CMS board approves governance reform; green-lights communication audit recommendations; sets new policy on freedom to set fees, patient notification and assistance on OON care
Report from the July 10 board meeting

The CMS Board of Directors met on Friday, July 10, to continue their strategic discussion on reforming CMS governance and communications and preparing for impending public policy debates on out-of-network (OON) care and network adequacy. Following many meetings by the CMS Task Force on Governance Reform and consideration of an independent communications audit, the board has prepared an interdependent series of internal governance process reforms and grassroots engagement mechanisms to assure the Colorado Medical Society can continue to advocate for the profession and actively support local medical communities as health care delivery continues along a trajectory of consolidation and radical reimbursement realignments. Consistent with this level of support and engagement, the board acted on new policy proposed by a recently created multi-specialty Working Group on Managed Care.

Please read more below, particularly the hyperlinked documents, and contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the recommendations or process. Your comments are important to us! The final recommendations will be brought before the House of Delegates at the 2015 Annual Meeting, Sept. 18-20 in Breckenridge. Register today for the meeting. Also, delegates and component societies: Watch for a webinar announcement in the near future that will focus solely on the governance and communications reforms.

- CMS Speaker Robert Yakely, MD and Vice-Speaker Brigitta Robinson, MD
Board finalizes governance reform recommendations to present to HOD

As you'll remember, the 2014 House of Delegates directed the board of directors to explore CMS's governance process and report back with recommendations in 2015. Expert consultants, physician volunteers and component society executives have dedicated many hours meeting, including two weekends, to discuss these issues. The board finalized the governance reform report at the July 10 meeting.

Pollster Benjamin Kupersmit of Kupersmit Research presented the results of the 2015 all-member survey on organizational positioning. It showed that a core of members are interested in greater participation and engagement with CMS.

The survey also revealed that CMS members want the organization to reinvent the means of engagement with Colorado physicians and local medical communities to assure optimal participation across the spectrum of practice demographics and settings. 52 percent approve and 15 percent disapprove of opening elections for president-elect and AMA delegates to all members via electronic/US mail; and similar percentages approve (54 - 13 percent) of opening elections for Board of Directors to all members. Support is much narrower (32 - 27 percent) for replacing the House of Delegates with a more grassroots-centric, member-centric-type model. Click here to read the pollster's memo.

The Governance Reform Task Force members are:

  • Jan Kief, MD, Chair
  • Charles Breaux, MD
  • Aaron Burrows, MD
  • Jeremy Lazarus, MD, Committee Chair
  • Christine LaRocca, MD
  • Lucy Loomis, MD
  • Katie Lozano, MD
  • Bronwen Magraw, MD
  • David Markenson, MD
  • Edward Norman, MD
  • Ray Painter, MD, Committee Chair
  • Lynn Parry, CCVMS, Committee Chair
  • Brigitta Robinson, MD, Connector
  • Scott Replogle, MD
  • W. Ben Vernon, MD
  • Frederic Walker, MD
  • Robert Yakely, MD, Connector
  • Andrea Chase, Ex Officio,
  • Mike Ware, Ex Officio

Click here to view the final governance reform report that will be presented to the 2015 House of Delegates (findings: pg. 1-6, recommendations: pg. 6-12).

Board approves communications recommendations

In late 2014 and with the approval of the HOD, CMS retained Communications Strategy Group (CSG®) to perform a thorough audit of Colorado Medical Society's communications with its members and outside stakeholders. This communications framework green-lighted by the board on July 10 builds a model in which CMS can become a more relevant, impactful communicator, and can use the information gathered in the model to become a more relevant, impactful advocate as well.

CMS will shift its organizational positioning. To external stakeholders, CMS will become the go-to organization for information about physicians practicing in Colorado. To member and nonmember physicians, CMS becomes the organization with the highest levels of expertise and information about the challenges physicians face and the issues with which they are concerned. Click here to read the communications recommendations and two-pager on rebranding.

Working Group on Managed Care Reform submits first in a series of recommendations

In May, the board amended its work plan to account for anticipated state public policy in 2016 dealing with out-of-network care and network adequacy. A multi-specialty Working Group on Managed Care was tasked by the board with developing policy and overseeing CMS research. President-elect Michael Volz, MD, presented the Working Group on Managed Care's recommendations, all of which were approved by the board. Two were to approve CMS policies: regarding physician freedom to establish their fees (usual and customary rates) and regarding avoidance of excessive fees. The third recommendation was to educate members about the need to notify and assist patients when care is rendered out of network. Click here to view the full report from the Working Group on Managed Care.

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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