Colorado Medical Society 
News for Colorado Physicians                                                                                February 15, 2013
AMA National Advocacy Conference Report
Colorado leaders take concerns to Washington, DC

More than a dozen Colorado physician leaders and CMS and component chapter staff members traveled to Washington, D.C., for the American Medical Association's National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 11-13, where they heard from political insiders and industry experts, interacted with peers from other states, and lobbied members of Congress on health system reform, fiscal concerns, and efforts to combat firearm violence and prescription drug abuse.

CMS CEO Alfred Gilchrist says that much of the focus during meetings with the Colorado congressional delegation on Tuesday and Wednesday was on stopping the proposed 2 percent cut in Medicare physician payment that will occur March 1 as a result of the federal budget sequester. "It is a viable threat and prospects for further delay are uncertain," he says. "The major driver in the 113th Congress is the budget, specifically deficit reduction and the strong partisan divide over the 'balance' between revenues and spending cuts."

CMS leaders took other concerns to the delegation, including the SGR, firearm safety and prescription drug abuse. CMS President Jan Kief, MD, says that members of the Colorado congressional delegation understand the SGR problem and all want it repealed. CMS President-elect John Bender, MD, says a revised Congressional Budget Office estimate that reduces by half the cost of a permanent SGR fix makes this "an opportune time" to address the broken payment formula.

Because of CMS' long history of having a strong relationship with the delegation, Dr. Bender says we have the opportunity to influence policy at the national level as long as we continue to be actively engaged.

Look for a more extensive report in the March-April issue of Colorado Medicine.

To read more about the 2013 AMA National Advocacy Conference, view the event webpage on AMA's website, here. To read the CMS briefing document for the trip, click here. To read a proposal to fix the SGR circulating the Capitol from the Energy and Commerce Committee, click here

Participate in AMA's monthly check-up series to evaluate your practice's health

One of CMS' strategic priorities is to ensure physician well-being and success both personally and professionally. When it comes to providing resources in support of the well-being of the physician's practice, the work the AMA continues to do directly aligns with CMS. We invite you to take advantage of their 2013 monthly check-up series. Sign up for Practice Management Alerts e-mails at to stay up to date with new check-ups in the monthly series.

Launched in January, the AMA Practice Management Center's "Prescription for a Healthier Practice" check-up series can help your practice stay healthy. These check-ups help your practice examine the health of your everyday administrative processes in areas that include: automating your practice, fair contracting, ensuring accurate payment, physician efficiency and clinical quality issues. Don't worry if you can't check every box --you can refer to the provided resources for help.

First in the series: Claims revenue cycle check-up

January's prescription to help your practice stay healthy focuses on the claims revenue cycle. Perform this check-up to evaluate your practice's capability to submit claims efficiently and accurately; analyze health insurer payments for accuracy; and effectively address delays, denials and reductions in payment. Click here to access the PDF.

Register today for CMS Spring Conference: May 3-5 in Vail
Learn to leverage practice transformation to improve your bottom line

Register today for CMS' Spring Conference, May 3-5, 2013, at the Sonnenalp in Vail, Colo. Titled "Assembly Required: A User-Friendly Blueprint for Practice Transformation," attendees of the conference will learn what you need to do to improve the care experience and provide greater value for the premium dollar through an inter-connected compilation of hands-on practice transformation sessions.

Physicians commonly understand the fundamentals of practice transformation - and their importance - but they often lack the technical and practical support and mentoring to initiate and implement them. With narrow margins and unprecedented external pressures, most physicians cannot afford the luxury of trial and error experimentation. National and regional experts who have "been there, done that" and who have "caught the arrows" of practice transformation will share what works and in what settings and circumstances, giving you the knowledge to take your practice to the next level.

Click here to download a form and register today. For more information and a full agenda, go to

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