July 28, 2020


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 ealessi@vtmd.org


Vermont Department of Health Releases COVID 19 Testing Plan

The Vermont Department of Health has released an updated state COVID 19 Testing Plan. The plan outlines current priority groups for testing, which include:

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19
  • People in quarantine due to exposure or travel
  • People working in health care or congregate care settings
  • Patients scheduled for a procedure or surgery involving airway management
  • Patients being referred to congregate psychiatric settings

Patients who do not fit in the above categories and for whom the provider does not see a clinical, health, or exposure related reason to test are the lowest priority for testing and should only be tested when and if there is capacity to complete that testing. The document also outlines who should collect the sample in which situations and who pays for testing. 


Applications for Provider Stabilization Grant Program Due August 15

As of Thursday, July 23rd, 219 applications had been submitted or were in progress for the Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program. This Program been made available to the State of Vermont through the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and is administered by the Agency of Human Services (AHS).

The application period will be open for eligible applicants from July 17, 2020 through August 15, 2020. 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. 


AAP Vermont Chapter Calls on Schools To Prioritize In Person Attendance for Certain Students

This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter issued a press release stating that schools in Vermont support the academic, social and developmental needs of children, help address food insecurity, and provide mental health services. Weighing the health risks of reopening schools in fall 2020 against the educational and developmental risks of limiting in-person instruction, school districts should prioritize full-time, in person attendance for all students preschool through grade 5 and students of all ages with special needs. 


Audits to Resume August 3, 2020

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) last week issued Insurance Bulletin 215, authorizing the resumption of routine audits by private insurance companies as of August 3, 2020. Audits were temporarily put on hold due to the COVID 19 pandemic.  DFR has asked payers to be flexible with practices regarding the time to provide records when requested in an audit and practices having concerns about audits should reach out to jbarnard@vtmd.org, so that VMS can request assistance in resolving problems from DFR.


President Trump Issues Four Drug Pricing Executive Orders 

President Trump signed four executive orders (EO) aimed at controlling drug prices last Friday, July 24th. The AMA reported the Trump Administration released the first three EOs but said the fourth EO would only go into effect August 24th, if drug manufacturers can not come to agreement on lowering costs. 


Repayment of Accelerated and Advanced Payments Begins This Week

National Government Services (NGS) is reminding Part B Medicare providers that repayment of Accelerated and Advanced Payments (AAP) began July 27th, 2020. Providers have a 90-day window to make their AAP repayment, with each provider having a unique repayment due date based on the date your AAP was issued. Click to read more on the NGS recoupment process. 


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.


BiState Primary Care Launches Telehealth Bootcamp

This online bootcamp is designed to complement the Vermont Telehealth Resources Guide. The strategy is simple - if you’re new to telehealth, then every morning for one work week, set a timer for 30 minutes and review one of the five sections below. By the end of the week you’ll know the basics and be ready to explore the many great resources available to help Vermont health care providers implement a strong telehealth strategy. 


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 -https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86726253105?pwd=VkVuNTJ1ZFQ2R3diSVdqdlJ2ZG4yQT09

Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

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

SAVE THE DATE - Vermont Medical Society 207th Annual Meeting and Collaborative Educational Meeting

The 2020 VMS Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, November 7th, as a virtual-only event. The collaborative meeting, held with AAPVT Chapter, VTAFP and VPA will continue with educational sessions focused on lessons learned from the pandemic so far and areas for improvement - health equity, planning, and collaboration. More details to follow.

University of Vermont Project ECHO: Children’s Mental Health

Beyond the Basics: Clinical Pearls and Case Based Learning for PCPs

August 2020-June 2017

This UVM Project ECHO program aims to highlight best practices in addressing challenges in meeting children’s mental health needs. The intended audience for this no-cost program is a cohort of individuals or practice teams, including pediatric, family medicine, social work, and behavioral health providers throughout Vermont. Participants can receive CME credits for each learning session attended and is offered through support from the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Department of Mental Health. Please click here for more info. Please click here to register.

VPQHC Upcoming Telehealth Events Click here for all upcoming events

  • Wednesday, July 29th 12pm-1pm - Increasing Access to Telehealth: Broadband Expansion & Connectivity Care Packages - contact marym@vpqhc.org for access 
  • Wednesday, August 5th 12pm-1pm - eConsults - contact marym@vpqhc.org for access

APHA Webinar: Managing Ongoing Surges: Lessons From the Front Lines

Wednesday, July 29th, from 5:00 - 6:30 pm

The 12th webinar of the COVID-19 Conversations series will focuses on what lessons can apply today to: slow the ongoing transmission and increase in hospitalizations; address the shortages of PPE; and prevent our health care and public health systems from becoming overwhelmed. Register here


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

PO Box 1457

Montpelier, VT 05601

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