November 21, 2023


The VMS staff and leadership wish our members a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

We are grateful for the work you dedicate day-in and day-out to taking care of Vermonters.  For those working this holiday weekend, we recognize you for your sacrifices of time with family and friends in order to meet the health care needs of your patients.

Please Urge Your Lawmaker to End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

November 16th was the Great American Smokeout! - an opportunity for everyone to commit to smoke-free, vape-free lives. To mark this day, the VMS and AAPVT are partnering with the Flavors Hook Kids Vermont campaign to asking you to share your support of banning the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products with your Representative. Click here to take action.

Please share this link with your networks and supporters who want to help prevent the tobacco industry from targeting and hooking our kids with flavors like Cotton Candy, Pink Lemonade, Orange Soda, Cherry Dynamite, Mango Mania, and Cool Mint. A recent CDC report found 89% of youth e-cigarette users report using flavored products, with the biggest increase in users being among middle schoolers. 

The tobacco industry knows that 95% of adult tobacco users started under the age of 21, and that menthol and other flavors make it easier to start and harder to quit. 

You can help prevent the next generation of addicted tobacco users by emailing your lawmaker asking them to end the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products. You can also edit the letter to your lawmaker to share why you personally support the Flavors Hook Kids VT campaign.

VMS Announces New Member Benefit – Employment Contract Review and Compensation Data

VMS has partnered with Resolve to provide a benefit to VMS members to gain access to attorneys, real-time salary data, and more.

Resolve provides physician contract review services and compensation data. Whether you are signing your first employment contract, or renegotiating a current one, Resolve offers free tools that let you look at salary and signing bonus numbers from real contracts (rData), as well as compare your contract to others in your specialty and region. If you need to negotiate a contract, attorneys specializing in physician employment are available to help you along the way or even negotiate on your behalf.

Free tools that VMS members can immediately access include:

  • Real-time, accurate physician salary data and benchmarks to make informed decisions about your total compensation
  • A contract scorecard to rate any new or existing contract, so you know when negotiations are necessary
  • Updates on the current J-1 waiver cycle

In addition to these helpful free tools, Resolve offers several contract review packages, which also include expanded salary data. With these packages, an attorney will help you with the entire review and negotiation process. Resolve offers flat-rate pricing at significantly lower rates than hiring an attorney on your own. As an added membership perk, VMS members receive a 15% discount on all Resolve packages. Learn more here.

AMA Concludes Interim Meeting in National Harbor

The AMA Interim Meeting wrapped up in National Harbor, Maryland last week.  Vermont was represented at the national policy-setting meeting by AMA Delegate Catherine Schneider, MD, and Alternate Delegate Rebecca Bell, MD.  Top on the list for discussion was working with Congress to avert a 3.37% cut to the Medicare fee schedule set to take effect in January.  Other actions taken by the delegates include directing the AMA to advocate to only allow physicians with adequate and commensurate training to make insurance prior authorization decisions; requiring insurers rather than medical practices to collect patient cost sharing; and directing further study of requiring emergency departments to have an on-site physician available at all times.  See additional highlights from the meeting here.

New AMA Report Details Grim Realities of Worsening Overdose Epidemic

The 2023 Overdose Epidemic Report, released last week by the American Medical Association (AMA), finds opioid prescribing by physicians and other health professionals decreased for the 13th consecutive year, down nearly 50% since 2012, while overdoses and deaths related to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, xylazine and other synthetic substances continue to increase. In 2022, more than 107,000 people died from a drug-related overdose in the United States. Data shows the epidemic is increasingly impacting young people, Black and Brown people, and pregnant people.

There have been signs of progress in the past year - notably community-based distribution of naloxone by leading harm reduction supporters and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone, which the AMA has long championed. Naloxone dispensing has increased more than 200% since 2018.  At home in Vermont, a new walk in health clinic is opening in downtown Burlington to serve patients with substance use disorder. 

The AMA report calls for immediate action on strategies – many of which moving forward in Vermont - including:

  • An increase in harm reduction resources such as naloxone, syringe services programs and fentanyl test strips.
  • Legislative and regulatory actions to remove administrative and other barriers such as prior authorization, step therapy and dosage caps for medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD); and
  • Additional enforcement of mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) parity laws.

Additional recommendations and data are in the full report. State-by-state trend data for opioid prescriptions, MOUD, naloxone and state prescription drug monitoring programs can be found on the AMA overdose epidemic website.

Application Deadline Extended to Dec 1: VMS ERF Clinician Leadership Course

The Vermont Medical Society Education & Research Foundation is now accepting applications through Friday, December 1st for a 5th statewide Executive Leadership Course beginning in February 2024. 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 February 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 by December 1st. View the full 2024 brochure, schedule and application information here.


Vermont Medicaid Covering COVID-19 Vaccines at Pharmacies

The Vermont Department of Health Access (DVHA/Vermont Medicaid) recently announced that Medicaid members age 3 and older can now receive COVID-19 vaccines at no cost at a pharmacy, rather than just at a practice.    

VITLAccess for VMS Webinar, Dec 5th

This webinar, hosted by VITL in collaboration with the Vermont Medical Society, will serve as in introduction (or reintroduction) to VITLAccess for clinicians. The focus will be how clinicians and staff at hospitals and practices around Vermont are using VITLAccess, and how you and your organization's staff can begin using this tool to access more complete health information about the patients you serve.

This webinar, hosted by VITL, will be held on Tuesday, December 5th from 12:15-1:00. Register here. A recording will be available to registrants after the session.

A one-page overview document about VITLAccess is available here.

Next Commissioner of Health Call Thursday, December 7th

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, will hold his next Public Health Update with VMS Members on Thursday, December 7th 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.

Commissioner Levine last joined the VMS for a public health update on November 2nd. You can find the notes 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 if you have any questions. 

Click here for the list of dates & to register. 

Click here for more information. 


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.

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.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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