Jan. 13, 2016
Happy New Year from the Colorado Medical Society

The Colorado Medical Society is grateful for the opportunity to serve Colorado physicians by bringing you the latest information and resources to make your job a little easier. Thank you for all that you do to improve the health of Coloradans. We wish you a prosperous 2016, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

7 reasons to engage in public policy in 2016

The 2016 Colorado legislative session convened today, Jan. 13, but the Colorado Medical Society and its physician leaders have been actively working for months to ensure positive outcomes on our top public policy priorities. To be our best, we need more Colorado physicians to engage with CMS on these critical exam-room-relevant issues. Here are the top 7 reasons you should engage in 2016:

  1. If you aren't talking to your legislators, someone else is.
  2. Medicaid reimbursement rates affect access.
  3. Insurance networks matter.
  4. Out-of-network service issues must be managed.
  5. Two huge insurance company mergers are in the works.
  6. Colorado will discuss patients' end-of-life decisions.
  7. Relationships matter.
Read more details on each reason through the first in a series of articles, 7 Reasons to Engage in Public Policy in 2016.
One more reminder: Complete CMS survey on insurance mergers

You should have received several emails from CMS President Mike Volz, MD, asking you to complete a critical survey on insurance mergers. Your responses will be used to inform regulators and legislators on the views of CMS on these proposed mergers. Please follow the link from one of Dr. Volz's emails (sent on Dec. 28, Jan. 5, Jan. 8 or Jan. 12) to complete the survey. Please email president@cms.org if you did not receive a survey. Thank you for your time.

CMS announces call for nominations for 2016 member-wide elections

CMS President Mike Volz, MD, announced in an email blast on Dec. 21 that the nomination period for the new Colorado Medical Society member-wide elections is open and runs through Jan. 31, 2016. Members interested in running for president-elect, AMA delegate (one position open in 2016) or AMA alternate delegate (one position open in 2016) or members interested in sponsoring or endorsing candidates for office are encouraged to read the CMS election guide. Read more on CMS.org.

Bill gives blanket approval for meaningful use exemptions

Prior to adjourning for the holidays, Congress adopted legislation that will allow any physician who applies for a hardship exemption from the 2015 electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program to be exempted from the penalties that would have been levied in 2017. This blanket exemption will alleviate burdensome administrative issues for both physicians and the agency.

Physicians will have until March 15 to apply for an exemption from the 2015 meaningful use program year. The agency has not yet posted instructions on applying for the hardship exemption. We'll provide information as it is available. Read more on CMS.org.

Join CMS and AMA for the Colorado Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative Learning and Networking Event - Jan. 29

WHAT: Colorado Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative Learning and Networking Event

WHEN: Friday Jan. 29, 8 - 11:25 a.m. MST

CMS, 7351 Lowry Blvd., Denver, CO 80230, Founders room (first floor)

Payment reform is coming. Are you ready? The Colorado Medical Society and the American Medical Association are hosting this no-cost event to assist primary care physicians and specialists in learning more about the impact of the MACRA legislation (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) and how a new federal initiative, TCPi, can help.

The TCPi model is open to ALL physicians. It will help you improve care delivery by providing practice support to adopt a culture of quality and process improvement. TCPi will build on and spread proven change management methodologies and practice redesign tools to ensure health systems and providers can be successful in value-based payment models.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER: View the event webpage for the agenda and access online registration. Questions? Contact Barbara.Martin@state.co.us or Chet_Seward@cms.org.

Save the date for the 2016 CMS Annual Meeting - Sept. 16-18 in Keystone

Mark your calendars for the 146th CMS Annual Meeting, Sept. 16-18, 2016. It will be held at the Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colo. Your physician colleagues on the Annual Meeting Re-engineering Work Group are already working hard to plan the Annual Meeting of the future, one that assures relevancy and function for a diverse membership with broad interests. It will be an event you won't want to miss!

Education and resources
Medical and retail marijuana - Resources for health professionals

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is in the process of developing a one-page listing of important and useful online resources for physicians regarding medical and recreational marijuana following feedback from the medical community on the importance of this information and resources. Please view the resources currently available on CMS.org and check back as more are added.

CME: When chronic opioid therapy is no longer therapeutic
Identification and treatment of opioid use disorders in primary care

The San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center presents: "When chronic opioid therapy is no longer therapeutic." Physicians can earn up to one CME credit by attending this program on one of the following dates/times: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 12 - 1 p.m. at the Rio Grande Hospital Conference Room; Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5:30 - 7 p.m. at the SLV Health Education Center Mt. Blanca Room; or Wednesday, Jan. 20, 12 - 1 p.m. at the VWHS Administration Building. View more information on CMS.org. RSVP by tomorrow, Jan. 14.

Complete the CMS CME Needs Assessment Survey

The Colorado Medical Society's CME program requests all members complete the CME Needs Assessment Survey. The electronic survey takes less than five minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential.

CMS's CME program is committed to its primary goal of disseminating current and new information concerning public health concerns, practice management, health care systems transformation, patient communication and safety, and other needs as determined by health environmental changes. This survey aims to identify professional development needs of physicians and their practice teams and will allow us to focus our efforts toward those areas that will be most beneficial to physicians, practices and patients.

Click here to complete the survey online.

Happy New Year
The Colorado Medical Society is grateful for the opportunity to serve Colorado physicians by bringing you the latest information and resources to make your job a little easier. Thank you for all that you do to improve the health of Coloradans. We wish you a prosperous 2016, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Get covered with COPIC

COPIC Insurance Company is Colorado's leading medical liability insurance provider. Three out of four physicians choose COPIC for this critically important coverage. CMS members receive a 10 percent premium discount from COPIC.

For more information, call (720) 858-6000 or visit www.callcopic.com.

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Our cloud-based compliance solution is discounted for all Colorado Medical Society members. Please contact us today for a demo! Call 888-54-FIRST or email info@1sthcc.com. Visit www.1sthcc.com/cms.

Oracle understands healthcare and the challenges facing providers. Document Cloud is a low-cost, highly secure method to enhance your paperless workflow. Find out how by calling 303-334-8349 or emailing william.martin@oracle.com.

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Register Now for CME 6 AMA PRS Category 1 Credits
MARCH 4-6, 2016 Register at: www.ctsurgery.com
To comment on something you read in ASAP or to update your contact information, send an e-mail to enews_editor@cms.org. Visit us online at www.cms.org.