April 18, 2023


Action Alert: Please Urge Senate Health and Appropriations Committees to Increase the Medicaid Fee Schedule

Let lawmakers know how cuts to the Medicaid fee schedule will impact your practice. This week, the Senate Health and Welfare is preparing their budget recommendations for the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to vote their version of the FY24 Budget out this Friday.  Please urge the Senate Health and Welfare and Appropriations Committees to support the House-passed FY24 Budget Medicaid rate increase in the FY24 RBRVS (Resource Based Relative Value Scale) fee schedule to 110% of Medicare for primary care providers and a 3.8% inflation increase to specialty care. The current Governor’s proposed FY24 Medicaid budget includes a $380,000 cut to the professional fee schedule, on top of high inflation rates and 2023 Medicare cuts. Please email both the Senate Health and Welfare and Appropriations Committee members to urge them to support the primary care and specialty care rate increases as passed by the House.

Practice expenses are up, reimbursement is down, and Medicaid is already one of the lowest payers. Practices are not sustainable with cuts to Medicaid.

Please email:

To: jkitchel@leg.state.vt.us, aperchlik@leg.state.vt.us, rawestman@gmail.com, rstarr@leg.state.vt.us, rsears@leg.state.vt.us, pbaruth@leg.state.vt.us, vlyons@leg.state.vt.us; asmith@leg.state.vt.us; amccracken@leg.state.vt.us; rhardy@leg.state.vt.us; mgulick@leg.state.vt.us; dweeks@leg.state.vt.us; tkwilliams@leg.state.vt.us

Other legislative action this week includes advancement of the shield laws, protecting those who provide reproductive health care services and gender-affirming care. H.89 passed on second reading in the Senate this week and S.37 passed the House Health Care Committee last week and has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The House Judiciary Committee will be taking up S.89, the forensic facility bill and S.91, which separates competency and sanity evaluations, with plans to vote these bills out at the end of the week. The Senate Judiciary Committee continues its work on H.230, the suicide prevention bill that contains a 72-hr waiting period for firearm purchases along with safe firearm storage requirements. 

Status of Mifepristone in Vermont

VMS has been receiving questions from our members regarding the status of prescribing mifepristone. The two conflicting court decisions and rapid appeals has made this a complicated landscape. In response to Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for a stay in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, Attorney General Charity Clark issued the following statement:

“This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that access to mifepristone remain status quo nationwide until Wednesday, April 19. This means that, until the Court provides more clarity by then, Vermonters’ access to mifepristone remains unchanged and health care providers may continue treating their patients with mifepristone.

By Wednesday, the Court will decide what, if any, action needs to be taken during the pendency of the mifepristone challenge in a Texas district court. At that time, the Court could also choose to rule on the underlying issue, that is, whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone should change.”

VMS will continue to follow developments. Please reach out to jbarnard@vtmd.org with questions. We are also working with the Attorney General’s Office, Administration and legislative leadership to explore options to preserve Vermonter’s access to mifepristone in the long term and protect clinicians who provide this evidence-based care.

VMS Resolution Survey Results Discussion at Board Meeting Discussion on April 19th

The VMS Board has been circulated a survey to receive member feedback on two proposed policy resolutions related to:

  • The Medicare Advantage Program;
  • Eliminating Medicare’s Direct Contracting Entity (DCE)/ACO-Reach Programs

 The resolutions will be discussed together with the feedback received from members by the VMS Board at its April 19th Board Meeting.  The meeting is being held from 5-7pm remotely via zoom.

Members wishing to listen to the VMS Board discussion or share feedback at the Board meeting can contact bpauley@vtmd.org for log-in information. Other topics on the agenda for the Board meeting include a legislative update and voting to remove members who have not paid 2023 dues.   


Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Drug Enforcement Administration will host DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at locations across the country. DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Take Back Day offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide. Find a location in Vermont near you and resources to share with your patients at: https://www.dea.gov/takebackday

HHS Cybersecurity Task Force Provides New Resources to Help Address Rising Threat of Cyberattacks in Health Care Sector

HHS’s 405(d) Program and the Health Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group (HSCC CWG) released new resources this week, including:

  • Knowledge on Demand – a new online educational platform that offers free cybersecurity trainings for health and public health organizations to improve cybersecurity awareness for staff.
  • Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP) 2023 Edition – a foundational publication that aims to raise awareness of cybersecurity risks, provide best practices, and help the HPH Sector set standards in mitigating the most pertinent cybersecurity threats to the sector.
  • Hospital Cyber Resiliency Initiative Landscape Analysis - PDF – a report on domestic hospitals’ current state of cybersecurity preparedness, including a review of participating hospitals benchmarked against standard cybersecurity guidelines such as HICP 2023 and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF).

VMS Partners to Provide Financial Education Series

Vermont Medical Society has partnered with Baystate Financial to offer The PlanWell™ Series. This is a financial education curriculum geared explicitly towards VMS members. The objective is to help you realize your financial goals, whether it's saving for a house, paying off student debt, or planning for retirement.

There will be multiple webinar offerings in May for early to early-career individuals (click here for details) and for late-career individuals (click here for details).

Learn more and register here.

Commissioner of Health Public Health Update on May 4th

The next Public Health Update call with Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD will be on Thursday, May 4th 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 view the notes from the April 6, 2023 call here.

You can join the zoom meetings here.



Vermont Ethics Network Presents: Spring 2023 Palliative Care Virtual Series

April 25th, May 4th, 9th, 17th from 12pm to 1:15pm


Join the Vermont Ethics Network for their first session in their Spring 2023 Palliative Care Virtual Series!

April 25th - Mining the Language Gap: The words we use may not always convey the meaning we intend. This session will be presented by Steve Berns, MD; Kacey Boyle, MSPC, RN, CHPN & Jennifer Hauptman, MSW, LICSW. Register here.

Other sessions include:

  • May 4th - Uncertain End of Life Trajectory: Care implications for patients with severe psychiatric illness
  • May 9th - Clear as Mud: The nuances of hospice eligibility & financial issues at end of life
  • May 17th - Use of Opioids in Serious Illness: Inpatient and outpatient considerations

Learn more about all sessions here.

Howard Center Annual Conference: Breaking Barriers: Finding Purpose & Possibilities Together

April 19, 2023

In-person and Virtual

The 6th Annual Howard Center Spring Conference is taking place on April 19th from 8:30am to 4:30pm with featured speakers including Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Dr. Dacher Keltner, Dr. BJ Miller, Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, and Dr. Anna Malaika Tubbs.

For more information about the speakers, sponsors, and to register, visit here

Vermont Geriatrics Conference

April 20, 2023


The 17th Annual Vermont Geriatrics Conference is designed to equip physicians, advance practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other healthcare professionals with practical and innovative approaches to the medical care of older adults.

For more information about our speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register, visit here

Save the Dates - Preparing for and Delivering Value-Based Care in Rural Communities

May 2nd, June 6th, and June 27th, 2023

The Northern Border Region Technical Assistance Center (NBR-TAC) is pleased to present a four-part webinar series on the journey to Value-Based Care (VBC) for rural hospitals and primary care providers/facilities (FQHC’s/RHC’s) interested in learning more about operating in a value-based care environment. This webinar is open to organizations or individuals interested in this topic who are welcome to attend.

View the topics of the webinar series here.

Integrative Pain Management Conference

May 5, 2023


This conference will meet the needs of an interdisciplinary healthcare community in the following ways:

  1. Learn about integrative therapies and share best practices, research, and innovations in integrative approaches for chronic pain management.
  2. Understand national initiatives and innovative policies that increase access to high-quality, evidence-based, comprehensive pain 

Learn more and register here.

Diabetes 2023: Updates on Management and Treatment

May 12, 2023


This conference is designed to equip primary care clinicians and other professionals, including dietitians, with updated knowledge on issues related to outpatient management of patients with diabetes.

For more information about our speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register, visit here.

49th Annual Family Medicine Course

June 6-9, 2023

In-person and Virtual

This intensive four-day program (with optional pre-conference full-day workshop taking place June 5, 2023) for family physicians, advance practice providers, nurses, and other primary care professionals will focus on current issues in the practice of Family Medicine, with special attention to new contributions. Emphasis is on practical, clinically-applicable diagnostic and management issues in primary care.

For more information about our speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register, visit here.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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