2017 Colorado General Assembly closes today; see our checklist for the session
Sometimes, and this is one of those times, your commitment to political engagement on behalf of your colleagues has a more visible ROI, a return that can be measured both in terms of laws enacted and opportunity costs – bad things that could have happened if not for the advocacy of our movement and the steadfast support of legislators.
Physicians’ investment in COMPAC has backed a diverse range of legislators on both sides of the partisan aisle who will now be challenged by our many adversaries. They deserve and must be able to count on our sustained loyalty and support.
Here’s what we asked of them – ask-by-ask – and boy, did they stand up for our profession and patients.
✔ Blocked an aggressive push by the trial attorneys to strip the damage cap from minors’ wrongful death lawsuits
✔ Blocked a clinical overreach by naturopaths to obtain, administer, dispense, prescribe and treat with intravenous minerals and amino acids and hormones
✔ Blocked an attempt to routinely breach the privacy of our patients that require pain medications
✔ Enacted laws that grant us standing, and legal protection from retaliation, to bring patterns of abuse of our practices and our patients directly to the Commissioner of Insurance; these anti-retaliation protections include any communications by physicians raising concerns or complaints
✔ Enacted a law requiring the upfront disclosure of how plans build, trim and maintain their physician networks
✔ Enacted a law requiring any future attempts at health plan consolidation to disclose market- and competition-related statistics to the rest of us
✔ Achieved a Medicaid payment increase of 1.4 percent for most providers
COMPAC asks all CMS members to take a moment and check a box to contribute to our political action committee, renewing your commitment to political engagement and our continued support of the many legislators who stood up for us and now ask to stand by them.
TWO WAYS TO GIVE
1) Support candidates who support medicine on a wide range of issues: COMPAC is the political action committee for the Colorado Medical Society, responsible for approving candidates and campaign donations, coordinating election strategy, and other aspects important to the political strategy of CMS. There is a $575.00 limit on COMPAC donations in any two-year election cycle. The current cycle runs from 12/9/16 through 12/6/18. Your contribution will be maximized based on these limits with any overage returned to you. You may also please contact our office at 720-858-6306 before contributing to clarify.
2) Support candidates who vote 100 percent in support of preserving Colorado’s stable liability caps: THE SMALL DONOR COMMITTEE and/or MSMLE (Medical Society Medical Liability Expense fund): The maximum annual contribution to the Small Donor Committee is $50; there is no limit to the amount that can be contributed to MSMLE. Only individuals can contribute to the Small Donor Committee but practices and other business entities may contribute to MSMLE. CMS will take the first $50 of your contribution and donate it to the Small Donor Committee and the balance will go to MSMLE. The Small Donor Committee makes political contributions ONLY to candidates who have or who have committed to have a 100 percent voting record in support of maintaining Colorado’s stable Medical Liability caps. MSMLE cannot make political contributions and is reserved to be spent ONLY on legal and other expenses related to fighting trial lawyers to maintain Colorado’s stable liability climate.
2017 LEGISLATIVE VICTORIES
DEFEATED SB17-1254, which would have removed limits on non-economic damages in cases of wrongful death of a child
This bill would have produced a series of cascading side effects that would have inevitably compromised medical care and timely access for young patients, and caused a spike in professional liability premiums.
DEFEATED an amendment to SB17-106 that would have expanded NDs’ scope of practice
An amendment to this bill would have allowed naturopathic doctors to dangerously expand their scope of practice, giving NDs prescriptive authority to obtain, administer, dispense, prescribe and treat with intravenous minerals and amino acids and hormones with a collaborative agreement with a physician or APN.
WON a provision in the budget (SB17-254) to increase Medicaid provider rates by 1.4 percent
In a difficult budget environment, CMS and its allies secured an across-the-board increase in provider reimbursement rates by 1.4 percent, excluding E&M codes that were increased last session.
WON transparency in selection/de-selection
Sponsors: Sens. Chris Holbert and Angela Williams; Reps. Edie Hooton and Kevin Van Winkle
SB17-088 adds transparency to the selection/de-selection process, requiring insurers to provide physicians an explanation for terminating or placing a physician in a tiered network, and giving providers an opportunity to appeal the decision. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR ON APRIL 18
WON transparency in mergers
Sponsors: Sen. Kevin Priola; Rep. Alec Garnett
SB 17-198 makes more information about proposed insurance company mergers available to the public. PASSED MAY 3
WON protection from retaliation
Sponsors: Rep. Chris Hansen and Sen. Tim Neville
HB17-1173 prohibits an insurer from taking an adverse action (including termination of contract) if a physician and insurer disagree on the provision of health care services. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR ON APRIL 6
WON clarifications in telehealth
Sponsors: Reps. Perry Buck and Donald Valdez, Sens. Larry Crowder and Kerry Donovan
HB 17-1094 prohibits a health plan from restricting or denying coverage of telehealth services based on the communication technology or application used to deliver the services. SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR ON MARCH 16