September 6, 2022


Green Mountain Care Board Holds FY23 Hospital Budget Deliberations

Last week the GMCB met both on Wednesday, August 31st and Friday, September 2nd to begin their decision-making regarding the FY23 Hospital Budget approvals. All of Vermont's fourteen hospitals submitted their budget requests on July 1, 2022, and the Board held individual hospital budget hearings in late August. Sarah Lindberg provided this FY23 Hospital Budget Deliberations presentation on Wednesday to guide the discussion. The Board is in the process of changing Vermont's hospital budget regulatory process due in part to the Vermont legislature's passage of Act 167 during the 2022 legislative session. The new process includes the GMCB goals to:

  • Identify opportunities for efficiency
  • Establish meaningful metrics consistent with current health care landscape, including appropriate reference values and decision points
  • Improve alignment with other regulatory processes
  • Develop methodology to determine allowable rate of growth for Vermont hospital budgets
  • Develop value-based payments and promote the long-term stability of the Vermont health care system, in collaboration with AHS

Sarah also reported that the Agency of Human Services will be providing some hospitals with an additional DSH payment in the FY22 totaling $23 million as part of Vermont's current Global Commitment waiver. The GMCB approved the FY23 hospital budget requests as submitted from Southwestern Medical Center, Northwestern Medical Center, Copley Hospital, Gifford Medical Center, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, Grace Cottage, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and Porter Medical Center. The Board approved a modified request from Rutland Regional Medical Center. The Board did not move forward on the budget requests from Central Vermont Medical Center or UVM Medical Center. The Board will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 7th, 2022 at 12pm. Click here for meeting information.

Bivalent COVID-19 Boosters Authorized and Available Sept. 7 in Vermont

Last Thursday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations for use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.  Monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are NO LONGER authorized for use as boosters in people ages 12 years and older. Appointments for monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna boosters in people 12 years of age and older should be rescheduled for when the bivalent COVID19 vaccines are available. (Pfizer orange cap may still be used as a booster for those 5 through 11 years.)

Bivalent boosters will be available at walk-in community clinics and select pharmacies beginning early as tomorrow, Sept 7. The booster is for people 12 and older who have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series. Patients can search for Pfizer Bivalent Booster 12+ and Moderna Bivalent Booster 18+ in the list of walk-in clinics. Boosters will also be available through pharmacies and doctors' offices. The Vermont Immunization program anticipates that Bivalent boosters will be available for practices to order in mid-September. Additional guidance on these new products will be available this week on the COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Health Professionals Website.

Update on Human Monkeypox Virus (hMPXV) 

A Vermont Department of Health Health Alert Network (HAN) issued Sept. 1 provides recent information about hMPXV for health care clinicians and facilities including clinical presentation, testing, vaccination and treatment. For the full HAN click here. 

Approximately 18,500 cases of hMPXV have been reported in the U.S., disproportionately affecting gay, bisexual, and other men or trans people who have sex with men. Among cases reported to CDC through July 27, 99% were among men. Among men with available information, 94% reported male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact during the three weeks before symptom onset. To date, there have been three Vermont cases, as well as additional cases in Vermont among residents of other states. 
The Vermont Department of Health keeps a running list of resources for clinicians here. Any clinician who suspects hMPXV should call Vermont Department of Health Infectious Disease Program at 802-863-7240 (option 2) to speak with an epidemiologist 24/7.

VMS Submits Comments on Proposed 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

VMS has submitted comments on the proposed 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.  VMS’ comments focused on urging CMS to continue to pay for audio-only telephone visits beyond the current proposal of 150 days after the end of the federal public health emergency, to adopt proposed increases to vaccine administration fees for common vaccine administration codes, and to finalize a proposal to expand coverage for colorectal cancer screening.  See the full comments here. The final fee schedule is typically released in early December and goes into effect Jan. 1.  Medicare’s payment policies often have impacts beyond the Medicare program as many other payers look to their code valuations and other payment policies.  For more information on the proposed 2023 Fee Schedule, click here.


Reminder to Register for VMS Hosted Fall Candidate Meet and Greets this October

Please join the Vermont Medical Society this fall for candidate meet & greets in three districts across the State. These will be in-person social events to which we are inviting Vermont State House and Senate legislative candidates from Washington, Chittenden and Rutland counties to member-led receptions in their respective districts. VMS members who work or practice in these districts are invited to these informal meet & greets to get to know the candidates who could be representing them after the general election in November. For questions please email Jill Sudhoff-Guerin at

Register for each event below (events are free to members but a head count is needed) :

AMA: Supreme Court Shouldn’t Impede Efforts to Diversify Medical Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up two cases that could prevent medical schools from considering race and ethnicity. It’s a change that would undermine the nation’s health at a time when studies and experience show a diverse physician workforce is the best way to serve the nation’s increasingly diverse patient population.  Read more from the AMA here.



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 or for more information or to schedule a workshop. 

Dismantling Stigma for All: Addressing Physician and Patient Mental Health and Suicide Risk

September 8, 2022, 12:00 pm CT

As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, this live, interactive forum will connect attendees with industry experts on suicidal ideation and physicians with lived experience to discuss solutions for dismantling the stigma around seeking mental health treatment.

Register here.

Private Practice Simple Solutions: Team Documentation

September 8, 2022, 10:00 am CDT

The AMA’s newly launched Private Practice Simple Solutions series is designed to help implement actionable changes that can improve efficiencies within a physician’s practice.

Each FREE multi-week session focuses on a single topic. This Team Documentation session will focus on: implementing multiple contributor documentation process, designing efficient documentation workflow, and appropriately delegating tasks to staff. 

Register here.

Regenerative Medicine: Highlighting and Correcting Misinformation

September 9, 2022, 8:00 am CT

Panelists, Zubin Master and Emily Vraga, will discuss the clinical and promotional landscape of stem cell-based interventions, ways of correcting misinformation, and resources and multi-sectoral policy approaches to help lead patients to more informed decision-making.

Learn more about the event here.

Register here.

VMS COVID Conversation with the Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, M.D.

October 6, 2022, 12:30pm EST

The September 1st call will be replaced by the Providing Catch Up Immunizations/On-going Pediatric Care as part of our Providing Healthcare to Refugees webinar series. You can register for that webinar here.

The next time we will speak with the Commissioner of Health will be October 6, 2022 where he will provide 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 which take place on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:30pm to 1pm EST 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).

25th Annual Women's Health and Cancer Conference

September 30, 2022, 8am to 3pm EST

In-person and Virtual

Join us for a special 25th anniversary celebration and a keynote address by Kim Dittus, MD, PhD, Moving from treating cancer to treating the whole person

This free, educational event is geared towards a broad range of clinical providers as well as patients, friends and family members, researchers, and caregivers. Together, you'll learn about cancer screening, treatment, survivorship, reducing the cancer burden, and how the science has changed over 25 years (and where it’s going next). This conference is accredited at no charge to participants courtesy of the UVM Cancer Center.

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit 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.

For meeting details and to register, click here.

Private Practice Simple Solutions: Team Documentation

October 18, 2022, 10:00 am CDT

The AMA’s newly launched Private Practice Simple Solutions series is designed to help implement actionable changes that can improve efficiencies within a physician’s practice.

Each FREE multi-week session focuses on a single topic. This Team Documentation session will be a panel with subject matter expert on common obstacles  in a clinical vignette.

Register here.

Neurology for the Non-Neurology

October 21, 2022, The Essex in Essex, VT

Back at The Essex, this course is designed to update the non-neurologist on how to diagnose common neurological disorders, order appropriate diagnostic studies, and provide appropriate patient care. Topics include: Headache, Epilepsy, MS, Office Neuro Exam, Neuro-Oncology, Long COVID and more. 

For more information about speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit here.

Northern New England Neurological Society Annual Meeting

October 21-22, 2022, The Essex in Essex, VT

The NNENS Annual Meeting will present an update on latest treatments and therapeutic options across the field. The meeting is open to neurologists and other medical professionals with an interest in neurology. You do not need to be a NNENS member to attend!

For more information about speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit here.

Osteoporosis Update for Primary Care 2022

November 4, 2022, The Hampton Inn Conference Center in Colchester, VT

Designed to improve the skills of the primary care healthcare team as they are often the first to encounter patients who have, or who are at risk of developing, osteoporosis. Topics include: Osteo in men, treatment medications, proper use of calcium and vitamin D, fractures from an orthopedic standpoint, and more!

For more information about our speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit here.

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.

Register here.

UVM will have conferences for Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Dermatology and Anesthesia this Winter 2023. 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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