2017 Interim Meeting: Sign up for poster symposium, CME events, town hall forum

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MMS NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

2017 Interim Meeting: Just two weeks away

The 2017 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD) will be held Friday, December 1, at MMS Headquarters and Saturday, December 2, at the Westin Hotel, Waltham.

  • Want to see the HOD in action?  MMS members may remotely observe the HOD first and second session from the comfort of their home or office;
  • Add your voice to the policymaking process. The Delegates' Handbook is now available and online testimony is open;

Help shape MMS policy: How to testify online

Do you worry that your patients aren't getting needed medications because they are discharged on a weekend and the treatment they need isn't covered by their insurance plan's formulary – but no insurance company staff are available to facilitate coverage? A resolution at this year's Interim Meeting seeks to change that.

You can share your thoughts on these and other resolutions that are slated for discussion. Log on to our easy-to-use site to submit online testimony, which will be presented in writing at the meeting on December 1. Learn more about the value of online testimony in the November issue of Vital Signs.

Free MMS opioid prescribing CME: Approaching 40,000 completed courses

The Society’s free CME courses on opioid prescribing have become a major resource for physicians and other providers in and beyond Massachusetts. Since the launch of the modules in May 2015, 37,000 online courses have been completed by more than 13,000 users; 84 percent of users are physicians, and 62 percent are in Massachusetts. Topics covered include safe prescribing for chronic pain, screening for opioid abuse disorder, managing pain without overusing opioids, and therapies that can serve as an alternative to the prescribing of opioids. The 19 courses represent the commitment of the MMS to the ongoing multifaceted, collaborative effort to end the opioid epidemic.    

The Society last week welcomed Governor Charlie Baker’s opioid-combatting “CARE Act," including its support for partial fill legislation, electronic prescribing, and prevention efforts. The MMS also backs the state’s prescription drug-monitoring program.

Free webinar series on medication-assisted treatment

Gain the knowledge and skills to treat opioid use disorder within your practice and community. This free series of virtual clinics is designed to expand the network and capacity of providers with specialty training in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), a proven evidence-based practice for opioid use disorder. Despite the effectiveness of MAT, few people have access to it. Beacon Health Options’ Project ECHO webinar series on MAT links specialists with nonspecialists through virtual clinics, where the specialists mentor participants and share their knowledge through case-based learning and guided practice. Nonspecialists include primary care providers, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other community-based clinicians. Participants do not have to be UniCare or Beacon providers. For information and registration, please contact livia.ataide@beaconhealthoptions.com.

Antibiotic Awareness Week: New multimedia CDC resources for practices and patients

Antibiotics use is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance, which results in tens of thousands of deaths a year in the US alone. New promotional materials and educational resources for patients and families are available from the CDC for Antibiotics Awareness Week. The resources include graphics, brochures, fact sheets, audio and video elements, and press kits designed for print and web. Please share this information with your local partners.

  • Up to 50 percent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed, or are not optimally effective as prescribed;
  • Each year in the US, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics; 23,000+ people die as a direct result; many more die from other conditions complicated by antibiotic-resistant infections

Antibiotic Awareness Week is November 13-19, 2017. Questions? Contact the ISIS Help Desk, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, at ISUShelp@state.ma.us or (617) 983-6801.

HPV-related cancer awareness: Summit and coalition meeting

The Fifth Annual HPV-Related Cancer Summit, hosted by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts Coalition for HPV-Related Cancer Awareness, will explore cervical cancer screening guidelines, HPV prevention in sexual/gender minorities, HPV vaccination updates, current cervical cancer research studies, and the dental professional’s role in HPV prevention. The Summit will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., at the DFCI’s Yawkey Conference Room; information and registration

The bi-annual meeting of the Massachusetts Coalition for HPV-Related Cancer Awareness will follow the HPV Summit at 2:45-4:00 p.m. Stakeholders from across the State who would like to collaborate to reduce HPV-related cancer are invited. RSVP at  cmcreynolds@mms.org.


Reminders: Stuff you should click on

MMS Awards season: Help us honor and celebrate success

Members of the Society — You can help your colleagues and peers get recognized for improving the lives of their patients and strengthening their communities. Please let the MMS know who they are and what they've achieved. In some award categories, you can self-nominate. The following deadlines are approaching for MMS award nominations:

  • Medical Information Technology Award (students, residents, fellows) (Nov 26)
  • Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award (Dec 4)
  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education (Dec 4)
  • Award for Excellence in Public Health (Dec 4)
  • MMS Lifetime Achievement Award (Dec 15)
  • Distinguished Service to the MMS Award (Dec 15)
  • Excellence in Medical Service Award (Dec 15)
  • Medical Student Scholar Awards (Jan 19)


How to apply or nominate a colleague The MMS Committee on Recognition Awards wants to hear from you;  information and applications

How the MMS awards make a difference 

YiDingYupic(1).jpg"The MMS Information Technology Award was the first prize we ever won. It allowed  Twiage to invest in life-saving technology and gave us credibility when we talked to our first clients. Recognition from MMS empowered hospital leaders to say, 'This is great technology; there are experts who've looked at this, and we want to be on the cutting edge.' That kind of external validation, especially for a startup, is critical." 

—YiDing Yu, MD; founder and CEO of Twiage; internist at Atrius Health; 50 Healthcare Leaders Under 40 (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Awards, accomplishments, promotions? Feature in Member News & Notes

Vital Signs, the monthly print and online newsletter of the MMS, is now listing your professional news — such as joining a new hospital, opening a practice, or a recent promotion — and your other achievements: board appointments, awards, or speaking engagements. We are currently seeking submissions for the February issue of Vital Signs. Please include your full name and title, medical school with graduation year, residency institution, hospital affiliation, recent update, and a high-resolution headshot. Send submissions to vitalsigns@mms.org by December 5, 2017.

Benefit Buzz: Legal Advisory Plan—Have you renewed or enrolled?

Safeguard your medical license. It is important to be enrolled in the Legal Advisory Plan (LAP) at the initiation of a Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM) investigation to avail yourself of the expert Plan counsel. Take advantage of the LAP, a members-only, low-cost legal service; learn more. Questions? Email lap@massmed.org, or call (781) 434-7311.

MDPH publishes new child blood screening regulations

On December 1, 2017, new regulations for child blood lead screening will go into effect. Questions? Call the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (800) 532-9571.

2017 Massachusetts State Health Assessment

The 2017 Massachusetts State Health Assessment (SHA) is now available on the MDPH website. The Statewide Partnership Advisory, including the MDPH, the MMS, and other organizations, guided and informed this update to the Massachusetts State Health Assessment. A pdf and accessible versions are available. The SHA covers: Population Characteristics; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Environmental Health; Infectious Disease; Injury and Violence Prevention; Addiction; Health Systems & Health Access; and Wellness & Chronic Disease.

Update: More info on new requirement for all licensed physicians

All physicians who hold an active medical license in Massachusetts must enroll in MassHealth — either as billing or nonbilling providers — in order to maintain their licensure. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Whether you are currently practicing, retired, work in industry or teach, if you hold an active license in Massachusetts you must comply to maintain licensure. 

Your license will be impacted at your next renewal date. The Board of Registration will be updating its online licensing application but has not done so to date.

The HHS site provides links to the registration forms for nonbilling providers and billing providers.  

This requirement came into effect early this month. Although there is no imminent date for denial of MassHealth claims, noncompliance will affect reimbursement for MassHealth billing providers going forward.

This does not mean that physicians must accept MassHealth patients. Nonbilling providers' National Provider Identifier (NPI) may be included as relevant on claims submitted by billing providers. This derives from a requirement of the ACA that the state is now implementing.The HHS website has the full, updated regulations.


Educational programs and events  

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS Headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA. View our full calendar of upcoming live CME activities. 

2017 Annual Oration – Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, and American Football
Friday, December 1, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Ethics Forum – CRISPR and the Ethics of Germline Manipulation

Friday, December 1, 2017, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Featured online CME courses – Risk Management credit

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ 

Find additional risk management online CME activities.


This week in health care

Sign up for daily roundups of health news affecting Massachusetts. 

Boston Children's reverses type 1 diabetes in mice

Researchers from the hospital said they successfully used the treatment to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice. All the mice were cured of diabetes in the short term, and a third of the mice were cured for the duration of their lives.

Talk of Steward Health moving out of Mass. is making the rounds

The talk in the local health care industry is that Steward CEO Ralph de la Torre will move key management jobs elsewhere. A spokesman for Steward declined on Wednesday to comment, but people outside of the company have mentioned Texas as a likely location for a new corporate office.

Dorkin: Partial-fill approach to opioid prescribing remains a vital component

The Massachusetts Medical Society said it supports Baker's bill overall and particularly a provision that would merge the state and federal law on partial-fill prescriptions. Those let patients fill less than their full opioid prescription initially, and permits them to go back to the same pharmacy for the balance within 30 days.

Beth Israel Deaconess to build 10-story patient building

The building in Boston's Longwood medical area would house private patient rooms, operating rooms, and imaging facilities, and it would include a rooftop landing pad for medical helicopters, according to a letter hospital officials filed with the Boston Planning & Development Agency. 

Opioid-related overdose deaths down 10 percent in Massachusetts 

A report released Monday by the Department of Public Health found that the 1,470 estimated and confirmed overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2017 represented a decline of about 10 percent compared to the 1,637 deaths in the first nine months of 2016. 

Senate advances health care overhaul, single-payer study

Final passage came on a 33-6 vote shortly before midnight after two days of debate and dozens of amendments. All six Republicans in the Democratic-controlled chamber voted against the final bill, which faces an uncertain road ahead. 

Researchers: Hernandez's brain reveals most extensive CTE in young adult 

Boston University researchers say the donated brain of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez reveals the most extensive evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) they've ever seen in a person that young.

Provision In health care bill passed by Senate would allow a 'medicaid buy-in' 

There's a provision tucked into a sweeping health care bill approved by the Mass. Senate that would let anyone, no matter how much you earn, buy insurance through the state's Medicaid program.  

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