May 23, 2023


Still Time: Contact the Governor TODAY to Support Suicide Prevention & Firearm Safety

H.230 has not yet arrived at the Governor’s desk – there is still time to contact his office! The bill includes:

  1. A 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of firearms;
  2. Penalties if a firearm is not safely stored in homes with children or prohibited persons and is used in a crime or in a threatening manner; and
  3. The ability for family members to petition for extreme risk protection orders.

This is the most sweeping legislation we've seen since 2018 to implement meaningful firearm safety measures and the Governor needs to hear from you to get it over the finish line!  The Governor has said he supports the storage provision but does not believe the waiting period is evidence-based.  Once the bill gets to the Governor’s desk he has 5 days to make a decision - he can sign the bill in to law, let the bill go in to law without his signature or he can veto it.

Now is the time to contact the Governor and ask for him to allow H.230 to go in to law.  You can contact the Governor by calling his office at 802-828-3333 or sending a message HERE. 

See talking points presented in testimony by Becca Bell, MD, here as well as the letter of support sent from VMS and partner specialty societies earlier this session.

VMS, working with incredible lawmakers, have made substantial progress on other VMS priorities this legislative session, including increases in Medicaid rates in the final FY24 Budget, protections for those who provide or receive reproductive and gender-affirming health care services, and addressing violence against health care workers.  See our updates in the May 16th Rounds. VMS can visit your medical staff or practice to provide a legislative update. Contact for more information. 

Mildred Reardon Medical Student Scholarship Open for Applications

Do you dream of becoming a Vermont doctor?  See below to apply for a $10,000 scholarship for a rising 3rd year student committed to practicing medicine in Vermont.

The Vermont Medical Society’s Education and Research Foundation (VMSERF) is now accepting applications for the Mildred Reardon scholarship, which awards $10,000 to a University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine third year student committed to practicing medicine in Vermont. The scholarship is made to a student interested in any specialty, with a preference for specialties in high need in Vermont.  The scholarship is tuition-linked and is paid directly to the College of Medicine towards tuition. This year the award will be made at the VMS Annual Meeting, being held at Topnotch in Stowe and virtually on November 3, 2023.  Click here for more information and details on applying for the scholarship.

Interest in Participating in Montpelier Alive’s 2023 July 3rd Parade with the VMS

The VMS is trying to gain insight on whether VMS members, Specialty Society Members, and their families would be interested in participating as a  “walk and wave”  group for the Montpelier Alive's 2023 July 3rd parade. The theme for this year’s parade is "Resilience” and we know that Vermont’s health care professionals have demonstrated resilience like no other!

A "walk and wave" is when a group of people holding a banner or signs simply walk and wave at the crowd while marching in the parade.

Complete the interest survey here.

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.


BCBSVT Offers Lifestyle Medicine Training and Board Certification Scholarships

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, in partnership with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM), is offering Lifestyle Medicine training and board certification to our clinical provider network through a unique scholarship program. ACLM/ABLM Certification typically costs over $2500 per provider, but BCBSVT is funding fifty (50) awards free of charge to eligible healthcare clinicians who are interested in pursuing a high level of professional training in lifestyle medicine and who are committed to the expansion of lifestyle medicine education, programs and initiatives to better serve their patients.

Learn more here. With questions or to apply for one of the scholarship awards, email Keri LeCompte at, BCBTVT Program Director for Lifestyle Medicine.

HIPAA Telehealth Compliance Reminder

During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Office would exercise its enforcement discretion and would waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday (non HIPAA-compliant) communications technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype, when used in good faith for diagnosis or treatment during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

This enforcement discretion expired with the end of the COVID-19 PHE on May 11, 2023. OCR is affording a 90-day transition period to come into HIPAA compliance for telehealth ending on August 9, 2023. Federal Register: Notice of Expiration of Certain Notifications of Enforcement Discretion Issued in Response to the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency: (  Practice should ensure that they are using HIPAA-compliant technology for telehealth services. 

Department of Financial Regulation Seeks Input on Uniform Prior Authorization Form

According to Vermont statute each insurer in Vermont must accept either the national standard transaction information for prior authorizations electronically via online portal or accept a uniform prior authorization form approved by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) for requests for medical procedures (including mental health services) and medical tests when prior authorization is required.  To review background on the statute and see the current form, click here.  DFR is currently reviewing the uniform prior authorization form and accepting comments regarding changes to the form. View the latest draft form here. Please contact Jessa Barnard at with suggestions for changing the form or to be involved in the review process

Commissioner of Health Public Health Update on June 1st 

The next Public Health Update call with Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD will be on Thursday, June 1st 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 May 4, 2023 call here.

You can join the zoom meetings here.



Vermont Ethics Network Presents: Spring 2023 Palliative Care Virtual Series

May 24th from 12pm to 1:15pm


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

May 24th - Medical Aid in Dying Update: Recent Changes to Act 39 & Non-Resident Access. This session will be presented by Diana Barnard, MD and Betsy Walkerman, Esq. Register here.

Learn more about the session here.

Upcoming Community Rounds Workshop Series Session:

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants as Buprenorphine Providers: Facilitators and Barriers

May 31st from 12pm to 1:00pm


This presentation will describe the expansion of nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians into opioid use disorder treatment, particularly in rural communities. It will also explore barriers and facilitators regarding nurse practitioner engagement in buprenorphine treatment, including regulations, education, and broader social factors such as stigma. Specific considerations for advanced practice clinicians' work with members of rural communities will be discussed.

Register and attend to learn more here.

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

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.

Medical Mutual's 2023 Risk Management Seminar: Workplace Violence in the Healthcare Setting: Mitigating the Risks

June 3, 2023, 12pm to 4:15pm


In a follow-up to last fall’s Medical Mutual Risk Management seminar, Monica Cooke, a behavioral health specialist and nationally-recognized expert on healthcare workplace violence, returns to provide a deeper dive on the subject. This afternoon seminar will include added tips and insights, as well as case studies and group discussions designed to identify effective strategies to de-escalate potentially violent situations and reduce risk.

Learn more and register 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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