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Colorado Governor's Newsletter July 2021

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Alwinn Steinmann, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Alwinn Steinmann, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

 


GOVERNOR’S CORNER

As we cruise into summer, we are all hoping to get back to a (somewhat) more normal life with respect to social events, travel, entertainment, and recreation. Even our practices seem to be settling into a more usual state. I hope you will all be able to enjoy the summer and get some much needed rest and relaxation – whatever that means to you. Within our chapter we are also anticipating the return of some of our usual activities. You should all be happy to learn that we are planning an in-person Ortho Day in September, and anticipate returning to the Broadmoor for our annual chapter meeting in February!

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2021 Resident Abstract and Poster Competition

Our spring resident abstract and poster competition was held virtually –a big thanks to Dr. Rick Miranda and Christine Westbrook for all the work involved in pulling that off! I would also like to thank the all residents and judges who participated.

We would like to congratulate the winners of the 2021 ACP Colorado Chapter Resident/Fellow Meeting.

1st Place - Viridiana Estrada, MD, et al. Triple Threat: A Case of Bubonic, Septicemic, and Pneumonic Plague Through Feline Transmission.

2nd Place - Stephanie Lakritz, MD, et al. Lenalidomide-induced Autoimmune Enteropathy Complicating Treatment of Multiple Myeloma with Concurrent Systemic Mastocytosis.

3rd Place - Priscilla Collier, MD, et al. A Prolonged Course of COVID-19 Infection in a Patient with Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Remission on Rituximab.

4th Place - August Longino, MD, et al. Lowering Cutoffs A Mile High: Assessing the Impact of a New Definition of Pulmonary Hypertension.

5th Place - Kelsey Repine, MD, et al. WEAK: Post-Surgical Hypokalemic Paroxysmal Paralysis A Case Report.

You can view the winning posters here.

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High Value Journal Club

Thanks to the work of Dr. Marianne Novelli and Dr. Mugabe Walker, our chapter held its first virtual high-value journal club on June 8th! This will be a monthly event on the second Tuesday of the month (5:30 – 6:00pm). This activity will provide a time-efficient review and discussion of 2 or 3 articles relevant to primary care. Articles are sent to our membership ahead of time. Please mark your calendars!

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Leadership Day

Several members of our chapter participated in this year's virtual Leadership Day. We were able to meet virtually with staff from 8 of our 9 member Congressional delegation, including both our senators. While it was clearly a different experience from our usual harried walking (running?) tour of Congressional office buildings in DC, I think everyone felt it was quite worthwhile. The staff members, many of whom were in their homes, seemed more relaxed and generally devoted the entire scheduled 30 minutes to the meeting, which doesn't always happen in the DC offices. National ACP's priority issues included expanding health coverage and affordability, the training and support of front line physicians, supporting the value of primary care, improving access to and reducing the cost of prescription drugs, eliminating health disparities and expanding access to telehealth services. Many thanks to our chapter members who participated!

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Resolution Authored by Our Chapter Passes BOG

A resolution authored by our chapter and based on a poster presented by two medical students at our 2020 annual chapter meeting was passed at the April Board of Governor's meeting! The resolution had to do with promoting medical care for non-detained asylum seekers, and was primarily authored by the two RVU students who submitted the poster – Taylor Harp and Kailey Stiles. The resolution was co-sponsored by the New Mexico Chapter and the ACP Council of Student Members.

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Committee Updates

Health and Public Policy Update:

The Colorado Legislature was finally able to get down to business this year and had a full 120-day session. They were very busy, and a large part of their work focused on healthcare. The Health and Public Policy Committee (HPPC) met regularly during the legislative session discussing everything from telehealth to the “Colorado Public Option” bill. Thank you to the committee members for their diligent work this year. Here are a few of the bills we discussed this year:

HB21-1232 Standardized Health Benefit Plan, formerly known as the “Colorado Public Option” plan was discussed at nearly every meeting this year. ACP and the house of medicine was strongly opposed to initial versions because of mandatory participation (with penalties for lack of participation) and rate setting. After months of negotiations between the house of medicine and the bill authors, amendments were added that made the bill more palatable for physicians. Insurance carriers will be required to carry the Standardized Health Benefit Plan and offer it on the exchange in the individual and small group market. They must decrease out of pocket costs by 5% the first year, an additional 5% the second and third year. A total of 15% cost reduction over 3 years as compared to 2021 rates. The language on rate setting and mandatory participation has been softened but the governor appointed board and the Insurance commissioner have a lot of power to make changes to reach their goals. The penalties to physicians for lack of participation were removed from the bill. This was a big win for us. The offering of the Standardized Health Benefit Plan will start in 2023.

SB21-126 Timely Credentialing of Physicians is a win for all physicians. Insurance companies will be required to credential physicians within 60 days of receiving a physicians credentialing packet.

SB21-175 Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board will be appointed by the governor and approved the Senate to review drug costs and determine a maximum price that these drugs can be sold at. Hopefully this board may be the first step in addressing out of control drug costs. Another bill, signed by the governor, aimed at drug affordability is SB21-123 Expansion of Canadian Rx. Import Program. This bill expands the ability to import prescription drugs from Canada.

HB21-1106 Safe Storage of Firearms and SB21-087 Lost or Stolen Firearms are two firearm control measures that were passed and signed by the governor. These were strongly supported by the HPPC and the house of medicine.

HB21-1190 Defining Telemedicine for Medical Practitioners was strongly supported by HPPC and the house of medicine. This bill will help solidify telehealth and reimbursement from telehealth services in the future. As telehealth has become such a great tool for physicians to use in patient care, the Colorado legislature plans on supporting telehealth use in the future.

The bills above have all been signed into law by the Governor. There are many other bills that were discussed that either have not been signed by the governor or killed in committee. If you have an interest in viewing all the bills discussed this year, please visit this website.

Thanks again to the HPPC for all their time and diligent bill review this year.

Rich Penaloza, MD, FACP

Chair, HPPC

American College of Physicians

Membership Committee Newsletter Update

The membership committee hopes that you are ready to welcome the Summer season safely while enjoy your favorite hobbies. We have seen a growth in the membership from last year thanks to your commitment to making our chapter inclusive, fun, and educational. We have seen the start of our own Colorado ACP journal club this month. We hope that it will make our chapter feel inclusive to everyone even to those serving in the most remote part of our state. Two to three papers are reviewed over 30 minutes with room for discussion every 2nd Tuesday of the month. All are welcome including our mid levels, pharmacist, and our New Mexico friends.

Our next meeting will be scheduled this fall. If you are interested in joining the membership committee please email me at mugabe.walker@gmail.com

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News from National ACP

A Comprehensive Policy Framework to Understand and Address Disparities and Discrimination in Health and Health Care: A Policy Paper From the American College of Physicians

In April, the College published a policy paper on disparities and discrimination in health care. This manuscript assesses the underlying causes and contributing factors to this pervasive problem in our health care system and offers recommendations to address it.

Panel discusses care for patients with persistent symptoms after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection

Many clinicians are seeing patients with “long haul” COVID - sequelae that persist long after the acute illness is over. This panel discussion seeks to shed some light on this poorly understood malady.

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