Vermont Medical Society - Rounds Newsletter
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Everything Vermont's physicians need to know this week

Montpelier Minute video update

Topics: Medical marijuana, Medicaid reimbursement, duty to warn, expanding VPHP, raising the tobacco age and ACEs. 

BMP releases proposed rule changes; member feedback sought by March 3
The Board of Medical Practice has released draft rules that update all of the rules for licensing physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, anesthesiologist assistants and radiologist assistants, and address the discipline procedures for those professions.  VMS is interested in receiving feedback from members regarding these changes, particularly the revisions to PA supervision requirements.   For more information, including the full rules and summary of the changes, visit here.
Green Mountain Physician now available
The winter issue of the Green Mountain Physician can be read here.  

Candidates sought for Green Mountain Care Board positions More »

In The News is a concise digest of health care news in Vermont and the nation.  VMS is not responsible for the content of the articles.


VPR: With uncertainty in Congress, Scott Administration holds on major health care changes

During his gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Phil Scott said that if he was elected, he would move to eliminate Vermont's health care exchange and bring the state into the federal system. But just three weeks into his term, the message from his administration has changed dramatically.  That's because while it's likely that the Republican Congress in Washington will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there's no consensus on how to replace it.  More » 

VTDIGGER: MVP backs independent surgical center in Colchester
A major health insurer in Vermont is backing a proposal from independent doctors to build a freestanding surgical center in Colchester.  MVP Health Care, which has more than 20,000 customers in Vermont, wrote a letter of support to the Green Mountain Care Board, the regulatory body that has been considering the project for more than a year and a half.  The facility MVP is supporting would be called the Green Mountain Surgical Center. It would offer basic surgeries, such as knee repairs and hysterectomies, and other procedures such as colonoscopies and treatment for spinal pain.  More » 


LA TIMES: Here's what primary care doctors really think about Obamacare
A postelection survey of primary care physicians reveals that majorities of the doctors that first treat most Americans do not support some of the GOP’s most widely circulated plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  Conducted in December and January and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new survey shows that nearly three-quarters of general practitioners favored making changes to the Obama administration’s signature healthcare reform measure.  But in this nationally representative sample of primary care doctors, only 15% favored the law’s repeal.  More » 

MODERN HEALTHCARE: AMA, AHA form coalition to reform prior authorization requirements
The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association and 14 other healthcare organizations have joined forces to make it easier to adhere to prior authorization requirements imposed on providers.  The coalition, announced Wednesday, will lobby health plans to streamline prior authorization for medical tests, procedures, devices and drugs.  More » 

NY TIMES: The fight Trump faces over drug prices
President Trump has made it clear that he thinks drug prices are too high and that the pharmaceutical industry, as he put it at a news conference this month, is “getting away with murder.”  One of Mr. Trump’s proposals — to force drug makers to bid for the right to sell their products to Medicare beneficiaries — has repeatedly failed to attract enough support in Congress, especially among his fellow Republicans.  Whether freeing the government to negotiate on drug prices would lower costs, however, is anything but clear. And its chances of passing a Republican-led Congress are even less so.  More »  

NY TIMES: Judge Blocks Aetna’s $37 Billion Deal for Humana
A federal judge ruled on Monday that a $37 billion merger between the health insurance giants Aetna and Humana should not be allowed to go through on antitrust grounds, siding with the Justice Department, which had been seeking to block the deal.  The deal is one of two mega-mergers proposed by the nation’s largest health insurers; both were challenged by the Obama administration. Another federal judge is expected to rule soon on the case involving Anthem and Cigna, the larger of the two deals, at $48 billion.  More » 

NY TIMES: Trump’s health plan would convert Medicaid to block grants, aide says
President Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will propose giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant to provide health care to low-income people on Medicaid, a top adviser to Mr. Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.  A block grant would be a radical change. Since its creation in 1965, Medicaid has been an open-ended entitlement. If more people become eligible because of a recession, or if costs go up because of the use of expensive new medicines, states receive more federal money.  Governors like the idea of having more control over Medicaid, but fear that block grants may be used as a vehicle for federal budget cuts.  More » 

WASHINGTON POST: CDC abruptly cancels long-planned conference on climate change and health
With little warning or explanation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently canceled a major climate change conference that had been scheduled for next month in Atlanta.  The Climate and Health Summit, which had been in the works for months, was intended as a chance for public health officials around the country to learn more about the mounting evidence of the risks to human health posed by the changing climate. But CDC officials abruptly canceled the conference before President Trump’s inauguration, sending a terse email on Jan. 9 to those who had been scheduled to speak at the event.  More » 


Wednesday Webinar
What’s New in Fraud and Abuse & Recoupment 
Feb. 15th, 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Register here

2017 Council Meetings

- Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7-8:30 p.m., GoToMeeting or conference Call
- Saturday, April 8, 9-11 a.m., Best Western, Waterbury
- Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7-8:30 p.m., GoToMeeting or conference call
- Sunday, Nov. 5, 9-11:30 a.m., Woodstock Inn, Woodstock, VT

2017 Annual Meeting
November 3-4, 2017
Woodstock Inn
Woodstock, Vt. 

Study: Primary Care Physicians can make a profound difference the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
Researchers believe that early detection will be key to preventing, slowing and stopping Alzheimer’s disease.  Yet among all individuals diagnosed with the disease, only 45 percent are aware that they have it.  More » 

The Patient, the Practitioner and the Computer: Holding on to the Core of Our Healing Professions in a Time of Technological Change
The conference planners have assembled a panel of international participants comprising physicians and other health care professionals, patients and health information technology experts to provide a comprehensive, dynamic exploration of this seminal topic. It is a rare conclave of cumulative expertise. Any physician excited and/or concerned about how the evolution of technology is affecting the evolution of the medical profession will benefit from the opportunity to consider these seismic changes to our field in thoughtful and considerable depth.  Taking place March 17-19 in Providence RI, registration informoation for the event is available here, while and a conference brochure is available here.

Webinar: Case Law Update 2017
In this webinar sponsored by Coverys and taking place Feb. 15 from 2 to 3 p.m., presenter John West, JD, MHA, DFASHRM, CPHRM, will present current cases in healthcare, including cases involving EMTALA and informed consent.  Additionally, cases involving medical malpractice and protecting confidentiality will be discussed.  This conference will present a basic level of information. It is intended for participants who are just beginning to think about this topic.  This webinar is applicable for physicians, nurses, risk managers, quality managers, patient safety officers, performance improvement staff members, administrators, pharmacists, legal counsel, front-line staff members, and any other interested parties.  For more information or to register, click here.

CME: Breaking Through Physician Stress & Burnout to be offered April 20-22 in Maine 
Maine Medical Educational Trust and DocExecutive are offering a 3-day residential CME (47 Category 1 credits) in New Gloucester, Maine, called “Breaking Through Physician Stress & Burnout.”  The workshop is designed to provide a relaxing, stress-free environment through which the latest research for improving mental health and replacing emotionally imbalanced behaviors with healthy alternatives will be translated into personal action planning. More info at  

© Vermont Medical Society 2016
(802) 223-7898
Copyright © 2017 Vermont Medical Society, All rights reserved.

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