April 24, 2020


VMS COVID-19 Practice Support Resources

The VMS is consistently updating our COVID-19 Resource page on our website with the latest information to help our members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please click here to find events and resources, including: 

  • Tuesday calls w. VDH - Join VDH Commissioner Mark Levine every Tuesday at 12:15 to ask questions and share information. Click here for more
  • Financial Assistance - go to our COVID-19 Resource page for the latest in federal, state and local financial support and join us for the last of webinar of the  VMS COVID-19 Webinar Series: Financial Relief for Medical Practices on April 29th at 7pm
  • Liability protections and licensing flexibility during the COVID emergency
  • Telehealth Resources - find coding guidance for all payers, telehealth events and funding opportunities.
  • Peer support – every Thursday at 8pm, VMS sponsors a Lumunos "Physician Huddle" to provide our members with an open forum with their peers. Click here for ZOOM I.D. 

Please let VMS know how we can further support you at this time.

Updates on Insurance Coverage for COVID Care 

The Senate and House Health Care Committees today held a joint hearing to take testimony from the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) and insurance carriers on recent changes to insurance coverage during the COVID pandemic. A new DFR rule requires Vermont insurers to waive or limit all cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment and prevention until the Governor's State of Emergency is lifted. The Chairs of the Committees also asked DFR to explore what opportunities exist to waive cost-sharing for maintenance drugs for chronic conditions during the emergency. Insurers testified that even before the DFR rule they were waiving cost-sharing for COVID related testing and treatment. BCBSVT testified that most self-funded plans across the state are also complying with the Rule. BCBSVT is also in the process of developing an advanced payment process for healthcare providers to help with cashflow until visits and procedures increase this fall. BCBSVT testified that some policy changes will likely remain in place after the emergency, such as payment for "store and forward" telehealth services. Other changes like telephone triage and telephone-only coverage are more likely to be temporary and will be reexamined after the crisis phase passes

Congress Passes Additional Funding for Small Businesses and Hospitals

April 23rd, Congress approved another federal funding relief package called the "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" or "COVID-3.5." This package includes additional funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) programs created by the CARES Act including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which were quickly depleted when released two weeks ago. This legislation also includes an additional $75 billion in relief grant funding for hospitals and health care providers, as well as $25 billion for the creation of additional testing capabilities, lab capacity and improved public health surveillance. This funding allows for up to $1 billion to be used to cover testing for uninsured COVID patients. For the AMA SummaryClick here for more information and for a link to the attestation portal.

Guidelines to Reopen Medical Procedures/Visits

As Vermont eyes reopening sectors of the economy, the Vermont Department of Health is working with the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, in conjunction with other professional associations, to develop guidelines for reopening medical procedures and visits beyond the urgent procedures currently allowed. VMS has been providing feedback on the guidelines and will continue to inform our members as they are developed. A number of national organizations have also put out guidelines, including the CDC and joint guidance by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Hospital Association (AHA) and Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).  

VMS COVID-19 Webinar Series: Financial Relief for Medical Practices

Wednesday, April 29th7 pm: Tax Opportunities in the CARES Act Register Here

Led by John F Pastore CLU, ChFC - Pastore Financial Group & Jay Jackler, CPA  

The CARES Act presents many tax opportunities that all physicians and PAs – employed, private and group practice - should be aware of.  Learn how to put financial strategies in place to help your personal and professional finances recover from the impact of COVID 19. This webinar is for all VMS members. You will also be updated on current changes in the CARES Act as a second round of relief funding is being developed. Please Register Here

VMS Members Move Mountains! Thanks to VMS President-Elect

Simha Ravven for moving mountains for her patients and her daughters!!!


 Questions for VDH? VMS Hosts Weekly COVID-19 CALLS With VDH

Tuesdays 12:15-12:45 pm

Join Skype Meeting 
Join by phone: Dial-in number: +1 (802) 552-8456        
Conference ID: 993815551
Please join VMS, for a Weekly COVID-19 update from 12:15-12:45 pm hosted by Vermont Department of Health (VDH) Commissioner Mark Levine to update Vermont's clinicians on the latest state information and protocols.

Click here for the latest VDH Health Alerts

NGS Upcoming Training Sessions for Medicare Part B Providers

Do you want to learn more about the CMS Advanced and Accelerated Payment Program or Medicare's Telehealth coverage. National Government Services are offering several educational training sessions and webinars over the next two weeks that could help you and your practice. Click here to see the schedule and to find the registration links.  

Please click here for the updated UVM Larner College of Medicine CMIE 2020 Conference schedule. 

The Next Physician & PA Huddle is Thursday, April 23rd at 8pm and will be facilitated by David Specht from Lumunos Well-Being
To Participate: https://zoom.us/j/390844747

VMS May Webinar: Optimal Care for Elders in the TIme of COVID 19 with Zail Berry, M.D.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 
from 12-1PM via ZOOM
Please preregister 

Join us for this CME webinar with Zail Berry, MD. We are now offering our monthly webinars for free for all participants and have changed the platform of our webinars to a ZOOM. Please register for this webinar here. You will receive one credit of CME. To see the full schedule and to learn more about the VMS 2019/2020 Monthly Webinar Series that occurs every third Thursday of the month from 12-1PM click here. 

VPQHC Upcoming Telehealth Events Click here for all upcoming events

Telehealth Virtual Office Hours on Wednesdays from 12 pm - 1 pm and Thursdays from 8-9 am. The Wednesday office hour session will be supported by Dr. Mark McGee, current President of Alpine Telehealth. Contact telehealth@vpqhc.org  

Please let VMS know if you are having issues with any aspect of expanding telehealth services for your practice, including the technology, coding, reimbursement, etc. Contact jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org



Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

PO Box 1457

Montpelier, VT 05601

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