Sept. 15, 2017

Dear colleague:

The CMS board of directors met today and this will be my final report as CMS President on meeting outcomes. It has been an honor to stand up for our profession in the broader community and to meet so many physicians during my travels across Colorado. Thank you for answering my emails, taking our surveys and participating on Central Line. CMS continues its transition to a model 21st century state medical society by focusing on direct peer-to-peer and on-line engagement throughout the year. 

Thank you in advance for reviewing the following meeting outcomes and replying to this email with your thoughts and suggestions.

1. Fiscal Year 2017-2018 operational plan approved: Each year the board approves an operational plan to focus our work. The Oct. 1, 2017 - Sept. 30, 2018 operational plan that the board approved today includes 25 separate projects with the following major emphasis areas:
  • Payer issues and patient safety (Sunset of the Medical Practices Act and Professional Review);
  • Substance use disorders – The public health crisis caused by opioid misuse and abuse; and,
  • Continue transitioning CMS to a 21st century state medical society by growing member awareness and promoting features, participation and achievements.

During this time of rapid change and increasing levels of physician burnout, it is often hard to keep moving forward because sometimes you, like many of our colleagues, may wonder about who has your back. This operational plan is our answer to your concerns. It is the most concrete, clear and compelling statement about what we intend to do over the coming year to address many of the major issues facing physicians and the profession in Colorado.

I encourage you to review the entire plan here .

2. Medicaid reform: Where do we go from here? – We are in a time of significant change for the Colorado Medicaid program, now rebranded as Health First Colorado. While we are working diligently on the ongoing, frustrating problems physician offices are facing regarding late payments due to the state’s transition to a new claims payment system, the focus here is both federal and state, in spite of the failure this summer by Congress to revamp the Affordable Care Act. There continue to be ongoing discussions at the federal level to dramatically change the nature of the Medicaid program either through Congressional or administrative action. Over the next 18 months we are certain to see programmatic changes instituted at the state level by the Hickenlooper Administration, and then by a new gubernatorial administration after the 2018 election.

The board heard a presentation from Common Good Consulting that focused on Colorado Medicaid over the last 10 years to put a strategic discussion in context and then centered on two key questions:

  • Is Colorado’s Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative program the preferred model going forward?
  • What are CMS priority focus areas for the next 12 months?

Outcomes from the discussion will be used to draft a fiscal year 2017-2018 project plan for the board’s consideration at their Nov. 17 meeting.

Click here to read background materials used to inform the board’s discussion and here to review the facilitator’s power point presentation.
3. Central Line policy proposals: The board carefully considered input from physician members like you from across the state when the board took action on two policy proposals submitted on Central Line including elimination or mitigation of administrative burdens and supervised consumption services to combat opioid overdose deaths. In keeping with the purpose of Central Line to enable you to help set Colorado Medical Society policy, you will soon get an email notification from your board member via Central Line about action taken on this proposal. About 30 seconds (and no login required) is all it will take for you to respond and tell us if the board “got it right” on this proposal. If a majority of those voting disagree with the board’s decision, the issue will be reconsidered at the board’s November meeting.
4. Study of CMS-Component society value proposition approved: The study was included in the governance reform package approved by the 2015 House of Delegates and the final report brings great clarity for the working relationship between CMS and component societies through a clearly identified, collaborative process. The board is a strong advocate for a joint and meaningful value proposition between CMS and components.

Click here to review the report approved by the board.

CMS and component medical societies have tentatively agreed to collaborate in 2018 on the following three projects:
  • Physician legal rights: Interaction with health plans;
  • Elimination-mitigation of administrative burdens; and,
  • Prescription drug abuse.

Thank you very much for taking time to read this report and for sending me your comments .
With best regards,
Katie Lozano, MD, FACR, President 
Colorado Medical Society