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

Vermont Practitioner Health Program Bill (S.14) Poised to Pass Vermont House
A bill advanced by the Vermont Medical Society, S.14, is expected to pass its first vote on the House floor today, April 11.  The bill will expand the Vermont Practitioner Health Program (VPHP) to allow it to serve all Board of Medical Practice licensees who are, or are potentially, unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety.  Currently the program is limited to serving licensees with substance use disorder.  VPHP provides evaluation, coordination of care and monitoring services for licensees.  The bill already passed the Senate earlier this legislative session.  The House Health Care Committee also added a provision that would allow physicians to receive a license fee waiver if they limit their practice to volunteering with the Vermont Medical Reserve Corps.   

VDH to host opioid prescribing info sessions
The Vermont Department of health is organizing a series of in-person presentation and webinars covering the new rules and regulations for opioid prescribing in Vermont.  In-person presentations will take place April 18, at UVM and April 20, at CVPS.  A webinar will take place on May 17th.  For more information, click here.

AAPA to consider policy on Full Practice Authority and Responsibility (FPAR)
A Joint Task Force on the Future of PA Practice Authority appointed by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) has issued a report on the Future of PA Practice Authority.  The task force believes the AAPA should adopt policy to do four things:

  • Emphasize the PA profession’s continued commitment to team-based practice;
  • Support the elimination of provisions in laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice;
  • Advocate for the establishment of autonomous state boards, with a voting membership comprised of a majority PAs, to license, regulate, and discipline Pas; and, 
  • Insure that PAs are eligible to be reimbursed directly by public and private insurance.

The AAPA House of Delegates will be considering a resolution to adopt these proposals at the AAPA annual meeting this May.  For more information, click here.  At this point, the PA Academy of Vermont (PAAV) has not taken a position on the proposal.  VMS will continue to gather information about the proposal and discuss with PAAV.

Wednesday Webinar (April 19): Responding to Board Complaints
David Pocius, Esq., from Paul Frank & Collins will lead a webinar on Wednesday, April 19th from 12 noon to 1 p.m. designed to educate members on the Board of Medical Practice’s complaint, investigation and discipline process, plus how members should respond when a complaint is filed against them.  Register here.  

Maine Medical Association Seeks Assistance with Peer Review 
A large medical practice in Maine is seeking out-of-state physicians for assistance with a peer review.  This program is run through the Maine Medical Association (MMA) and more information can be found here.

The MMA is seeking one infectious disease physician and three or four OBGYN physicians. The charts will be mailed to the physician(s) by the ordering facilities and the physician(s) will receive all instructions, review forms, etc.  MMA will pay the physician(s) $150 per hour for review of the records and reports.  For more information, or if interested, contact Dianna Poulin, MMA Coordinator for Peer Review and Quality at (207) 480-4194.

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.


VT DIGGER: Regulators question growth of UVM health network

Members of the Green Mountain Care Board raised questions Tuesday about growth at the University of Vermont Health Network.  The board, which regulates hospital budgets and health insurance prices, brought up several concerns while three hospital finance officials explained why the network took in $41.5 million more in fiscal year 2016 than they budgeted.  The UVM Health Network started in 2011 under the name Fletcher Allen Partners. It was designed to be an umbrella organization for what are now the UVM Medical Center and the Central Vermont Medical Center.  The network has grown substantially since 2011. The UVM Health Network now controls three hospitals in upstate New York, and will control Porter Medical Center in Middlebury by the end of the month.  More »

VT DIGGER: Eight Vermont hospitals over budget in fiscal year 2016
Eight of Vermont’s largest 14 hospitals took in more in revenue from treating patients in fiscal year 2016 than regulators approved.  The surpluses mean that the whole $2.3 billion hospital system went $60.3 million over budget, according to data released Thursday by the Green Mountain Care Board, which regulates hospital budgets.  Six of the hospitals took in so much excess revenue that they could face enforcement action.  More » 

VT DIGGER: Physician-assisted suicide law survives legal challenge 
Vermont’s law permitting physician-assisted suicide will stay in place, now that a federal court has dismissed a lawsuit that Christian groups brought in July challenging the law.  Judge Geoffrey Crawford, for U.S. District Court of Vermont in Rutland, dismissed the case Wednesday on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. The decision effectively keeps the controversial law in place.  More »   


WASHINGTON POST: Vaccinations significantly reduce risk of death from the flu, CDC study finds
Children who were vaccinated in recent years significantly lowered their chances of dying from the flu, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Using data from four flu seasons between 2010 and 2014, researchers found that flu vaccinations reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds among healthy children.  The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, is believed to be the first of its kind showing that flu vaccination significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza, the CDC said.  More » 

STAT NEWS: Cancer researchers worry immunotherapy may hasten growth of tumors in some patients
For doctors at the University of California, San Diego, it was seemingly a no-lose proposition: A 73-year-old patient’s bladder cancer was slowly progressing but he was generally stable and strong.  He seemed like the ideal candidate for an immunotherapy drug, atezolizumab, or Tecentriq, that had just been approved to treat bladder cancer patients.  Doctors started the patient on the drug in June. It was a spectacular failure: Within six weeks, he was removed from the drug, and he died two months later.  More » 

WASHINGTON POST: More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults are infected with cancer-causing HPV, CDC report shows
During a recent two-year period, almost 23 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 59 had a type of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that put them at high risk of certain cancers, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Thursday.  That percentage jumped to more than 42 percent during 2013 to 2014 if any type of genital HPV was included, the CDC found. In both groups, prevalence was higher in men than in women, and it was sharply higher among blacks compared to other racial and ethnic groups.  More » 

WASHINGTON POST: Long-term aspirin use associated with reduced risk of dying from cancer, study shows
Long-term use of aspirin is associated with lower risk of dying from various types of cancers, including colorectal, lung, breast and prostate cancer, according to a study presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting on Monday.  The longitudinal study analyzed the association of aspirin, with varied doses and duration of use, on overall mortality risks and mortality risks from cancer over a nearly 32-year period.  More » 

NY TIMES: F.D.A. will allow 23andMe to sell genetic tests for disease isk to consumers
For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration said it would allow a company to sell genetic tests for disease risk directly to consumers, providing people with information about the likelihood that they could develop various conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  23andMe will now be reporting telltale markers for 10 diseases. Most, like factor XI deficiency, a blood clotting disorder, and Gaucher disease type 1, an organ and tissue illness, and celiac disease are rare. Anyone who buys the $199 Ancestry and Health test from the company will automatically learn if they have mutations increasing their risk for those diseases.  Risk genes for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are treated separately.  More » 

2017 Council Meetings
* Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7-8:30 p.m., GoToMeeting or conference call
* Sunday, Nov. 5, 9-11:30 a.m., Woodstock Inn, Woodstock, VT

Pastore Financial Group Complementary Financial Planning Webinars
Mid-career physicians
April 8, 12 noon to 1 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
More info here

VMS Free Webinar Series: 
Responding to Medical Practice Board Complaints
April 19, 12 noon to 1 p.m. 
More info here

Lyme disease and Zika in Vermont update
April 29, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Equinox Village, Manchester Center
CME’s & CEU’s available
More info at or or (802) 885-2126, ext. 205 

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

Female physicians sought for gender bias study
Female physicians 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.  This study will extend the research of Diehl and Dzubinski to identify and understand barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace.  To participate, click here. Please complete the survey prior to April 28th and contact Dr. Stephenson at with any questions.   

Save the date: Vermont Ethics Network Spring Palliative Care Conference
The Vermont Ethics Network, in partnership with the Palliative Care and Pain Management Task Force, is pleased to present: Perspectives at End-of-Life:  Suffering, Consciousness & the Power of A Patient’s Narrative on May 22, 2017 ,at the Lake Morey Resort and Conference Center in Fairlee, VT.  The conference will explore the importance of learning the patient’s story and integrating different faith beliefs and traditions into the care needs of seriously ill and dying patients.  For more information, visit or view the save the date flier

Gov. Scott invites members to summit on substance use disorders in the workforce
Gov. Phil Scott and Vermont State Colleges System Chancellor Jeb Spaulding have invited VMS members to participate in the Governor’s Summit on Vermont’s Substance Use Disorder Workforce.  
The Summit will take place on Monday, April 17, 2017, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.  The purpose of the event is to bring treatment professionals together with higher education leaders and state regulators to tackle this growing workforce challenge in Vermont:  how can we better attract, educate, retain and support top quality substance use disorder treatment professionals.

For more information, including registration, 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  

Challenges to Professionalism in a Time of Change
Presented by the Maine Medical Association
June 17th, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Sheraton Hotel, Portsmouth, NH
Info here

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

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