March 29th, 2022


Happy Doctors’ Day from all of us at VMS to our physician members.  We celebrate all you do for your patients and communities all year long but also send special thanks on National Doctors’ Day, Wednesday, March 30th.

Vermont Medical Society 2022 Mid-Session Legislative Bulletin

With the Vermont legislature through crossover week and the House having passed their draft of the FY23 Budget, we can confidently say we are in the final half of the 2022 legislative session and the final quarter of the 2021/2022 legislative biennium. The VMS Policy team has prepared this Mid-Session 2022 VMS Legislative Bulletin to provide you with the status of State legislation from the 2022 session covering topics relevant to healthcare including: the COVID-19 emergency, health reform, insurance regulation, public health, scope of practice, mental health and regulating the practice of medicine. This report provides a comprehensive status update on important 2021/2022 health care legislation and largely focuses on the bills that passed, were vetoed or received considerable action.

Click here for the 2022 VMS Mid-Session Legislative Bulletin

Action: Please Share Your Stories Why Investment into Loan Repayment is Needed Now!

Although Vermont's primary care physician workforce shortage is not a new issue, the pandemic has exacerbated shortages by threatening the resources primary care practices have for recruitment and pushing physicians to retirement.  Instead of increasing support, over time the funding for Vermont AHEC's Educational Loan Repayment Program has been drastically reduced to $667,111 from a high in FY2009, when it was provided $1,460,000.  At a time when Vermont should be investing more in primary care, we are no longer competitive with loan repayment programs in neighboring states. With the average physician entering the health care workforce with anywhere from $100,000-200,000 dollars of debt, even those medical students who know they want to practice in Vermont are often driven to states where they receive a more substantial benefit. 

This session the Vermont Legislature has made workforce development a major priority and has developed a number of new initiatives to bolster Vermont's health care workforce yet has not provided any additional funding for Vermont's Area Health Education Center's (AHEC) Loan Repayment Program.  VMS will be communicating with the Vermont Senate regarding the need to invest more in loan repayment. Please help us by sending us your stories on the importance of loan repayment in recruitment from your own experience, or for those you have tried to recruit.  Send stories to Stephanie Winters at by Friday April 1st.

Update to Telehealth Registration Requirements for Out-of-State Health Professionals

For Immediate Attention: In accordance with Act 85 (H. 654), health care professionals who hold an out-of-state license and provide services through telehealth to patients/clients located in the State of Vermont will be required to obtain an Interim Telehealth Registration effective April 1, 2022.  If you do not hold a Vermont license you will not be able to continue to practice telehealth for Vermont patients as of April 1, 2022 unless you complete a registration with the Office of Professional Regulation or Board of Medical Practice. Health professionals are encouraged to visit the Office of Professional Regulation’s (OPR’s) or Board of Medical Practice’s websites for more information. Persons holding only an Interim Telehealth Registration may not provide in-person services to patients or clients located in Vermont. Please note that health care professionals who hold an active, conventional Vermont license do not need to obtain an Interim Telehealth Registration to practice telehealth in Vermont.  Act 85 also continues certain licensing flexibilities for out-of-state or recently inactive health professionals who practice in-person in Vermont.  For further details see the VMS Legislative Bulletin, OPR and Board of Medical Practice websites, or contact

Administration Press Conference: Second COVID-19 Booster Approved for those 50+; Cases Remain Low

At the Administration’s press conference this afternoon, Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD, shared that the FDA just announced that they have authorized second COVID-19 booster shots for everyone 50 and older as well as those with immune deficiencies.  Read the release from the FDA here.  The Department of Health is still reviewing the approval and assessing what state recommendations may be.   The modeling report for the week can be found here.  The Omicron variant of BA.2 now comprises over 72% of cases in New England but, despite this, cases in Vermont have decreased 11% over the past 7 days.   Hospitalizations remain steady and quite low, they are down 87% from the Omicron peak and 12 individuals were hospitalized today. There are no individuals in the ICU today.  Commissioner Levine responded to questions regarding the CDC listing several Vermont counties at “high risk” and stated that Vermont continues to recommend statewide not county-by-county guidance and that small, rural states can see large data swings with small changes in cases.  It is also unclear at this time why Vermont shows up as higher risk in New York Times data.  For full notes of the press conference click here.  

In other news:

  • Pfizer Vaccines US Medical Affairs is hosting immunization trainings to educate clinicians and immunization staff personnel on the proper use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Section 1 will include medical updates and new information and Section 2 will include storage, handling, and administration of the vaccine. To view more information and session schedule dates through April 2022, click here
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that sotrovimab is no longer authorized for use at this time in Vermont and other states and territories with high prevalence of the BA.2 sub-variant. There are several other therapies – Paxlovid, Veklury (remdesivir), bebtelovimab, and Lagevrio (molnupiravir) – that are expected to be effective against the BA.2 sub-variant.
  • Moderna announced last Wednesday that it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 6 months to 6 years.

To view the March 15th VAHHS call notes with Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine's, please click here.

Save the Date for the Vermont Medical Society Annual and Collaborative Meeting - November 4th and 5th, 2022

The 209th VMS Annual Meeting will be held on November 4th and 5th in person at Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT, with virtual options. The weekend will be filled with educational content, time to spend with colleagues, policy-setting meetings, and the opportunity to honor physicians and other health care leaders across the state. VMS’ Annual Meeting, hosted in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association, is a celebration of the unwavering commitment Vermont clinicians have to their practice and to the deep connection VMS members have with each other.

To view more information or submit nominees for 2022 leadership awards, please click here. Registration information will be shared in the future.


Governor Phil Scott Announces Agency of Human Services Leadership Appointments

Governor Phil Scott announced yesterday that Jenney Samuelson and Todd Daloz have been named secretary and deputy secretary of the Agency of Human Services (AHS), respectively. Secretary Samuelson was appointed deputy secretary of AHS by Governor Scott in June of 2020 and has served as interim secretary since January, following the retirement of Secretary Mike Smith. Deputy Secretary Dolaz previously served as AHS general counsel, overseeing legal affairs for the Agency and working closely with the AHS commissioners and their senior staff.  See the full announcement here.

Blueprint Executive Committee Revitalizes; Feedback Sought on Blueprint Manual

The Blueprint for Health held its first Executive Committee meeting on March 24th since the hiring of the new program Executive Director, Dr. John Saroyan.  The first part of the meeting was spent reviewing the statute that creates the Blueprint program and names members of the Executive Committee.  Program staff then provided several updates. Practice performance payments will be the same for 2022 as 2021 in recognition of the burdens that COVID-19 has placed on practices. The Blueprint Manual is being updated and includes substantial revisions, such as updating attribution codes for payers and practices; removing outdated language around NCQA recognition and integrating the Women’s Health & Hub and Spoke programs into the manual. The draft can be found here and the redline draft can be found here. Please review the updates to the manual and send any questions or concerns to by Thursday, April 14th so they can be passed along to Blueprint staff.  Staff have especially asked practices to review the changes to the attribution codes.  Staff also referenced the work by Blueprint practices and staff to quantify the wait times patients faced for specialty practices when referred by Blueprint practices and how this informed the statewide report on wait times for health care services.

Status of AMA Litigation on the No Surprises Act

On Monday, March 21, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DDC) held a hearing on the American Medical Association/American Hospital Association (AMA/AHA) lawsuit challenging a narrow provision of the No Surprises Act Interim Final Rule (IFR) that implemented the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process for resolving payment disputes between health plans and physicians/facilities. The provision being challenge is the IFR’s requirement that IDR entities (arbiters) presume that the Qualifying Payment Amount (QPA)—which is essentially the median in-network rate—is the appropriate out-of-network payment amount unless a party submits credible information that clearly demonstrates that the QPA is materially different from the appropriate out-of-network rate. This rebuttable presumption weighs in favor of health plans. The AMA/AHA argue that the federal Departments (Health & Human Services, Labor, Treasury, and Personnel Management) that issued the IFR acted contrary to law and beyond their statutory authority by mandating a presumption in favor of the QPA. The AMA/AHA lawsuit is substantively similar to the lawsuit brought by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In February, that Court found in favor of TMA and vacated the provisions in the IFR that weighted the IDR process in favor of health plans.

AMA Resource: Physician Guide for Keeping Your Practice Open

The American Medical Association (AMA) is excited to announce the release of one of our most valuable private practice resources, the revised Physician Guide for Keeping Your Practice Open. This new publication includes updated information to help physicians implement policies and procedures around staff and patient vaccines, as well as advice to address staff burnout and workforce shortages spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Download the guide now.

Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging Announces Partnership with GetSetUp

The Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A), serving the more than 132,000 older adults aged 60+ in Vermont, and GetSetUp, the largest and fastest-growing virtual social learning platform designed specifically for older adults, have partnered to help bridge the digital divide and combat social isolation for residents of Vermont. The partnership provides live interactive classes on GetSetUp by older adults for older adults from the comfort of their own homes.

To view the release, click herePatients can sign up for free classes here.


Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:30pm to 1pm as Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine provides us with the most pressing COVID-19 information affecting the state and nation. You will have the opportunity to submit questions to Dr. Levine who will answer them, time-permitting.

You can join the zoom meetings beginning in January here or add to your calendar by following this link and clicking download (you will then need to open the downloaded file and click save to add to your calendar).

No Cost Well-Being Workshops

VMS is continuing our partnership with Doug Wysockey-Johnson of LumunosWellBeing to offer no-cost clinician wellbeing workshops at up to 10 Vermont medical staffs/practices over 2022. There are 3 remaining slots available this spring.  New topics for 2022 include A Clinician’s Guide to Recovering from the COVID Marathon and A Realistic Look at ‘Work-Home Balance’ for Clinicians. See the full list and additional details here.  Members can contact or for more information or to schedule a workshop. 

AMA STEPS ForwardTM Webinar: Setting Boundaries for Preventing Fatigue and Building Resilience

March 30, 2022, 12pm CST

How can physicians avoid heading down the road of fatigue, exhaustion, and ultimately burnout? During this AMA STEPS Forward™ live webinar held at noon CST March 30, participants will learn the value and necessity of setting limits and how doing so positively affects personal well-being. Together, we will identify strategies for developing, implementing, and maintaining healthy boundaries. Attendees will be asked to consider examples of personal boundaries and challenged to choose one to try. Additionally, we will explore tools and resources available from the AMA that can help.

Register for the webinar.

Telehealth Q&A: A Discussion with Vermont Payers

April 6th, 12pm to 1pm

A virtual discussion with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP Health Care, and Vermont Medicaid, to hear about their latest telehealth policies, including details on billing, coding, and reimbursement. Each payer will provide a brief overview of their current telehealth policies, and a Q&A session will follow.

Register here.

The Howard Center 5th Annual Conference: Vision, Visionaries and Voices

April 7, 2022, 9am to 4pm

Confronting Stigma. Improving Access. Continuing Advocacy. Advancing Policy. Giving Voice. Please join The Howard Center online for a day of inspiration, learning, and rich conversation at Vision, Visionaries and Voices, for their fifth annual spring conference on April 7, 2022 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Speakers will provide unique perspectives for a broad audience, including educators, healthcare providers, representatives of local and state government, legal and law enforcement professionals, clients and families, and the general public. They expect attendees from throughout Vermont, New York, New England, and Canada.

The conference will be held virtually by Zoom webinar. To register (registration cost is $89) and view the full conference agenda, please click here.

Vermont Geriatrics Conference

April 12, 2022


The16th Annual Vermont Geriatrics Conference will equip physicians and other healthcare professionals with practical and innovative approaches to the medical care of older adults. This in-person event is taking place at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington, VT.

TOPICS: commonly-used medications for preventative care, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and depression, falls prevention, Medicare wellness visits, ethical issues in COVID, and more.

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

3rd Annual Teaching Cannabis Awareness and Prevention 2022 Virtual Conference

April 27 - 28, 2022

8am to 12:45pm (PST)

The 3rd Annual Teaching Cannabis Awareness & Prevention Conference: A Focus on the Triangulum of Cannabis, Tobacco, and Vaping is a 2 day virtual conference will be held on April 27th, 2022 & April 28th, 2022 from 8am-12:30pm PST. Registration for this conference is $125. To view the conference schedule and speakers at a glance, please click here.

Registration information can be found here.

The UVM Medical Center Cardiovascular/Vascular Forum

May 2, 2022

In-Person and Virtual Option

Course Director Dr. Matt Alef invites Primary Care, internal medicine, and urgent care providers to attend virtually or in-person at the Delta-Marriott, South Burlington, VT to learn more about cardiovascular and vascular disease, including additional POCUS skills for evaluation. The objective is to improve accuracy of appropriate and timely cardiovascular disease treatment and efficiently use expert consultation in a value-based environment.

TOPICS include: SAVR vs TAVR, vascular nurse wounds, aortic dissections, POCUS hands-on workshop, echocardiography and more.

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

The Upstanders, An Indieflix Film About Cyberbullying

May 4, 2022, 6pm to 7:30pm

The Upstanders explores all sides of cyberbullying, from bully to victim, bystanders, and family members. Social media’s power means that bullying is now a 24/7 phenomenon, where even changing schools and phone numbers, or deleting accounts cannot stop the cycle. COVID has increased the incidence of cyberbullying by 70%. Changing human behavior and connection is the key, and this is what the film addresses.

Weaving together personal stories of teenagers and their families, as well as teachers and brain-scientists, The Upstanders shows the importance of empathy and resilience to transforming attitudes and action, and highlights new laws and established programs that are already reducing bullying in schools and communities. It shows that everyone is needed to eradicate cyberbullying, and gives bystanders the confidence and tools to become ‘Upstanders’, and help change the narrative. To view the trailer, please visit their website.

This film screening and panel discussion is hosted in partnership with Champlain Community Services. This event is part of The Marna and Stephen Wise Tulin Spring Community Education Series presented by the Howard Center. Read more about the series here.

Register here.

How Can We Make Vermont More Welcoming and Inclusive for Our Diverse Community?

May 18, 2022, 6pm to 7:30pm

Vermont is one of the least diverse states in the nation. With that as our starting point, how can Vermont attract more people with diverse backgrounds and help them find community so they decide to stay? Join a panel of professionals working to promote diversity and equity in area businesses and institutions to hear about lessons they’ve learned in the workplace, and how those lessons can be applied to make the Green Mountain State more welcoming and inclusive.

This event is part of The Marna and Stephen Wise Tulin Spring Community Education Series presented by the Howard Center. Read more about the series here.

Register here.

The 48th Annual Family Medicine Review Course

June 7-10, 2022

In-Person and Virtual

Course Director Dr. Anya Koutras invites you to this intensive four-day program for family physicians and other primary care professionals. The program will focus on current issues in the practice of Family Medicine, with special attention to new contributions. Attendees will have a choice between in-person at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington, VT and virtual participation. This conference coincides with the Discover Jazz Festival and makes it a great time to bring the family for a visit to Burlington. TOPICS include: genomics testing, Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, headache management, valvular heart disease, type-2 diabetes, HPV disease, bipolar disease, endometrial cancer, LARC, skin biopsies, end of life care, knee exam, substance use disorder, gender-affirming care, geriatric psychiatry, urgent care cases

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

UVM will have more primary care conferences in Fall 2022. Sign-up to get updates via email for topics that are of interest here.


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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