Nov. 18, 2017

Dear colleague:

Your board of directors just completed an exciting weekend that combined our bimonthly business meeting with a comprehensive strategic focus on the future direction of CMS. I am honored to be serving as your new president and to submit my first of six reports on activities of the board of directors for your review and comment. A reply to this email with your perspective will be thoughtfully considered and greatly appreciated.

Strategic focus on the future direction of CMS
The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) facilitated board discussions Friday afternoon through noon Saturday on the future focus of CMS. The discussion was informed by:
  • The latest literature;
  • A presentation on the key trends and drivers of change that currently influence – or will influence – physician practices and CMS; and
  • The results of an all-member survey that kept your perspective front and center.

We reviewed the current CMS purpose, values and vision and held small group discussions on key questions designed to surface strategies CMS should pursue to bring further value to membership. Stay tuned for preliminary outcomes and seeking your input in early 2018.

Click here to read the report on the key trends and drivers of change
Click here to read the results of the all-member survey
Business meeting outcomes:

1. Medicaid reform: Click here to review a project plan that was approved Friday. The five strategies focus CMS resources in areas that help patients and members during the remainder of the Hickenlooper Administration and begin the process of educating candidates in the 2018 election cycle about our long-term Medicaid reform goals.

2. Opioid abuse and misuse discussion: The public health crisis driven by the opioid epidemic is crippling and killing Coloradans at an alarming pace. There were 912 Colorado drug overdose deaths in 2016 and 504 of these were opioid involved. It is clear that for hundreds of our fellow citizens, this crisis started with a prescription pad and has now evolved into a far more complex dynamic. A Colorado General Assembly bipartisan House-Senate interim study committee will file six bills in the 2018 legislative session. CMS is fully engaged in efforts to reverse the crisis.

Click here to read about CMS efforts over the past two months
Click here to read about 2018 draft legislation being proposed by a House-Senate interim study committee that limits prescription fills and mandates PDMP checks for a time limited period
3. Central Line policy proposal: “Advocacy for Health Care Reform”: The board carefully considered input from physician members like you from across the state when the board took action on the proposal “Advocacy for Health Care Reform.” 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 January meeting.

4. Fiduciary duties of the board:
Click here to read minutes of the 9-15-17 meeting; revised guidelines for guest participation at board meetings; and council and committee appointments.

Click here to read a proposed policy regarding CMS involvement in Medicaid disputes between specialty societies that will be submitted by the board on Central Line.

If you would like to receive a report on the financial health of CMS, then please let me know and I will send it to you.

With best regards,
M. Robert Yakely, MD, President 
Colorado Medical Society