by Kate Alfano, CMS Director of Communications and Marketing
The Colorado Medical Society has been busy through the summer interim and election season, thanks to the bipartisan CMS Political Action Committee, COMPAC. Weighing in on 67 races, physicians around the state interviewed their local candidates to discuss medicine’s top priorities. COMPAC's candidate win rate was 88 percent in the House and 69 percent in the Senate.
COMPAC is unique for our thorough candidate interview process, which educates candidates on the minutia of physician priorities and vets them on their health care stance. We extend a grateful thank you to all the physicians and friends of medicine who participated in the process and contributed to COMPAC and the Small Donor Committee (SDC).
The interview process also helps CMS build relationships with legislators, and this helps our advocacy efforts as we have had focused time for dialogue with them before the busy session starts – this year on Jan. 9, 2023.
Inappropriate scope of practice expansion by non-physician providers has been a pressing issue over the last few legislative sessions and next year will see more attempts. After failing in 2021 and 2022, physician assistants (PA) are expected to champion another legislative push next year to expand their scope of practice. CMS, working in concert with the House of Medicine, has met repeatedly with the Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants over the summer to address their concerns about administrative burdens and our shared interest in ensuring Coloradans have access to the safe care they need. The sticking point continues to be PA interest in changing longstanding law and regulation to practice medicine independent of physician supervision. CMS has and will continue to be firm in our commitment to safety and physician-led care teams.
In addition to PA scope of practice expansion, the next session will also feature a drive by psychologists to secure new authority to prescribe psychotropic medications. CMS is working closely with the Colorado Psychiatric Society on this issue.
We continue to advocate for reduced administrative burden for physicians, particularly in prior authorization. We are working with legislators to bring back a bill we supported in the 2022 session that would streamline the prior authorization process and reduce barriers to necessary care for patients.
As always, CMS is focused on maintaining the stability of the liability climate. Particularly in the wake of action in California that began as a ballot initiative that would have completely upended California’s insurance market and resolved as a compromise to raise the cap with adjustments for inflation, we are working closely with COPIC and other partners in monitoring potential threats to our tort environment. There will be continued conversation.
Thank you in advance for your engagement in our advocacy efforts. If you have a story to share that could be part of testimony or talking points, we encourage you to reach out to our government affairs team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.