July 26, 2022


VMS Leadership Award Nominations – Submit by July 29th

Who do you know that should receive an award for their outstanding leadership throughout the last year? We are accepting nominations for our Annual Leadership Awards until July 29th. To view the award categories and criteria click here

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Birdie Pauley at BPauley@vtmd.org

Feedback Needed by July 29: Practice Data Reporting on Patient Wait Times  

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) is in the process of gathering stakeholder feedback to inform ways to gather and track more quantifiable and consistent statewide data on patient wait times for medical appointments.   DFR has proposed several metrics for discussion, with the idea of collecting this data on a practice (not individual physician/provider) level.  The current metrics under consideration are:

  1. Third Next Available Appointment (Reported by Practice), utilizing the methodology recommended by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This metric would include telehealth appointments.
  2. First in-person appointment (Reported by Health Insurance Issuers), utilizing the methodology ordered by CMS for plans operating on federally-facilitated exchanges. This metric “measure[s] the number of business days between when an individual requests an appointment and when the first in-person appointment is available. In alignment with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), CMS will base the appointment wait time standards on business days.”
  3. New patient median lag time (Reported by Practice), utilizing the methodology recommended by the Clinical Practice Solutions Center, defined by CPSC as the number of days between the date a new patient calls the practice to schedule an appointment and the date the appointment occurs for the new patient using the CPT codes (99201-205) + (99381- 387) + 92002 + 92004 + (99241- 245). 

Please share feedback on practices tracking these measures with Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@vtmd by Friday, July 29th

VMS Hosts U.S. Senate and House Primary Candidate Health Care Policy Forums

Thank you to all of the VMS members who participated in the Vermont Medical Society virtual 2022 U.S. House and Senate Primary Candidate Health Care Policy Forums over the last few weeks. These Congressional candidate forums featured both the Democratic and Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and House races with the goal of providing memberswith enough background to inform your vote in the primary election on or before August 9th. These forums were fast-paced conversations, allowing members to meet the candidates and get a general understanding of each candidate's health care policy vision. The U.S. House forum was moderated by VMS President-Elect Ryan Sexton, M.D., with 6 out of the 7 candidates running for the House seat. The U.S. Senate forum was moderated by VMS President Simha Ravven, M.D, and 4 out of the 6 candidates participated. Please find the recordings here. Please also forward any follow-up questions you have for candidates or suggestions for future events to jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org. Given the number of candidates and short time frame for these events, we know we could not get to all of your questions. We will share additional answers from the candidates before the general election in November.  

Recent Reports of Human Parechovirus (PeV) in the United States—2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to inform clinicians and public health departments that parechovirus (PeV) is currently circulating in the United States. Since May 2022, CDC has received reports from healthcare providers in multiple states of PeV infections in neonates and young infants. Parechoviruses are a group of viruses known to cause a spectrum of disease in humans. Clinicians are encouraged to include PeV in the differential diagnoses of infants presenting with fever, sepsis-like syndrome, or neurologic illness (seizures, meningitis) without another known cause and to test for PeV in children with signs and symptoms compatible with PeV infection (see below).

Read the full HAN here.

COVID-19 Updates

The Scott Administration did not hold a weekly press conference this week, and VMS’ call with the Commissioner of Health last week was replaced with a U.S. Senate candidate forum.  According to the latest COVID-19 Surveillance Report, Vermont's COVID-19 Community Level remains low.  The following indicators are all in the low range:

  • Rate of COVID-19 cases
  • Rate of COVID-19 among people being admitted to the hospital
  • Percent of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients

The volume of people going to emergency departments due to COVID-like symptoms has ben decreasing since early May.

In other updates:

Get Involved: Protecting Abortion Access in Vermont

We have had members ask us what more they can do to support abortion access. VMS is connecting with lawmakers and other policy leaders about legal protections that can be put in state law for providing services across state lines to out-of-state patients. Clinicians interested in further clinical training may wish to explore: Access, Delivered Provider Toolkit (https://familymedicine.uw.edu/accessdelivered/) and https://www.abortiontraining.org. Reproductive access experts have also suggested that all clinicians can be more vocal about abortion care in our professional spheres (offices, hospitals, professional organizations) as one aspect of comprehensive health care. This could look like: bringing pro-abortion policies to boards and organizations (local, state, and national), make sure your own practice/organization has best practice policies in place (what policies/practices does your own office have? Who else in your community has been doing this work already?) and small-scale outreach (Grand Rounds, lectures, community meetings, school education.) 

You can also get directly engaged in advocacy on the state level by voting in Vermont’s primary August 9th and by getting involved in the campaign to pass the "Reproductive Liberty Amendment," Article 22. Over the last 4 years, the Vermont Medical Society has been a leader in advocating in the legislature for Vermont's proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing reproductive liberty for all Vermonters. The Vermont Medical Society urges you to take an active role in the passage of this historic amendment. Please go to the Reproductive Liberty Amendment websiteor https://www.facebook.com/reprolibertyvt/ to learn more. For more information contact Jill at jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org



AMPAC Campaign School Returns In-Person - Registration Now Open

After two years of virtual programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association PAC is excited to announce that the 2022 Campaign School will be returning in-person September 29 – October 2 at the AMA offices in Washington, DC. Running an effective campaign can be the difference between winning and losing a race. That’s why the Campaign School is designed to give you the skills and strategic approach you will need out on the campaign trail. Our team of political experts will teach you everything you need to know to run a successful campaign. Under the direction of our lead trainers, participants will be broken into campaign staff teams to run a simulated congressional campaign using what they’ve learned during group sessions on strategy, vote targeting, social media, advertising and more.    Attendees include physicians, spouses of physicians, residents and medical students and state medical society staff interested in becoming more involved in politics. Registration for the 2022 Campaign School is now OPEN. Space is limited and the deadline to register is September 4 (or sooner if maximum capacity is reached). For more information contact: politicaleducation@ama-assn.org.

Applications Open - Building Bridges to Better Health: A Primary Health Care Challenge

HRSA’s Building Bridges to Better Health: A Primary Health Care Challenge is a national competition with a total of $1 million in cash prizes to encourage innovation through technical assistance to health centers. Competition participants will accelerate the development of low-cost, scalable solutions to help HRSA-supported community health centers improve patient access to primary care and strengthen the link between health care and social services. The competition is open to broad public participation, including individuals, groups, health care organizations, and other entities. A total of $1 million in cash prizes will be awarded over three phases, which include concept design (Phase 1); prototype development and testing (Phase 2); and scaling of the approach (Phase 3). Phase 1 will include initial awards totaling $300,000 for up to 30 winners. Phase 1 submissions are due August 2, 2022. Visit Challenge.gov for more information.

AMA Resources for Vermont Medical Society Members

The American Medical Association is pleased to highlight the following resources now available:

Private Practice Playbook

This new, free the AMA STEPS Forward® resource is full of information to help physicians determine if opening a private practice is the right move for them, including guidelines for running a private practice and strategies to help grow a practice into a successful healthcare facility. LEARN MORE and then DOWNLOAD THE PLAYBOOK.

AMA Private Practice Simple Solutions

This series of rapid learning cycles designed to increase efficiency in your private practice is free and open to all. Each 8-week learning session focuses on one topic area, and busy physicians can access pre-recorded content at a pace that works best for them. LEARN MORE.

BHI Immersion Program

The BHI Collaborative is launching a free initiative where selected practices will participate in a 12-month curriculum designed and taught by industry experts on how to effectively implement behavioral health integration. Applications accepted through Aug. 5. APPLY NOW.

International Conference on Physician Health

Oct. 13-15 | Orlando, Fla.

Join us at this year’s International Conference on Physician Health and connect with physicians from all over the world about how to engage organizations to achieve cultural change. REGISTER HERE.

Documenting time for each task during outpatient visits

The most recently published myth in the AMA’s Debunking Regulatory Myths Series tackles whether or not physicians and other qualified health professionals are required to document the time spent on each specific task associated with an outpatient visit. LEARN MORE HERE.

Federal Rulemaking on Nondiscrimination, Physician Fee Schedule –  VMS Seeking Member Feedback  

On July 25, 2022, HHS Office of Civil Rights issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise its 1557 regulations.  The previous version of this rule limited its scope to cover fewer programs and services, limiting nondiscrimination protections. This proposed rule solidifies protections against discrimination on the basis of sex including sexual orientation and gender identity.  Among other provisions, the proposed rule would also:

  • Require entities to give staff training on the provision of language assistance services for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP), and effective communication and reasonable modifications to policies and procedures for people with disabilities.
  • Require covered entities to provide a notice of nondiscrimination along with a notice of the availability of language assistance services and auxiliary aids and services.
  • Explicitly prohibit discrimination in the use of clinical algorithms to support decision-making in covered health programs and activities.
  • Clarify that nondiscrimination requirements applicable to health programs and activities include those services offered via telehealth, which must be accessible to LEP individuals and individuals with disabilities.

VMS will be submitting comments on the proposed rule requirements.  Please submit feedback to jbarnard@vtmd.org by September 1. 

On July 7, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year 2023 Revisions to the Physician Fee Schedule.  If finalized, the proposed policies in the rule will take effect on January 1, 2023.  The American Medical Association has prepared as summary of the proposed changes here. Please share feedback or concerns with jbarnard@vtmd.org by August 26th.


Join us for the next conversation with the Commissioner - Thursday, August 4th @ 12:30!

Join us the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 12:30pm to 1pm as Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine provides us with the most pressing information affecting the state and nation. You will have the opportunity to submit questions to Dr. Levine who will answer them, time-permitting.

You can join the zoom meetings here or add to your calendar by following this link and clicking download (you will then need to open the downloaded file and click save to add to your calendar).

No Cost Well-Being Workshops

VMS is continuing our partnership with Doug Wysockey-Johnson of LumunosWellBeing to offer no-cost clinician wellbeing workshops at up to 10 Vermont medical staffs/practices over 2022. There are 3 remaining slots available this summer.  New topics for 2022 include A Clinician’s Guide to Recovering from the COVID Marathon and A Realistic Look at ‘Work-Home Balance’ for Clinicians. See the full list and additional details here.  Members can contact jbarnard@vtmd.org or doug@lumunos.org for more information or to schedule a workshop. 

Providing Healthcare to Refugees: Domestic Health Assessment

July 28, 2022, 12:15pm to 1pm EST

This talk will teach the fundamentals of how to perform the domestic medical exam for a newly arrived refugee. We will discuss resources and guidelines to support the clinician in performing the domestic medical exam.

This webinar is a part of a series of webinars on Health Care for Refugees hosted by the Vermont Medical Society. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. Registration is required here.

To learn more about what other topics will be included in this series, click here.

Vermont ACP Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting

October 14, 2022

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT

The Vermont ACP Chapter's Annual Scientific Meeting will occur on Friday, October 14, 2022. The ACP is optimistically planning for an in-person meeting. The ACP will host a virtual poster competition for resident and student members.

Update your medical knowledge, engage with colleagues, and receive CME credits and MOC points.

Meeting details and agenda forthcoming.

Vermont Medical Society Annual and Collaborative Meeting

November 4th and 5th, 2022

The 209th VMS Annual Meeting will be held on November 4th and 5th in person at Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT, with virtual options. The weekend will be filled with educational content, time to spend with colleagues, policy-setting meetings, and the opportunity to honor physicians and other health care leaders across the state. VMS’ Annual Meeting, hosted in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association, is a celebration of the unwavering commitment Vermont clinicians have to their practice and to the deep connection VMS members have with each other.

To view more information or submit nominees for 2022 leadership awards, please click here. Registration information will be shared in the future.

UVM will have more primary care conferences in Fall 2022. Sign-up to get updates via email for topics that are of interest here.


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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