Report from the July 12 Board meeting

The CMS Board of Directors met on Friday, July 12, and took action on a variety of issues including prescription drug abuse, physician performance reporting criteria, process improvements for the Council on Legislation and the CEO evaluation plan. They also heard an update on Medicaid expansion and reform and the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) award. See more on these items below.

Additionally, the Board held a moment of silence to honor deceased board member Robert Brockmann, MD. They addressed organizational matters, approving minutes from the May 3, 2013 meeting, the Finance Committee report, and a consent calendar. A written update of the Board work plan was provided to the Board in writing. All of these materials are available upon request.

Please contact us about any of the items in this newsletter. Your comments are important to us!

- CMS Speaker Robert Yakely, MD and Vice-Speaker Brigitta Robinson, MD
1. Board approves actions on prescription drug abuse

The Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Committee brought two motions to the board. First, that CMS support the concept that individuals designated by a prescriber could be accredited to access the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program under specific conditions. And second, that CMS support appropriate funding for the PDMP and begin the process of exploring funding alternatives.

CMS CEO Alfred Gilchrist showed a news clip demonstrating the PR challenges facing physicians on this issue and encouraged the board to be proactive. As this has been an ongoing discussion for several meetings, the board approved both motions.

2. Board discusses efforts
to reform health care in Colorado

Chet Seward, CMS senior director of health care policy, gave a strategic overview of CMS' role in Medicaid expansion and reform. He stressed that CMS plays an important part together with the Regional Care Collaborative Organization (RCCO) medical directors and operational leadership. One medical director in attendance stressed that it's important for physicians to express our voice to ensure the system is representative of payers, physicians and patients. The board approved a Medicaid Reform work plan consistent with the growth and success of the Accountable Care Collaborative program.

Edie Sonn, vice president of strategic initiatives for the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC), gave an update on the Colorado State Innovation (SIM) pre-testing award. With the help of a six-month, $2 million award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and under the leadership of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) and Gov. Hickenlooper's office, leaders from across Colorado are working to achieve coordinated systems of care and transform health care payment. Look for full coverage of their work in the September/October issue of Colorado Medicine.

3. Board approves criteria for physician performance reporting and risk adjustment methodology

Dennis Waite, MD, led a discussion on physician performance reporting criteria, brought to the board by the CMS Committee on Physician Practice Evolution. CPPE recommends that CMS support a set of criteria to identify specific physician performance measures for public reporting and that CMS support these criteria for use in evaluating the use of various risk adjustment methods. CPPE recommends that physician performance measures be based on solid clinical evidence, reasonably and accurately collected from claims data, meaningful and actionable by patients and physicians, transparent, and standardized between payers. The committee recommends that risk adjustment methodologies be transparent, statistically rigorous to ensure accuracy, reflective of most recent medical practice and population characteristics, and constantly evolving.

The board approved both recommendations.

A second recommendation brought by CPPE was for CMS to support efforts by CIVHC to enable entities to use Medicare claims data for custom and public reports. The board also approved this recommendation.

4. Board approves process improvement recommendations for the Council on Legislation

The CMS Executive Committee presented a set of recommendations to improve the functionality and purpose of the CMS Council on Legislation. They recommend that COL members go through an orientation prior to each legislative session, that the conflict of interest policies and procedures be reviewed by CMS staff and the COL chairperson, that the COL take advantage of new or upgraded technology, that information should be standardized, that the CMS board of directors take action each year to clarify the authority and responsibility of the COL, that there be a discussion of political context at all COL orientations and appropriate HOD and BOD meetings, and that an ad hoc workgroup review the council size and composition.

The board approved the recommendations.

5. Board approves CEO evaluation plan

The board approved the CEO evaluation plan proposed by the Executive Committee. This issue was reviewed extensively at the May 3 meeting but the board did not take action because the report was not provided within the two-week deadline for action items. As discussed, a CEO evaluation committee will be formed to assure accountability of the CEO to the board of directors and provide an ongoing assessment of job performance to ensure excellence in the position.

6. Reminder: Annual Meeting deadlines

All resolutions must be submitted by Aug. 11. With less than a month to go, only four resolutions had been submitted. Please encourage your component societies and colleagues to act quickly to submit their resolutions so the Reference Committee has adequate time to combine similar resolutions and initiate background searches. Resolutions will be posted online and available for comment from Aug. 13 to Sept. 16. The Reference Committee report will be prepared at its second meeting on Sept. 16 and will be posted online and distributed to delegates upon arrival at annual meeting.

Registration for annual meeting is now available. Click here to go to the annual meeting page of the CMS website to access the PDF registration form and the link to reserve your hotel room. Online registration for annual meeting will be available soon.

7. Upcoming CMS and AMA meetings
  • Sept. 20-22 - CMS Annual Meeting - Vail, Colo.
  • Nov. 16-19 - AMA Interim Meeting - National Harbor, Md.
  • May 2-4, 2014 - CMS Spring Conference - Vail, Colo.
The Sounding Block is a periodic electronic publication from the CMS Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House to members of the House of Delegates to keep you informed of the society's business and concerns throughout the year.

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2013, Colorado Medical Society