ASAP e-newsletter: May 24, 2019
Following the Colorado General Assembly, Gov. Jared Polis signs bills into law reenacting professional review, establishing an ACD registry and addressing the opioid epidemic
Now that the Colorado General Assembly has adjourned for 2019, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is taking the next step in the legislative process: reviewing all bills state lawmakers passed through the House and Senate and signing them into law. Of significance for physicians are SB19-234, which reenacts 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. They were unsuccessful thanks to the efforts of CMS, COPIC, CHA, and specialty and component medical societies. Also signed into law this month were bills to establish a registry of advance care directives and to address the opioid epidemic. Read the full story on
CMS President Deb Parsons, MD, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis after the signing of the professional review reenactment
Northern Colorado physicians and legislators with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and Gov. Polis after the signing of the advance care directive registry bill
Stakeholders gather following the signing of bills addressing the opioid epidemic. From left: Rob Valuck, PhD, Stacy Pettersen, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, Parsons, and CMS Past President Dave Downs, MD
Two new reports cast light on health care costs, insurance and hospitals
New reports from the RAND Corporation and the Colorado Health Institute cast new light on the debate about health care costs and their relationship to health insurance and hospitals. A multi-state report released in May by the RAND Corporation places Colorado 20th out of 25 states for highest relative commercial health care prices compared to Medicare. The analysis indicates that across the 25 states participating, prices paid to hospitals by private insurers in 2017 averaged 241 percent of what Medicare would have paid. Colorado is on the high-end of the spectrum with relative prices across both inpatient and outpatient services paid at 269 percent of Medicare. Outpatient services average 350 percent of Medicare in Colorado while inpatient services average 221 percent of Medicare.

The CHI analysis spotlights uncompetitive markets for hospitals and insurance in the state, showing that Colorado counties with the least competition among both hospitals and insurance carriers have the state’s highest insurance premiums. CHI shows that these low-competition, high-premium counties are more likely to be in rural and mountain areas, where market conditions make it difficult to increase competition. Read the full story here.
Join us in a celebration of the precious role of physicians, Sept. 14 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Save the date for the CMS 2019 Presidential Celebration and Inaugural Gala on Saturday, Sept. 14, honoring incoming president David S. Markenson, MD, MBA. CMS will mark the occasion with an engaging day of programing at the highly celebrated Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The museum will be open to CMS members and their guests during normal daytime operating hours, with special evening access to the Gems and Minerals exhibit during the Inaugural Gala. COPIC programming in the afternoon will be geared toward the latest knowledge needs for members in all stages of their careers, from medical students and early career physicians to late career physicians and emeritus members. The gala will feature dinner, music, dancing, recognition of CMS and component society leaders, and the swearing in of the new president. A modest ticket fee will be charged. Supervised child care will be provided throughout the event. Discounted hotel pricing will be available. Registration will open soon. Find more information here.
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Lift the Label opioid anti-stigma campaign releases 11 Coloradans’ stories, training for professionals
The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has released 11 new stories from Coloradans as a part of the Lift The Label opioid anti-stigma campaign. The new stories, some video and some written, feature Coloradans who are family members of loved ones who have struggled with opioid addiction. OBH has also created a training for medical professionals, behavioral health professionals, and law enforcement to eliminate stigma and connect Coloradans with opioid addiction to effective treatment. The training covers the science behind medication-assisted treatment and the stigma around opioid addiction and treatment, and it provides professionals tools to help someone with opioid use disorder get into treatment. Read the full story here.
Interagency Pain Task Force releases new recommendations
The federal Interagency Pain Task Force released new recommendations for health care providers that the AMA says balance the need to effectively manage patients’ pain while also advancing policies to end the epidemic of opioid-related deaths. “These recommendations are a lifeline to pain patients who have been caught in the middle of policy efforts that have produced harmful unintended consequences,” said AMA President-elect Patrice A. Harris, MD, chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force. “This is a road map to help physicians and policymakers take sustainable steps to end the epidemic and improve pain care.” Read the full story here.
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Study: Employed physicians outnumber self-employed physicians for first time
For the first time in the United States, employed physicians outnumber self-employed physicians, according to a newly updated study on physician practice arrangements by the American Medical Association. This milestone marks the continuation of a long-term trend that has slowly shifted the distribution of physicians away from ownership of private practices. Read the full story here.
Apply today for the 2018-2019 Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award. The deadline is Aug. 16, 2019.

Join CO-AAP for webinar on school shootings and coping strategies - May 30
Join the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for an informal webinar, “Supporting Children, Families and Ourselves After a Crisis,” with speaker David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP. Schonfeld will be presenting on recent school shootings in Colorado and how to promote effective coping strategies. He is a member of the AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California. The webinar will be held Thursday, May 30th, 6 - 7:15 p.m. The link to the Zoom video conference will be provided upon RSVP. Email AAP Colorado for more information or to RSVP. 
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Help support family caregivers who provide complex care, learn more about available resources in a May 29 AMA webinar
The AMA’s Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative presents “Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care,” a webinar that addresses the 20 million family caregivers providing complex care and their need for support and instruction from their health care providers. It will be held on May 29 at 11 a.m. MT. Speaker Susan C. Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, AARP senior vice president and director, will share findings from a report, Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care, and how to access resources and tools for the family caregiver and provider including how-to videos on family caregiving, resource guides, and evidence-based articles. Register here. 
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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 via 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.
Read the May-June Colorado Medicine for an insider's look into one of the most challenging legislative sessions in decades
The May-June issue of Colorado Medicine presents an analysis of the 2019 legislative session that arguably had the most sweeping and contentious focus on health care law and policy in recent memory. Read the cover story on

Also in this issue: A poll of Florida and Colorado physicians presents a cautionary tale of professional review; Colorado medical students represent on Capitol Hill, changes are coming to E&M codes with modifier 25; and more. Access the May-June electronic issue of Colorado Medicine here.
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