October 10, 2023


Childcare Registration Deadline this Friday for the 210th Annual and Collaborative Meeting

The 210th VMS Annual Meeting will be held on November 3rd and 4th in person at Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT, with virtual options. The weekend will be filled with educational content, time spent with colleagues, policy-setting meetings, and the opportunity to honor physicians and other health care leaders across the state.

Learn more about the agenda and register here!

Childcare will be available for those that request it when registering for the event. You must indicate your childcare need by Friday, October 13th!

VMS Board Seeking Resolution Feedback by Oct. 24th

The VMS Board is seeking member feedback on a policy resolution related to:

  • Addressing Ethical Dilemmas in Some of CMS’s Pay for Performance and Value Based Care Programs

The full text of the Resolution is available here.

This resolution is a redraft of the resolution previously distributed, “Eliminating Medicare’s Direct Contracting Entity (DCE)/ACO-Reach Programs.”  The redrafted Resolution represents an update of a 2005 VMS resolution, adds new criteria pertaining to current CMS physician payment programs, and recommends relevant updates to AMA policy. 

You should have received an email with a survey link specific to you. If you did not receive your survey links or have any questions or concerns with completing the survey, please contact bpauley@vtmd.org.  The survey will be open for member comment between September 26, 2023 and October 24, 2023. The resolutions will be discussed together with the feedback received from members by the VMS Board at its November 8th Board Meeting. If you would like to join this meeting via Zoom, please contact Birdie Pauley at BPauley@vtmd.org.

DEA Extends Telehealth Prescribing Flexibilities through Dec. 2024

The DEA, jointly with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced last week that they have extended current telemedicine flexibilities through December 31, 2024.  Under this extension, the DEA and HHS are extending the full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding prescription of controlled medications as were in place during the COVID–19 PHE through December 31, 2024. This extension authorizes all DEA-registered practitioners to prescribe schedule II–V controlled medications via telemedicine through December 31, 2024, whether or not the patient and practitioner established a telemedicine relationship on or before November 11, 2023. The purpose of what is being referred to as the “Second Temporary Rule” is to ensure a smooth transition for patients and practitioners that have come to rely on the availability of telemedicine for controlled medication prescriptions, as well as allowing adequate time for providers to come into compliance with any new standards or safeguards. DEA is working to promulgate new standards or safeguards by the fall of 2024. The announcement can be found here and the full text of the extension can be found here.  Additional coverage of the announcement can be found here.

72-hr Waiting Period for Firearm Purchase Now Rule of Law in Vermont

After years of advocating for a sensible waiting period for purchasing firearms in Vermont, the Vermont Medical Society and American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, are proud to report this session the legislature took action and passed H.230 (Act 45), a law aimed at reducing suicide and community violence. As of July 1, 2023, Act 45 establishes:

  1.  A 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of firearms that starts after the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check comes back;
  2. A new crime if a firearm is not safely stored in homes were children, or prohibited persons, could be, and if the firearm is used in a crime or in a threatening manner; and
  3. The ability for family members to petition the court for extreme risk protection orders, to temporarily prohibit individuals who may be a risk to themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or receiving dangerous weapons.

This bill, which usually starts in the Judiciary Committees, began in the House Health Care Committee, as a bill focused on suicide prevention. The Committee took testimony from Dr. Becca Bell, and other experts, on the effectiveness of suicide prevention measures. Thanks in part to committed outreach from VMS and AAPVT members and staff, the Governor decided to allow the bill to go into law without his signature. In his letter to the General Assembly explaining his decision, he stated that the bill started as something he could not support, but ultimately, he could support two out of the three major provisions. 


Learn More About AHEAD Payment Reform Model Open to Vermont

Vermont is considering joining CMMI’s latest payment reform model open to the State, the AHEAD Model or States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model

CMMI has provided a recording of a September 26 webinar for Vermont providers, which can be accessed here:

Recordings and resources from a CMMI national overview webinar held September 18th are available here:

CMMI has announce two additional opportunities to learn more about the AHEAD Model and existing state efforts aligned with model goals. These webinars will be geared towards state policymakers as the primary audience but will be open to the public.  

  • Considering the AHEAD Model: Lessons from States with Health Care Cost Growth and Primary Care Investment Targets
    • Webinar Host: Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs
    • Date and Time: October 17, 2023 — 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
    • Registration: Please visit this link.
  • Considering the AHEAD Model: Lessons from States on Hospital Global Budgets and Investing in Primary Care
    • Webinar Host: The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)
    • Data and Time: October 26, 2023 — 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT
    • Registration: Please visit this link.

New Management of Obesity Academic Detailing Topic

The Vermont Academic Detailing program is a university-based prescriber education and support program. The Program is offered by the University of Vermont’s Office of Primary Care with no pharmaceutical company sponsorship. The faculty objectively review clinical topics, covering the latest evidence for lifestyle changes and generic medications in addition to the latest in medication releases. This information is shared with health care teams across Vermont.

This new Obesity Management session highlights the practical aspects of managing obesity in primary care, with a focus on the available evidencebase. This session includes information about epidemiology and related statistics, body mass index, obesity as a chronic illness, evidence for non-pharmacologic approaches, and discusses the risks and benefits of various medication options. The session also includes resources for patient education. To learn more or schedule a free educational session, visit https://www.med.uvm.edu/ahec/vermontacademicdetailing

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Expands Virtual Mental Health Services

To meet the increasing need for mental health and substance use disorder providers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (Blue Cross VT) has announced a new partnership with Valera Health.  Valera Health offers virtual mental health care, including therapy and psychiatry services for adults, adolescents, and children ages 6 and older.  The service can support a range of mental health conditions that includes perinatal mental health, childhood and adolescent anxiety, OCD and depression, to schizophrenia and follow up after hospitalization. Additionally, most Blue Cross VT members can also access mental health and substance disorder services from AmWell, a national telemedicine provider. The guide available here offers additional details about both Valera Health and Amwell including how members can contact these services for care.

Commissioner of Health Public Health Notes from Update and Next Call Thursday, October 5th

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, joined the VMS for a public health update on October 5th. You can find the notes here.

The next Public Health Update will be Thursday, November 2nd at 12:30 pm. Hear about the 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.

Now Accepting Applications for 2024 VMS ERF Clinician Leadership Course

The Vermont Medical Society Education & Research Foundation is pleased to open applications for a 5th statewide Executive Leadership Course beginning in January 2024.

This course is offered in partnership with the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership and Lumunos Wellbeing and is supported by funding from the Physicians Foundation.  Perhaps more than ever before physicians and PAs are being asked to step up and skillfully lead rapid change. Every clinician is being called upon to bring their management styles and skills to the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for Vermont patients. VMSERF is pleased to continue to offer an experiential learning opportunity that will enhance and fine-tune leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs.

The course will run from January through November 2024.  It is aimed at individuals with 5 or more years of clinical experience but minimal formal leadership training, with a goal of enrolling 15-20 physicians and PAs from across Vermont.  To apply, submit a CV and brief description of interest to swinters@vtmd.org by November 1st. View the full 2024 brochure, schedule and application information here.

You Are Invited to the 2024 Vermont Voices of Medicine Advocacy Breakfasts

Please join us in January to meet your lawmakers and to advocate for health care policies over coffee and a light breakfast. These breakfasts, which will be held in the cafeteria at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, are an informal opportunity to educate lawmakers on ways to improve Vermont's practice environment. Each breakfast starts on specific Thursdays and runs from 7:30-9 AM. 

The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) will be hosting several of the breakfasts with others hosted by the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, the Vermont Ophthalmological Society, the Vermont Psychiatric Association, the OB/GYN residency program, and Larner College of Medicine medical students. Please RSVP to attend the breakfasts being hosted by the specialty society of which you are a member. The VMS advocacy breakfasts are open to all specialties to attend. Please reach out to Jill Sudhoff-Guerin at jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org if you have any questions. 

Click here for the list of dates & to register. 

Click here for more information. 


Primary Care Sports Medicine and

Wilderness Medicine Conference

October 15 – 17, 2023

Delta Hotel in South Burlington, VT

The 2023 Primary Care Sports Medicine and Wilderness Medicine is designed to update knowledge and skills in the diagnosis and management of common sports medicine and wilderness medicine problems. Topics will include discussions of medical and orthopedic issues. There will be ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and interact with faculty, who hail from the University of Vermont Health Network and local community. The teaching program includes lectures and workshops.

Registration information, full agenda and accreditation details can be found here.

DMH Conference 2023 ~ Reshaping Mental Health Systems Through Integration

October 19, 2023

Killington Grand Hotel

Featured workshops included promising and evidence based practices, panel presentations, and more!

Keynote speakers include William Kellibrew, MSW and Jennifer  Moss.

Learn more here. Register here.

Northern New England Neurological Society Annual Meeting

October 20th - 21st, 2023

Killington Grand Hotel and Resort, Killington, VT

The 2023 NNENS Annual Meeting will take place at the Killington Grand Hotel and Resort and offer updates on the latest treatments and therapeutic options available across the neurology field. This event is open to physicians, past and present neurology residents, nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other neuroscience professionals. You do not need to be a NNENS member to participate.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

Neurology for the Non-Neurologist 

October 20, 2023

Killington Grand Hotel and Resort, Killington, VT

The Neurology for the Non-Neurologist conference offers the most up-to-date information regarding the treatment of neurologic problems in the primary care setting. This conference focuses on how to diagnose and treat common neurological disorders, order and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies, and provides a guide for therapy and patient care. Primary care physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other medical professionals with an interest in neurology are encouraged to attend.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

Osteoporosis Update for Primary Care November 2, 2023

Hampton Inn Conference Center, Colchester, VT

This conference is designed to improve the skills of the primary healthcare team, as they are often the first to encounter patients who have (or are at risk of developing) osteoporosis. A wide spectrum of diagnostic, management and treatment options will be presented. Topics will include: osteoporosis treatment and fractures, physical therapy and bone health, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and risks, evaluation and treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

New England Rural Health Association's Annual Fall Conference

"New Horizons in Rural Health Equity"

November 8-9, 2023

Killington Grand Resort Hotel, Killington VT

This conference is an opportunity for rural healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, educators, students and community leaders to learn from experts in rural topics, and to network with each other. Designed to involve all sectors that impact the health of people in rural New England, this multidisciplinary event gives attendees the opportunity to delve into specific areas of interest or participate in sessions spanning a variety of topic areas.

Register today for NERHA's Fall 2023 Conference and learn more here.

CPT & RBRVS 2024 Annual Symposium

November 15-17, 2023

CPT & RBRVS 2024 Annual Symposium is the world's only medical coding conference where attendees learn about the upcoming changes to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set and payment policies directly from members of the AMA-convened CPT Editorial Panel, AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), and CPT and RUC Advisors.

Join virtually to get the first look at the 2024 CPT code set with guidance from the experts, earn continuing education credits, and join over a thousand of your peers for premier coding education at the CPT & RBRVS Symposium!

Register with early bird discounted rates through September 30th here.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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