May 18, 2018

Dear Colleague,

The CMS board of directors met today. Thank you in advance for reviewing the following meeting outcomes and replying to this email with your thoughts and suggestions.

1. 2019 Annual Meeting suspended – public policy challenges take precedence : The board suspended the 2019 Annual Meeting to ensure adequate funding to meet the extraordinary challenges coming in the 2019 legislature and to investigate alternatives to the Annual Meeting for meaningful member engagement. This decision came after an in-depth discussion on the public policy challenges facing the profession in 2019, as well as a review of past and projected Annual Meeting member participation and related organizational expenses.

Click here to review the 2019 legislative challenges and here to donate to COMPAC and the CMS small donor committee.

Click here to read annual meeting past and projected financial and attendance data, membership survey results and meeting outcomes.

2. Health care reform : Following robust debates since November 2017, including member input and environmental and stakeholder scans, about whether CMS should seek aggressive reforms of the current system or attempt to lead a comprehensive health care reform effort, the board of directors voted on a short-to-mid-term strategic direction calling on CMS to:

  • Advocate for aggressive, incremental health care reform by focusing on member priorities including maintaining or increasing current levels of coverage, addressing private and public payer issues, and collaborating to decrease the cost of care while ensuring quality. Focus on what is relevant, timely and actionable in Colorado through legislation, regulation, private agreements or funding when deciding where to dedicate resources. Utilize updated policies to participate in major national or state reforms, but at this time not to devote resources to lead comprehensive efforts.
  • Review current CMS health reform policies to identify and reconcile inconsistencies and contradictions. Consolidate these policies into a focused, forward-looking policy resource that can be used to take full advantage of public policy opportunities that will arise in response to the 2018 election cycle.

I encourage you to review the board’s report here

3. CMS marijuana policy update: The board of directors referred a January 2018 Central Line proposed medical marijuana policy update to a one-time physician work group to ensure that recommendations for a new CMS policy were legally and clinically sound. Today, the board of directors approved the work group’s recommendations and will submit them to the entire membership through Central Line for final approval at the July meeting.

Click here to read the work group recommendations and the names of work group members.
4. 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) Moving health care transformation forward; and, (2) maintenance of licensure. 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 July meeting.
5.  Transitioning CMS to a 21st Century Medical Society : In September 2015, CMS enacted the most sweeping set of governance and communications reforms in the history of the organization. The reforms were further developed in 2016 and fully implemented in 2017. The board is now conducting a performance review of each of the reforms to ensure effectiveness and make necessary course corrections.

  • Further connecting a smaller board and membership: A standing committee of the board of directors was created today that will be responsible for interacting with members to formulate one-year operational plans that focus on our CMS mission – to champion health care issues that improve patient care, promote physician professional satisfaction and create healthier communities in Colorado.

Click here to watch a two-minute presentation on the board’s action and what it means for you.

  • Central Line performance review outcomes: Central Line is our first-in-the-nation web-based virtual policy platform that empowers CMS members to: (1) Give input to the CMS board before and after votes on policy; (2) Join “Interest Areas”; and, (3) Submit policy proposals to CMS 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Click here to read the full report

  • Physician Leadership Skills Series (PLSS): In 2015 CMS decided to develop a comprehensive leadership development initiative to create a pipeline of new and up-and-coming leaders for CMS. The PLSS was developed in 2016 and promoted widely and implemented in 2017 and 2018. This was the board’s first performance review discussion of PLSS.
Click here to read the board’s PLSS performance review and meeting outcomes

6. Consent calendar : Click here to read the board’s March 16 minutes and actions of Councils and Committees.

Congratulations to members of the Foothills Medical Society, formerly Clear Creek Valley Medical Society, on a name change and rejuvenation of their medical society. 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,

M. Robert Yakely, MD, President 
Colorado Medical Society