CMS board acts on issues that impact all physicians
Report from the March 14 meeting

The CMS Board of Directors met on Friday, March 14, to review and revise the strategic plan refresh recommendations, review the report of the Committee on Employed Physicians and the CMS-CHA proposal on anticompetitive conduct, and discuss topics of great importance to CMS including telemedicine, prescription drug abuse and health care costs, among other business. See more on these items below.

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 revises updates to the strategic plan

The board gathered for a two-day retreat in January moderated by Joe Gagen, a paid facilitator, for an extensive deliberation to refresh the strategic plan adopted in 2010. From that meeting came several recommendations to enhance CMS' progress in achieving our strategic goals. The executive committee reviewed the recommendations and gave their own recommendations for action. Then the board reviewed both on March 14 and gave direction on the next course of action.

  • In governance, the board has approved the formation of a task force chaired by Immediate Past President Jan Kief, MD, to conduct a comprehensive review of the governing structure of CMS including the composition and selection of the House of Delegates and the Board of Directors to maintain transparency, enhance efficiency and effective decision-making, and utilize additional avenues of input on policymaking. The task force will develop a proposal with a report for action at the July board meeting.
  • In advocacy, the board voted that the Committee on Professional Education and Accreditation explore the most effective role for CMS in increasing primary care residency programs in Colorado and report back to the board by the end of the year.
  • Also in advocacy, retreat members raised an idea regarding cost transparency. The board held an extensive discussion on health care costs, implications of recent developments in the context of a Department of Insurance study and anticipated legislation to create a cost study commission, and the extent to which CMS should be involved. The board asked CMS staff to carefully follow these developments and keep the board appraised. Click here to read the board's discussion document on health care cost studies.
  • And in communications, the board directed the CEO to retain a qualified consultant to perform a communications audit to assess internal and external communications functions and to develop recommendations to upgrade these functions in a manner that increases the media exposure of CMS and enhances physician engagement with CMS.

Click here to view the complete working document.

2. Board approves recommendations on employed physicians, anticompetitive conduct

The board discussed the report of the Committee on Employed Physicians and approved their recommendations. CMS will continue a collaborative philosophy with the Colorado Hospital Association and individual hospitals during outreach to and recruitment of employed non-member physicians in 2014. The board believes that services to employed physicians to the extent possible should also be beneficial to the employer and under no circumstances be detrimental to the needs of physicians in traditional private practice.

Additionally, staff will contact a sample of hospital and ambulatory chief medical officers or CEOs to determine their interest in attending an event for the purpose of identifying additional services or activities CMS could provide that would be of value to employed physicians and their employer, and report back to the board.

CMS and the Colorado Hospital Association have developed and agreed to model medical staff bylaw amendments relating to allegations that an adverse action is a result of anticompetitive conduct. These model bylaws will be forwarded to CHA-member hospitals with follow-up surveys at six and 12 months to assess whether the proposed practices and recommended procedures approved have been adopted. Click here to view the draft CMS-CHA agreement on model medical staff bylaws involving allegations of anticompetitive conduct.

3. Board directs CMS strategy on telemedicine

The board voted to direct the Committee on Physician Practice Evolution (CPPE) to review and update CMS policy on telemedicine and electronic communications, taking into consideration current law and regulations regulating telemedicine, telemedicine marketplace solutions inhibited by state law and regulations, the physician-patient relationship, other state experiences, workforce, and the consumer and business perspective. Click here to read the board discussion document on telemedicine and telehealth.

Additionally, the board approved the convening of a workgroup comprising representatives from CMS, the Colorado Association of Health Plans and other stakeholders as appropriate to produce a report on telemedicine/telehealth issues before the 2015 legislature convenes.

These items were added to the board's 2013-14 work plan.

4. Board approves recommendations on prescription drug abuse prevention legislation

The 2013 House of Delegates referred to the new CMS Committee on Prescription Drug Abuse the prescription drug abuse platform for implementation and instructed the committee to provide periodic reports to the board. In its latest action, the committee recommended to the CMS Council on Legislation that CMS support legislation that requires all physicians with a DEA number to register with the PDMP (though not require them to use it) and that allows a physician to delegate to as many as three qualified designees authority to access the PDMP database.

The board approved the committee's recommendations.

5. Upcoming CMS and AMA meetings
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.

Questions? E-mail

2014, Colorado Medical Society