November 7, 2023


Thank You for Joining the VMS, VTAFP, VPA and the AAPVT for the 210th Annual & Collaborative Meeting

The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) physician and physician assistant members met in Stowe this past weekend for the 210th VMS Annual and Collaborative meeting. Hosted in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter (AAPVT), the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians (VTAFP), and the Vermont Psychiatric Association (VPA), this meeting focused on health equity and the power of collaboration in the practice of medicine in Vermont. During the meeting, VMS members elected a new slate of Society officers, awarded the Mildred Reardon medical student scholarship, and honored the 2023 VMS Leadership awardees.

The VMS named Rebecca Bell, M.D., M.P.H., pediatric intensivist at University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) and past-President of the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, as the new VMS President. Katherine Gamble Marvin, M.D., family physician at Lamoille Health Partners and past-President of the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, was elected as the VMS President-Elect; Naiim Ali, M.D., diagnostic radiologist at UVMMC, was elected Vice-President; and Mark Fung, M.D., pathologist at UVMMC, was elected Treasurer. Click for the full press release: Vermont Medical Society Taps New Officers.

VMS Honors the 2023 Leadership and Mildred Reardon Scholarship Awardees

This past weekend in Stowe, VT, VMS members recognized the six individuals and one organization who are the recipients of the 2023 VMS Leadership awards. Join us in congratulating Norman Ward, M.D., family medicine physician and American Medical Association (AMA) Delegate for Vermont, who received the Vermont Medical Society’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award; Lauren MacAfee, M.D., Director of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Vermont Medical Center, and Denise Paasche, M.D., family medicine physician at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, who received the Vermont Medical Society's 2023 Physician of the Year Award; Robert Hilo, D.O., emergency medicine physician and site director for the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, who received the Vermont Medical Society’s 2023 Physician Award for Community Services; Let’s Grow Kids was awarded the Vermont Medical Society’s 2023 Citizen of the Year Award; and Rebecca Bell, M.D., pediatric intensivist at University of Vermont Medical Center, who received the Vermont Medical Society’s 2023 Founder’s Award. Click for the full press release: Vermont Medical Society Honors Outstanding Service 2023

The Vermont Medical Society’s Education and Research Foundation (VMSERF) also awarded a $10,000 scholarship to University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine student Elizabeth Kelley. The scholarship was created to encourage young physicians to return to Vermont after completing their residency training and is named in honor of Dr. Mildred Reardon, former faculty member at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM and past-President of VMS. Click for the full press release: Vermont Medical Society Awards Medical School Scholarship 2023

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.

Medicare Physician Payment Schedule Final Rule Released

Last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for the calendar year (CY) 2024 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule. The AMA will continue to analyze the final rule and develop a detailed summary in the coming days, but we want to make you immediately aware of a handful of key provisions as well as ongoing AMA efforts to mitigate negative impacts on physician pay.  


Due to the expiration of a temporary update under current law and the finalized budget neutrality adjustment due to the adoption of a CMS-developed add-on code, physician payment will be cut next year unless Congress intervenes.  As a result, the 2024 Medicare conversion factor will decrease by 3.39 percent from $33.8872 to $32.7375. Similarly, the anesthesia conversion factor will decrease from $21.1249 to $20.4349.   In September, the American Medical Association (AMA) submitted a comprehensive comment letterin response to the proposed rule and recommended constructive steps that CMS could take to ensure the 2024 Medicare physician payment system reduced the negative financial impact on physicians and protected patient access to care.


Unfortunately, these cuts coincide with ongoing growth in the cost to practice medicine as CMS projects the increase in the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) for 2024 will be 4.6 percent. Physician practices cannot continue to absorb these increasing costs while their payment rates dwindle. This is why the AMA and our partners in organized medicine are continuing to mount a full-scale advocacy effort in strong supportof H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, which would provide a permanent, annual update equal to the increase in the MEI and allow physicians to invest in their practices and implement new strategies to provide high-value care. Visit the AMA’s Fix Medicare Nowsite and join the fight for financial stability for physician practices to preserve access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.   

The text of the final rule can be accessed at:  

Additional links include:  

VMS Board to Meet This Wednesday, November 8th

The VMS Board will meet virtually tomorrow, Wednesday night, November 8th, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Topics on the agenda include reviewing for approval the 2024 VMS Budget; electing Board members to open or expiring seats; discussing the proposed resolution Addressing Ethical Dilemmas in Some of CMS’s Pay for Performance Programs; and hearing from AHS Director of Health Care Reform, Pat Jones, about the new CMMI AHEAD Model.  Members are invited to any Board meeting - contact Birdie Pauley at for the Zoom link.   


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.

Free Lockable Storage Bags Available for Cannabis Products

To help reduce the risk of children accessing cannabis products and other substances, the Department of Health and Cannabis Control Board have launched a pilot project to offer free, lockable storage bags at select cannabis stores in Vermont.

The pilot project includes distribution of 3,000 lockable storage bags to stores identified by the Cannabis Control Board. Each bag includes a pamphlet that directs people to a satisfaction survey and the information collected will help guide decisions about expansion of the program to more sites.

Read more here

November 2023 Vermont Vaccine Program Update Now Available

The November 2023 Vermont Vaccine Program Update is available here.  The issue addresses topics including the requirement for all enrolled vaccine providers to carry COVID-19 vaccines and an RSV prevention toolkit. 

Clinician Participation Needed in Community Meetings to Inform Hospital Transformation

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.

schedule of community meetings is available 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 remaining dates:

  • 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
  • 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:  

Seeking Feedback on Department of Health Proposed Rule Changes: Telehealth Licenses Created, ALS Reporting, Co-Prescribed Naloxone

The Department of Health has released a number of draft rules for comment, described further in the Rounds from last week, available here.  The proposed changes impact:

  • The Board of Medical Practice – adding telehealth licensure and registration
  • ALS Registry – establishing an ALS reporting registry
  • Naloxone co-prescribing – allowing co-prescribing of any opioid antagonist to the Opioid Prescribing Rule
  • Hub and Spoke rules: updates to the rules for Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Providers and Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP)

Please share comments or concerns regarding any the rule proposals with Jessa Barnard at VMS at by Friday, November 17th.   

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.

PlanWell Financial Education Series Launches Nov 13th

Baystate Financial, in partnership with VMS, is offering a holistic financial education curriculum that aims to provide 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.  The series includes:

SaveWell:  Monday, November 13th at 12:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.

InvestWell: Monday, November 20, 2023 at 12:30pm or 5:00pm

ProtectWell: Monday, November 27, 2023 at 12:30pm or 5:00pm

Learn more about the other workshops being offered and register 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. 


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.

Vermont Reimagining Drug Policy Conference

November 9, 2023 from 10am to 2pm


Keynote speaker Dr. Sarah E. Wakeman is the Medical Director for the Mass General Hospital Substance Use Disorder Initiative, program director of the Mass General Addiction Medicine fellowship, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

Panels on evidence-based reforms and the impacts of criminalization will feature international experts, including:

  • Corey Davis (Network for Public Health Law)
  • Niamh Eastwood (Release)
  • Jeffrey Bratberg (University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy)
  • Daniela Gilbert (Vera Institute)
  • Kennedy Stewart (SFU School of Public Policy)
  • Jennifer Carroll (NC State)

Learn more about the conference agenda, featured speakers, and register for FREE 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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