ASAP e-newsletter: Dec. 8, 2020
COVID-19 vaccine update for physicians
Practicing physicians are no doubt getting questions from patients on when and how they can get a COVID-19 vaccination. Last week, on Dec. 3, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment placed the state's first vaccine order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in anticipation of the Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization. The FDA will consider emergency authorization this Thursday, Dec. 10. CDPHE said in a news release that regular vaccine allocation from the federal government will be based on the size of Colorado's total population and the quantity of ready-to-ship doses from the manufacturer. Read more here.
Take action: Tell Congress to support H.R. 8702
The American Medical Association has released an urgent action alert asking physicians to contact your member of Congress today, ask them to support the “Holding Providers Harmless from Medicare Cuts During COVID-19 Act” (H.R. 8702), and request the bill be included in a larger, end-of-the-year legislative package. Two Colorado congressional representatives are already leading in support H.R. 8702 and can receive a different message. Those calling U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn can thank him for being a co-sponsor and those calling U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse can thank him for writing a letter of support along with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

If Congress does not act before Jan. 1, budget neutrality requirements will lead to lower Medicare payments for a multitude of services crucial to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic including hospital visits, critical care visits, nursing home visits and home visits. H.R. 8702 would freeze payments at 2020 rates for services scheduled to be cut in 2021 for a period of two years, while allowing scheduled E/M increases to take place.
Don’t forget to renew your Colorado Medical Society membership for 2021!
Are group games your way to unwind? Join your fellow physicians for CMS Trivia Night
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m.
The Colorado Medical Society wants to provide outlets outside of medicine for CMS members to build collegiality and reduce stress, especially in these challenging times. If you love trivia, join us for CMS Trivia Night on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. Teams will be randomly assigned. It's free and all members of the winning team will receive Amazon gift cards plus bragging rights (or vindication for the "almost-winners" of our September Trivia Night). Register here; Zoom connection information will be emailed to you the week of the event.
Starbucks is giving free coffee to health care workers in December
In response to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and to recognize the significant efforts of the front-line responder and health care communities during the pandemic, Starbucks announced that it will offer a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) to anyone who identifies as a front-line responder at participating U.S. Starbucks stores throughout the month of December. Those eligible include doctors, nurses, public health workers, mental health workers, hospital staff, and others.
Sponsor
Within Normal Limits -- a new podcast by COPIC
COPIC has launched a podcast, "Within Normal Limits: Navigating Medical Risks." Hosted by Eric Zacharias, MD, an internal medicine doctor and physician risk manager with COPIC, the podcast offers insight on pitfalls to avoid and best practices to improve patient care. Each episode is around 20 minutes and focuses on conversations between Dr. Zacharias and other medical experts/physicians who provide practical guidance through detailed analysis and case study reviews. Find "Within Normal Limits" on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Go to www.callcopic.com/wnlpodcast for more information. New episodes will be posted throughout the year.
Volunteer opportunities in Arapahoe and Jefferson counties
The Arapahoe County Office of Emergency Management is activating the Alternative Care Facility at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. They need volunteer medical staffing sufficient to cover four daily shifts, seven days per week. The Arapahoe County - Alternate Care Facility is a tier 4 medical facility, designed to provide local hospitals with relief from the medical surge due to the COVID pandemic. Guests of the facility are those recovering from COVID, recently discharged from the hospital, who need a place to convalesce and quarantine. Duties: taking basic vitals, monitoring symptoms, and assisting with any additional needs. Volunteers will be supplied with proper PPE, food, and beverages during shifts. Use this link to indicate interest and availability.

Spark the Change Colorado is partnering with Jefferson County Public Health to support various outside, drive-up COVID testing sites through the end of December. Volunteers are needed at the Jeffco Fairgrounds seven days a week, Evergreen on Sundays and Conifer on Tuesdays. Volunteers will be helping as spotters to support the traffic control, checking in staff and volunteers, and helping with general operations at each site. There is a low to moderate risk of being exposed to COVID. PPE is provided. If you are a high-risk person, this site is not recommended. Contact Juli German with any questions. Sign up here.
Upcoming events for physicians
HCPF stakeholder meeting for Colorado pain management providers
Dec. 9, 5-6 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing invites Colorado pain management providers to a virtual stakeholder meeting on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to outline a project on which HCPF is currently working for the development of Centers of Excellence in pain management. Find more details regarding the project and meeting here.
Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Special Learning Series - Dec. 9 and 16
Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 12-1 p.m.
Mark your calendar for two upcoming programs from the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention:

  • Dec. 9, 12-1 p.m.: Easing the Stress in Patient Encounters: Practical Tools for Mitigating COVID-related Anxiety in Patients
  • Dec. 16, 12-1 p.m.: Psychological PPE: Tips for Healthcare Provider Wellness

This two-part series presented by Martha Teater, MA, LMFT, will provide practical tools for patient and provider wellness. These talks are tailored to the needs of medical providers and behavioral health care providers alike, or for anyone feeling stressed or anxious as a result of COVID-19. Join the consortium for this special learning series, and re-energize leading up to the holidays. Join these sessions here.
Upcoming CMS committee meetings
All Colorado Medical Society committee meetings are open to all CMS members. Find the latest list of events on the CMS events webpage, cms.org/events. Upcoming meetings for December and January are also listed below with registration links and agendas, if available. If not yet available, use the "request the agenda" link to be notified by a CMS staff person when the agenda has been published.


Registration is required; non-members or those unable to be identified at the time of the meeting will be removed from the meeting. Unsure if you are a CMS member? Email membership@cms.org.
Sponsors
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View a flyer on how to prepare for the "twindemic" of flu and COVID-19.
Mary Jo Heins is a former medical practice manager. As an independent Medicare insurance agent, she now helps people with all facets of Medicare – objectively and fee free.

  • Enrollment in Medicare Parts A & B
  • Supplement v Medicare Advantage
  • Rx plans - mapping medication regiments to the best formulary
  • Dental/Hearing/Vision plans
  • Patient education sessions at your practice

303-916-6992
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Preparedness Staffing Services: Favorite Healthcare staffing is prepared to assist facilities facing increased patient census due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Favorite is proactively communicating with health care professionals and other staff to mobilize a workforce for our clients enacting an emergency staffing plan. We are screening staff who have worked emergency and disaster relief projects with Favorite in the past and are assessing their availability for rapid response. For more information, contact Derek Reid, Executive Director, at 913-481-3963 or DReid@FavoriteStaffing.com. www.FavoriteStaffing.com
2021 CMS Election: Call for nominations
The nomination period for the 2021 Colorado Medical Society Election is open through Jan. 31, 2021. 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) or AMA delegation (eight positions). The election manual, which contains all of the information a potential candidate needs about the duties, eligibility, requirements and election process, is available on the CMS website. Read more here.
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