September 12, 2023


Now Accepting Applications for 2024 VMS ERF Clinician Leadership Course

The Vermont Medical Society Education & Research Foundation is pleased to open applications for a 5th statewide Executive Leadership Course beginning in January 2024.

This course is offered in partnership with the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership and Lumunos Wellbeing and is supported by funding from the Physicians Foundation.  Perhaps more than ever before physicians and PAs are being asked to step up and skillfully lead rapid change. Every clinician is being called upon to bring their management styles and skills to the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for Vermont patients. VMSERF is pleased to continue to offer an experiential learning opportunity that will enhance and fine-tune leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs.

The course will run from January through November 2024.  It is aimed at individuals with 5 or more years of clinical experience but minimal formal leadership training, with a goal of enrolling 15-20 physicians and PAs from across Vermont.  To apply, submit a CV and brief description of interest to by November 1st. View the full 2024 brochure, schedule and application information here.

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day Underscores Urgent Need to Support Clinician Wellness

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day (NPSA)—on Sept. 17—is a sobering reminder for physicians and others to ensure that we advocate for programs and initiatives to support physician health and wellness. Physicians have higher rates of death by suicide than the general population, and medical residents and students also experience depression at rates greater than the general population, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. VMS offers no cost Wellbeing Workshops to physicians and medical groups in partnership with Lumunos Wellbeing and anyone with concerns about a physician, PA or other Board of Medical Practice licensee can confidentially contact the Vermont Practitioner Health Program for assistance or resources at 802-223-0400 See additional resources from the Vermont Medical Society, Vital Signs and the American Medical Association (AMA).   

The Vermont Medical Society is also working with the AMA and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation (PDF) to urge the Vermont Board of Medical Practice (VBMP) and hospital credentialing entities to review, revise and/or remove all questions in licensing and credentialing applications that may deter physicians from seeking treatment for mental illness or substance use disorder.  The VBMP recently adopted changes to their licensing applications following feedback from the Lorna Breen Foundation.  VMS also recently met with the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems CMO group to urge all hospitals medical staffs to review credentialing applications according to the Lorna Breen toolkit.  Contact for more information. 

CMS Announces New Multi-State, All-Payer Payment Reform Model

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new voluntary state total cost of care model – the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (“States Advancing AHEAD” or “AHEAD Model”).   The Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) has been expecting this announcement and has convened a number of stakeholder groups over the spring and summer to explore the implications of hospital global budgets and other changes to Vermont’s payment reform efforts; a primary care subgroup is expected to begin meeting soon.  Read more about the workgroups here:

CMS states that the AHEAD Model will build upon the work of existing Innovation Center state-based models, including the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization ( VT ACO) Model, the Maryland Total Cost of Care Model (MD TCOC), and the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model (PARHM). What separates AHEAD work from current state-based models is that CMS will implement AHEAD concurrently across multiple states.

AHEAD will test state accountability for controlling overall growth in health care expenditures while increasing investment in primary care and improving population health outcomes within a participating state or region within a state. Participating states will be accountable for state-specific Medicare and all-payer cost growth and primary care investment targets. The AHEAD Model consists of three primary components:

  • Cooperative Agreement Funding: The cooperative agreement funding provided by CMS can support initial investments for states to begin planning activities during the Model’s pre-implementation period and the initial performance years of the model.
  • Hospital Global Budgets: Global budgets provide hospitals with a fixed amount of revenue for the upcoming year for a specific patient population or program, such as Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.
  • Primary Care AHEAD: Primary care practices located in a participating state or sub-state region will have the option to participate in Primary Care AHEAD, the primary care program component of the model. Primary care practices participating in the model will be required to engage in state-led Medicaid transformation efforts and the aligned Medicare Primary Care AHEAD program and will receive a Medicare care management fee to meet care transformation requirements. Primary care practices will be responsible for reaching performance goals on model quality measures.

CMS will issue awards to up to eight states. The first Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) application period will be released in late fall 2023. States will have 90 calendar days to apply for a cooperative agreement award during this first application period. The second NOFO application period is anticipated to open in Spring 2024 with a 60-day application period.

To learn more about the AHEAD Model and for more information on the application process, please visit the model webpage.

Green Mountain Care Board Continues Hospital Budget Review

The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) began the process of discussing and voting on hospital budget requests last Wednesday, continuing this week with discussions Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The GMCB must finalize budget decisions by this Friday, September 15th.  Materials and proposed Board actions can be found on the Board’s Hospital Budget Review webpage here and the schedules for the meetings can be found here. Of the budgets discussed so far, the Board has accepted the hospital proposed budgets or voted on slight reductions.  The UVMHN member hospital budgets have not yet been discussed.


The GMCB and consultant team are also convening meetings this fall in each hospital service area to examine how to improve access, affordability, and sustainability of Vermont’s health care system. GMCB and VMS will share information as the meetings are scheduled.  Follow the developments and meeting schedule here:


Medicaid’s Expanded Medically Necessary Abortion Coverage

Effective 1/15/23, the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) established a Medicaid investment to reimburse Vermont Medicaid providers for medically necessary abortions, regardless of patient income or Vermont residency status. Vermont Medicaid already covers medically necessary abortions for members. This change provides Medicaid funding for services to people who are not eligible for Medicaid and allows access to abortion services that have become more restrictive or unavailable to millions of people across the United States.  Providers need to contact their Gainwell Provider Rep to submit a claim with the 219A Abortion Certification form. Form 219B will not be accepted.

Provider Rep Map:

DVHA Clinical Forms:

Commissioner of Health Public Health Notes from Update and Next Call Thursday, October 5th

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, joined the VMS for a public health update on September 7th. You can find the notes here.

The next Public Health Update will be Thursday, October 5th 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.

You Are Invited to the 2024 Vermont Voices of Medicine Advocacy Breakfasts

Please join us in January to meet your lawmakers and to advocate for health care policies over coffee and a light breakfast. These breakfasts, which will be held in the cafeteria at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier, are an informal opportunity to educate lawmakers on ways to improve Vermont's practice environment. Each breakfast starts on specific Thursdays and runs from 7:30-9 AM. 

The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) will be hosting several of the breakfasts with others hosted by the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, the Vermont Ophthalmological Society, the Vermont Psychiatric Association, the OB/GYN residency program, and Larner College of Medicine medical students. Please RSVP to attend the breakfasts being hosted by the specialty society of which you are a member. The VMS advocacy breakfasts are open to all specialties to attend. Please reach out to Jill Sudhoff-Guerin at if you have any questions. 

Click here for the list of dates & to register. 

Click here for more information. 

Register Now for the 210th Annual and Collaborative Meeting

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.

Register 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.


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, VT

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.

Registration information, full agenda and accreditation details can be found here.

Northern New England Neurological Society Annual Meeting

October 20th - 21st, 2023

Killington Grand Hotel and Resort, Killington, VT

The 2023 NNENS Annual Meeting will take place at the Killington Grand Hotel and Resort and offer updates on the latest treatments and therapeutic options available across the neurology field. This event is open to physicians, past and present neurology residents, nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other neuroscience professionals. You do not need to be a NNENS member to participate.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

Neurology for the Non-Neurologist 

October 20, 2023

Killington Grand Hotel and Resort, Killington, VT

The Neurology for the Non-Neurologist conference offers the most up-to-date information regarding the treatment of neurologic problems in the primary care setting. This conference focuses on how to diagnose and treat common neurological disorders, order and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies, and provides a guide for therapy and patient care. Primary care physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other medical professionals with an interest in neurology are encouraged to attend.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

Osteoporosis Update for Primary Care November 2, 2023

Hampton Inn Conference Center, Colchester, VT

This conference is designed to improve the skills of the primary healthcare team, as they are often the first to encounter patients who have (or are at risk of developing) osteoporosis. A wide spectrum of diagnostic, management and treatment options will be presented. Topics will include: osteoporosis treatment and fractures, physical therapy and bone health, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, and risks, evaluation and treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Registration information, full agenda, and accreditation details can be found here.

New England Rural Health Association's Annual Fall Conference

"New Horizons in Rural Health Equity"

November 8-9, 2023

Killington Grand Resort Hotel, Killington VT

This conference is an opportunity for rural healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, educators, students and community leaders to learn from experts in rural topics, and to network with each other. Designed to involve all sectors that impact the health of people in rural New England, this multidisciplinary event gives attendees the opportunity to delve into specific areas of interest or participate in sessions spanning a variety of topic areas.

Register today for NERHA's Fall 2023 Conference and learn more 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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