website  has additional resources to help physician practices be successful.
Upcoming events
The Weinstein Effect: What is happening and what practices should do to protect their employees, their physicians and the practice: March 7
The Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert Medical Society, Aurora-Adams County Medical Society and Denver Medical Society, in collaboration with COPIC, present their next event in their quarterly practice management series on March 7 in Greenwood Village. Speakers will discuss why allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace are becoming more prevalent and what practices should do in response. 1 COPIC point is available per practice. To RSVP, email ADEMSstaff@gmail.com. Questions? Contact Andrea at 303-761-2887.
Colorado Pain Society Annual CME Conference - Chronic Pain Management: April 6-8
The Colorado Pain Society will host its third annual Pain Conference designed to meet the educational needs of providers involved in the care of patients dealing with chronic pain.  Find more information and register here.
Basics of Chronic Pain Management: A Pre-Conference Seminar at the CAFP Annual Summit - April 12
The Center for Personalized Education for Physicians (CPEP) and the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians will host a one-day seminar in Colorado Springs that will help you treat the growing population of chronic pain patients with safety and confidence. This seminar is designed for clinicians who manage or encounter patients with chronic pain. It is not intended for pain management specialists. To register for this seminar, click here. Once you reach the registration page, be sure to select the "Pain Management Pre-Conference Course" option.
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.
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.

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Officite builds websites that are attractive, powerful and easy to launch. Call 866-602-7850 or visit Officite.com or to see their offerings, including SEO, reputation tracking, social media, patient education, and more.

Digitize your CV and save time and money in managing your credentialing and health plan enrollment data and documentation with the new CMS Credentialing and Enrollment Services (powered by 3WON). Visit www.3won.com or call 630-328-7930.

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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

OPTIONS and MyPLAN enable young adults to provide honest answers about sexual behavior from their smartphones in minutes. Satisfies new Medicaid guidelines and generates revenue.mypreventtech.com/cms

Time is money! FREE banking services designed for medical professionals. Call 303-840-8484 today to schedule your appointment with a Relationship Banker.
MTC's management team has over 50 years of experience in medical answering services. Owned and operated by the Colorado Medical Society and backed by an all-physician board of directors, MTC is uniquely focused on the needs of its clients.

MTC Benefits include: Arch and Metrocall pagers, Sprint cell phones, voice logger, personalized announcements, custom applications and services, and competitive rates!

Contact MTC today for your FREE two-month trial.
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Delaware Law School and First Healthcare Compliance are co-hosting an educational program that will bring professionals from the health care and legal communities together for a day of discussion and learning on the campus of Delaware Law School. Thought leaders will provide meaningful insight on time-sensitive topics including elements of a compliance program, HIPAA Privacy and Security, OSHA, and Human Resources for compliance. Join us!
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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