PCMS Blog

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners hold important positions in our health care industry. Pueblo County Medical Society acknowledged this by hosting a complimentary event for PAs and NPs on Wednesday, April 3, at Brues Alehouse Brewing Company. The CME event was well attended with 26 PAs and NPs present.  

The event began with a two-minute mindfulness meditation followed by colleagues socializing with one another and enjoying free drinks and buffet dinner. Guest speaker and Board of Directors’ Secretary Dr. Marcel Junqueira and CEO Cheryl Law used the opportunity to invite attendees to join PCMS and become part of our growing whole care team led by physicians on a mission to facilitate collaborations of medical professionals in Pueblo County and change the face of health care, locally. 

Following the invitation to join PCMS, Dr. Junqueira presented an interactive, educational message on how to manage sleep apnea patients with OSA on PAP therapy. His presentation was informative and very well received. Attendees learned about compliance, symptoms and effects, screening, insurance qualifications, and explanation of PAP reports. 

The evening ended with a free giveaway of a $200 Amazon gift card and several attendees joining PCMS. 

A big thank you once again to our generous sponsor AeroCare and also, to everyone who attended the event and made it a meaningful evening!

      

PCMS will hold an event the evening of May 23 focusing on physician wellness and burnout. I hope you will watch your email for more information and make plans to join us, no matter your current state of practice. Consider these quick statistics.

  • Physicians spend, on average, 30 percent of their time documenting progress notes.
  • Physicians spend, on average, 3.17 hours on "desktop medicine" each day.
  • Physicians spend up to 86 minutes of pajama time nightly with EHRs.
  • Only 27 percent of a physician's day is spent meeting one-on-one with patients.

Is this you? A colleague or friend? A consultant who shadowed me for an entire shift revealed that I spent 51 percent of my time in the chart. Emergency medicine doctors really do spend half their time documenting. 

Jeffrey Moody, MD, our guest speaker, is currently finishing his first book on physician burnout. He's passionate about helping his "colleagues save their careers, regain their mojo for medicine and have a better life" which is no small task. Please plan to attend our CME event and gain real life strategies from Dr. Moody to combat burnout on an individual and system-wide basis. 

Registration is coming soon; email [email protected] to get a head start on saving a seat.

With less than a month left in the 2019 Colorado legislative session, bill activity under the dome is speeding up and will reach a furious pace before sine die on May 3. The physician volunteers who comprise the Council on Legislation – including PCMS representative Terry Lakin, DO, MPH – as well as the CMS Board of Directors track legislation that affects Colorado physicians and our patients.

Here are the top three bills for physicians to watch. 

  • SB 19-234: Sunset Professional Review Committees. This critical bill reenacts professional review protections for physicians. Plaintiff attorneys have been forcefully critical of the current professional review reporting requirements and are seeking access to professional review information in civil litigation. CMS is very aware that physician members are extremely concerned about the idea of the professional review system being opened to discovery. A recent CMS-commissioned survey of physicians shows that members overwhelmingly agree that it is important to protect professional review documentation from being discoverable in lawsuits.
     
  • SB 19-134 and HB 19-1174: Out-of-network Health Care Disclosures and Charges. Addressing the problem of surprise medical bills continues to be a priority issue at the legislature. Currently there are two competing bills to fix this issue and on April 4 CMS conveyed its strong support of a significant rewrite to Senate Bill 19-134 at a hearing of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. CMS believes that the senate bill provides a better fix to surprise bills than the other piece of legislation, House Bill 19-1174. Pueblo’s Rep. Daneya Esgar is one of the sponsors of HB 19-1174.
     
  • HB 19-1211: Prior Authorization Requirements Health Care Service. This bill, strongly supported by CMS, would streamline the overall process of prior authorization. It was approved by the House and now heads to the Senate. The bill would promote safe, timely and affordable access to evidence-based care for patients; enhance efficiency; increase transparency; and reduce the variations among payers and utilization management organizations.

I urge you to watch your email for “Code Blue” legislative alerts and respond promptly when needed. I thank you for your involvement. 

By Tom Greidanus, MD, PCMS President 2018-2019

Following the PCMS symposium on wellness and other reading I’d done on the topic, it became clear to me that I am at high risk for burnout. You may share some of my personal risk factors: I do shift work, am in the field of emergency medicine, take work home with me as medical director, am in a private practice, am a mid-career physician, and feel frustrated with cumbersome computerized physician order entry (CPOE).

I was interested to see a recent article by the AMA that says we – physicians feeling burned out or at risk of burnout – need to, among other things, identify organizational and health care system factors that increase risk of distress for health care professionals. The AMA offers an open-access platform – STEPS Forward – that provides more than 50 modules with actionable, expert-driven strategies and insights supported by practical resources and tools. I urge you to reach out to your loved ones, colleagues or PCMS if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You are not alone. To access the AMA’s STEPS Forward modules, click here.

Jim Lovell was the first person to fly into space four times. He is one of only three people to fly to the moon twice. He and his crew saved what would have otherwise been a disastrous Apollo 13 mission and guided the ship and crew safely back to earth.

He is quoted as stating “there are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

To quote from our CMS board of directors’ packet for our upcoming meeting:

“The 2018 election cycle outcomes put health care front and center: The governor has pledged universal coverage and saving people money on health care. He is working with a willing legislative branch. Scope of practice expansions (midlevel providers including NPs, PAs and CRNAs) are potentially viable.

Voters and policymakers increasingly identify the rising costs of health care and health insurance as a critical problem. Rising costs continue to squeeze personal pay raises, businesses spending on growth, and public-sector funding on key Colorado issues like roads/transportation, education and jobs. Colorado hospitals are the current targets for the media, the Polis Administration, and many in the legislature over increased costs, excessive profits and high administrative overhead.

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (DMCC) and other chambers/business coalitions will help drive efforts to contain costs via future legislation, regulation and voluntary efforts, marking the first time in decades that many chambers have meaningfully engaged on health care issues. These efforts will occur whether or not there is consensus on solutions by other stakeholders.”

The business community will be more than happy to tell physicians what to do if we do not speak up.

If physicians want to avoid being a part of the “wondering what happened” group, I strongly advise you to get involved and to have a voice in what is occurring. Please get involved with Pueblo County Medical Society (PCMS) or CMS. We are working to strongly position ourselves to be involved in these discussions but will struggle to do it without your help. PCMS has recently met with Rep. Daneya Esgar, will be meeting with Sen. Leroy Garcia, and has sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected mayor of Pueblo, Nick Gradisar. To help, come to our meetings (our next one is Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.; RSVP to [email protected]). Invite those who are not members to join. Participate in Central Line. More than anything, become involved with the process of making decisions at some level. Thank you for all the wonderful work you do and we hope to see you at our next meeting!

 





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