ASAP e-newsletter: Oct. 25, 2019
CDC updates guidance for health care professionals treating vaping-associated lung injury
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment is asking all Colorado physicians to read and follow updated interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for evaluating and treating patients with suspected e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI). As of Oct. 23, there have been 11 outbreak cases in Colorado, with nine resulting in hospitalizations. Nationwide, the CDC has received nearly 1,500 reported cases from 49 states, the District of Columbia and one U.S. territory. The interim guidance covers initial clinical evaluation; suggested criteria for hospital admission and treatment; patient follow-up; special considerations for groups at high risk; and clinical and public health recommendations. The agency recommends that people should refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products that contain nicotine and should not use products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Read the CDC guidance here.
The Colorado Medical Society is pleased to announce a new member benefit: Group dental insurance plans through Delta Dental
Poor oral health can lead to and escalate serious overall health issues. That’s why dental insurance is important and why the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) has collaborated with COPIC Financial Service Group and Delta Dental, the state’s leading dental benefits provider, to offer CMS members an affordable dental benefits program for their employees and their families. Designed for small- to medium-sized organizations, this plan offers a combination of flexibility and cost savings to fit your group’s needs. CMS worked closely with COPIC Financial Service Group to develop this association plan for its members. It's a product we believe in.  Read more here.
Colorado Medical Society and Boulder County Medical Society honor Rep. Edie Hooton
The Colorado Medical Society and Boulder County Medical Society presented the Legislative Leadership Award to state Rep. Edie Hooton on Wednesday, Oct. 23, in recognition of her support of physicians’ health policy issues in the 2019 Colorado General Assembly – specifically work on the Professional Review Act Sunset bill. The award presentation occurred at Breadworks Bakery & Café in Boulder. 

From left: BCMS President Mark Menich, MD, Rep. Edie Hooton, and BCMS Past President Leto Quarles, MD.
AMA, CMS and other physician organizations seek balanced approach to federal "surprise billing" legislation
Groups representing hundreds of thousands of physicians signed on to a letter asking Congress to find a balanced approach to surprise medical bill legislation that would hold patients harmless for excessive costs while not handing over more market power to insurers. Coordinated by the American Medical Association (AMA) and signed by 110 other medical societies, the signees point out that the legislation -- if tilted toward insurers -- could precipitate staffing shortages in rural areas and other underserved communities. The organizations call for an efficient independent dispute resolution process to incentivize health insurers to make fair payment for out-of-network care that is provided to their customers. They also call for strong network adequacy requirements so patients are not routinely pushed toward care that is out of network.  Read more here.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 26
The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held this Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the goal of the event is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential abuse of medications. Refer patients to the DEA's locator tool to locate a collection site. Note that the DEA will collect vape pens or other e-cigarette devices only after the batteries are removed. And if your patients can't make it to a collection site on Saturday, Colorado is fortunate to have many permanent collection boxes throughout the state. Find more disposal options on the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention's website,
Strategic plan seeks to reorient system of care to promote substance use disorder recovery
"Colorado’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Substance Use Disorder Recovery: 2020-2025" seeks to reorient systems, clinical care and communities to improve prevention, intervention, treatment, and support services for substance use disorder. "The plan makes clear that recovery happens in communities," the Colorado Health Institute stated on their website. "Clinical treatment can provide a bridge to recovery, but an individual’s recovery is supported by safe and stable housing, having a meaningful work or another daily activity, and good mental health and physical well-being." Read more here.

And while mentioning recovery, the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, through their Lift the Label campaign, designed a series of thoughtful greeting cards designed to celebrate recovery, the efforts of those working to achieve it, and the people who support and encourage them every day. Order free cards here.
Hear these doctors share how CareAllies helps them.
Board of Health adopts permanent rules for medical use of marijuana
The Colorado Board of Health adopted permanent rules around the medical use of marijuana that will be effective Nov. 14, 2019. These are in addition to emergency rules that became effective Aug. 2, and remain in effect until the permanent rules take effect. Of note for physicians, more providers can recommend medical marijuana to treat disabling medical conditions, including dentists, physician assistants, podiatrists, optometrists and advanced nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority. Providers can also recommend medical marijuana in lieu of opioids and set the registration period for cards issued to treat disabling conditions. Read more here.
Support employees! MINES' Practice Assistance Program offers CMS members 24/7 access to confidential counseling, resilience resources, legal services, wellness coaching, and unlimited work/life referrals. Phone: 800.873.7138, email: or visit
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 or email
Burnout tip of the week from the AMA: Tackling the little things
When that one little frustration -- a flickering light, leaky plumbing, missing equipment -- goes unaddressed for too long, it can quickly become the last straw. The American Medical Association recommends collaborating with colleagues to convene a regular roundtable where physicians are able to discuss and prioritize small, easily solved problems, then make requests of administration or implement changes accordingly. Are you already implementing roundtable problem-solving in your practice or organization? Tell the AMA how it’s going at
2019 Colorado Health Access Survey shows changes in health insurance coverage
The Colorado Health Institute released its biennial Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS), showing a steady uninsured rate of 6.5 percent. But CHI says that the overall stability masks changes in how Coloradans get their coverage, including increases in employer-sponsored coverage (now 52 percent of the population), drops in Medicaid and individual coverage, and increased “churn” on and off insurance plans. The survey highlighted concern about health care costs, with 18.1 percent of respondents reporting having a hard time paying medical bills, up from 14 percent in 2017, and 90 percent of the uninsured saying their lack of coverage is due to the high cost of health insurance. Read more findings from the CHAS here.
MAN vs COW: Medjet Member Transport

CMS Member Discounts on Medjet Membership at MEDJET.COM/CMS
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Practice resource: Tobacco Cessation Change Package from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new Million Hearts® Tobacco Cessation Change Package is a quality improvement resource that offers a set of the latest evidence-based changes to improve delivery of clinical interventions for the treatment of tobacco use and dependence. The tools and resources in the Change Package can be adapted and scaled to meet an organization’s needs, and are designed for use in outpatient, inpatient and behavioral health settings. Access it here.
Gain deeper engagement, better-informed patients, and more reimbursement opportunities with mCharts, the personal longitudinal health record empowering both patients and clinicians to improve health.,, (719) 930-6024
Payer issues: We want to hear from you!
CMS, with Colorado MGMA, is gathering intelligence for advocacy efforts
As we approach the upcoming legislative session, we need to hear from you concerning issues impacting your practice. In partnership with the Colorado Medical Group Management Association, the Colorado Medical Society seeks intelligence from practices on the "front lines." Please contact us at with your payer issues.

And remember to use the members-only Know Your Legal Rights online catalog of provider protection statutes that you can use in disputes with health plans. It contains decades of public policy victories that may assist you in your dealings with payers. Make sure all of the physicians in your practice are members of the Colorado Medical Society so you have access to this great resource today!

*Accessing Know Your Legal Rights requires a CMS member login. Member physicians’ staff can obtain their own login by contacting Tim Yanetta at
Annual Comprehensive Lung and Breathing Summit, 11.5 approved CME/MOC credits. Meet-and-greet social Thursday night followed by a day and a half of informative, educational and experiential presentations and discussions. November 21 - 23, 2019 at The Broadmoor Hotel, CO Springs. Click here to register. Reserve your room early at the Broadmoor with the exclusive UCHealth negotiated rate of $171 per night. Contact Tanya Forsyth at
Serving medical professionals is all we do. 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: Secure Messaging, Voice Logger/Voicemail, Appointment Confirmations/ Reminders, Personalized Announcements, Custom Applications, and competitive rates! 

CMS Members: Contact MTC today for your FREE two-month trial and monthly discount. (866) 345-0251 or (303) 761-6594, Visit
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