April 22, 2024


Prior Auth Bill Headed to Full Senate TUESDAY Morning – Contact Your Senator TODAY

Calling ALL Health Care Professionals of ALL Specialties

H. 766 is scheduled to be debated by the full Senate tomorrow (Tuesday) starting at 9:30 am. Thank you for all of your advocacy to-date.  Senators are reading your emails! Please keep up the hard work and contact your own Senator(s) today!  This bill will reduce prior authorizations, allow exemptions to step therapy and simplify billing and other administrative burdens in health care.  

We need help today contacting members of the full Senate to express support for the bill!  If you have previously contacted other committees, it is critical that YOUR SENATORS hear your message – please forward your comments to them.  Find your senators here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/search/2024.

Payers are fighting this bill hard, saying it will increase insurance premiums.  Please share stories about how reducing PAs can actually reduce health care costs by getting patients the right care earlier, reducing extra costs like referring patients to the ED and reducing staffing costs and burnout.  Your message can be short – it is more important that they hear from you this week. 

Reach out with questions to jbarnard@vtmd.org.  See more talking points here.

VMS Seeking Information on Change Healthcare Impacts

Please contact Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@vtmd.org if your practice is still having concerns or experiencing impacts of the Change Healthcare cyber security incident.  In particular, it is important for VMS to know if your practice expects difficulty meeting timely filing requirements for submitting claims, is still experiencing difficulty with prior authorization, or other areas where you might need regulatory flexibility.   More information and resources are available on the VMS website here.

Trauma Responsive Care Trainings for Hospital Emergency Departments

In partnership with the Department of Mental Health, the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care (VPQHC), has been coordinating Trauma Responsive Care Trainings for staff in Vermont hospitals. In 2023, 122 Vermont hospital staff participated in the Trauma Responsive Care training program. This training is facilitated by an incredible and dynamic training team: Kristy Hommel, M.Ed; Matt Dove, NP, DUAL PMHNP, FNP Certified; and Peter Cudney, LICSW.

Here are some illustrative quotations from training attendees:

“I've learned to listen to the patients more and really advocate for the patient.” -Chief Nursing Officer

"It's not the big things, it's the little things. It is being reminded of human connection and that little comfort measures are important." - Director of Emergency Services

"We could do so much better. While I understand why we have a policy and a practice around some of those things, there are ways that we could adapt it to be certainly more patient-friendly, supportive, understanding." - ED Nurse

Please visit this page on the VPQHC’s website for a:

  • Summary of evaluation data
  • Training slides
  • TRC Toolkit - a centralized and structured source of information and resources for implementation trauma responsive care and strategies in a hospital setting.


VMS April Pet of the Month

Ollie (10) and Parker (6) and Hungarian Vizslas and the light of Stephanie and Terry's life. They provide laughter, love and the best snuggles. If you are ever on a virtual meeting with Stephanie you are bound to meet one of them as they enjoy sitting in her lap and being the star of the show!

Submit your pet here to be possibly featured next month!

Participation Interest Form - 41st Annual Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge & State Agency 5K Race with the VMS

The VMS is trying to gain insight on whether VMS members, Specialty Society Members, and their families would be interested in joining the VMS Staff as a team for the 41st Annual Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge & State Agency 5K on Thursday, May 16th, 2024.

Please note, the VMS has not committed to participating in the event, but just wants to gain insight on if we have enough interest to register.

Fill out the interest form here if you are interested in joining us. 

Commissioner Call Thursday, June 6, 2024

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, will hold his next Public Health Update with VMS Members Thursday, June 6th at 12:30 pm. You can join the zoom meetings here.

He held his most recent VMS member call on April 4th. Notes from the call are here



2024 Annual NNESAM Conference

April 26 and 27, 2024

Virtual and In-Person Wolfeboro, NH

Presenters will be:

  1. Dr. David Smith- founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic- Psychedelics and the
  2. Treatment of SUD: The Risks and Potential Rewards of using Psychedelics in Recovery.
  3. Dr. Marc Potenza- Non-Substance or Behavioral Addictions in the DSM-5 and ICD-11:
  4. Clinical and Practical Considerations.
  5. Dr. Elisabeth Mock- Addiction, Pain and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
  6. Dr. Andrew Seefeld- Emotional Sobriety and the Science of Addiction.
  7. Dr. David de Gijsel- Hep Free NNE- Hepatitis Elimination in Northern New England
  8. Dr. Cornel Stanciu MD- Understanding Kratom- Consumption, Addiction: A Workshop for Clinicians

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

Diabetes 2024: Updates on Management and Treatment

May 3, 2024

In-Person South Burlington, VT

This conference is designed to equip primary care clinicians with updated knowledge on issues related to outpatient management of patients with diabetes. Specific topics to be addressed at this year’s conference include Lipid-Lowering Therapies to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease, Basal Insulin Use, Insulin Titration, MASLD (Liver Disease) and more.

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

2024 Primary Care Conference

May 21, 2024

In-Person Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT

Now is the time to Reinvent Normal. As everyone talks about getting back to normal, this talk asks the big question: Why? Was your old normal everything you wanted it to be. At work and at home, it’s time to break old habits and routines? It’s time to make things better. Reinventing Normal helps you learn how to stay positive, build resilience, live with uncertainty, and find and use your skills to make you a better leader -- and a better follower. Don’t miss the opportunity to build new. You will learn and laugh a lot while he takes us on the adventure of making your new normal not just productive, but also fun, positive, and hopeful.

Registration Information and full agenda  can be found here.

The 50th Annual Family Medicine Course

June 4th-June 7th, 2024

In-Person South Burlington, VT

This intensive four-day program 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. An optional, pre-conference full-day workshop on Mastering Early Goals of Care Conversations will also be offered. Conference emphasis is on practical, clinically applicable diagnostic and management issues in primary care. This conference will be presented in-person and virtually; participants may choose to join via a mixture of in-person and remote attendance. This conference is also anticipated to overlap with the Burlington Jazz Festival, taking place June 5-9, 2024.

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

Whole Person Care: Enhancing Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment

June 14, 2024

Lake Morey, VT

Please mark your calendars for Friday June 14 when we will be hosting "Whole Person Care: Enhancing Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment", an in-person conference at Lake Morey, VT.

This is a part of the Collaborative to Advance Mental Health Treatment and Substance Use Recovery for Everyone (or CARE Series).

Learn more here.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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