September 26, 2023


VMS Board Seeking Resolution Feedback

The VMS Board is seeking member feedback on a policy resolution related to:

  • Addressing Ethical Dilemmas in Some of CMS’s Pay for Performance and Value Based Care Programs

The full text of the Resolution is available here.

This resolution is a redraft of the resolution previously distributed, “Eliminating Medicare’s Direct Contracting Entity (DCE)/ACO-Reach Programs.”  The redrafted Resolution represents an update of a 2005 VMS resolution, adds new criteria pertaining to current CMS physician payment programs, and recommends relevant updates to AMA policy. 

You should have received an email with a survey link specific to you earlier today. If you did not receive your survey links or have any questions or concerns with completing the survey, please contact The survey will be open for member comment between September 26, 2023 and October 24, 2023. The resolutions will be discussed together with the feedback received from members by the VMS Board at its November 8th Board Meeting. If you would like to join this meeting via Zoom, please contact Birdie Pauley at

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.

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.

Learn more about the agenda and register here!

To secure the discounted room block, book prior to October 4th and use one of the methods below to reserve:

  • Phone - Call (800) 451-8686 extension 2 and mention the "Vermont Medical Society Annual Meeting in November" to secure the discounted rate.
  • Online - Visit here for the discounted rate or use the group code VMED23 when booking. 

Fall Immunization Updates

As a reminder, the Vermont Vaccine Program regularly shares updates on vaccine schedules, availability and distribution via their Program Update newsletters. The September Update includes information on RSV, flu and COVID-19 boosters. The Immunization Program will also host an Update Call on September 28th at 12:15 p.m. If you did not yet receive an invite and would like to attend, please send an email request. This meeting will be recorded and made available for those unable to attend.  Last week’s Monthly Scoop call, convened by AAP-Vermont, VTAFP, VDH and the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program, also contained important updates on the fall vaccine rollout. See the slides here and recording here.  For more information on joining the Scoop calls, contact


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.

Two Big Insurers Take Small Steps to Ease Prior Authorization Burden

The country’s No. 1 health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, and another insurance giant—Cigna Healthcare—recently announced tentative steps to reduce the volume of care-delaying, time-wasting prior authorizations they require.  Read more from the American Medical Association here.  VMS is also meeting with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont this week to discuss the burdensome documentation requirements for codes submitted with Modifier -25 or -59. 

Sanders HELP Committee Marks Up Legislation to Address Primary Care Workforce Needs

Senator Bernie Sanders, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), last week led the committee in marking up critical legislation to address the primary care crisis in America, including the major shortage of nurses, doctors, dentists, mental health professionals, and other important health care workers across the country.

Among other things, the legislation would:

  • increase mandatory funding for Federally Qualified Community Health Centers from $4 billion a year to $5.8 billion a year;
  • triple funding for the National Health Service Corps;
  • double funding for Teaching Health Centers;
  • include $300 million to go to those medical schools that focus on growing the number of graduates practicing primary care; and
  • provide $1.2 billion in grants to community colleges and state colleges to train up to 60,000 2-year nurses.

Read more here.

Lyme Disease Vaccine Research Study

The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Vaccine Testing Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center is currently looking for healthy volunteers, ages 5+, for a 30 month-long, placebo controlled, outpatient research study to test a vaccine against Lyme Disease. Volunteers receive up to $1,145 in compensation if all visits are completed. Click here to learn more about this study and to take a pre-screen survey to see if you meet study requirements. Or you can contact the study team at (802) 656-0013 or at UVMVTC@UVM.EDU

Medicaid Audio-Only Services Modifier Change

Effective 1/1/2024, Vermont Medicaid will only allow modifier 93 for audio-only services and no longer allow the use of the V3 modifier. Modifier 93 is available for use on audio claims. Claims billed with the V3 modifier after 1/1/2024 will be denied for incorrect modifier.  Previously, as a response to the Public Health Emergency, Vermont Medicaid temporarily implemented the use of the V3 modifier to signify the service was completed via audio-only for medically necessary, clinically appropriate services delivered by telephone.

More information and a list of audio-only covered codes can be found on the Department of Vermont Health Access website:

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. 


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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