June 16, 2020


Contact Your Vermont Representatives and House Speaker Today: $375 Million in Funding Needed to Stabilize Vermont’s Healthcare System

In the next few days, the Vermont House will be making decisions regarding how to use millions of dollars of funding that Vermont has received from the federal CARES Act.  Currently, $250 million is under consideration for health care provider needs. COVID 19 has had devastating financial impacts on Vermont’s health care and long-term care systems and a coalition of health care providers, including the Vermont Medical Society has identified well over $375 million in lost revenue and COVID-19 related expenses from health care facilities ranging from hospitals to independent practices to Federally Qualified Health Centers. Please contact House Speaker Johnson and your House members today to urge them that $375 million of federal relief dollars is necessary to ensure the future of Vermont’s health care providers. If federal money is held back now, it may be too late to ensure the future of the organizations and people responsible for protecting the health and safety of Vermonters throughout the pandemic. 

Contact: House Speaker Mitzi Johnson: mjohnson@leg.state.vt.us

Find your Representatives here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/search/2020


VMS Announces Group Purchasing Options for PPE

VMS realizes that Vermont medical practices are struggling to obtain various items of PPE and that both availability and cost are an issue.  While we continue to advocate for more state-run purchasing options, we are also pleased to offer discount group purchasing options available now to our members. Click here to learn more about the available sources including:  W.B. Mason (VMS group discount), Action PPE (group purchasing through VMS/State Medical Society consortium) and generally available sources of PPE through Project N95 and Amazon.


Legislature Continues to Meet; Primary Care Scholarship Bill Passes the House

The Vermont legislature has extended their 2020 legislative session, which typically ends in mid-May, through September 2020. The legislature is working to pass COVID-related legislation, to appropriate federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), to pass a First Quarter FY2021 Budget (covering funds needed July-Sept.2020), to pass the remaining FY2021 Budget, and to continue work on 2020 bills that were being considered before lawmakers went remote due to the COVID-19 emergency. Lawmakers are scheduled to work until the end of June and then will recess until mid-August when they will receive updates on the use of CRF funds and begin work on the larger FY2021 Budget (Sept.2020-June 30, 2021). Today, the Vermont House passed H.607 (p.4351), the bill that creates a primary care scholarship program, by a vote of 137 to 0. The bill, which now advances to the Senate, creates an annual scholarship program for up to five third-year and up to five fourth-year medical students annually who commit to practicing primary care in a rural, health professional shortage or medically underserved area of this State. S. 220 (p.5592), a bill that allows pharmacy prescribing of certain medications and devices, now including COVID-19 vaccines, is up for final consideration in the Senate tomorrow morning. S. 438, updating Board of Medical Practice statutes and expanding disciplinary actions that employers of health care providers need to report to the Board, has passed both the House and Senate and moves to the Governor for his signature.


DVHA Extends Special Enrollment Program to August 14, 2020

In order to ensure Vermonters do not have to go without health insurance coverage due to job disruption, or any other cause, the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) extended the COVID-19 special enrollment period (SEP), currently set to expire on June 15, until August 14, 2020. Applicants must be uninsured (demonstrated through self-attestation); current enrollees are not permitted to change plans under this SEP and uninsured households previously terminated for non-payment in 2020 are permitted to re-enroll under this SEP with full payment of the previous balance. Please visit https://dvha.vermont.gov/covid-19 for more information.


Recently Updated COVID-19 Helpful Links:


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

    Tuesdays 12:15-12:45 pm

    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.

    Join Skype Meeting

    Join by phone: Dial-in number: +1 (802) 552-8456

    Conference ID: 993815551


    Medicaid Proposed Rule Would Expand Store and Forward Reimbursement for Interprofessional Consultations

    The Agency of Human Services has released proposed rule GCR 20-075: Provider to Provider Store and Forward Coverage Expansion: Interprofessional Consultations, whichwould continue to provide reimbursement for remote evaluation of stored images and video (HCPCS G2010) and starting July 1, 2020 would expand coverage and reimbursement for interprofessional consultations (CPT codes 99451 & 99452). Please send comments or concerns to Jill Sudhoff Guerin at jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org by June 26, 2021 to inform VMS comments on this proposal.


    Vermont Medical Society Seeks 2020 Resolutions and Award Nominations

    The VMS Executive Committee has decided to transform the 2020 VMS Annual Meeting to a virtual-only format, which will be held on Saturday, November 7th. VMS is currently soliciting 2020 VMS Policy Resolutions for consideration until June 23rd, whicwill be reviewed at the June 25th VMS Council meeting. Click HERE to submit a resolution ideaVMS is also seeking Award Nominations, as this year more than ever, is the time to recognize those heroes who are making a difference in the lives of Vermont patients and for the health of our State.  Please consider nominating individuals for:

    • Distinguished Service Award
    • Physician of the Year Award
    • Physician Award for Community Service
    • Citizen of the Year Award
    • Founders’ Award

    The VMS Committee on Awards will be accepting nominations for these awards until June 23rd. Click HERE to complete an awards nomination. Please let Stephanie Winters know if you have any questions or suggestions by emailing swinters@vtmd.org. Click here to learn more about the 207th Annual Meeting.


    VMS Webinar on New Health Care Laws for 2020 Postponed!

    The last webinar in Vermont's 2019/2020 series regarding new Vermont health care laws that passed during the 2020 session has been postponed because the legislature will not adjourn until late September. Please check the VMS Rounds and the website for the new date. 

    OneCare Vermont: Words MATTER: Using Person Centered Language

    June 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Join Robyn Skiff, MSA, Care Coordinator Implementation Specialist to better understand and person-centered language in care coordination. Register by emailing Honey Resto at honey.resto@onecarevt.org

    Click here for all upcoming events

    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  


    Vermont Medical Society

    134 Main Street

    PO Box 1457

    Montpelier, VT 05601

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