October 17, 2023


Community Meetings to Inform Hospital Transformation Taking Place Oct 24th – Nov 15th

In 2022, the legislature passed Act 167 (of 2022) which called for healthcare delivery reform in the state of Vermont, focused on reviewing the services offered in each of Vermont’s hospital service areas.  A central part of the information gathering process is a listening tour to hear directly from health care clinicians and Vermonters about current experiences with the healthcare system.  It is critical that physicians, PAs and other clinicians attend and share input on the services provided in your area.

A schedule of community meetings is now live on the Green Mountain Care Board website.   On this page you can register directly for the meeting(s) you’d like to attend in your region.


Provider meetings are all scheduled from 6:30-8:30 pm on the following dates:

  • Barre / Central Vermont Medical Center - Monday, November 6, 2023
  • Bennington / Southwestern Vermont Medical Center - Thursday, November 2, 2023
  • Brattleboro / Brattleboro Memorial Hospital - Monday, October 30, 2023
  • Burlington / University of Vermont Medical Center - Thursday, October 26, 2023
  • Middlebury / Porter Medical Center - Wednesday, November 8, 2023
  • Morrisville / Copley Hospital- Wednesday, November 8, 2023
  • Newport / North Country Hospital - November 14, 2023
  • Randolph / Gifford Medical Center - Thursday, November 9, 2023
  • Rutland / Rutland Regional Medical Center -  Thursday, November 16, 2023
  • Springfield / Springfield Hospital - Wednesday, November 15, 2023
  • St. Albans / Northwestern Medical Center -  Monday, November 13, 2023
  • St. Johnsbury / Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital - Tuesday, October 24, 2023
  • Townshend / Grace Cottage Hospital - Tuesday, November 7, 2023 
  • White River Junction / Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center - Wednesday, November 1, 2023

See the full schedule and sign up here: https://bit.ly/Healthcare-Community-Meetings.  

In addition to participating in these meetings, we also encourage you to share this information with colleague and let patients in your area know about the community meetings.

Apply by October 31st for the AAPVT Chapter - Flu and COVID19 Vaccine Grant

The AAPVT Chapter is pleased to again partner with the Vermont Department of Health to offer another round of funding for Flu and COVID19 immunization clinics. This is a grant that allows practices to apply for a maximum grant award of $10,000 (pending availability of funds).

The goal of this funding is to provide financial support for health care practices/organizations activities that:

  • assess barriers to pediatric COVID-19 and/or seasonal influenza vaccinations in the communities served by the recipient and in collaboration with community organizations.
  • properly manage vaccines and off-site by ensuring vaccine storage equipment meets or exceeds CDC Storage and Handling Toolkit recommendations
  • implement COVID-19 and/or seasonal influenza vaccination clinics in communities to address identified barriers. Emphasis should be placed on offering vaccination clinics specifically to high-risk populations or those with limited access (e.g. assisting living communities, senior housing, schools, children under the age of 18 and their care givers).
  • expand access to COVID-19 and/or seasonal influenza vaccination at primary care practices through patient outreach, vaccine promotion, and expansion of vaccination services.
  • offer off-site, weekend, and after-hours COVID-19 and/or seasonal influenza vaccination clinics at selected locations to meet the need(s) of the community served (e.g. schools, shelters, meal sites, etc.)

Applications will be reviewed on receipt and funds will be distributed upon receipt of final project report. The reporting requirements will be distributed after the application deadline. Reporting will be due April 1, 2024.

The last date to return the completed application with the required budget is October 31, 2023.

Find more details and how to apply by October 31st here

If you have any questions, please reach out to Birdie Pauley at BPauley@vtmd.org.

Help us help YOU to Update Medicare Physician Payment!

The American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Practice Information (PPI) Survey is underway, and we urgently need all selected physicians to actively engage in this effort. The intent of the survey, which has been endorsed by over 170 medical societies and other health care associations (see full list here), is to collect updated and accurate data on practice costs which are a key element of physician payment. These data have not been updated since last collected over 15 years ago and it is critically important to update these data to ensure accurate payment.

See here for more information about this survey.

Mathematica, a well-regarded consulting firm, is helping the AMA run this survey. Your practice may receive an email (from ppisurvey@mathematica-mpr.com) and an USPS priority mail packet from Mathematica that contained a link to the survey as well as supporting information. We urge you to speak with your practice management colleagues to determine if they have received these communications and ask them to complete this important survey. In the coming weeks or months, your practice, or Mathematica, may ask you to complete a brief survey on the number of weekly hours spent on direct patient care. We urge you to complete this two-minute survey.  Help us help YOU to update Medicare physician payment!

Vermont Department of Health Releases 2020 Physician Census Data; Primary Care FTEs Continue to Drop

The Health Department recently released the 2020 Physician Census Data, based on surveys completed at the time of the 2020 relicensure. As of 2020, 566 physicians provided mainly primary care, compared to 2067 physicians or 974.2 FTEs who provide mainly specialty care.  Vermont saw a decrease of 9.6 primary care FTEs between 2018 and 2020, a 2% drop, as some physicians have retired or reduced their work hours.  Between 2010 and 2020 primary care FTEs in Vermont declined by 65.8 (13%). Over the same period, specialist FTEs went up by 130.5 (15%).  The prevalence of telemedicine has increased further, mostly in radiology, but now also in emergency medicine, internal medicine subspecialties, neurology, and other specialties.  33% of primary care physicians are over age 60, as compared with 29% in 2014, 19% in 2008, and 9% in 2002.  27% of specialists are over age 60. This includes 42% of psychiatrists and 33% of urgent care specialists.  These data call out the continuing need for workforce development and support for primary care training and retention, priorities that VMS will continue to push in the 2024 legislative session. 

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 a reminder email this morning with a survey link specific to you. If you did not receive your survey link or have any questions or concerns with completing the survey, please contact bpauley@vtmd.org. Thank you to those that have filled out the survey so far!

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.

PlanWell - Today Through Retirement Series

PlanWell developed a holistic financial education curriculum that provides thoughtful and objective information focused on the achievement of personal financial goals at any stage of career, or life.

These workshops are offered virtually at no cost to any of the participating physicians. We look forward to seeing you!

The next workshop is on Monday, November 13th at 12:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.

This SaveWell workshop focuses on the first step of planning for a successful retirement: Helping each employee understand their individual retirement goals and the factors that will impact those goals. We explore external factors and those that an individual can control — like taking a more informed approach to saving. Attendees move forward into the PlanWell™ Series with a better feel for how saving today will impact their options tomorrow. 

Learn more about the other workshops being offered and register here


Register for the 210th Annual and Collaborative Meeting Today!

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!

Medicare Open Enrollment Ongoing

Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15, 2023, and ends December 7, 2023, with coverage changes taking effect January 1, 2024. During this time, people with Medicare can compare coverage options, like Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and choose health and drug plans for 2024. Medicare Advantage and Part D plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices and decide on the options that best meet their health needs. 

Here are four ways people with Medicare can compare plans and look at savings options:

  1. Go to Medicare.gov to learn the difference between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and do side-by-side comparisons of costs and coverage for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.
  2. Call 1-800-MEDICARE. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends.
  3. Access personalized health insurance counseling at no cost, available from State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP). In Vermont, call the Area Agency on Aging HelpLine at 800-642-5119. You will be directed to the Area Agency on Aging in your area. Ask to speak to a SHIP counselor who can help you with your Medicare questions.
  4. Check eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs and the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program. If you have limited income and resources, you could qualify for Medicare Savings Programs, run by your state Medicaid program, or for the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program. These programs could help save you money on health and prescription drug costs and could reduce your Part B premium and/or Part D premium to $0. For more information, contact 1-800-MEDICARE, visit Medicare.gov/extrahelp or contact Vermont Medicaid at 1-800-250-8427.

Vermont Retirement Systems Seek Member for Medical Review Board

Vermont’s three public retirement systems seek a licensed physician to be a member of the State’s Medical Review Board (MRB).  The MRB is a State Board comprised of three physicians that reviews and makes recommendations on applications for disability retirement benefits.  The Board is staffed by employees of the Retirement Division, which is housed in the State Treasurer’s Office.  The position involves a limited commitment of approximately 6 hours/month.  For more information about the position, please see here. Interested candidates should send a resume and statement of interest to briana.howard@vermont.gov

VT Medicaid Top 10 Denials for UB-04 Outpatient Claim Webinar

Gainwell Technologies will be providing a webinar to review the Top 10 Claim Denial Reasons for UB-04 Outpatient Claims in the Vermont Medicaid program. In this webinar, we will discuss the 10 denial reasons, where to find them on your remittance advice, what the definition of the denial is, and how to correct the denial if applicable.

This webinar will be on October 26, 2023, at 11:00 am. If you are interested in attending, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7887628571225328213. Space is limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible.

Help Improve Community Broadband Data

The Vermont Community Broadband Board (VCBB) is hard at work making a plan to bring digital equity to all Vermonters and needs your input to be effective. VCBB has a new website that shows all Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) in Vermont. CAIs are places that “facilitate greater use of broadband service by vulnerable populations,” such as schools, libraries, health clinics, and many more. Please look at the CAIs in your communities to make sure the information is correct, add anything that should be there, take something away, and/or improve the information listed about the CAI. Here is the map: CAI Public Input App - v2 (arcgis.com). Because the locations come from the E911 sites, it might not have the names of the locations or could have other mistakes. Thank you for your help with this important work and please share with your networks.

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. 


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.

#MEAction New Hampshire - The Untreated Epidemic: Understanding and Treating Long Covid and ME/CFS

November 6, 2023

Virtual and In-Person at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

This free AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (3.5 hours) features Grand Rounds speaker Dr. Lucinda Bateman, Medical Director of the Bateman Horne Center and one of the leading worldwide experts in Long COVID and ME/CFS. Also featuring Ryan Prior, former CNN reporter and author of “The Long Haul”, who will moderate our panel titled “Educating Each Other: Enhancing Patient/Provider Collaboration”, and Lisa McCorkell, co-leader of thePatient-Led Research Collaborative who will speak on the future of medicine and research. 

To register and learn more, click 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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