Events, Conferences, and Announcements for April 7


The Wyoming Alzheimer’s Task Force, comprised of members from the Governor’s Office, Wyoming Department of Health, St. John’s Institute for Cognitive Health-Jackson, Wyoming Alzheimer’s Association, AARP and others, are working to develop a State Plan to address Alzheimer’s Disease in Wyoming.  Over the next couple of weeks, town hall listening sessions will be held in select towns across the state for the purpose of gaining insight into the lives of those with or caring for an individual with the disease or another form of dementia. The plan will identify available resources, detect resource gaps, and map opportunities to improve the lives of those with dementia.   Wyoming is one of a few states who do not have a State Plan. The Task Forces thinks feedback from the medical profession is a critical perspective and should be represented in this Plan.  This is the survey link:

The Wyoming Caregiver Act will go into effect on July 1, 2016. After this date, all patients and their families should benefit from the supports in the act. Our friends at AARP of Wyoming have put together a tip sheet to lay out what the act means for providers in Wyoming and caregivers in general. Click here to read the tip sheet. 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Medicare Program; Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model; and Changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model; Delay of Effective Date (CMS-5519-IFC) an interim final rule with comment that further delays the effective date of the cardiac and orthopedic bundled payment models until May 20, 2017 and is also delaying the implementation date for these models from July 1, 2017 until October 1, 2017. CMS previously delayed the effective date of the final rule from February 18, 2017 to March 21, 2017. This IFC also delays the applicability date of the regulations at 42 CFR part 512 from July 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017 and effective date of the specific CJR regulations itemized in the DATES section from July 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017. We seek comment on the appropriateness of this delay, as well as a further applicability date delay until January 1, 2018.

For more information, click here to view IFC in the Federal Register (PDF):  and on 03/21/2017 will be available online at

In response to requests from several medical societies regarding the newly released AMA Code of Medical Ethics, The AMA offers an explanation of its updated Code of Ethics Booklet. Click here to buy the book and here to see the story behind it.

The American Medical Association Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse this week released a new recommendation urging physicians to increase efforts to raise awareness about safe storage and disposal of expired, unwanted, or unused medications. The recommendations emphasize three steps to take: 1. Talk to your patients and educate them about safe use of prescription opioids to help prevent misuse and diversion; 2. Remind patients that medications should be stored out of reach of children and in a safe place; and 3. Urge patients to safely dispose of expired, unwanted and unused medications.

CMS is encouraging physicians to register now for Merit-based incentive payments group webinars interface. Groups participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Quality Payment Program are not required to register, except for groups that intend to utilize the CMS Web Interface and/or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for MIPS survey. To register, please visit the Quality Payment Program website. The registration period is from April 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017. To register, visit Quality Payment Program website. You will need a valid Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account with a Physician Value – Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS) role in order to register.

The AMA’s Annual Meeting is set for June 10-14 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Among the topics at the meeting will be policymaking, education and networking, as well as leadership development. Register for the event by clicking on this link to the registration site.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is changing the selection process for medical records for Short Stay reviews. Previously, smaller providers had a request for 10 cases, and larger institutions had a request for 25 cases. Beginning in April 2017, this process will change. The top 175 providers with high or increasing number of Short Stay claims will have 25 cases randomly sampled, and other providers that had a “Major Concern” in the previous round of reviews will have 10 cases randomly sampled

The Trump Administration designated Richard Baum to serve as Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. Acting Director Baum has served in a variety roles at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for two decades and through four presidential administrations. He has a broad range of experience on domestic and international drug control policy issues, including leading the development of key strategic documents such as the National Drug Control Strategy. Most recently, as Chief of the International Division at ONDCP, he was a part of the United States Delegation to the meeting of the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Effective Health Care Program, is seeking comments for its draft report, Management of Suspected Opioid Overdose with Naloxone by Emergency Medical Services Personnel. The purpose of the report is to “compare different routes, doses, and dosing strategies of naloxone administration for suspected opioid overdose by EMS personnel in field settings; and to compare effects of transport to a healthcare facility versus non-transport following successful reversal of opioid overdose with naloxone. 

As a female physician, you are invited to participate in a research study titled Creation and Validation of the Unconscious Gender Bias Index, conducted by Drs. Amy Diehl of Shippensburg University, Leanne Dzubinski of Biola University, and Amber Stephenson of Clarkson University. The purpose of the study is to identify and understand barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace.  Please consider participating (if you are female) and distribute this research invitation to other female physicians who may be interested in participating. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to answer some basic questions about your experiences with barriers and obstacles. These questions will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. All answers are confidential and will be stored in secure locations. Only the investigators will have access to these answers.Your participation in this study is completely voluntary, and you can quit at any time. If you have questions about this project or have a research-related problem, you may contact Amber Stephenson, Ph.D., MPH or the principal investigator, Amy Diehl, Ph.D.


United HealthCare’s Monthly Network Bulletin is its monthly publication for participating care providers, featuring timely updates to procedures, programs and policies, and important administrative and clinical information. In this issue you will find posts on enhanced claimsLink regarding other online options; administrative guide updates, hospital quality program reports and more.

Our Friends at The Doctors Company have released a paper on whether to let your patients record visits. As smartphones have become ubiquitous, giving patients a video and audio recorder that’s always at hand, the question of whether or not these devices should be allowed in the clinic or hospital setting is becoming increasingly more common. The issue of allowing patients to record their appointments requires balancing potential privacy and liability risks with the potential benefits of improved patient recollection of instructions and treatment adherence.

Noridian’s Medicare Part B Provider Outreach and Education Department is providing your Association with our latest news and updates. Noridian and CMS look to Associations to help facilitate communication of the following items to your members. It is our goal to assure that the information is concise, yet detailed enough, to allow you to copy and paste the prepared information within your upcoming newsletters and/or website announcements. According to the CMS Internet-Only Manual Publication 100-09, Chapter 6, Section 20.2,

President Trump this week signed an Executive Order establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The Commission, chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, will study ways to combat and treat drug misuse, substance use disorders, and the opioid crisis. In 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 50,000 overdose deaths were reported. 

The CMS MLN Connects newsletter for March 16 offers posts on inpatient skilled nursing facilities denials, IRF and LTCH QRP Preview Reports.


Mountain-Pacific Quality Health offers a webinar called, “Immunization:  Everyone’s Responsibility,” on Tuesday, May 2 from 1-2:30 p.m. This session is about working with communities to promote best practices of healthy living and will focus on strategies to effectively immunize Medicare beneficiaries and health care workers. Registration is required. Click on this link to do that.

PCSS-O and PCSS-MAT offer small group discussions as a part of its mentoring programs to physicians interested in reminding their clinical practices. Upcoming small group discussions are April 12 to talk about Medication Adherence and Managing Concerns about Diversion. On April 25, PCSS-MAT will host a mentoring session on trauma-informed care of patients with opioid use disorders. To participate, email

PCSS-O offers a live webinar called Rates of Opioid Misuse, Abuse, and Addition to Chronic Pain at 11 a.m on April 11. The present review provides updated and expanded information with regard to rates of problematic opioid use in chronic. Because previous reviews have indicated substantial variability in this literature, several steps were taken to enhance precision and utility.

The Montana Chapter of Healthcare Information and Management System (HIMSS) invites you to attend the 2017 Spring Conference and Tradeshow, May 2-3 in Bozeman. This event provides unique education, networking opportunities, and a chance to connect with local and national health IT vendors. A dynamic agenda includes Key Note Speaker, Martha Hayward, of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Click here for a registration page with more information.

Join the American Medical Association Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) at 8 p.m. Eastern time, Tuesday, April 11, for a presentation and discussion on enhanced recovery after surgery protocols. Learn how your medical staff—from primary care physicians to surgeons and all providers in-between—can develop and implement care coordination programs to help patients better prepare for surgery and recover afterward.

Wyoming Center on Aging, Quality Improvement Organizations, and Mountain-Pacific Quality Health encourage physicians to save the date for the 2017 Wyoming Quality Health Care Conference, titled, “Quality, Cost, and You.” The event is slated for August 9-10 at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper. Registration will be open in May.

Northstar Meeting Groups offers an April 26 webinar called How to Run Health and Wellness Program. In this free webcast, Incentive‘s Leo Jakobson and Michael Moszberg, VP Wellness Solutions, Rideau Recognition Solutions, will teach attendees everything they need to know to run an effective health and wellness incentive program. The session will offer a step-by-step guide on how to create the rules structure, address privacy concerns, promote the program, track participant performance, choose and deliver the awards, and measure the results. Here is the registration link for more information.