In this Issue:
- Governor's Corner
- Annual Chapter Meeting and Awards
- National ACP Meeting
- Charitable Giving Opportunities
- Committee Updates
- Links from National
Alwinn Steinmann, MD, FACP, ACP Governor
Spring just arrived (to the extent that it does in Colorado!), we've started daylight savings time, and the weather is (mostly) pretty nice. It feels like we have turned a corner with COVID as well - even though it has felt that way before, this time seems more significant. Decent vaccination rates and falling positivity coupled with “milder” strains have resulted in most restrictions being rolled back and life feeling more normal again. Virtually my entire term as Governor so far has been in the age of COVID and that has dominated our lives - especially in medicine. I am hoping and expecting this to be the last newsletter that I start out by mentioning it! I am also hoping that everyone's work and home life have returned to something resembling normal, and that most of us have had “silver lining” take-aways from the past two years that we will benefit from. It was great seeing people in person at our Chapter Meeting in February (see below) and we are planning a more usual slate of events this year (also, more details below), so I hope to see more of you as the year goes on. Happy Spring everyone!
Annual Chapter Meeting and Awards
Thanks to all those that helped make our 2022 Annual Chapter Meeting a success! Our amazing Planning Committee, Christine and Brian Westbrook, our speakers and presenters, and especially those of you who attended the meeting, either in person or virtually. We had approximately 100 folks on site!
It was great to see people again! We had terrific participation from our Colorado residency programs with oral presentations and poster displays.
Here is a list of our awardees for 2022:
- Laureate Award - Dr. Jennifer Ziouras
- Robert Gibbons Distinguished Medical Educator Award - Dr. Karen Chacko
- Joel Levine Distinguished Healthcare Advocate Award - Dr. Rita Lee
- Volunteerism and Community Service Award - Dr. Daniel Witten
- Early Career Physician Award - Dr. Heather Cassidy
MACP - Dr. George Comerci
Gold Level Chapter Excellence Award - CO Chapter (Christine Westbrook)
National ACP Meeting
The annual scientific meeting of the ACP will be held in person this year, April 28-30 in Chicago, IL. It would be great to see Colorado chapter members in attendance! If you do plan to attend, please know that we will jointly sponsor a reception with the New Mexico chapter on Friday from 5:30 - 7:30pm at Fatpour Tap Works McKormick, 2206 S. Indiana Ave. If interested, please watch your e-mails for an invitation.
Charitable Giving Opportunities
The charity we featured at our annual chapter meeting this year was The Center for Personalized Education for Professionals (CPEP). They help physicians and other professionals reenter practice after periods of absence. Our chapter raised $550.00 during the meeting. If you would like to contribute, you may still do so with our unique ACP link to the CPEP site.
Also, if you are like me, and your employer pays your ACP membership dues, you may not have the opportunity to contribute to our own Colorado chapter. If that is the case, and you would like to support our local efforts, you may make a contribution by calling ACP Customer Service at: 800-ACP-1915 (800-227-1915).
ECP Update - Dr. Juan Lessing
The Council for Early Career Physicians (CECP) had their annual breakfast as part of the ACP Colorado Chapter meeting at the Broadmoor, featuring Dr. Mike Frank speaking of Health Care for People Released From Incarceration. All in attendance learned a great deal about a painfully under-seen and under-served patient population that perhaps we too often do not think enough about. An impassioned speaker, Dr. Frank shared practical tips on how we can better serve this important and quite sizable group. Slides will be available on the website for anyone interested. For questions on this topic or to be invited to speak, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org CECP also sponsored two exceptional writers/speakers--Dr. Tarika Mahal and medical student Vall Vinaithirthan--or the Forest for the Trees humanities story competition. Their stories can be read on the Colorado ACP website.
As always, CECP remains interested in your ideas, suggestions, and requests for speakers and topics. Please reach out also if you wish to join us on the CECP board. Email chair Juan Lessing at email@example.com And be on the lookout for a Fall event in likely November!
HPPC Update and Leadership Day - Dr. Rich Penaloza
The Health and Public Policy Committee has been very active this legislative session. We have been meeting every other week since late January reviewing proposed legislation that affects physicians, payers, and patients. Three main categories of bills that we have discussed include Increasing patient access to healthcare, non-physician health care provider regulation, and bills regarding COVID.
There is a known shortage of healthcare providers around the country and Colorado is no exception. The Colorado Legislature has been putting forward a lot of legislation that is aimed at helping the shortage. HB-1050 gives assistance to International Medical Graduates in pursuing a residency in Colorado. There was strong opposition to requiring programs to earmark slots of IMGs. This bill is still in committee. It was clear, as this bill was discussed, more residency slots are needed to keep pace with the need for medical care.
HB-1005 would increase the number of tax credits to preceptors working in rural areas. This would include allied health professionals and might lead to additional training opportunities for medical students. SB-056 allows UNC to offer an Osteopathic Medical Degree. This bill has already been signed by the governor. Further bills with more specifics are to come.
This year we have reviewed sunset provisions for Optometry and Acupuncturists. The Optometrists in HB-1233 want to expand their practice to certain surgical procedures. The Council on Legislation (COL) was opposed to these changes to the practice of Optometrists. The bill is set to go before a committee on April 6th. In HB-1263, the Acupuncturists wanted to continue their present practice and the COL supported this bill. The Physician Assistants, in HB-1095, attempted to decrease their collaboration requirements. The house of medicine was adamantly opposed to the bill and testified to the legislature. Fortunately, this bill died on the house floor.
There were multiple bills that came about due to the COVID pandemic. I won't specify the bills here since none of them have a chance of passing. Multiple bills were brought forward regarding vaccine mandate exemptions and prohibiting discrimination regarding vaccine status. These bills were opposed by the COL. A bill regarding visitation at health-care facilities- allowing patients to have a visitor, during a pandemic. I don't anticipate these bills passing through the legislature.
A few other bills of interest include HB-1064 which would prohibit flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine products. This bill was supported by COL. HB-1272 attempts to repeal attorney fees paid by side that brings a frivolous lawsuit. This was strongly opposed by the house of medicine. HB-1284 attempts to mirror the state surprise billing laws after federal surprise billing legislation. We are working with our lobbyists to amend the present bill.
Hopefully in the next few months we'll have some final outcomes of the above bills and others. If you have interest in following what is going on in the legislature, join our committee and please check out the following bill tracker web page.
Resident and Student Activities
We had our Chapter Doctors' Dilemma competition on February 17th. Teams from all four Colorado IM residencies participated. Congratulations to the team from Saint Joe's, who won this year's competition and will be going to Chicago to represent Colorado.
On May 10 we will be having our annual Resident and Medical Student meeting at Saint Joseph Hospital.
Links from National
New National ACP Leadership Team -
PHILADELPHIA, March 25, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization in the U.S., representing 161,000 internal medicine physicians, has announced promotions and title changes among members of its senior leadership team in support of furthering the organization's strategic direction.
Internal Medicine Residency Match Sees Record High, Reflecting Essential Role of Internists
PHILADELPHIA, March 18, 2022 -- The 2022 Main Residency Match revealed that internal medicine remains the largest training specialty, offering one-quarter (25.9 percent) of all PGY-1 positions in the Match. Internal medicine programs offered a record high 9,380 categorical positions, while offered primary care internal medicine positions declined to 429. Of the categorical positions, a record high 8,915 (95.0 percent) were filled, 5,093 (57.1 percent) by U.S. medical school seniors. Of the primary care internal medicine positions, 424 (98.8 percent) were filled, 281 (66.3 percent) by U.S. medical school seniors.
Internal Medicine Physicians Heartened that House Funding Bill Supports Important Health Programs, Urge Senate Approval
Statement attributable to:
George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA
President, American College of Physicians
WASHINGTON, D.C. March 10, 2022 –The American College of Physicians (ACP) is pleased to see that the omnibus spending bill that the House of Representatives passed last night to fund Fiscal Year 2022 supports and funds critically important health and health care programs.
Among those programs, it includes a welcome extension of flexibilities for physicians to provide services by telehealth to patients who are enrolled in Medicare. ACP has strongly advocated for extending those flexibilities, which were granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, beyond the end of the public health emergency. The House bill includes extending the lifting of geographic site restrictions so telehealth services can continue to be provided to those in both rural and urban areas and allows for audio-only telehealth services past the end of the declared public health emergency. We have seen over the past two years how telehealth services can help to increase access to necessary health care for patients. ACP believes the extension will give us time to better study the impact of these policies and decide which of the flexibilities should be made permanent. Read more.