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

Welcome to the first edition of Vermont Medical Society Rounds, a weekly e-newsletter that provides members with comprehensive health-care related news, events and announcements all in one convenient location.  We hope you enjoy this new membership benefit.  

VMS members adopt resolutions, set public policy direction
The Vermont Medical Society adopted policy resolutions that address issues of importance to the state’s physicians, including changing the paradigm for the use of opioids in chronic non-malignant pain control, advocating for uniform regulatory oversight and standard of practice for medical professionals, supporting the practice of primary care, and amending a clinician’s duty to warn.  More »

New VMS officers tapped during 203rd annual meeting 
Wendy Davis, M.D., was named president of the Vermont Medical Society during its 203rd annual meeting Nov. 5, in Burlington, Vt., while VMS members elected Mark Levine, M.D., and Trey Dobson, M.D., president-elect and vice president, respectively. 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.


VALLEY NEWS: Health Care Prognosis: Uncertainty

The victory of Donald Trump, who  pledged to repeal President Obama’s signature health care reform law, seems likely to lead to major changes in how the federal government finances and regulates health care.  Such changes would put in place a new framework for health care policy in Vermont, where reform has been a long-standing priority for officials and activists, and in New Hampshire, where fiscal restraint generally sets the limits of debate.  But nobody seems to know yet just what that framework will look like.  More »

VTDIGGER: Robin Lunge appointed to Green mountain Care Board
Gov. Peter Shumlin has appointed his director of health care reform to an open seat on the Green Mountain Care Board.  He announced Robin Lunge’s appointment Wednesday in a news release. Lunge is taking the seat that Dr. Allan Ramsay, a founding member of the regulatory board, left Sept. 30.  More » 

VTDIGGER: Trump’s Obamacare repeal plan predicted to hurt Vermont
President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act in his first 100 days in office and replacing it with health savings accounts and a system allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines.  But within hours of his election, Trump dialed back that pledge, according to the Washington Post. The president-elect said he would keep a clause in the law allowing people up to the age of 26 to get insurance through family policies and would retain a provision that requires insurers to provide policies to people with pre-existing conditions.  More » 

VPR: Vermont Lawmakers Will Push To Legalize Pot, Against Gov.-Elect Scott's Urging  
Two key lawmakers say they plan to resume the push to legalize cannabis in Vermont, but Governor-elect Phil Scott is urging them not to waste their time on the measure.  In the 2016 legislative session, Vermont had a governor who wanted to legalize cannabis, and a Legislature that wasn’t ready to come along.  Now, it looks like lawmakers might be ready to move ahead with a legalization bill in 2017.  More » 

VTDIGGER: Vermont to lose funding source for psychiatric hospital 
The state has been told it must quit using millions in Medicaid money to fund certain psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse centers, information technology projects and education programs.  The federal government is restricting the use of money on certain initiatives as part of the agreement renewed in October called the global commitment waiver that gives Vermont a big pot of Medicaid money to spend in many different ways.  The biggest impact will be on psychiatric services. Within five years, the state will be required to start switching to other ways to pay for psychiatric treatment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin and the Brattleboro Retreat.  More » 

FREE PRESS: Burlington health center CEO 'blindsided' by firing  
The former CEO of Community Health Centers of Burlington says he was "blindsided" by his firing last month, and the damage to his reputation is so severe he will have to leave Vermont to find work.  Three executives Robinson hired during his tenure as CEO from June to October also were fired by the health center.  More » 


WASHINGTON POST: Landmark report by Surgeon General calls drug crisis ‘a moral test for America.’  
A landmark report released Thursday by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy places drug and alcohol addiction alongside smoking, AIDS and other public health crises of the past half-century, calling the current epidemic “a moral test for America.”  More » 

POLITICO: Republicans aim to start Obamacare repeal in January
Republicans on Capitol Hill are growing confident that they can begin to repeal Obamacare once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, along with a pledge to replace it later.  More » 

NY TIMES: Why Keeping Only the Popular Parts of Obamacare Won’t Work
Before Obamacare, it could be hard to buy your own insurance if you’d already had a health problem like cancer. An insurance company might have decided not to sell any insurance to someone like you. It might have agreed to cover you, but not cover cancer care. Or it might have offered you a comprehensive policy, but at some incredibly high price that you could never have paid.  Donald J. Trump says he wants to do away with much of Obamacare, but he has signaled that parts of the law that banned those practices are good policy he’d want to keep.  More » 

WASHINGTON POST: First-year doctors would be allowed to work 24-hour shifts under new rules
The organization that oversees the training of young doctors recommended Friday that first-year physicians in hospitals be allowed to work 24-hour shifts — eight hours longer than they are permitted now.  If approved in February, the proposal by a task force of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education would go into effect in July, when the members of the next class of medical school graduates begin their residencies at teaching hospitals across the United States.  More » 

MODERN HEALTHCARE: Medical schools tackle primary-care shortages
Not long after Keeley Hobart started medical school at Texas Tech University in 2011, she joined a federally funded program that allowed her to finish school one year early and receive a scholarship equal to a full year of tuition.  The caveat: the program's curriculum focused exclusively on preparing medical students to become family physicians, one of the lowest-paid specialties in medicine.  More » 

COLORADOAN: Colorado becomes 5th state to OK 'aid in dying.'  
Colorado on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a proposition to allow terminally ill people to end their own lives, becoming the fifth state to allow medically assisted suicide.  More » 

NY TIMES: U.S. Enforcing Insurance Law to Help Fight Opioid Abuse
In one of President Obama’s last major health care initiatives, the administration is stepping up enforcement of laws that require equal insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses, a move officials say will help combat an opioid overdose epidemic.  More » 

Wednesday Webinar
Jan. 18th
12 noon to 1 p.m.
Update on the Quality Payment Program: What you need to know to be successful
More »

Wednesday Webinar
Feb. 15th
12 noon to 1 p.m.
What’s new in fraud and abuse & recoupment
More »

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

Final opioid prescribing and VPMS query rules proposed; member feedback sought by December 1st
Last week, the Vermont Department of Health released final proposed versions of an opioid prescribing and VPMS query rule.  As in earlier versions of the rule, unless an exemption applies, there will be a 7-day cap for acute pain opioid prescriptions for adults and 3-day cap for minors, as well as a requirement to query the VPMS prior to every acute pain prescription.  More »  

VMS Seeks feedback on Vermont Practitioner Health Program
VMS invites all Vermont-licensed physicians to complete the following survey regarding the Vermont Practitioner Health Program.  Your answers will provide us with valuable feedback as VMS considers future directions for the VPHP program.  This survey asks more detailed questions in follow-up to a question asked in the 2016 VMS Physician Survey circulated in July and will take less than five minutes of your time.  Click here to access the survey. Please reply by Tuesday, Dec. 6th.

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) resources
VMS has created a special website page regarding MACRA.  Click here for more info. 

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

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