ASAP e-newsletter: May 3, 2019
Hard-fought legislative session adjourns: Big wins with a major disappointment
The 2019 Colorado General Assembly adjourned today, Friday, May 3. Colorado’s stable liability climate stayed intact, while plaintiff attorneys focused their attention instead on making professional review records discoverable. This effort was not successful. In the last days of the legislative session, the 2019 General Assembly passed SB19-234, reenacting the body of law governing professional review. Plaintiff attorneys engaged in a session-long campaign to breach the privileged nature of professional review activities, and at times threatened to persuade legislators to allow this vital body of patient safety law to lapse under the state’s sunset review process. Significantly, the renewed Professional Review Act maintains the professional review privilege for all documents and information privileged under the current law. CMS, COPIC, CHA, and specialty and component medical societies joined forces in a strategic coalition that was well coordinated and executed throughout the session. CMS is grateful to all physicians who responded to legislative alerts.

Other victories included reenacting the state's Medical Practice Act, passing prior authorization reform, investment in primary care and the Candor Act, with a disappointing result in out-of-network reimbursement. Read the full story on
Reminder to register - Physician Q&A with federal CMS: Provider Compliance
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Center for Program Integrity is coming to Denver and they want to hear from the physician community on what works well and what can the agency do to better meet your needs. You are invited to join the federal CMS Denver Regional office, the Center for Program Integrity and the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for a session on Medicare Fee-for-Service compliance programs. The session will be held May 7, 6:30-8 p.m., at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202. Click here to go directly to registration. Registration is required and limited to the first 50 physicians who can attend in person.  Read more on
CMS testifies in defense of maintaining limited opt-out from Medicare reimbursement requirement for physician supervision of CRNAs
On April 5, the Colorado Medical Society participated in a meeting of the state’s Nurse-Physician Advisory Task Force for Colorado Healthcare (NPATCH) on the potential expansion of Colorado’s limited opt-out from the Medicare reimbursement requirement for physician supervision of nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). In 2010, Gov. Bill Ritter opted Colorado out of the Medicare Part A supervision rule in critical access hospitals and enumerated rural hospitals. In collaboration with the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA), CMS prepared testimony in defense of maintaining the current limited opt-out and against NPATCH, recommending to Gov. Jared Polis that the opt-out be expanded to all of Colorado. Drs. Daniel Janik and Bruce Waring, along with attorney Amy Cardone, represented CMS at the meeting, NPATCH was not able to reach a consensus recommendation to expand the opt-out statewide.
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FDA and CDC issue clarifications on opioid prescribing guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a clarification that its 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain "does not endorse mandated or abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation, as these actions can result in patient harm." The CDC letter highlighted that it is currently supporting multiple research projects to evaluate the impact of the CDC Guideline, including whether it has led to unintended consequences. The CDC letter highlighted that its recommendations on opioid dose strength "focuses on initiation." In a separate move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement indicating it will provide updated labeling information regarding opioid analgesic tapering.  Read more from the American Medical Association.
Access education and resources on measles from CDPHE
With the U.S. experiencing the highest number of measles cases in 25 years and the reported cases topping 700 in 22 states, you're sure to be getting questions from patients about the disease and the vaccination. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment -- which is reporting just one measles case in our state as of April 30 -- provides information for patients, physicians and public health officials on measles, and links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit CDPHE's dedicated webpage here.
Apply today for the 2018-2019 Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award. The deadline is Aug. 16, 2019.

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Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program seeks advisory board member; apply by May 15
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Women’s Wellness Connection (WWC) program is seeking to fill vacancies on their Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCSP) Advisory Board. The mission of WWC is to provide, promote and ensure quality breast and cervical cancer screening for underserved women in Colorado and connect them to resources. The purpose of the BCCSP Advisory Board is to recommend guidelines for the services of the program and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to provide breast and cervical cancer screening where it is not otherwise readily available for reasons of cost or distance to suitable medical facilities purposes. Applications are due by May 15, 2019. Click here for the application and for more information about the BCCSP Advisory Board. Employees of WWC-funded organizations are generally not eligible to serve on the Advisory Board due to a potential conflict of interest. Questions? Email
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CMS partners with CPMG for screening of burnout documentary
RSVP for May 9 showing in Denver or watch local listings for PBS premiere
Doctors have the highest suicide rate among all professions – almost twice the rate of the general population – and more than 50 percent of physicians report feeling burned out. Organizations and individuals are taking action to raise awareness of this disturbing trend and work to reverse it. Continuing our work in physician well-being, the Colorado Medical Society has joined the CPMG Wellness Committee and the metro-Denver component medical societies of CMS to host a special movie showing for a new documentary about physician suicide and burnout. "Do No Harm: Exposing the Hippocratic Hoax" will be shown in Denver on May 9 at the Sie FilmCenter. Watch the trailer here. RSVP here; space is limited. A panel discussion will follow the showing. The documentary will reportedly be shown on PBS in the coming months. Watch local listings for its premiere.
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Participate virtually in National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience - May 29
The National Academy of Medicine will hold a meeting on clinician well-being and resilience in Chicago May 28-29, and has opened the events on May 29 to the public through live webcast. “To ensure high-quality patient care and build a more effective health system, we depend on a healthy, productive, and engaged clinician workforce,” NAM states in program marketing. “But, increasingly, U.S. health care providers are burned out. Our nation stands at a critical crossroads. Health care spending is at an all-time high, yet Americans are less healthy than peers in other high-income nations. The population is aging rapidly, and rates of chronic disease, obesity and drug addiction are skyrocketing. We cannot reverse these trends without engaged and effective clinicians working in systems and cultures that support their career satisfaction and well-being.” View the event agenda and register here.
Apply for the TMF Health Quality Institute 2018-2019 Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award
Apply today for the Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award Program.  Physician practices continue to make great strides in providing reliable preventive services and implementing effective care management methods. TMF Health Quality Institute sponsors the Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award Program with several state medical associations to recognize practices working hard to provide high-quality patient care and improve outcomes. The deadline has been extended to Aug. 16, 2019.  Read more about the award criteria here.
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