ASAP e-newsletter: June 28, 2019
Join us in a celebration of the precious role of physicians, Sept. 14 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Registration is now open 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.

The afternoon will include three hours of education 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 ticket fee of $70 per person for active/emeritus members and $30 for medical students will be charged for the Inaugural Gala. Supervised child care will be provided throughout the event. Discounted hotel pricing is available. Register online here. Find more information here.
CMS members: You will elect your president-elect and AMA delegates in August; get to know the candidates now
Get to know the candidates running for CMS leadership positions in advance of the August 2019 all-member election by reading their candidate statements, CVs and candidate profiles on the election page of Two candidates are running for CMS president-elect: Sami George Diab, MD, and Patrick Scott Pevoto, MD, MBA. Eight candidates are running for Colorado delegate to the American Medical Association. All ballots will be cast electronically. Email to update your contact information. Taking the opportunity to vote affirms the significant commitment of our organization to engage all members in the governance process. Questions about the voting process? Don't hesitate to reach out.
Progress report: Physicians taking steps to reverse opioid epidemic nationally and in Colorado
A recent report on opioids from the American Medical Association highlights the progress physicians are making to stem an epidemic that accounts for the deaths of roughly 130 people every day. The 2019 Opioid Progress Report found that physicians and other health care professionals are taking significant actions in the face of the epidemic, and some reports suggest that prescription opioid-related mortality may be leveling off. Colorado-specific findings from the report show that the rate of retail-filled opioid prescriptions has decreased to the lowest level in five years, and physicians and other prescribers using the Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) has exponentially increased since 2014 by about 650 percent. Read more here.
Legislative committee on opioids to continue crucial policymaking work
For the third year in a row, the Colorado General Assembly will convene an interim study committee on opioid and other substance abuse disorders. The 2019 Legislative Study Committee on Opioids and Other Substance Use Disorders, as in the past, will be bipartisan and focused on subject matter areas important to all stakeholders. The first meeting will be held July 9. There are opportunities to get involved through CMS or by directly contacting members of the study committee. Read more here.
CDC says: No shortcuts to safer opioids prescribing
In a recent commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, authors of the 2016 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain advise against misapplication that can put patients’ health and safety at risk. Some policies and practices attributed to the guideline are inconsistent with its recommendations. Read more here.
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Colorado governor announces efforts to encourage immunizations
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order directing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to take a variety of actions with the aim of increasing vaccination rates, mainly through education of vaccine-hesitant parents and increased access to vaccines. On the same day, CDPHE released data that shows the vaccine rate for measles-mumps-rubella dropped 1.3 percent from the previous school year. Read more here.
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FTC approves $4.3 billion takeover of Denver-based DaVita Medical Group
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the $4.3 billion acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, a subsidiary of the Denver-based dialysis provider DaVita Inc., by Optum, a health services company owned by UnitedHealth Group. But in an “unprecedented move,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser filed a complaint raising concerns about the anti-competitive effect of the merger on the health care market in Colorado Springs. Read more here.
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Legislative resources: A primer on the Colorado Candor Act and an overview of the new out-of-network law
CMS has collaborated with legal experts to provide more information on two new laws passed this year by the Colorado General Assembly. The Colorado Candor Act establishes a voluntary framework for health care providers and facilities to offer compassionate, honest, timely and thorough responses to patients who experience an adverse health care incident. It takes effect July 1. Read the primer here. The new out-of-network law sets billing parameters and requirements for OON services provided at an in-network facility. Read the OON overview here.
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Apply today for the 2018-2019 Physician Practice Quality Improvement Award. The deadline is Aug. 16, 2019.

Federal CMS seeks ideas for reducing “red tape” that takes away from patient care
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to continue the progress of the Patients over Paperwork initiative. Since launching in fall 2017, Patients over Paperwork has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the “red tape” that weighs down the health care system and takes clinicians away from their primary mission of caring for patients. As of January 2019, CMS estimates that through regulatory reform alone, the health care system will save an estimated 40 million hours and $5.7 billion through 2021.  Read more here.
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A simple step to improve veteran health
While connecting military veterans in eastern Colorado with community resources to improve their health and wellness, Stacy K. Syphers, a veteran health connector (VHC), is giving primary care providers this tip: Ask patients if they’re veterans, which can influence health in myriad ways. That one question could help care teams identify the source of a health issue more quickly and ensure better outcomes and the reduction of unnecessary costs, says Syphers, whose work is funded by the Colorado State Innovation Model. Click here to hear more in the latest episode of the SIM podcast series, Innovation Insights.
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Refer a colleague to join CMS so together we can continue our work advocating for physicians and their patients. Go to Questions? Contact