Mapping the course

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:10 PM
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Fiscal year 2017-2018 operational plan approved

by Kate Alfano, CMS Communications Coordinator

Each year the Colorado Medical Society Board of Directors approves an operational plan to focus the board’s work. The board approved the Oct. 1, 2017 - Sept. 30, 2018 operational plan on Sept. 15. It includes 25 separate projects with the following major emphasis areas:

  • Payer issues and patient safety (Sunset of the Medical Practices Act and Professional Review),
  • Substance use disorders and the public health crisis caused by opioid misuse and abuse, and
  • Continuing to transition CMS to a 21st century state medical society by growing member awareness and promoting features, participation and achievements.

The overriding theme is physician wellness, to maintain a focus on wellness to ensure members know they are supported.

Regarding sunset review, the review of the Colorado Medical Board and Medical Practices Act (MPA) provides an excellent opportunity to review and modernize the programs and functions of the agency and law, and an opportunity for CMS to provide a leadership role. However, the requirement that legislation must be passed to extend the life of an agency or body gives medicine’s adversaries the opportunity to hold sunset legislation hostage in exchange for extraneous demands. The Medical Practices Act covers the powers and duties of the medical board, the practice of medicine, qualifications of licensure, unprofessional conduct, partnerships, obligations to protect medical records, and much more.

CMS’s goal is to reenact an MPA that maintains and advances the goal of contributing to patient safety, provider accountability and quality care.

Regarding review of the Colorado Professional Review Act, this review will examine definitions, use and establishment of professional review committees, hospital professional review committees, definition and rules relating to governing board registering and reporting to the division, immunity from liability, and limitations on liability relating to professional review actions. The 2012 General Assembly modernized the professional review statute and the Colorado Supreme Court subsequently handed down a ruling that reaffirmed the confidentiality privilege.

CMS’s goal is to reenact professional review statutes that maintain and advance the goal of contributing to patient safety, provider accountability and quality care.

Regarding prescription drug abuse, the Colorado General Assembly has a special House-Senate interim study committee to address the epidemic. The governor’s office is asking CMS to consider limits on prescribing and ensuring PDMP (prescription drug monitoring program) checks under certain circumstances. The national, state and local media cover the crisis on a daily basis.

CMS’s goal with prescription drug abuse is to ensure access to compassionate, evidence-based care for patients who suffer from acute and chronic pain while reducing the potential for medically inappropriate use and diversion of prescribed medications, eliminate abuse of opioids and opioid addiction, and help patients who are addicted to opioid drugs. CMS will aggressively advocate for CMS opioid-related policies consistent with priorities of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.

“During this time of rapid change and increasing levels of physician burnout, it is often hard to keep moving forward because sometimes you, like many of our colleagues, may wonder who has your back,” said Katie Lozano, MD, FACR, then-CMS president. “This operational plan is our answer to your concerns. It is the most concrete, clear and compelling statement about what we intend to do over the coming year to address many of the major issues facing physicians and the profession in Colorado.”

Posted in: Colorado Medicine


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