ASAP e-newsletter: Nov. 30, 2020
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Virtual Grand Rounds: Colorado's Behavioral Health Blueprint
This Wednesday, Dec. 2, 6-7:30 p.m.
The Colorado Medical Society and Colorado Psychiatric Society are proud to present an important Virtual Town Hall: Colorado's Behavioral Health Blueprint. Join us this Wednesday, Dec. 2, 6-7:30 p.m. to learn about the outcomes of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Task Force and potential legislation in the 2021 session. Panelists:

  • Michelle Barnes, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and chair of the Governor's Behavioral Health Task Force
  • C. Neill Epperson, MD, Robert Freedman Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D-Commerce City) - Pending the work of the legislature's special session
  • Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells) - Pending the work of the legislature's special session

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Your CMS member number is not required for registration. More information here. Go directly to registration here.
New AMA-CMS PSA urges three key actions as COVID-19 cases spike
With record numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths being reported across the country, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) released a public service announcement (PSA) urging the general public to take three simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19: wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing by staying at least six feet away from others not in your household and #MaskUp. The PSA is part of ongoing efforts by America’s physicians to urge individuals to take the necessary health and safety precautions this season to protect themselves, loved ones and the health care workers who are on the front lines handling the dramatic increase in cases.
Giving Tuesday: COMPAC and the Small Donor Committee need your support!
COMPAC fights for physicians at the Capitol. Here are a few of the threats to your practice and patients anticipated in the 2021 session:

  • Increased liability insurance premiums if trial lawyers successfully pierce the Corporate Practice of Medicine Act;
  • Dangerous scope of practice expansions;
  • Continued threats to the confidentiality of the peer assistance program; and
  • Budget cuts to critical programs your patients rely on.

It is only with your support that COMPAC is able to educate and endorse legislators who respect your profession and support your work and your patients. Thank you for contributing to COMPAC and the Small Donor Committee. Go to
Don’t forget to renew your Colorado Medical Society membership for 2021!
Reminder: COVID-19 claims health insurers must cover
Originally issued March 11 and most recently extended Nov. 18, an emergency regulation issued by Gov. Jared Polis and enforced by the Division of Insurance ensures coverage and sets cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 claims, and ensures timely testing, diagnosis and screening for COVID-19 even if an in-network provider or laboratory is unavailable and an out-of-network provider or laboratory must be used. Read more here.
Reports from the 2020 American Medical Association Interim Meeting and Medical Student Section Meeting
Nearly 700 physicians, residents and medical students gathered virtually for the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) to consider a wide array of proposals to promote medicine and improve public health. Read a full report from your Colorado delegation here.

Notably, the delegation strongly advocated for and offered an amendment to improve a resolution requiring prior authorization to be available 24/7 and advocated for a new policy to recognize racism as a public health threat; both passed. Also, CMS member Ethan Lazarus, MD, composed and recorded a song the used in the closing of the House of Delegates that was accompanied by a photo slideshow of the most recent in-person AMA meeting. Listen and watch here or below.

During the MSS meeting, which took place Nov. 6-8, the MSS considered over 150 items and actively discussed 21 of them. The Colorado student delegation contributed in various ways. Group photo from the Region 1 Business Meeting prior to MSS. Read the student report here.
New CME offerings for opioid prevention and pain management
Colorado prescribers and health care providers can now access free, online education modules on topics related to opioid prevention and pain management. Developed with provider input from the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention’s Provider Education Work Group, these modules have been certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (full accreditation information in the link below). Ten modules are available now on topics such as fibromyalgia, benzodiazepines, acupuncture, and motivational interviewing for discontinuing opioids. Start exploring topics, and access insights today.
Toolkit: Identify and address burnout in yourself, your colleagues and your health care system
As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, the stressors on Colorado health care workers have been ongoing and complex, causing significant impacts on well-being and mental health. To aid health care workers and increase awareness, the Colorado Healthcare Ethics Resource Group developed a toolkit for health care workers to identify and address burnout, moral distress, and traumatic stress responses in themselves, their colleagues, and the health care systems in which they provide care. Access the toolkit here.
CMS signs on to AMA letter urging reimbursement for physicians and practices
The Colorado Medical Society joined the American Medical Association and state medical and specialty societies around the country in urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to immediately implement and pay for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 99072 to compensate practices for additional supplies and new staff activities required to provide safe patient care during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read the letter here.
Federal CMS implements new transparency rules for health insurers
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has finalized its Transparency in Coverage rule, part of a larger effort to ensure price transparency across the health care sector. This rule requires significant disclosures of the prices of items and services by private health insurers. Notably, it requires plans and issuers to disclose the following pricing information to the public:

  • Payment rates negotiated between plans/issuers and providers for all covered items and services
  • Amounts allowed by plans/issuers for items and services furnished by out-of-network providers
  • Prescription drug pricing information

The American Medical Association opposed efforts to compel disclosure of negotiated rate information, raising concerns about the impacts on competition. Read the AMA's comments here.
Upcoming events for physicians
Feedback opportunities: Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns Screening Committee
Dec. 3 and 8
Colorado’s Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee and Family Advisory Board are undergoing a strategic planning process and are seeking feedback to inform priorities for work in 2021 and beyond. There are two upcoming opportunities for engagement and feedback: Dec 3 and 8. Find more information and the links to register here.
Colorado AHEC: Burnout and Healing in the Face of a Global Pandemic
Dec. 8, 12:10-1:10 p.m.
Rapid changes in health care delivery have significantly affected the well-being of clinicians and other workers, along with their loved ones. Join Colorado AHEC for their next session in their NEAR Lite 2020 Virtual Conference. The presenter is Benjamin D. Anderson, MBA, MHCDS, vice president of rural health and hospitals for the Colorado Hospital Association. The live session will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8, 12:10-1:10 p.m. More information here. Register here.
HCPF stakeholder meeting for Colorado pain management providers
Dec. 9, 5-6 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing invites Colorado pain management providers to a virtual stakeholder meeting on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to outline a project on which HCPF is currently working for the development of Centers of Excellence in pain management. Find more details regarding the project and meeting here.
Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Special Learning Series - Dec. 9 and 16
Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 12-1 p.m.
Mark your calendar for two upcoming programs from the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention:

  • Dec. 9, 12-1 p.m.: Easing the Stress in Patient Encounters: Practical Tools for Mitigating COVID-related Anxiety in Patients
  • Dec. 16, 12-1 p.m.: Psychological PPE: Tips for Healthcare Provider Wellness

This two-part series presented by Martha Teater, MA, LMFT, will provide practical tools for patient and provider wellness. These talks are tailored to the needs of medical providers and behavioral health care providers alike, or for anyone feeling stressed or anxious as a result of COVID-19. We hope you are able to join us for this special learning series, and will be re-energized leading up to the holidays. Please share this information widely with your networks. Join these sessions here.
Upcoming CMS committee meetings
All Colorado Medical Society committee meetings are open to all CMS members. Find the latest list of events on the CMS events webpage, Upcoming meetings for November and December are also listed below with registration links and agendas, if available. If not yet available, use the "request the agenda" link to be notified by a CMS staff person when the agenda has been published.

Registration is required; non-members or those unable to be identified at the time of the meeting will be removed from the meeting. Unsure if you are a CMS member? Email
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2021 CMS Election: Call for nominations
The nomination period for the 2021 Colorado Medical Society Election is open through Jan. 31, 2021. The Colorado Medical Society encourages all members to consider nominating a colleague or self-nominating for one of the open leadership positions: president-elect (one position) or AMA delegation (eight positions). The election manual, which contains all of the information a potential candidate needs about the duties, eligibility, requirements and election process, is available on the CMS website. Read more here.
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