May 7, 2024


Legislature Looks at Potential Final Week of the Session

Despite policy committees continuing to work on final amendments on a number of bills, on Tuesday morning the Budget Conference Committee voted and signed the FY25 Budget conference report. This action signals that the final gavel of the 2024 Session could fall as early as the end of this week. Although the budget conferees appeared agreeable, contention still remains around the education funding bill, the "yield bill," and it is unclear whether the House will accept the Senate's changes. If the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees need to go into conference it could extend the time that policy committees have to work on bills that may or may not pass at this point. The VMS policy team continues to follow these bills:

  • H. 766, the prior authorization bill, will be headed to the Governor imminently.  See the action alert below! 
  • Governor Scott has signed S.109, which calls for the Office of Professional Regulation to report back on a regulatory structure for doulas and for the Department of Vermont Health Access to develop a reimbursement methodology for doula services. He has also signed S.187, which will allow students to apply sunscreen at school with permission from parents but without requiring a prescription from a clinician.
  • H.121- a comprehensive data privacy bill has become mired in controversy over whether individuals should have a private right to sue over violations of the law. The VMS continues to advocate for an entity-level exemption for all HIPAA regulated entities as well as against the bill containing a private right of action. The path forward for the bill is unclear as the Senate and House versions do not align. 
  • H.72 - an overdose prevention center bill, which would pilot one overdose prevention site in Burlington, has passed the legislature and will be headed to the Governor for review. The Commissioner of Health and Governor have previously expressed skepticism over the efficacy of this approach for Vermont. More information about contacting the Governor in support of the bill can be found here.
  • H.612 - a miscellaneous cannabis bill, was acted on by the Senate Economic Development Committee this week. The Committee has recommended amendments to the bill which, among other things, would name the Vermont Medical Society as part of a committee tasked with assessing “the efficacy of the Medical Cannabis Program in serving registered and prospective patients,” require rulemaking for an endorsement process that would allow any adult use dispensary to sell medical cannabis, and require those obtaining cannabis through the medical program who are 18-21 years of age to obtain a Health Care Professional Verification Form from a health care professional who has a treating or consulting relationship of not less than three months’ duration with the applicant. 

Keep up Contacts to Governor Scott – H. 766 Reduces Insurance Company Delays & Denials  

H. 766, the bill to reduce prior authorization and insurance paperwork, has passed the final legislative vote and will be headed to Governor Scott’s desk any day.  Please contact Governor Scott to communicate your support for the bill at: 802-828-3345 or via an email form - Consider mentioning how important this bill can be to support the health care workforce and shift care to lower costs settings if necessary services are approved earlier.  Also visit VMS’ new patient-facing webpage, poster, and social media graphic that practices can use to share information with patients and the public about the bill. 

The final bill includes Senate changes that eliminates prior authorization for primary care providers (for applicable commercial plans, and excluding pharmacy) and requires an available asthma inhaler to be made available without PA.  An elimination of PAs more frequently than every 5 years for ongoing medications for all prescribers will also lead to a significant reduction in paperwork.  VMS extends huge appreciation to bill sponsor Rep. Alyssa Black (D-Essex) for advocating for the bill throughout the legislative process and the majority of House and Senate members for strong support. See more talking points and a summary of the bill here.


Board of Medical Practice Updates

The Vermont Board of Medical Practice sent a licensee e-newsletter last week with important updates regarding changes to registration for practice of telehealth; Board administrative regulation changes, largely related to telehealth practice; and a reminder that MD licenses will be up for renewal at the end of this November.  Please make sure the newsletter did not go to your spam or junk folders and review the newsletter for important information for all MD licensees.   Contact the Board with questions at:

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 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.

Birth Certificate Quality Improvement Initiative Learning Series

June, July, September, October, 2024


In collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health Division of Family and Child Health and the Division of Health Statistics and Informatics, the Perinatal Quality Collaborative - Vermont (PQC-VT) is embarking on a vital statistics birth certificate quality improvement initiative (BCQII).

The project aim is to improve the accuracy of key birth certificate variables to support public health and quality improvement efforts. The objective is to increase birth certificate data quality in Vermont by providing education opportunities, technical assistance, and shared learning to Vermont hospital teams involved in birth certificate data collection.

Register here for the learning series.

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.

Vermont ACP Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting

October 18, 2024

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT

The Vermont ACP Chapter's Annual Scientific Meeting will occur on

Friday, October 18, 2024.

This will be an in person meeting. We will

again host a poster competition for resident and student members.

Update your medical knowledge, engage with colleagues.

Meeting details and agenda forthcoming.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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