ASAP e-newsletter: June 30, 2020
CMS urges state to reconsider RFP conditions and recommendation for physician peer-assistance contract
The Colorado Medical Society, with the support of the Colorado House of Medicine and the American Medical Association, is strongly urging the state to reconsider the request for proposal (RFP) conditions and basis for rewarding the peer assistance contract for physicians to Peer Assistance Services (PAS). This action would erode critical confidentiality protections for physicians that voluntarily self-refer and deter physicians from seeking care themselves that safeguards our patients. We are collecting final signatures from our partners in the House of Medicine for a letter to Gov. Jared Polis outlining our full concerns, and will share the final message with you this week.
Federal CMS announces relief for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program in 2020
In response to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is announcing flexibilities for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2020: Clinicians significantly impacted by the public health emergency may submit an "Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Application" to re-weight any or all of the MIPS performance categories. Those requesting relief via the application will need to provide a justification of how their practice has been significantly impacted by the public health emergency. The deadline for individual clinicians and group practices is Dec. 31, 2020. Visit the QPP COVID-19 Response webpage or review the COVID-19 Fact Sheet (link downloads a PDF) to learn more about changes to the Quality Payment Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Colorado Medicaid needs your help: Become a Health First Colorado provider
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is asking health care providers to join them in ensuring all Coloradans have access to quality health care during this public health crisis by becoming a Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program) provider.

Currently, the department is offering incentives to increase provider enrollment and help provide an important public service. The department is:
  • Allowing temporary enrollment for providers during the federally designated COVID-19 emergency. 
  • Waiving the application fee and fingerprinting process for applicable providers. 
  • Waiving site surveys for applicable providers. 

If you know someone who might be interested in becoming a Health First Colorado provider, please ask them to visit the provider enrollment website at or call the provider services call center at 1-844-235-2387, Option 2, then option 5. 

You can also refer your patients who may be newly eligible for Health First Colorado to the department's website for more information: .
Stipends available to providers and practices who want to obtain training for medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
There are stipends and resources available for providers and practices desiring training in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Opportunities expire on Sept 30 or until funds are depleted.

  1. Stipends to providers for obtaining your DEA X waiver for MAT: $500 (MD/DOs) and $1,000 for NPs, PAs, CNMs and CNAs. Providers may participate in waiver training online or hybrid (part “live” virtual and part online). Dates and links are available here.  
  2. MAT Team Training: Live Virtual 4 session training for the whole team, offered four consecutive Tuesdays for an hour each, beginning July 21: $1,400/practice stipend to the practice to offset time spent in training.
  3. MAT team training can also be offered to each site individually: $1,400 paid to the clinic to offset time spent in training.
  4. MAT virtual learning forum on nuances of MAT led by experts with plenty of time for dialogue. “Drop-in” learning when you are able, three times a month led by experienced MAT providers.
If you have any questions, please contact Allyson Gottsman with the CU Practice Innovation Program: .
Upcoming events for physicians
Colorado Consortium lunch and learn sessions
Wednesdays May-October, 12:30-1:15 p.m.
The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention’s Provider Education work group continues their series of free lunch-and-learn sessions Wednesdays through October from 12:30-1:15 p.m. The next event will be held on Wednesday, July 1, with speaker Rob Valuck, PhD, RPh, presenting "The Opioid Crisis in Colorado and New and Relevant Legislation."

Each presentation is eligible for 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. You must pre-register here to receive CME credit; this link also takes you to each program's individual accreditation statement, objectives and disclosures. If you’d simply like to drop-in and not receive CME credit, no pre-registration is required. The 45 minute sessions will include a didactic session followed by Q&A. For a complete list of topics and dates, please visit the consortium website . All sessions will be held via Zoom: link / password: 620980. Programs will be recorded and posted online for future viewing.
CMS Board of Directors meeting - open to all CMS members
Friday, July 10, 1-4:30 p.m.
CMS President David Markenson, MD, MBA, invites all interested CMS members to attend the virtual CMS Board of Directors meeting on Friday, July 10, 1-4:30 p.m. Topics to be discussed include actions CMS is taking regarding the state RFP and recommendation of the physician peer-assistance contract, COVID-19 activities, the latest advocacy issues, and more. Registration is required and only members and component society executives will be permitted to join the meeting and access the meeting materials. Register here .
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View a flyer on Life of the Coronavirus that you can display in your office: English | Spanish
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In response to the need of our healthcare systems, physicians and front-line clinicians through this COVID-19 pandemic, we have organized a Virtual Conference for July 13-15, 2020. The conference will address current challenges, supply resiliency tools and share how other healthcare systems have developed processes and programs to ensure support of their team, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Guest speakers: Tait Shanafelt, MD - Stanford Medicine | Jo Shapiro, MD - Harvard Medical School | Omayra Mansfield, MD - AdventHealth

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