VMS Recognizes National Physician Suicide Day This Thursday
September 17th, 2020 is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day and VMS wants to recognize this day by committing to work to reduce and prevent suicide, and to address mental and behavioral health conditions among healthcare professionals. Annually, an approximate 400 physicians take their own lives and each suicide is a devastating loss with reverberating impact to family, friends, and colleagues as well as around 1 million patients per year. A number of national and local health care organizations are providing leadership on this sensitive issue and challenging all of us to break down stigma, open the conversation, recognize warning signs and learn to approach our colleagues who may be at risk.
Here are some resources to help recognize National Physician Suicide Day:
#NPSAday: Strive for wellness, reach out for help if you need it and care for your colleagues.
VMS 2020 Collaborative Meeting Agenda Focused on Lessons Learned from the Intersections of COVID-19 and Health Equity
Register today for the virtual 2020 VMS Annual Meeting taking place on Saturday, November 7th, 2020. This year's meeting, which is held in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association, will run from 9 am - 5 pm and include CME sessions on this meeting's theme of Educational Sessions on COVID 19 - Lessons Learned, Next Steps. Health Equity is a primary focus, with a session on "Ethical and Human Rights in a Pandemic," with Scott Allen , M.D., FACP, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of California, Riverside and co-founder of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Brown University; a session on "Impacts of Delayed Care on Health Care Outcomes," with V. Fan Tait, M.D., FAAP, currently the chief medical officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); and "Practicing Equity in Reproductive Health," with Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, MD, FAAFP, currently the medical director at the Gatehouse Treatment Center, Nashua. Click for more information and to register for the virtual 2020 VMS Annual Meeting.
AHS Presents Update on Health Care Stabilization Grants
Agency of Human Services (AHS) Secretary, Mike Smith, provided an update on the Health Care Provider Stabilization Grant process to the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) this week and announced that approximately $100 million will be approved for distribution in the first round of funding. The Stabilization Grant program, which was approved by the legislature in June 2020, created a needs-based application process aimed at distributing $275 million in federal CARES Act funds to health care providers experiencing losses and expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AHS is providing two application cycles and is still in mid-review process for the first round of funding, which is designed to cover expenses between March 2020 and June 2020. 351 health care facilities and clinician practices applied for the first round of funding and Secretary Smith said that as of today $4.4 million has been approved for small provider practices, while approximately $65 million has been approved for 8 of the hospitals that applied for the funding. Springfield and Copley hospitals were not eligible for the funding, but the Agency is working with Porter Hospital to analyze their application to better determine their eligibility. The second round of funding will cover expenses and losses from March 2020 – September 15, 2020 and they expect to open the next application process in mid-October.
Agreement Reached on Changes to OneCare Vermont’s Primary Care Payments
As reported last week, OneCare Vermont announced this summer that it was making modifications to its payments made to primary care practices for the 2021 contract year. Primary care practices currently receive a $3.25 per member per month “Population Health Management” payment, in addition to fee for service rates, care coordination payments and the chance to earn distributions from a Value Based Incentive Fund. Starting with contract year 2021, OneCare Vermont announced that primary care practices would only receive $1.75 PMPM in Population Health Management payments, with the opportunity to receive up to $4.75 PMPM if the ACO network reaches budget targets at the end of the year. After hearing from independent primary care practices opposed this reduction, hearings in the legislature, and discussion in front of the Green Mountain Care Board last week, OneCare Vermont and HealthFirst independent practice association reached agreement that independent primary care practices will have the option to receive the full $3.25 per member per month (PMPM) for attributed lives on a monthly basis through 2021, with the understanding that $1.50 PMPM is considered at risk.
Deadline for VMS Physician Executive Leadership Institute This Friday!
The VMS Education & Research Foundation application period for its experiential Executive Leadership Institute is closing this Friday, September 18th. This foundational course will enhance and fine-tune the most important leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs. the 40-hour, year-long course begins in November. Click here for more information for the 40-hour, year-long course, which begins in November, 2020.