CMS board acts on issues that impact all physicians
Report from the March 13 board meeting

The CMS Board of Directors met on Friday, March 13, to continue their strategic discussion on CMS's priorities over the next few years, focusing at this meeting on Colorado's intensely competitive insurance marketplace. Additionally, the board discussed tactics from the Committee on Prescription Drug Abuse and reviewed a new public awareness campaign, gave feedback on a new CMS membership recruitment campaign targeting physicians who treat workers' compensation patients, and received an update on the communications audit, among other business.

Please review more below and 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. Bill Lindsey presents overview of insurance marketplace

Bill Lindsey, president of the Lockton Employee Benefits Group, led a discussion about Colorado's intensely competitive insurance marketplace so that the board could better understand the marketplace dynamics, think through what these dynamics mean to members and patients, and entertain ideas about what CMS should being doing differently to respond.

This was a continuation of a discussion started in January about understanding and shaping the health policy environment during which board members explored CMS's positioning for the next two to four years, our opportunities and vulnerabilities, and priorities in the one-year work plan.

Mr. Lindsey explained that the insurance marketplace is undergoing big changes post-Obamacare and that the marketplace will be completely unrecognizable from the current system in just three years. He touched on network adequacy - an old topic now resurfacing - and the brewing debate at the State Capitol over out-of-network provider rates making the point that serious issues between physicians and health plans may erupt in the near future.

Read more about this discussion here.

2. Board discusses prescription drug abuse tactics and statewide campaign

Lynn Parry, MD, presented the strategy of the CMS Committee on Prescription Drug Abuse as they work to implement the society's platform on prescription drug abuse, which was adopted by the 2013 House of Delegates. The board directed the Committee on Prescription Drug Abuse to collaborate and work through the Colorado Consortium to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.

The board approved the following tactics:

  1. Develop physician education regarding opioid prescribing including a toolkit and skill-set workshop, and support the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing's Chronic Pain Disease Management Program.
  2. Support the Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention by encouraging CMS physicians to participate in the consortium workgroups, helping them to secure stable funding for their activities and educating our members and the public on their work.
  3. Participate with the University of Colorado School of Public Health on opioid and other prescription drug abuse-related research and data collection.

Read more here.

Second, Dr. Parry presented information on a new campaign recently launched by the consortium, Take Meds Seriously, which aims to reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse in the state by advising the general public on the safest ways to use, store and dispose of prescription medicine. It features a new website,, along with statewide advertising and public outreach efforts. Physician practices and pharmacies can access customizable handouts to give to patients on the website.

3. CSG presents member recruitment campaign, communications audit update

Shannon Fern, a principle with the Communications Strategy Group (CSG), presented a membership communications template on workers' compensation that, once finalized, will be applied to other potential member communities. CSG is the company that CMS has retained to perform a communications audit. Through a multi-pronged communications effort (email, mail and phone), the campaign will engage this member group by focusing on recent successes CMS has had on behalf of physicians treating workers' compensation patients and encourage them to join the society to further our efforts.

Additionally, Shannon gave an update on the CMS communications audit. CSG has conducted in-person and telephone interviews with current, past and prospective members in a variety of target groups - young physicians, employed physicians, private practice physicians, etc. - to get a sense of their values and needs from a professional organization. The final summary will be presented at the May board meeting in Vail.

4. Governance Reform Task Force work begins; all members and component staff urged to participate

As discussed at the January meeting, the CMS Governance Reform Task Force has been approved and will begin its work. They will meet April 17 and 18 and June 19 and 20 with individual committee meetings between the full task force meetings as needed. GRTF Chair Jan Kief, MD, aims to present the final report to the board at the July meeting. Read more about their work here.

CMS encourages all members and component society executives and staff to participate in the governance reform process. All documents related to the work of the GRTF will be posted on the CMS website, Members are strongly encouraged to log in to view and comment on these documents. Thank you for your participation.

5. Upcoming CMS 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.

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2015, Colorado Medical Society