DMS November Bulletin
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Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season!

Official Publication of The Denver Medical Society

December 2019

Physicians Gather for Annual Member Social  
Alan E. Kimura, MD, MPH Assumes DMS Presidency

Members of the Denver and Aurora-Adams Medical Societies and their guests gathered at the Curtis Ballroom at Landmark on November 7  for an evening of greeting old friends and making new ones. Included in the program was recognition of member physicians who have reached their 50 year anniversary since graduating from medical school. Present to receive recognition for this significant milestone were Drs. Usha Varma  and Bennett Machanic. Others recognized but unable to attend were Drs. Lance Forstot, Patricia Gabow, Paul Grant, James Holmes, Joel Kaufman, Sharon Langendoerfer, Michael Lepore, Carol Rumack, Martin Strand, and Madeline White. 

Denver Medical Society also welcomed new president Alan E. Kimura, MD, MPH and thanked outgoing Chair and past president Usha Varma, MD for her years of service.  Dr. Kimura noted the many challenges facing medicine in Colorado and the need for unity and engagement on the part of all physicians. Live music and a bountiful raffle rounded out the evening.

Drs. Usha Varma and Bennett Machanic celebrate 50th anniversary of graduation from medical school

Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner and conversation: from left Drs. Lucy Loomis, Usha Varma, Mike Lipnick, Arazu Wanna, Lee Morgan, Alan Kimura, and Elizabeth Lowdermilk
Alan Kimura takes reins as new
DMS President

Dr. Kimura presented gift to Dr. Varma who is leaving the DMS board
Online Toolkit Provides Evidence-based Resources Related to Perinatal Substance Use
New Dental Plan Available to CMS/ DMS Members and Their Employees

The Substance Exposed Newborns (SEN) Provider Education Work Group has created an online toolkit to assist physicians and other clinicians working with this population. This searchable online toolkit provides hundreds of resources related to perinatal substance use. Evidence-based and inclusive resources provided include clinical guidelines and recommendations, data and epidemiology, and patient handouts and resources, bringing the latest from sources such as ACOG, AAP, and CDC. Providers can also find tools and resources related to patient identification and communication, substance use disorder treatment, lactation, management of substance-specific impacts, community referrals, patient education, and more.

This toolkit was made possible with support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Access resources today.

Poor oral health can lead to and escalate serious overall health issues. That’s why dental insurance is important and why we’ve collaborated with COPIC Financial Service Group and Delta Dental, the state’s leading dental benefits provider, to offer CMS/DMS members an affordable dental benefits program for their employees and their families. Designed for small- to medium-sized organizations, this plan offers a combination of flexibility and cost savings to fit your group’s needs. CMS worked closely with COPIC Financial Service Group to develop this association plan for members. It's a product we believe in. 

Read more here.
Important Upcoming Dates in the Quality Payment Program (QPP)
The virtual group election process is underway for the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance year. Solo practitioners and group practices with 10 or fewer clinicians have until December 31, 2019 to submit a virtual group election to CMS. CMS has released a toolkit with instructions for interested physicians and groups. 
  • The deadline to submit a "Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception" and/or "Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances" application is the end of the year.
  • CMS updated its QPP status tool, which shows whether a physician is a qualifying participant in an advanced APM in 2019 and therefore will receive a 5% incentive payment and exemption from MIPS in 2021.

Does Trial Lawyer Advertising Pose a Growing Risk to Public Health?
Elizabeth Y. Healy, Assistant Vice President, Government and Community Relations, The Doctors Company

What would you do if you saw a TV ad about a lawsuit against a drug company over a medication prescribed by your physician that you were currently taking? In 2017, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) asked that question of 1,335 adults—500 of whom were currently taking or had taken one of 12 prescription drugs frequently targeted by personal injury lawyers. Nearly half of the survey respondents said they would definitely or probably stop taking the drug immediately after seeing the ad. When shown an actual TV lawsuit ad about a drug they or a household member had taken, more than half said they would reduce the dosage to below the prescribed amount.

Problems with litigation advertising are not new. The ILR study reinforces the findings of an earlier survey commissioned in 2007 by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. Its poll of 400 psychiatrists found that 97 percent had patients who stopped taking their medications or reduced their dosages. More than half of the respondents believed that their patients had reacted to litigation advertising. Another ILR poll found that, in 2003, one-third of surveyed physicians had prescribed drugs to patients who then refused to take them because of litigation.

The malignant effects of attorney advertising are significant enough that the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates adopted a policy during its 2016 annual meeting: The AMA would advocate to require warnings in attorney ads, cautioning patients to not stop taking their medicines without discussing it first with their healthcare providers.

Predictably, attorneys have a different view. When interviewed about the AMA’s new policy, Philadelphia plaintiffs’ lawyer Max Kennerly told Legal Newsline (an ILR publication) that the warnings are unnecessary: “Attorney advertisements are one of the primary ways that the public learns about new dangers of drugs and medical devices.” Although Mr. Kennerly lists medical malpractice and drug class actions among his areas of special expertise, he also stated, “I don’t know of a single instance of a patient stopping a medication and being hurt because they saw an attorney’s advertisement.”

Click here for the full article.

CO Board of Health Implements New Permanent Rules for
Medical Use of Marijuana

The Colorado Board of Health adopted permanent rules around the medical use of marijuana that became effective Nov. 14, 2019. Of note for physicians, more providers can recommend medical marijuana to treat disabling medical conditions, including dentists, physician assistants, podiatrists, optometrists and advanced nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority.  Providers can also recommend medical marijuana in lieu of opioids and decide the registration period for cards issued to treat disabling conditions.

Newly eligible practitioners who choose to recommend medical marijuana will need to register for a provider account. The Medical Marijuana Registry (MMR) is working to allow all providers to register online. Until this is complete, newly eligible practitioners must contact MMR directly and provide required credential and identity documentation to receive their provider account.

Additionally, bills passed by the 2019 Colorado General Assembly modify the physician requirements for minor patients with a disabling medical condition. Provisions were added to the regulation to clarify that providers must document that they explained the possible risks and benefits of medical marijuana to the patient’s parents or guardians, and should make an effort to collaborate with a minor’s primary care provider.

Read more here.

Denver Medical Bulletin: Alan E. Kimura, MD-President/Publisher / Elizabeth L. Lowdermilk, MD-Chair of the Board / Michael L. Moore, MD, President Elect / Jeremy L. Weiss, DO, Treasurer / Kathy Lindquist-Kleissler, Executive Director. The Bulletin is the official publication of the Denver Medical Society, established April 11, 1871, as the first medical society in the Rocky Mountain West. Published articles represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy of the Denver Medical Society. All correspondence concerning editorial content, news items, advertising and subscriptions should be sent to: The Editor, Denver Medical Bulletin, 1850 Williams Street, Denver, CO 80218.
Phone (303) 377-1850.
Copyright © *2019* *Denver Medical Society*, All rights reserved.

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