May 1, 2018
New member benefit: Know Your Legal Rights helps you defend against unscrupulous practices
Physician practices have rights under Colorado law that can be exercised to reduce health plan barriers to care, thanks to more than a decade of advocacy by the Colorado Medical Society and our allies, chiefly the network of local component medical societies. 

To help physicians and practice managers understand what those rights are, CMS has compiled physician protection statutes into helpful summaries and incorporated this information into a searchable members-only online database -- Know Your Legal Rights. Go to  to explore this invaluable resource. (Users must be logged in with their credentials to access Know Your Legal Rights. Staff of CMS members can request a login from

Legal rights for physicians advocated by CMS include but are not limited to:  physician profiling, prior authorization and referrals, telehealth, anti-retaliation, narrow networks, timely payment, contracting, and appeals. This is your medical society dues dollars at work, and CMS and your component society will continue working with the General Assembly and the state's regulators to enact and refine laws and rules governing medical practice so you can get back to what you do best -- caring for patients.

Explore Know Your Legal Rights today. View a two-minute instructional "how-to" video on Know Your Legal Rights here.
RSVP today for a special evening of discussion about medical ethics - May 8 at UC Denver medical campus
The Colorado Medical Society Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) invites all physicians and their guests to attend a special event on Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 p.m., to discuss medical ethics past and present, and to see a traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The exhibit, " Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race," is on display through May 22 at the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities  in the Fulginiti Pavilion, 13080 E 19th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045. It examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder, and ultimately genocide. The exhibit is free to the public.

The special evening for physicians and their guests will also be held in the Fulginiti Pavilion. A reception with refreshments will be held from 6-6:30 p.m. followed by a program and Q&A with Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, titled " How Healers Became Killers: Nazi Doctors and Modern Medical Ethics." The formal program ends at 8 p.m. and the exhibit will remain open until 9 p.m. RSVP is encouraged but not required; email
Register today for upcoming leadership training from CMS - May 22 (online option available) and 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 two programs: 

Go to to sign up today.

Now available: New revised guidelines for prescribing and dispensing opioids
The seven prescribing and dispensing boards housed at the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations has adopted revised Guidelines for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids. These boards -- the Colorado Dental Board, Colorado Medical Board, State Board of Nursing, State Board of Optometry, Colorado Podiatry Board, State Board of Pharmacy, and State Board of Veterinary Medicine -- embarked on an 18-month stakeholder engagement process in May 2016. The revised policy reflects their collaboration and the robust stakeholder feedback the boards received.

Moving forward, the boards will continue to evaluate the policy, incorporating new legislation and collaborating with other state agencies, researchers, practitioners, patients, the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate outcomes. In a news release, the boards note that the policy is a "living document, reflective of the evolving science, technology, policy and law in their ongoing efforts to address Colorado's opioid crisis." Written comments may be provided at any time to Holli Weaver at

A new website -- -- provides additional information about the new policy, the process for its revisions, stakeholder meeting recordings and more.
ASAM and the AMA announce innovative payment model to improve treatment of opioid use disorder
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) jointly announced the release of a concept paper detailing a groundbreaking alternative payment model (APM) that could revolutionize how patients with opioid use disorder are treated.

The new payment model, known as Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment (P-COAT), is expected to increase the number of patients with opioid use disorder who are able to lead satisfying, productive lives through successful management of their condition while also reducing health care spending on costs associated with addiction, such as emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

The new payment model seeks to increase utilization of and access to medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder by providing the appropriate financial support to successfully treat patients and broaden the coordinated delivery of medical, psychological, and social support services. P-COAT is also designed to support office-based opioid treatment to facilitate coordination between multiple treatment providers. Previously, payment for these services has been segregated, which contributes to patient difficulties receiving comprehensive care.

The P-COAT APM is based on research showing that medications combined with psychosocial supports is effective in treating individuals with opioid use disorder. Unfortunately, the current physician payment system offers little support for the coordination of behavioral, social and other support services that patients being treated for opioid use disorder need in addition to their medication. Non-face-to-face services -- such as phone calls and email consultations with patients -- in addition to better coordination between specialists, outpatient treatment programs and other health providers such as emergency rooms, are essential to the delivery of effective, evidence-based treatment to the individuals who need it.

For more information about the P-COAT APM, review ASAM's issue brief here.
Study finds 22 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions
Opioid prescriptions in the United States decreased 22 percent between 2013 and 2017, according to a new study from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science titled, "Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2017 and Outlook to 2022."

The American Medical Association praises this progress and encourages continued focus on evidence-based treatment. 

"A 22-percent decrease in opioid prescriptions nationally between 2013 and 2017 reflects the fact that physicians and other health care professionals are increasingly judicious when prescribing opioids," said Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force

"It is notable that every state has experienced a decrease, but this is tempered by the fact that deaths related to heroin and illicit fentanyl are increasing at a staggering rate, and deaths related to prescription opioids also continue to rise. These statistics again prove that simply decreasing prescription opioid supplies will not end the epidemic. We need well-designed initiatives that bring together public and private insurers, policymakers, public health infrastructure, and communities with the shared goal to improve access and coverage for comprehensive pain management and treatment for substance use disorders."

The IQVIA report also found that prescription opioid dosage volume -- measured in morphine milligram equivalents (MME) -- decreased 12 percent in 2017, the biggest annual drop in more than 25 years.  Previously, prescription opioid volume had increased each year since 1992, peaking in 2011. But the report said this trend was reversed due to a combination of regulatory and legislative restrictions, tighter clinical prescribing guidelines and greater reimbursement controls, all of which resulted in decreases of about 4 percent per year from 2012-2016.

In 2015, the AMA launched a Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse and continues to work with state medical societies to address legislation and regulation ranging from developing effective prescription drug monitoring programs, continuing medical education, restrictions on treatment for opioid use disorder as well as enactment of naloxone access and Good Samaritan overdose protections.

To learn more about AMA efforts to end the opioid epidemic, visit
Video series from "Dreamland in Denver" opioid epidemic event now available
Videos from the January event "Dreamland in Denver: Confronting the Opioid Epidemic in the Mile High City" are now available.  Dreamland in Denver was a unique and powerful evening that featured insightful and inspiring stories from leaders on the front lines of Colorado's and the Nation's Opioid Epidemic.
  • Admiral James Winnefeld and Mary Winnefeld spoke publicly for the first time about the tragic overdose of their son, Jonathon, and how 'No Family is S.A.F.E...yet'. 
  • The Honorable Alby Zweig shared his impactful first-hand experience with addiction, recovery and triumph.
  • Robert Valuck, PhD, RPh, director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, presented 10 fallacies that have fueled the opioid epidemic.
  • CMS leader Donald Stader, MD, explained medicine's contribution to the catastrophe that is the opioid epidemic.
  • Lisa Raville, executive director of the Harm Reduction Action Center in Denver, shared tales from her perspective as a harm reductionist.
  • Sam Quinones, American journalist and author of the critically acclaimed book, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic," shared the story of how he discovered the truth about the opiate epidemic.
Time is running out: Register today for "Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders," May 10-11, 2018 in Avon, Colo. 
Make plans to attend the inaugural "Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders" conference, May 10-11, 2018 at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon, Colo. Register here.

This two-day conference will focus on the root of physician burnout as well as provide tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to physician wellness. Speakers from all over the country will share their research and experience on this important subject at this innovative and exciting event. Click here to view the agenda and speakers.
Get covered with COPIC

COPIC Insurance Company is Colorado's leading medical liability insurance provider. Three out of four physicians choose COPIC for this critically important coverage. CMS members receive a 10 percent premium discount from COPIC.

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

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Officite builds websites that are attractive, powerful and easy to launch. Visit to see their offerings, including SEO, reputation tracking, social media, and more. Call 866-602-7850 to learn about special offers for CMS members.

Digitize your CV and save time and money in managing your credentialing and health plan enrollment data and documentation with the new CMS Credentialing and Enrollment Services (powered by 3WON). Visit or call 630-992-7777.

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More than 50% of physicians feel they have more complicated financial needs than other professions. Our firm works with physicians and their families to tackle these unique challenges. Call (720)-887-1299 or visit

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Compliments of CMS: Reduce patient callbacks, HIPAA compliant, RX Savings up to 75%, click for free customization COLORADO DRUG CARD.

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 bwalker@transcription

OPTIONS and MyPLAN enable young adults to provide honest answers about sexual behavior from their smartphones in minutes. Satisfies new Medicaid guidelines and generates

Time is money! FREE banking services designed for medical professionals. Call 303-840-8484 today to schedule your appointment with a Relationship Banker.
MTC's management team has over 50 years of experience in medical answering services. 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: Arch and Metrocall pagers, Sprint cell phones, voice logger, personalized announcements, custom applications and services, and competitive rates!

Contact MTC today for your FREE two-month trial.
Monthly discount for CMS members. (866) 345-0251 or (303) 761-6594; Fax: (303) 761-4026;

Our cloud-based compliance solution is discounted for all CMS members. Please contact us today for a demo! Call 888-54-FIRST or email Visit White Papers - download the latest white papers; webinars - register for our complimentary webinar and receive CEU.
Upcoming events
Practical Strategies to Combat Opioid Harm series - Thursdays in April
Telligen will hold a series of webinars at 11 a.m. MT to  explore resources to combat opioid harm. Topics will include opioid prescribing, treatment, education, tools, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP), risk screening and more.  Find more information and register here.
Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders: May 10-11
This two-day conference in Avon, Colo., will focus on the root of physician burnout and provide tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to physician wellness. Speakers from all over the country will share their research and experience on this important subject at this innovative and exciting event. Register here.
Save the date: 2018 Colorado Medical Society Annual Meeting - Sept. 14-16 in Vail
Save the date for the 148th CMS Annual Meeting, Sept. 14-16, 2018 at the Vail Marriott. The hotel group rate is available now. Registration will open this summer. Find more information here.
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