July 13, 2018

Dear Colleague,

The CMS board of directors met today to review an impending statewide price transparency ballot initiative, act on two Central Line policy proposals regarding marijuana and stem cell research, and to take a deeper dive into an extraordinary range of public policy challenges and controversies to be debated in the 2019 General Assembly. The bodies of law governing medical licensure and professional (peer) review will require legislative reenactment under the state’s “sunset” law.  We are certain legislators will have to consider an aggressive agenda by plaintiff’s attorneys to make professional review records discoverable and to expand the value of a lawsuit.

You can help right now  by contributing to one or both of our political action committees.

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

1.   Proposed 2018 General Election Price Transparency Ballot Initiative 146:  Spearheaded by  Broken Healthcare, ballot initiative 146 is still in the signature-gathering phase. The measure will mandate significant price transparency requirements on hospitals, physicians and others. Efforts to increase health care cost transparency and the public publication of meaningful data whether by initiative or legislation will likely continue if not accelerate, and the subject enjoys bipartisan support. The board held a lively discussion about how CMS should publicly position itself on health care price transparency. The board emphasized that CMS supports price transparency and continues to actively develop policies that work to support better accountability, information sharing and decision making in health care. The board voted to oppose the ballot initiative if enough signatures are gathered to qualify it for the 2018 general election ballot, and to reach out to the ballot initiative advocates to open discussions on a meaningful alternative.  Read more background information  on the proposed ballot initiative 146.
Special note Next week please w atch for a CMS member survey on ballot initiative 146 and on other specifics relating to health care costs. Your answers will inform our future work so please take a few minutes to complete this survey.

2.   2019 Public Policy Priorities (plaintiff attorneys in high gear) : In a facilitated discussion, the board considered  strategic assumptions and took a deep dive on key questions on the following issues that will be debated in the 2019 legislature.
a . Cost of Care: Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
b. Professional Review Sunset
  • The board created a special, one-time work group on peer review to help guide our work, if you are currently involved in peer review and have expertise, then please contact me.
c. Medical Practice Act Sunset
d. Maintaining the Liability Environment 
e. The public health crisis caused by opioid abuse and misuse

I encourage you to not only review  these strategic assumptions so that you understand what medicine will face during the upcoming legislative session, but also send me any comments or questions you may have about them. I would love to hear from you.
3 Central Line policy proposals: The board took action on two proposals submitted by members through Central Line. You will soon get an email notification from your board member via Central Line about action taken on proposals titled: (1) Marijuana policy update; and, (2) Stem cells. Please take 30 seconds (and no login required) to respond to your board member and let us know if the board “got it right” on these proposals. If a majority of those voting disagree with the board’s decision, the issue will be reconsidered at the board’s September meeting.

4 Financial and other fiduciary duties : The board approved the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget and a consent calendar that includes minutes and reports from various CMS work groups and committees.

Review the consent calendar and let me know if you would like to receive the 2018-2019 financials.

Thank you very much for taking time to read this report and for sending me your comments in a reply to this email .

With best regards,

Robert Yakely, MD
President, Colorado Medical Society