Massachusetts Medical Society: AMA President to visit MMS; Survey deadline next week

AMA President to visit MMS; Survey deadline next week


News and announcements

MMS, City of Worcester team up on stigma-busting campaign


MMS President Dr. Alain A. Chaoui joined Dr. Mattie Castiel, Commissioner of Health and Human Services for the City of Worcester, to film a short PSA that validated the fact that opioid use disorder is a disease, attempts to debunk stigma, inform residents about where they can turn for help, and an action request that calls on those who suffer from opioid use disorder to have a conversation with a health care provider about medication-assisted treatment, its effectiveness and availability.   

This initiative stems from a meeting at MMS Headquarters two months back that was attended by Dr. Castiel, among others, during which stakeholders discussed the need to increase the use of and prescribers of MAT as we continue to stare down the opioid epidemic. Importantly, we include at the end of the video contact information for agencies in the city at which residents can seek medical guidance.

Watch the video below.


Join AMA president to explore sustainable contemporary practice models (Feb 2)

Barbara_McAneny_ama(1).jpg This half-day Saturday conference outlines varying types of private practice models. It explores how private practice can thrive financially and cultivate physician-patient satisfaction in the context of emerging market trends and priorities. The keynote speaker is Barbara McAneny, MD, president of the AMA. This is an opportunity to learn the benefits and operational/economic characteristics of models such as “practice without walls,” direct primary care, integrative medical-behavioral family medicine, concierge, and traditional practice. The program covers the AMA’s Practice Improvement Strategies, alternative funding opportunities within Fee for Service, the benefits of physician autonomy in avoiding burnout, and more. It will be held at MMs headquarters, Waltham, and is designed for medical students and physicians of all specialties and career stages. Click the button below for more information and registration.


Get involved in an MMS committee

MMS committees form the backbone of the MMS, where the important work of the Society is accomplished. Do you have a special interest or desire to make a difference in organized medicine? Or, to assist in achieving the greater goals of the Society? Joining a committee is one way to get involved. MMS is currently seeking interested members. Applications are due March 1;  more info and applications.


Reminders: Stuff you should click On

MA drug registration (MSCR) moving online:
Create your account and book a webinar (Jan 15)

The Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration (MCSR) system for physicians and some other prescribers is moving online. Starting January 7, 2019, physicians applying for an MCSR will no longer need to submit paper applications, can pay via credit/debit card, and will benefit from shorter turnaround times and instant notification and verification. All physicians who prescribe controlled substances, including Schedule VI drugs, need to create an account with the new system, though information will be prepopulated from BORIM once you enter basic details. Since this account will be needed to renew your registration, or to attest to supervising advanced practice providers, the MMS encourages all physicians to create an account.

Help fix the opioid crisis: We need to hear from you (deadline January 16)

"Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of preventable death in Massachusetts. Treating people with buprenorphine works and is rewarding. But patients still struggle to get treatment. Help us figure out how we can make treating opioid use disorder easier for doctors and patients."

Alexander Y. Walley, MD, MSc

Let your voice be heard.  

Please participate in this 15-minute survey to make treating opioid use disorder easier for doctors and patients in Massachusetts.

This survey is designed to assess physicians' perspectives and needs when caring for patients with opioid use disorder. The Society and Shatterproof, a national advocacy organization addressing the stigma of addiction, are partnering to understand the Commonwealth's response to the opioid epidemic and to identify opportunities for improvement. Please check your email inbox for the survey: the email subject line is How can we help providers better address opioid use disorder? The survey will close Wednesday January 16, 2019. If you did not receive a survey and would like to participate, please email

Seeking comments: Continuing certification of physicians (Jan 15)

The American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) has provided an update on its “Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future" project (aka The Vision Initiative). The Commission reviewing the framework and purpose of continuing certification of physicians has released its draft report, including key findings and recommendations. The draft report is open for public commen t until Tuesday, January 15, at 11:00 p.m. CST.

Renew your membership

A new year of MMS Membership

Happy 2019! Welcome to all our members. The new membership year has begun.

At 25,000 strong we are gearing up for a productive year ahead.

Preview our new membership benefits page and brochure

You can renew your membership today by visiting

Save 5% or more on multiyear enrollment options.


Benefit Buzz

Bridging the Insurance Gap

Did you know that your professional liability insurance may not cover Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM) investigations, or the policy may be limited? And your premium may subsequently go up? Take advantage of the Legal Advisory Plan, a MMS members-only benefit, as your first line of defense. Enroll or renew for January 2019 – January 2020 coverage now for a nominal fee of $70 - a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. You must be enrolled at the initiation of an investigation to avail yourself of plan services.  

Questions? Email or call (781) 434-7311.


Educational programs and events

Live event

Evolving Models for Sustainable Medical Practice
Saturday, February 2, 2019
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

More live CME

Featured online CME: Physician finances

Shared Decision Making: Essential Skills for Prostate, Lung and Breast Cancer Screening

Universal Health Care

For additional online CME activities, visit

More online CME

Quote of the week

"We have to think boldly if we’re really going to do something meaningful to save people’s lives."

— Marc McGovern, Mayor of Cambridge, Mass. on supervised injection facilities (CommonHealth)

Tweet of the week


@darosman - Physician, Teacher, Policy-Maker. Interests: HCR, Policy, Systems Improvement, Local Health, Global Health. Works @MGHImaging @MassMedical  

What’s new in health care

Check out the most clicked-on stories from this week's MMS Media Watch. Sign up for daily Massachusetts media roundups by email. Some publications are fully accessible only to their subscribers.

Boston-based telemed program helping diagnose seizures in children (WBZ)

Dr. Douglass and colleagues at BMC launched the Telehealth Epilepsy Care Collaborative, or TECC, program at 12 BMC-affiliated health centers. "If the screening pediatrician suspects autism or an intellectual disability, or they suspect some type of movement that may be a seizure," explained Dr. Douglass, "they perform a seizure screen that takes about two minutes and that comes to my team here, who calls the family right away." "The seizure screen helped us hone in on whether this was something that was urgent, or whether we could kind of wait a month or two to see if it gets better," said Dr. Andrew Celandine, Sophia's pediatrician.

UMass reports $28M loss; will affect jobs (Boston Business Journal)
UMass Memorial Health Care is consolidating services throughout its network in an effort to turn around a multimillion-dollar operating loss from fiscal 2018, a reorganization that will affect about 170 jobs. UMass Memorial Health System reported a $28.4 million operating loss on $2.5 billion in revenue in fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30. In fiscal 2017, the health system reported a $10.6 million operating gain on $2.4 billion in revenue. The health system has already begun reducing jobs to stem the red ink, cutting back seven programs between its Clinton Hospital and UMass Memorial Medical Center campuses and moving patients to similar services in other cities.

Fentanyl-laced cocaine, not heroin, biggest overdose threat in Mass. (MassLive)
Overdoses in the state from fentanyl-laced heroin may be on the decline, but the state is increasingly facing a new problem: fentanyl-laced cocaine. According to a report issued Friday by the Department of Public Health, the first three months of 2018 was the second quarter in a row that cocaine surpassed heroin in the toxicology for opioid-related deaths. Meanwhile, the rate of overdoses related to heroin has decreased from 2014 to 2018. Alongside both of those trends has been an alarming increase in the rate of overdoses that have tested positive for fentanyl, with a staggering 90 percent of all overdose deaths in 2018 through March testing positive for the drug. 

Harrington Hospital closing pediatric unit  (Worcester Business Journal)
Harrington Hospital will close its inpatient pediatric unit at the end of March due to a low patient volume. The Southbridge hospital will eliminate the 11-bed unit and instead transfer children who need to be admitted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Harrington reached a similar agreement with UMass Memorial when it closed its birthing center in 2017. Patient volume has gotten so low at Harrington's pediatric unit that just 1.5 patients a day were passing through during the past year, the hospital said. In an effort to use the space and staffing more efficiently, a portion of the unit has been used for post-surgical patient recovery three days a week over the past 10 months, the hospital said.

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