January 2, 2024


Please Join the VMS on January 11th for our 2024 Advocacy Training!

Please join the VMS Policy team for our virtual 2024 Advocacy Training on January 11th at 6pm. Your voice can make an impact! Come learn about health care legislation likely to advance in 2024, and how you can become an advocate to improve Vermont's practice environment. Our virtual training will provide you with all of the information you need to attend one or all of our "Vermont's Voices of Medicine" legislative breakfasts being held on select Thursday mornings throughout the upcoming legislative session. We will work off of the VMS toolkit to help you craft an effective advocacy message. Click here for the VMS Advocacy Toolkit

Click here to join the Zoom training: https://us02webzoom.us/j/89596651145?pwd-LzgzTThGoEtrQ0Qrc09SeDd4YVNOQTO9

Meeting ID: 895 9665 1145 

Passcode: 964364

VMS will provide members with many opportunities to get involved in advocacy. Join us for our Vermont's Voices of Medicine Advocacy Breakfasts and our upcoming advocacy training on January 11th, 2024. Click here to learn more. 

First Day of 2024 Legislative Session Starts this Wednesday, January 3rd

Vermont lawmakers will return to Montpelier on Wednesday, January 3rd for the 2024 Vermont Legislative session. The second year of a biennium tends to move more quickly, and this year will be no different, as lawmakers will be tackling big issues like climate resiliency and rebuilding after the 2023 floods, the sharp increase in homelessness and opioid use, paid family leave, and healthcare access and affordability. Despite predictions of very little surplus funds in 2024, all of these issues carry big price tags. Governor Scott is likely to dampen hopes of many new programs in his 2024 State of the State address, which is at 2pm on Thursday, January 4th. 

The VMS Policy team spent the fall educating lawmakers on our 2024 policy priorities, which include our 2024 Primary Care Platform, advocating for adequate reimbursement rates, reduced administrative burden, increased spending in primary care, payment reform centered on primary care and ongoing funding for primary care scholarships and loan repayment funding. Other VMS priority legislative initiatives include a bill to end the sale of flavored tobacco and a bill to provide Medicaid coverage for obesity treatment. The VMS is closely monitoring legislation to expand the scope of practice for optometrists to include surgical procedures and Cannabis Control Board recommendations regarding updates to the medical cannabis program.

Next week, the House Health Care Committee is planning a hearing regarding BCBSVT's claims edit policy, which has delayed payment and required clinical documentation be submitted for a large number of claims. The House Human Services Committee is scheduled to take up S.18, the bill to end the sale of flavored tobacco. Please click here to email your lawmaker to urge them to protect kids by supporting this bill!

The Latest on Medicare Payment Legislation—And How to Get Involved

AMA Advocacy Insights Webinar | Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. CT | Register Now

Physicians face a 3.37% reduction in Medicare payments at the start of 2024, absent congressional intervention. Lawmakers have until Jan. 19 to act and avoid this potentially devastating cut to physician practices—practices that have already weathered the pandemic, a 2% pay cut in 2023, and no adjustment for inflation. Without a sustainable Medicare payment system that physician practices can rely on, patient access to care will be in jeopardy.

Register now for this Advocacy Insights webinar on Tues., Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. CT to hear about what’s happening with Medicare payment on Capitol Hill as the new year begins, what the AMA is doing to fight for legislative solutions, and how you can get involved in the AMA’s Physicians Grassroots Network campaign.  


Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH, Chair, AMA Board of Trustees 


Rob Jordan, Vice President, Political Affairs, AMA 

Jason Marino, Director, Congressional Affairs, AMA 

Next Commissioner of Health Call this Thursday, January 4, 2024

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, will hold his next Public Health Update with VMS Members on Thursday, January 4th at 12:30 pm.

Hear about the most pressing public health information affecting the state and nation and have the opportunity to submit questions to Dr. Levine who will answer them, time-permitting. You can join the zoom meetings here.


Salary Data & Contract Review Tips

Wednesday, January 24th, 12-1pm

VMS has recently partnered with Resolve to help connect members to physician contract review services and access to compensation data. Join Resolve CEO Kyle Claussen to learn tips about physician employment contracts.  How do you know what you are worth? What's in a normal contract? How do you know if you have leverage?  Kyle will address key contract provisions including:

  • Compensation
  • Call Coverage
  • Maternity Leave
  • Non-competes
  • Side Gigs
  • Intellectual Property
  • Private Equity Buy-outs

Bring your questions! Whether you are considering your first job after residency, thinking about a position change or just want to understand what is in your current contract, this webinar is for you.

Register in advance for this webinar here.

Kyle Claussen is the CEO of Resolve, an attorney and physician compensation and contract expert. He has spent the last decade advocating for physicians in their employment contracts. Kyle is married to an ophthalmologist, has 3 kids, and a dog.

Modifier -25 and Modifier -59 Webinar is Now Posted

On December 13th, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont hosted a Modifier -25 and Modifier -59 educational webinar. The webinar is now posted to the BCBSVT website under Provider Forms and Resources:  https://www.bluecrossvt.org/providers/provider-forms-resources under the “Coding” link.  Make sure you copy (or write down the passcode 4%FxdHNc as you will need it to access the webinar).  The slide deck and Q&As will be posted to the same website as soon as they are available.   If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact your BCBSVT provider relations consultant. If you are not sure who that is, please email providerrelations@bcbsvt.com or call (888) 449-0443 option 1.

Submit a Resolution to VMS – Help Direct the Work of YOUR Society

VMS welcomes members to submit resolution ideas.  Resolutions set the policy positions of VMS and often drive VMS advocacy work at the state and federal levels.

Resolutions can be submitted on a year-round basis, any time by any VMS member or group of members, including student members. Resolutions are intended to express composite positions of the VMS and are to suggest a significant course of action to be taken by the Society. To see adopted VMS resolutions, click here.

Once a resolution idea is submitted by a member, the resolution will be reviewed by VMS staff, who may assist with further drafting or clarification.  Resolutions are then distributed for comment and non-binding survey to all membership. At a Board meeting after gathering member feedback, the VMS Board will review the resolution and feedback of membership.  All resolutions presented to the Board then require a majority vote of the Board for action, including adoption, amendment or referral.

To submit a resolution idea, please fill out the form, available here or contact jbarnard@vtmd.org for further assistance.


Emergency Medicine Update

January 16-19, 2024

The Lodge at Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT

This event will discuss a variety of timely, practical issues that are encountered in the emergency department on a daily basis. Lectures will be engaging, sometimes controversial, and present the audience with examples of both successes and failures in emergency medicine. Changes don’t always equal advances and advancement doesn’t always mean change. At the end of the program, participants should be able to distinguish between advancement and change in the emergency department in a relaxed, family-oriented environment where learning does equal fun!

Learn more and register here.

35th Annual Eastern Winter Dermatology Conference

February 1-4, 2024

TopNotch Resort, Stowe, VT

The conference is designed to provide high-level continuing education for dermatologists and medical professionals specializing in dermatology, keeping them abreast of new and exciting findings in basic science, clinical dermatology and dermatologic therapy. Topics that will be covered include: Pediatric Dermatology; Clinical Pearls in Contact Dermatitis; Hair Loss; Lessons in Medicine: Nail Wisdom; and Memorable Skin Adventures from UVM Faculty.

Learn more and register here.

Hospital Medicine 2024

February 7-9, 2024

TopNotch Resort, Stowe, VT

The course will provide practical approaches to common problems in hospital medicine informed by experts and the latest evidence. The target audience is comprised of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses practicing Hospital Medicine. Some of the clinicians will also be engaged in education, research, quality improvement, and management. The audience may also include Hospital Medicine program administrators, resident physicians, and medical students with an interest in careers in Hospital Medicine. Topics include Congestive Heart Failure; Pain Management; Care of Transgender Patients in Hospital; and more.

Learn more and register here.

Future Health Best: Practices for Advancing Care

March 22, 2024

Virtual and In-Person Waltham, MA

This 2024 conference will focus on the nexus of climate change and its growing impact, AI and new technologies to diagnose and treat patients, and the evolving and expanding role of physicians in this rapidly changing health landscape.

View the event flyer here. Registration will open in January 2024.

For more information about offerings from UVM CMIE, visit here.


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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