Jan. 28, 2016
CMS on your side
COL votes to file legislation following failed mediation with health plans

The CMS Council on Legislation unanimously voted yesterday, Jan. 27, to pursue legislation on network adequacy issues during the 2016 Colorado General Assembly following failed mediation between the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Association of Health Plans (CAHP) on out of network (OON) and related issues.

CMS President Mike Volz, MD, expressed profound disappointment with CAHP's response to CMS's latest proposal. In addition to retreating to their original, uncompromising position on the OON issue, CAHP offered only a vague promise to work with CMS "sometime in the future" on other issues of concern to physicians. From the outset of the mediation, CMS specified that other issues related to OON were important and needed to be addressed as part of this process. Read more on CMS.org.

CMS president-elect advocates for top physician concerns at governor's cabinet meeting

CMS President-elect Katie Lozano, MD, used an exclusive invitation-only meeting on Jan. 26 with members of Gov. John Hickenlooper's cabinet to address the negative impact of administrative and regulatory burden on physicians, the damaging effects on patient care facing the state if proposed cuts in Medicaid E&M codes go through, and the extreme concern physicians have on the issues of network adequacy and the proposed health insurance industry mergers. Read more on CMS.org.

Other news
Federal CMS releases hardship exception application information
Meaningful use program "effectively over"

On Jan. 11 Acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that the meaningful use program is dead. The announcement comes on the heels of an important bill signed into law by President Obama in December that provides blanket hardship exemptions for providers from meaningful use stage 2 penalties. Read more on CMS.org, including how to apply for the exemption by the deadline: March 15, 2016.

HCPF calls for applications for Accountable Care Collaborative

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has announced the opening of the second cohort of the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) Chronic Pain Disease Management Program and invites any interested primary care practice to apply. They will hold two informational webinars on Feb. 18 and 19 to give more details on the program. Read more on CMS.org.

Last chance: Nominate yourself or a colleague for president-elect, AMA delegate or AMA alternate delegate by Saturday, Jan. 31

The nomination period for the new Colorado Medical Society member-wide elections will close this Saturday, Jan. 31, 2016. Members interested in running for president-elect, AMA delegate or AMA alternate delegate in 2016 should submit their nomination materials, outlined in the CMS election guide, as soon as possible to be considered. Read more on CMS.org.

Medical board publishes policy regarding recommendation for marijuana as a therapeutic option

In accordance with Senate Bill 15-014, the Medical Marijuana Workgroup, comprised of delegates of the Colorado Medical Board, representatives of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and physicians specializing in medical marijuana, drafted a policy regarding recommendation for marijuana as a therapeutic option.

Following stakeholder feedback, the workgroup revised the policy for consideration by the board and the board unanimously adopted it on Nov. 19 as Board Policy 40-28. View the policy here.

COPIC 2016 Office Staff Seminars
Risky Practices: A Human Resource Management Workshop

COPIC's Risky Practices program provides information and resources for individuals responsible for human resource (HR) management. This full-day program is intended to keep attendees informed of current HR practices and help reduce the risk of employment practice litigation. The programs will be held July 14 in Colorado Springs, July 19 in Boulder, and July 28 in Grand Junction, all 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. with breakfast and lunch included.

This program is complimentary to all COPIC insured practices. One physician per practice will receive 3 COPIC points for a practice representative attending. The registration deadline is five days prior to each program date. To RSVP, please complete and return a registration form.

Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation Level I Accreditation Seminars

Need Level I accreditation in workers' comp? The Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation will hold a Level I seminar to assist medical professionals in understanding their administrative, legal and medical role in the Colorado Workers' Compensation system.

The following Level I seminars have been scheduled for 2016: Feb. 12 in Denver, April 1 in Denver, May 20 in Grand Junction, and July 22 in Pueblo. The fee for the course is $200. Accreditation is for a three-year period. Download a flyer here. And save the date for the Level II accreditation seminar, April 15-16, 2016.

Colorado Practice Transformation Network informational webinars

TCPi Colorado Practice Transformation Network (PTN) presents an opportunity for 2,000 clinicians in Colorado to receive practice support as they prepare for new payment models. The Colorado Medical Society encourages all physicians -- primary care and specialists -- to stay up to date on Medicare payment reform and consider taking advantage of this federally funded support to help your practice thrive in the evolving health care landscape.

Join TCPi for a weekly informational webinar on Wednesdays, Feb. 3 - March 2, to learn more about the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative and the Colorado Practice Transformation Network. Register here. Questions? Email Barbara.Martin@state.co.us or visit www.colorado.gov/healthinnovation/tcpi.

Metropolitan Medical Society Legislative Night - Feb. 3

The Denver, Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert, and Aurora-Adams County Medical Societies, in conjunction with the Colorado Medical Society, will present a night of informal discussions with Denver metro state legislators on Feb. 3, 6-8 p.m. All members in these areas are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with legislators and offer insight on hot issues in medicine.

RSVP by tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 29, by email at info@denvermedsociety.org, phone at 303-377-1850, or by fax to 303-331-9839 using this form. Please provide your name and specialty when you RSVP.

Last chance to register for the Colorado TCPi Learning and Networking Event - Jan. 29

Join the Colorado Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPi), Colorado Medical Society and American Medical Association for a learning and networking event tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 29. The event, held at CMS headquarters in Denver from 8 - 11:30 a.m., will focus on the impact of the MACRA legislation and how a new federal initiative, TCPi, can help primary care physicians and specialists succeed in payment reform.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

Education and resources
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.

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.

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