June 4, 2024


Governor Vetoes Overdose Prevention Site Bill and VT Legislature Prepares for the Veto Session

Last week Gov. Scott vetoed H.72, the Overdose Prevention Site bill, which aims to implement one pilot overdose prevention site in Chittenden County and was broadly supported in both the House and the Senate. The Governor cited in his veto message that he believes "this costly experiment will divert financial resources from proven prevention, treatment and recovery strategies, as well as harm reduction initiatives that facilitate entry into treatment rather than continued use." His veto is expected to be overridden in both chambers during the veto session on June 17th, which will signify the true end to the 2024 Legislative session. If H.72 is a priority for you, please reach out to your lawmaker and urge them to vote to override the veto. Click here to find your lawmaker. 

As many of you heard, there will be two fewer Democratic Senators at the veto session, as Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Grand Isle and Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington passed away one week from each other. Click here to read the VTDigger article. There also 4 other Democratic Senators that are retiring this session: Sens, Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, Sen. Bobby Starr, D-Orleans, Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington and Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windham. Last Friday was the 2024 Candidate filing deadline at the Vermont Secretary of State's office and it appears there will be a lot of House members not returning as well. The filings are not completed yet, but it appears upwards of 30-40 current House members are resigning. Stay tuned, as we will have more information regarding the confirmed candidates for the 2024 election and after the veto session we will publish the 2024 Final Legislative Bulletin. 

AMA Highlights Vermont’s Passage of Prior Authorization Reform

In its weekly advocacy newsletter, the American Medical Association highlighted Vermont’s passage of H. 766 as an example of state-based prior authorization reform being passed by state legislatures this session.  “Vermont Governor Phill Scott signed a bill championed by the Vermont Medical Society that limits PA requirements on primary care physicians and helps ensure that patients with chronic conditions will not have to continuously seek repeat PAs,” according to the article.  It continues that, “The new law will also require that urgent PA requests are responded to within 24 hours. Additionally, and uniquely, the law requires health plans and physicians and other health care providers to report to the legislature in coming years on the impact of the law.”  The article also discusses legislation enacted in Minnesota to prohibit PAs for specific types of care and a Wyoming law that will expand gold card programs, which exempt certain physicians from prior authorization.  Read the article here.

FTC Resources on Noncompete Clause Rule – Most Noncompetes Barred or Unenforceable after Sept 4

The Federal Trade Commission’s new Noncompete Clause Rule bans all new noncompete clauses - employers cannot enter into new noncompetes with any workers after the Rule goes into effect on September 4, 2024.  Any existing non-competes, except non-competes with senior executives, are also unenforceable as of September 4, 2024.  The final rule defines “senior executive” to refer to workers earning more than $151,164 who are in a “policy-making position” for the entire enterprise  – not just a department or division.  Employers must also notify workers that their non-competes are unenforceable.  The FTC provides model language  (downloads Word document) that employers can use to notify employees.   While the Rule only applies to employers within the FTC’s jurisdiction, so many nonprofits may be exempt, at a webinar held last week FTC staff were clear that tax exempt status is not sufficient to escape the rule and nonprofits should perform an analysis of whether their proceeds are directed to serving the public or to benefit members or itself. 

More information including links to a Guide for Small Businesses, the text of the Noncompete Clause Rule, and model notices in additional languages can be found on the FTC website here. You can also contact the FTC at noncompete@ftc.gov with questions or comments about the Rule.  The Rule is facing litigation, which could ultimately impact the September 4th effective date. 

HHS Clarifies Change Healthcare Can Provide HIPAA Breach Notifications

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published an update to its HIPAA frequently asked questions (FAQs) webpage concerning the Change Healthcare cybersecurity incident.

The FAQ updates address questions OCR has received concerning who is responsible for performing breach notification to HHS, affected individuals, and where applicable the media. Specifically, the FAQs make clear that covered entities affected by the Change Healthcare breach may delegate to Change Healthcare the tasks of providing required HIPAA breach notifications on their behalf.  Affected covered entities that want Change Healthcare to provide breach notifications on their behalf should contact Change Healthcare. All of the required HIPAA breach notifications may be performed by Change Healthcare. 

Read the HHS news release here and FAQs here.  VMS has additional resources on the Change Healthcare breach here


Commissioner Call This 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

Blueprint Spoke Funding Model Changes and PII Updates Open for Public Comment

Proposed Blueprint for Health Spoke Program changes are now open to public comment through June 30th. The changes including implementation of an annual Spoke funding cycle, instead of quarterly, and simplifying the Spoke staffing model to only designate the total amount of funding for staffing rather than indicating how much should be spent on specific items.  These changes are detailed here at GCR 24-009.    Additionally, housekeeping updates to the Pregnancy Intention Program are now open to public comment. Please note that these updates do not change how the PII program currently functions, they only formalize key aspects of the program.  Details be found here at GCR 23-165.  You may submit public comments via email to AHS.MedicaidPolicy@vermont.gov.  You can also contact jbarnard@vtmd.org with questions or concerns. 

Submit a Resolution to VMS – Help Direct the Work of YOUR Society

VMS welcomes members to submit resolution ideas.  Resolutions set the policy positions of VMS and often drive VMS advocacy work at the state and federal levels.

Resolutions can be submitted on a year-round basis, any time by any VMS member or group of members, including student members. Resolutions are intended to express composite positions of the VMS and are to suggest a significant course of action to be taken by the Society. To see adopted VMS resolutions, click here.

Once a resolution idea is submitted by a member, the resolution will be reviewed by VMS staff, who may assist with further drafting or clarification.  Resolutions are then distributed for comment and non-binding survey to all membership. At a Board meeting after gathering member feedback, the VMS Board will review the resolution and feedback of membership.  All resolutions presented to the Board then require a majority vote of the Board for action, including adoption, amendment or referral.

To submit a resolution idea, please fill out the form, available here or contact jbarnard@vtmd.org for further assistance.

VMS Member Survey – We Want to Hear From You!

The VMS Board will be holding its annual planning retreat on Wednesday, June 26th.   To help inform the retreat and planning for 2024-2025 we would like to hear from you!  What is VMS doing well, what should we do more of, are our priorities on track?  This is a quick, 4-question survey and should only take a few minutes. The survey will be open for member comment between May 28 and June 18, 2024. Last week you should have received an email with a survey link specific to you. If you did not receive your survey link or have any questions or concerns with completing the survey, please contact bpauley@vtmd.org.

If you have any other questions or feedback about VMS activities please also feel free to reach out at any time to VMS President Becca Bell, MD at president@vtmd.org or Executive Director Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@vtmd.org

Thank you for your membership and letting us know how we can support your practice of medicine. 



Birth Certificate Quality Improvement Initiative Learning Series

June 10, July 15, September 9, October 7, 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.

Xylazine Trends and Public Health Implications for Rural Communities 

Virtual, June 12th, 12pm to 1pm ET

Please join us on Wednesday, June 12th from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET for a UVM CORA Community Rounds Workshop Series session, “Xylazine Trends and Public Health Implications for Rural Communities.” Our speaker is Michael Chaple, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Director of the Northeast and Caribbean Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center. This presentation will provide an overview of xylazine, current data on prevalence and other trends associated with its use, and will also discuss the public health implications associated with xylazine use. This presentation will also offer harm reduction strategies for mitigating the public health impact of xylazine. Throughout the presentation, unique implications for rural communities will be systematically addressed.

Register 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.

Reducing Barriers to Physician PTO

Virtual, June 18 at 12 pm CT

Curious about how to overcome barriers to personal time off (PTO) at your health care organization? Join us for a webinar and live Q&A with Jill Jin, MD, MPH, and Marie Brown, MD, MACP.

Learn more here.

Saving Time: Practice Innovation Boot Camp

September 23 - 24 AMA Plaza, Chicago

This two-day, interactive boot camp from the AMA STEPS Forward® Innovation Academy equips attendees with the time-saving tools and strategies needed to reform their organizations and enhance professional satisfaction. CME eligible.

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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