August 4, 2020


Register Today for the 2020 VMS Collaborative Virtual Meeting - Nov. 7, 2020

Held In collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association. 

Please join us for the 2020 VMS Annual Meeting, as collaboration with our colleagues and peers is more valuable than ever during this incredibly challenging year. Register here, as the this year's Collaborative Meeting is sure to be different than any other VMS meeting to date. To start, this year's meeting will be held virtually (short commute) and the schedule has been significantly reduced to one day. Even though we won't be there in-person, the 207th VMS Annual Meeting will provide ample opportunities for meaningful policy work, engaging CME sessions and spontaneous laughter and fun. Click to learn more and register today. 


Hazard Pay Grant Program Application Online Portal - Open Now

The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program application portal opened this morning, Tuesday August 4th, at 9 AM EST. Employers who are eligible applicants may submit applications for a lump sum grant award to distribute hazard pay to their eligible employees. The link to the application portal is here. As a reminder, funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis so employers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Hazard Pay Program Guidance and Application Instructions, including the required Summary Report of Eligible Employees are located here. If you have questions after reviewing the guidance documents, please use the online question submission form and AHS staff will respond as quickly as possible.


Applications for Provider Stabilization Grant Program Due August 15

The Agency of Human Services (AHS) is currently accepting applications for the Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program through August 15, 2020. This Program been made available to the State of Vermont through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and eligible health care and human service providers may use the application to seek grant funding for both COVID-19-related lost revenue and COVID-19-specific incurred expenses. For more information please review the guidance documents available on the Department of Vermont Health Access website, including FAQs and links to informational webinars. 


President Trump Signs Order to Expand Medicare Coverage of Telehealth

On Monday, August 3, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at extending beyond the federal public health emergency Medicare coverage of telehealth services for patients who live in rural communities. The order directs the Secretary of HHS to review the telehealth services offered to Medicare beneficiaries under the emergency and within 60 days propose a rule outlining which services should be permanently extended. The administration has regulatory authority to expand some services in rural areas, although Congress must authorize expansion beyond rural regions. The order also:

  • Authorizes a new payment model in which rural hospitals will receive value-based Medicare payments in exchange for meeting quality thresholds.
  • Directs several agencies to develop a strategy to improve the physical and communications healthcare infrastructure available to rural health care systems.


CMS and CDC Announce Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-Isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of COVID-19 testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms. Provider counseling to patients will include the discussion of immediate need for isolation, even before results are available, the importance to inform their immediate household that they too should be tested for COVID-19, and the review of signs and symptoms and services available to them to aid in isolating at home. CMS will use existing evaluation and management (E/M) payment codes to reimburse providers who are eligible to bill CMS for counseling services no matter where a test is administered, including doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, hospitals and community drive-thru or pharmacy testing sites. Click here for the CMS/CDC Counseling checklist. 


UVMMC COVID-19 Study Seeks Primary Care Respondents

Dr. Jessica Clifton and Dr. Benjamin Littenberg with the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont invite you to participate in a research study to help them better understand how Primary Care Professionals are being impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis. This study is for physicians, behavioral health providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, administrators, medical assistants, nurses, and other office staff. To begin the 5-minute survey or for more information, visit:


Apply Today! VMS Physician Executive Leadership Institute Accepting Applications

Perhaps never before have physicians and PAs been asked to step up and skillfully lead rapid change than they have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Every clinician has brought her or his leadership and management styles and skills to the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for Vermont patients. The VMS Education & Research Foundation is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for its experiential Executive Leadership Institute, which will enhance and fine-tune the most important leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs. Applications will be accepted through September 18th, and the 40-hour, year-long course begins in November. Click here for more information.


AMA Pain Management During COVID-19 Survey

The AMA Advocacy Resource Center has released a survey to specifically address issues affecting and physicians who treat patients with pain during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results will help inform future AMA advocacy efforts. Click here for the survey. If you have any questions, please contact the AMA’s


Physicians to Congress: Now is Not the Time for Divisive Surprise Billing Legislation

The AMA alongside 114 state medical societies and national specialty organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders opposing efforts to include surprise medical billing provisions in the new COVID-19 relief legislation. The letter makes the point that legislation to address the current public health emergency is not the appropriate vehicle or time to address this issue when agreement on significant outstanding issues remains elusive.


VPR- Vermont PBS 2020 Poll Provides Insight on Vermonter's Top Issues

Do you approve of the job Gov. Phil Scott has done handling the COVID-19 pandemic? What about issues related to race in Vermont? Given the coronavirus, do you favor or oppose K-12 schools opening this fall? How much trust and confidence do you have in your local law enforcement? The VPR-Vermont PBS 2020 Poll asked hundreds of Vermonters these questions and more. Find out where your neighbors stand on the issues.

As the nation continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, the AMA Physicians Grassroots Network is working to protect patient access to care by advocating to preserve the viability of physician practices - but they need your help! With the country and our health care system facing a once in a generation health crisis, now is the time for Congress to lead by passing relief legislation before the August recess. Please help them make a difference by taking these three advocacy steps to fight the pandemic head on:

  1. Learn about the latest with COVID-19 legislation developments (PDF)
  2. Contact your federal legislators


VMS Call with VDH Commissioner Levine Thursdays at 12:30-1:00 PM

VMS weekly calls with Vermont Department of Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, M.D. are held each Thursday from 12:30-1:00 p.m. on ZOOM - click below for the virtual meeting address that will remain constant each week. 

Join Zoom Meeting -

Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

Dial In: 1 646 876 9923 / Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

VMSERF Online Silent Auction

Do you have an item, skill, or activity you’d be willing to donate to the Vermont Medical Society Education and Research Foundation (VMSERF) silent online auction? Help VMS President Cathy Schneider, M.D., and President-elect Simha Ravven, M.D., support fellow members during this challenging year through a silent auction. Your creative and generous donations will be directed to VMSERF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit sponsored by the Vermont Medical Society, and organized to support charitable, educational and scientific activities in the field of health. If you would like to donate, please complete this form by September 14th. The auction will take place online on 32Auctions between October 28th and November 4th. PIease contact Elizabeth Alessi with questions at

Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium 2020 "Bringing Resiliency into Focus"

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Register here

VPQHC Upcoming Telehealth Events Click here for all upcoming events

  • Wednesday, August 5th 12pm-1pm - eConsults - contact for access

APHA Webinar: Returning to K-12 Education — Using Science to Keep Children, Teachers and Staff Safe

Wednesday, August 12th, from 5:00 - 6:30 pm

Click here for the APHA COVID-19 Conversations series


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

PO Box 1457

Montpelier, VT 05601

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