July 25, 2023


Meet Vermont’s New Medicaid Director on July 27th from 12:15 to 1pm – VMS Members Invited to an Open Discussion 

VMS Members are invited to a Zoom meeting with the Vermont Agency of Human Services new State Medicaid Director, Monica Ogelby. Each state has a Medicaid Director to oversee Medicaid and CHIP programs. This position oversees not only the Medicaid health care program administered by the Department of Vermont Health Access but elements of Medicaid that are administered by other Departments such as Aging and Disabilities and Corrections. Ms. Ogelby will be joined on the call by Pat Jones, Interim Director of Health Care Reform at the Agency of Human Services and Kristin McClure, Health Care Reform Integration Manager at AHS.  Ms. Obelby most recently served as the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Program Director. The call will give VMS members an opportunity to hear updates on AHS projects and to ask questions regarding Vermont’s Medicaid programs. 

Join us on July 27th from 12:15 to 1pm here.

Vermont Hospitals Submit Budgets to GMCB

Each year, hospitals are required to submit their annual budgets to the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) on July 1 for review and ultimate approval. The GMCB will do an initial review of hospital budgets at their August 9th meeting before beginning individual hospital hearings at the same meeting on August 9. Deliberations and final budget orders typically take place in September, with budget decisions made no later than September 15. 

Last week, the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) announced that its non-profit hospitals submitted what are among what they called the most complex and challenged budgets in recent history to the GMCB.  On average, margins are approximately 2 percent across the entire system. Preliminary reviews of budget submissions indicate the hospital system is requesting growth of approximately 8 percent, a growth rate that is in line with annual inflation numbers, but significantly exceeds the two-year guidance set by the GMCB.  Read more here.

Individual hospital budget submissions can be found on the GMCB Hospital Document page and the hearing schedule can be found here.

CCB Sets Meeting Date for the Medical Cannabis Registry Committee

The CCB has set the first meeting to study Vermont's medical cannabis registry for August 8th, from 10-12pm. As part of this year's cannabis legislation, Act 65, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) is seeking interested parties, including medical professionals, to participate in a work group charged with evaluating Vermont's medical cannabis registry and developing legislative recommendations to modernize and improve the cannabis registry. These meetings will be held in person at the Montpelier office of the CCB and there will also be an option to join remotely. Please jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org if you are interested in participating.

Feedback Sought:  ALS Registry Rule

The Vermont Department of Health has shared for review and comment a draft rule regarding diagnoses and incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  The new ALS Registry Rule is required based on legislation passed, 18 V.S.A. §  171.  The rule will require that a health care provider that screens for, diagnoses, or provides therapeutic services to patients with ALS to report to the Department all individuals diagnosed as having ALS within 180 days from the date of diagnosis.  The rule also outlines required points of data to be submitted.  Please submit comments to jbarnard@vtmd.org by noon on Friday, July 28th. This is an opportunity for comment before the formal rulemaking process begins, there will be additional opportunity for comment in the rulemaking process. 

Survey Open: VDH Viral Hepatitis Elimination Planning

The Vermont Department of Health’s office of HIV and Hepatitis Surveillance is seeking brief responses from hospitals and clinicians on viral hepatitis testing and treatment access and barriers. 

In the national effort to eliminate hepatitis, states are following the federal government’s lead and preparing viral hepatitis elimination plans. Under New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ leadership and funding, VT and Maine are joining NH in the Hep Free Northern New England initiative. Hep Free NNE will develop a five-year regional viral hepatitis elimination plan, built on evidence-based, localized, and actionable strategies. In this early information gathering, brief input from a wide range of stakeholders will inform a first set of priorities. These priorities will be brought to a full Planning Group, launching out of the Hep Free NNE Summit on October 5, 2023.  Six brief questions are available in an online survey at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VTMEDSOC. Please respond by August 31st
If you have questions or would like to speak with us directly about the topic, we would be delighted to hear from you: Alexander B. Potter, caracalconsulting@gmail.com or Kelly Bachiochi, MPH, Kelly.Bachiochi@vermont.gov.


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 by August 25th 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.

Reminder: Feedback Sought on Timeline for Prior Authorization Approvals

The Vermont Medical Society is in conversation with the Department of Financial Regulation and Green Mountain Care Board regarding legislation to address the prior authorization process.  One proposal under discussion for the 2024 legislative session includes to decrease the timeframe for health insurers to respond to completed PA requests for urgent PAs to 24 hours, as currently required by at least 10 states.  Vermont law currently sets maximum response timelines at 48 hours for urgent and 2 business days for non-urgent requests. 18 V.S.A. §9418b (g)(4).  Please share feedback regarding this proposal with Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@vtmd.org.   It would be helpful to hear:  are there instances of urgent PA requests currently taking longer than 24 hours; any patient stories regarding the impact of waiting longer than 24 hours for a PA approval; or any other feedback regarding the utility of this proposal.

Free State Park Passes for Your Patients

In our 10th Year for this program, the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation proudly offer free day use State Park Passes for your patients.

The prescriptions are distributed to physician offices. The purpose is to give physicians and their colleagues a meaningful way to discuss with their patients the importance of outdoor exercise and the obvious connection between exercise and good health. This year we hope to reach as many diverse groups as we can. 

If you have questions or if you are interested in participating this year, please let us know at dbutsch@gmail.com. Please let us know how many prescription pads of 50 each you think you will be able to use when you reach out and if you are interested in posters that we may be able to send you.

The prescriptions are numbered and we hope to be able to tell which of your prescriptions were turned in at a State Park if you ask in the fall.

Commissioner of Health Public Health Update on Thursday, August 3rd

The next Public Health Update call with Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD will be Thursday, August 3rd 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 join the zoom meetings here.



Vermont Medicaid Top 10 Claim Denial Reason Webinar

July 26, 2023, 11am to 11:45am

Gainwell Technologies will be providing a webinar to review the top 10 claim denial reasons for Vermont Medicaid CMS 1500 Physician claims. In this webinar, we will discuss the 10 denial reasons, where to find them on your remittance advice, what the definition of the denials are and how to correct the denial if applicable.

Space is limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible here.

Save the Date: Vermont ACP Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting

September 29, 2023 at Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT

The Vermont ACP Chapter's Annual Scientific Meeting will occur on Friday, September 29, 2023. We are planning for an in person meeting. We will again host a poster competition for resident and student members.

Update your medical knowledge, engage with colleagues, and receive 5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits and 5 MOC points.

Meeting details, agenda and registration information will be forthcoming.

Primary Care Sports Medicine and

Wilderness Medicine Conference

October 15 – 17, 2023

Delta Hotel in South Burlington, Vermont

The 2023 Primary Care Sports Medicine and Wilderness Medicine is designed to update knowledge and skills in the diagnosis and management of common sports medicine and wilderness medicine problems. Topics will include discussions of medical and orthopedic issues. There will be ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and interact with faculty, who hail from the University of Vermont Health Network and local community. The teaching program includes lectures and workshops.

For more information, go to the website here.

Save the Date: 210th Annual and Collaborative Meeting Taking Place from November 3-4, 2023

The 210th VMS Annual Meeting will be held on November 3rd and 4th in person at Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT, with virtual options. The weekend will be filled with educational content, time spent with colleagues, policy-setting meetings, and the opportunity to honor physicians and other health care leaders across the state.

Stay up to date on details here and nominate Vermont leaders who have provided outstanding contributions to the medical profession, to health organizations and to the welfare of the public for a VMS Leadership Award here.

CPT & RBRVS 2024 Annual Symposium

November 15-17, 2023

CPT & RBRVS 2024 Annual Symposium is the world's only medical coding conference where attendees learn about the upcoming changes to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set and payment policies directly from members of the AMA-convened CPT Editorial Panel, AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), and CPT and RUC Advisors.

Join virtually to get the first look at the 2024 CPT code set with guidance from the experts, earn continuing education credits, and join over a thousand of your peers for premier coding education at the CPT & RBRVS Symposium!

Register with early bird discounted rates through September 30th here.

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


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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