May 30, 2018
Make plans to join focus group on cybersecurity in health care - June 7
A research company with whom the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has contracted will hold three focus group meetings around the country to determine awareness and concerns relative to cybersecurity in health care. It is open to physicians, nurses and other practitioners who give direct bedside care.

The group will hold the Colorado focus group on June 7, 6-8 p.m., at Colorado Medical Society headquarters, Stapleton conference room, 7351 Lowry Blvd., Denver, CO 80230. No financial incentive will be provided. The focus group is capped at 15 participants. If interested in attending, please contact

Find more information here.
Bill creating seven-day opioid prescription limit for acute pain signed into law May 21
As of Monday, May 21, Colorado joined the many states that limit an initial opioid prescription for some patients, and, for those patients, require physicians to conduct a screening on the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database (PDMP) on the first refill to reduce the risk of drug-seeking behavior for nonclinical use or abuse. This law is effective IMMEDIATELY and you may need to change your practice habits IMMEDIATELY to stay within the bounds of this law.

The Colorado Medical Society Office of General Counsel has developed a summary and initial FAQ of the new law -- which was referred to in the 2018 Colorado General Assembly as Senate Bill 18-022 -- to help you understand the new law and its requirements. Access this FAQ resource and see a summary graphic here. CMS encourages you to share these resources with all those who will be affected by the new law.
Explore the new Know Your Legal Rights member benefit
Together with the statewide network of component societies, the Colorado Medical Society has developed a searchable, online database of state laws that practices can use in disputes with health plans. Know Your Legal Rights compiles years of public policy victories made possible by your member dues.

Find comprehensive information on your rights to:
  • Protections from physician profiling;
  • Expedited prior authorization and referrals;
  • Telehealth coverage;
  • Protection against anti-retaliation;
  • Help with narrow networks;
  • Timely payment;
  • Fairness in contracting;
  • The right to appeals;
  • And much more!
Go to to view the new resource. (Users must log into the CMS website to use this tool; practice staff can request a login from Questions/comments? Contact Marilyn Rissmiller at
AMA discussion: Telemedicine in practice - From laws and licensure to adoption and payment
Physicians thinking about implementing telemedicine are encouraged to participate in a discussion: "Telemedicine in Practice - From laws and licensure to adoption and payment," hosted by the American Medical Association. The online discussion began Tuesday, May 29 and will run until Friday, June 8.

Telemedicine is transforming the way health care is delivered and is a strategy for many physician practices and health systems to provide more immediate access to care, improve care coordination, and decrease overall costs to organizations and patients. If you are thinking about implementing telemedicine in your practice, this discussion is for you. Not only will you learn about relevant laws and licensure status; the AMA will also focus on how to implement telemedicine in your practice by discussing such issues as cybersecurity, adoption and reimbursement. Join this discussion to learn more about implementing telemedicine in practice and where to go for resources to keep up with the latest legislative and payment changes in this space. 

Build professional resilience through free leadership training from CMS - June 26
The Colorado Medical Society Physician Leadership Skills Series -- an exclusive, free benefit for CMS members -- brings physicians high-quality leadership training from renowned faculty. 

Registration is open for the next program:  " Building professional resilience: How to thrive in the face of challenge " on Tuesday, June 26, 6-8 p.m. at CMS headquarters. 

Grounded in current research from neuro-leadership and performance psychology, this session includes the neuroscience and basic principles behind emotional intelligence, a framework for mental toughness and personal resilience based on performance psychology, the role of mindset and strategy in cultivating our resilience at any age, and tools to cultivate resilience in yourself and in your workforce.

Go to to sign up today.
Community reference guide for combatting the opioid epidemic is now online 
The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention recently published the Community Reference, a resource and reference guide for communities and organizations working to address the opioid crisis in Colorado. The Community Reference was developed by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, and it compiles the work of the Consortium and partners across the state. Stakeholders can use elements of it to enhance existing work or develop new strategies and programs.

The Community Reference is posted on the Consortium's website, here. Share it widely and send questions or feedback to
In case you missed it: Telligen's Practical Strategies to Combat Opioid Harm Series
Telligen held a series of opioid education events in April and has archived the recordings on their website for access anytime.

Explore resources available to combat opioid harm and start today with practical, easy-win strategies to begin or continue to fight the opioid epidemic. There is an abundance of information for clinicians, patients, community members and caregivers to use. View the presentations to learn where to access these resources, what they look like, practical application, low or no-cost educational opportunities, and suggestions for their use.

QPP group eligibility status now available
Physician practices/groups may now log into the federal CMS QPP website to check their 2018 eligibility for Medicare's Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). After groups log in, they will be able to click into a details screen to see the eligibility status of every clinician in the group (based on their National Provider Identifier or NPI) to find out whether they need to participate during the 2018 performance year for MIPS.

Unfortunately, the federal CMS will not be sending out letters to advise physicians of their eligibility status this year so checking on the QPP participation status look-up tool is the only way to determine or verify eligibility status. Eligibility rules in 2018 are different than in 2017 so status this year may be different than last. Also as is indicated in the look-up tool, exempt individual clinicians still will need to report if their group is eligible and chooses to report as a group. The look-up tool can be found here.
New SIM report provides strategies to improve mental health in males
New partnerships that stretch beyond health care clinics are key to addressing a mental health crisis in Colorado and nationwide, according to a new report published by health care experts convened by the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) and released during Mental Health Month in May.

"The multi-disciplinary approach to addressing the mental health of boys and men will help us change the health care dynamic in our state," said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a news release. "When health care experts work alongside other partners, we ensure Coloradans receive the care they need when they need it most."

Strategies in "Raising the bar on behavioral health awareness, prevention and treatment for boys and men: A call to action" will help increase awareness of mental health conditions that influence all aspects of a person's life.

The 42-page call-to-action report represents about 12 months of work initiated and led by the SIM population health workgroup, one of seven workgroups that guide the federally funded, governor's office initiative, which helps hundreds of primary care practice sites and four community mental health centers integrate behavioral and physical health.

Federal CMS proposes overhaul of the Meaningful Use program
In the recently released 2019 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (federal CMS) is advancing an overhaul of the Meaningful Use (MU) program to improve flexibility, reduce physician burdens and advance health-information exchange and patient access measures.

To better reflect this new focus, the agency is renaming the MU program the Promoting Interoperability Program. The AMA has advocated many of the proposed changes and supports their general direction of narrowing the MU program requirements and focusing on interoperability.

Proposed changes include:
  • Continuous 90-day electronic health record (EHR) reporting periods in 2019 and 2020.
  • A new scoring methodology focused on performance rather than thresholds. New bonus measures for 2019, including "Query of a prescription drug-monitoring program (PDMP)" and "Verify Opioid Treatment Agreement."
  • Removal of a number of the most challenging MU measures, including required collection of patient-generated health data (PGHD) and the view, download and transmit (V/D/T) measure.
  • Allowing hospitals to send physicians more relevant information such as "referral notes" instead of large, bulky data dumps as a way to meet health-information exchange requirements.
The federal CMS has also stated that it will be changing the name of the Advancing Care Information component of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) to Promoting Interoperability. Further rulemaking will be required to make changes to measures under that program.
Get covered with COPIC

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

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Upcoming events
Registration coming soon: 2018 Colorado Medical Society Annual Meeting - Sept. 14-15 in Vail
Save the date for the 148th CMS Annual Meeting, Sept. 14-15, 2018 at the Vail Marriott. The hotel group rate is available now. Registration will open in June.  Find more information here.
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