ASAP e-newsletter: July 21, 2020
Update: State extends deadline for determination on physician peer-assistance contract
The Colorado Medical Society continues to advocate strongly for 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), an action CMS warns would erode critical confidentiality protections for physicians that voluntarily self-refer and deter physicians from seeking care themselves that safeguards our patients. The state has extended the deadline for comment to Aug. 4. Read more about what CMS is doing to protect and maintain effective physician peer assistance services in Colorado here .
AMA report shows 37% decline in opioid prescriptions, but an evolving and deadlier overdose epidemic
Today the American Medical Association released its Opioid Task Force 2020 Progress Report , which shows that, nationally, physicians have reduced opioid prescribing by 37 percent, increased use of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), and increased the prescribing of naloxone. However, the report also shows that there has been a dramatic increase in fatalities involving illicit opioids, stimulants (e.g. methamphetamine), heroin and cocaine. Colorado data shows similar trends. This report highlights the important work of physicians and others, offers important data to help target next steps, and should serve as a stark reminder that continued focus on the opioid epidemic is necessary.  Read more here .
CMS President-elect urges you to get involved in your medical society
CMS President-elect Sami Diab, MD, urges all CMS members to consider joining one of the society's many active committees and task forces to increase diversity and inclusion for all groups. It's easy to review current offerings and their time commitments, and submit an interest form for any group in which you are interested. Click here to see the many opportunities for members to get involved. Read Dr. Diab's letter to members here .
CMS and House of Medicine pen letter to Gov. Polis about the veto of ALTO bill
CMS collaborated with the House of Medicine to send this letter to Gov. Jared Polis addressing his decision to veto HB20-1085. HB20-1085 sought to make alternative pain therapies available to patients at the same level that their insurance carriers covered opioids. The governor’s decision to veto the bill stemmed from a concern about increasing insurance premiums. In an April letter to lawmakers, he committed to not sign legislation that contained insurance mandates in light of the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic unless they provided immediate relief for Coloradans. Read more here .
CMS releases statement on Gov. Polis statewide mask order
Following Gov. Jared Polis's statewide order for all Coloradans over the age of 10 to wear cloth masks in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19, CMS President David Markenson, MD, MBA, on behalf of CMS, released the following statement: "Based on the available evidence and as a matter of good public health care policy, the Colorado Medical Society supports the order issued by Gov. Jared Polis on July 16 requiring the use of cloth masks in Colorado." We applaud the governor for taking action to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
CMS members: Watch for your ballot on Saturday, Aug. 1
All CMS members are eligible to vote for the 2020-2021 CMS leaders. Get to know the candidates now by reading their candidate statements, CVs and candidate profiles on the election page of . One candidate is running for CMS president-elect: Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH. Two candidates are running for the Colorado delegation to the American Medical Association: Katie Lozano, MD, and Lee Morgan, MD. Members will also approve a slate of nominees for the COMPAC board of directors (nominees available July 31). All ballots will be cast electronically during the election period (Aug. 1-31); members will receive their ballot at the email address CMS has on file for you. If you want to change your email address, please contact to update your information. Taking the opportunity to vote affirms the significant commitment of our organization to engage all members in the governance process. If you have questions about the voting process, don't hesitate to reach out .
Upcoming events for physicians
CMS's Virtual Grand Rounds: End-of-Life Care For Your Patients in a Time of COVID-19
Wednesday, July 29, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Register today for a Virtual Grand Rounds event during which expert speakers will address the crisis standards of care for palliative care, identify proactive strategies to help your patients prepare for series illness, model conversation tools, cultivate good patient decision-making around determining a decision-maker for them, and review best practices for managing severe symptoms at the end of life. This Virtual Grand Rounds will be held Wednesday, July 29, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Physicians can earn up to 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Watch for more details coming soon. Register here .

ACCME Accreditation Statement
The Colorado Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Colorado Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
AAP Colorado virtual series: Honoring our healers, honoring ourselves
July 29, Aug. 12, Aug. 20, Aug. 26, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Recognizing the need to "re-fill our cups" given the toll the past several months has taken, the American Academy of Pediatrics - Colorado Chapter (AAP Colorado) invites all physicians to participate in a four-part mental health wellness series that acknowledges the importance of taking time to reflect upon issues critical to physicians and your profession. Each session will be facilitated and is designed to be a stand-alone topic, so physicians can attend as many sessions as desired. Sessions are as follows: "Honoring Ourselves: Care for ourselves, so that we may care for others" (July 29), "Honoring Our Children's Experiences (Aug. 12), "Honoring Our Stories" (Aug. 20) and "Honoring Our Diversity" (Aug. 26). Suggested donation is $25 per session. Find more information and register here .
HCPF Provider Leader Webinars
Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17, 12-1 p.m.
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is hosting monthly provider webinars on the third Thursday of the month from 12 - 1 p.m. The dates for the provider webinars will be Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17, 2020. These webinars will cover key updates from the Department on COVID-19 and other implementation updates and be a forum to discuss what the new normal in health care may look like following the pandemic. HCPF encourages you to save the dates and attend if you can. If you are not able to make the webinar, the meetings will be recorded and posted online to view later. This virtual meeting will be held  at this link . For the Provider webinar, you will use your computer for audio. During the presentation, you can use your computer's speakers or earphones to listen as it will be "listen only." Following the presentation, there will be a "Q&A" session where you can submit written questions or, if you prefer, ask your question(s) using your microphone. Audio instructions will also be available in the webinar. Find more information on the Provider Leader Resource Center:
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 22, "Safe opioid prescribing 201" with Don Teater, MD, MPH.

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.
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