July 14, 2020


Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program – Applications Opening This Week

The Agency of Human Services has started posting information on its website regarding the Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant Program. The application for this program is not yet live but is targeted to open this week. Providers will have one month to submit an online application for funding at which time all applicants will be evaluated together; this is not a first-come-first serve award process. Funding will be allocated based on need, to the extent that funds are available. If you would like to receive an e-mail to receive updates regarding when program is live, please enter your information in the AHS online form.  You can also visit https://humanservices.vermont.gov/ for updates.

The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program does not yet have a targeted launch date. Additional information, including the timeline, is forthcoming. This will be a first-come, first-serve award process for eligible employers.


Supreme Court Ruling Exempts Employers from Covering Contraception Costs

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court upheld two rulings that provide employers the option not to include coverage for contraceptives in insurance plans offered to employees or students due to religious or moral objections and/or to require cost-sharing for employees seeking contraceptives. A Vermont law that was passed in 2016 mandated that any private insurance plan in Vermont cover contraceptives and vasectomies with no cost-sharing or out-of-pocket expenses to the patient. While the Vermont law did not include a religious exemption, according to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Vermonters who receive health insurance through an ERISA plan could be impacted, as self-insured businesses and entities can now legally claim the religious exemption due to this SCOTUS ruling. 


The Physician's Foundation Launches COVID-19 Survey: Physicians' Perspective

The Physician's Foundation is launching a three-part survey series in order to better understand how the nation's physicians are impacted by and responding to the coronavirus epidemic. Please take a moment to answer the following ten question survey 


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.


Recently Updated COVID-19 Helpful Links:


AHS Conducting Survey on Sustained Monthly Retainer Payment Program

The Agency of Human Services (AHS) is conducting a survey to assess experience with the COVID-19 Sustained Monthly Retainer Payment Program (May and/or June).  The program allowed providers to receive more predictable cash flow for the duration of the State of Emergency.

This survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and results are confidential. Click here to start the survey.  The survey will be open until July 21st.


Assessment of Clinical Skills for Medical Licensure: Feedback Sought by July 24

On March 13, 2020, the USMLE program suspended administration of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) test Examination due to the COVID-19 outbreak and need to social distance given the unique, human-to-human delivery mode of this exam.  The USMLE parent organizations (Federation of State Medical Boards and National Board of Medical Examiners) are committed to providing the state medical boards with a valid, standardized measurement of clinical skills. Background information is available on the USMLE website https://www.usmle.org/RevitalizeCS.  The VMS and state medical societies have been asked to share our perspective on the prior USMLE Step 2 CS exam, and how clinical skills would be ideally assessed for licensure going forward.  Please send any feedback to Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@vtmd.org to be incorporated into comments to the NBME.

Reminder:  VMS Offers Prescription Assistance Program to Vermonters

As a reminder to our members, VMS offers a prescription assistance program through the Vermont Rx Card to any resident of Vermont. This card will provide you and your patients with prescription medication savings of up to 75% at more than 56,000 pharmacies across the country including Hannaford, Kinney Drugs, Osco, Walgreens, Walmart and more. Please click here for the Vermont Rx Card.


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

VMS weekly calls with Vermont Department of Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, M.D. have now moved to Thursday from 12:30-1:00 p.m.  These calls have also moved to 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

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.

VPQHC Upcoming Telehealth Events Click here for all upcoming events

Telehealth Virtual Office Hours are now offered only on Wednesdays from 12 pm - 1 pm. 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

-- Unsubscribe --