Massachusetts Medical Society: DPH Clarifies PMP “Narcotic” Requirement

DPH Clarifies PMP “Narcotic” Requirement


MMS News and Announcements

DPH Offers Clarify on PMP “Narcotic” Requirement
The Department of Public Health issued guidance this week on what drugs are considered “narcotics” for purposes of MassPAT, the Massachusetts prescription monitoring program. MassPAT regulations require prescribers to query the system prior to every prescription for a Schedule II or III narcotic drug. The list of narcotic drugs contained in these schedules is as follows: Buprenorphine, Codeine (and its derivatives) including hydrocodone, Fentanyl (and its derivatives), Meperidine, Methadone, Morphine (and its derivatives) including hydromorphone, Opium (including DTO), and Oxycodone.

A Reminder to Renew for 2017
Renew your MMS membership for 2017 and make sure you continue to receive valuable benefits like your subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine and up to 50 percent off upcoming events, including the Women’s Health Forum on April 21, 2017. Click here to renew online today or call 800-322-2303, ext. 7495 with questions.

MMS Committee Application Deadline is March 3
If you would like to become more involved in the MMS, consider participating on a committee or the Member Interest Network Executive Council. Committee appointments are for specific terms, usually three-year renewable commitments. We have put in place resources for distance participation including conference calls and online meetings. Click here for details and application forms.

MMS Committee on Nominations Currently Seeking Candidates

The MMS Committee on Nominations is currently considering candidates for nomination for the following offices: President-elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Speaker, and Vice Speaker. Please click here to learn more and submit your application online.

Interviews for both officer positions and the new AMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate positions will be held at MMS Headquarters in Waltham on Thursday, March 2, 2017 between 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Applicants should plan to be available on this date.  If you have questions, contact Linda Healy at (800) 322-2303, ext. 7008 or

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop Planned

A Mindful Practice in Medicine workshop is planned for March 18 and 19 at MMS Headquarters, followed by 4 consecutive Wednesday webinars. The workshop focuses on developing a capacity for self-awareness in stressful and demanding situations and building resilience in community. Click here for information; click here to register.

Benefit Buzz: Special Member Discount and Resources for PQRS Deadline
The deadline for submitting your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures to CMS is February 28, 2017. MMS has arranged for a 33% discount using PQRSwizard to rapidly collect, validate, report, and submit data on the quality of care to Medicare with 99.5% success rate and avoid payment adjustments. Click here for more information

Register for the following live webcasts by PQRSwizard: Feb 15 at 5:00 p.m. ET: PQRSwizard and the Measure Applicability Validation Process; Feb 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET: Submitting your PQRSwizard Report: A review of the most frequently asked questions of 2016s.

Drs. Manson and Smith Keynote Speakers at Women’s Health Forum April 21

JoAnn Manson, M.D. will deliver the morning keynote address at the MMS Women’s Health Forum, “Hormones: Do They Define us? “on April 21. Dr. Manson is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. Barbara L. Smith, M.D. will deliver the afternoon keynote speech. Dr. Smith is director of the breast program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She will also be presented with the Women’s Health Award.

The Women’s Health Forum, provided by the Massachusetts Medical Society and its Committee on Women in Medicine in collaboration with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, features a lecture and panel on transgender health, a session on the effect of hormones on metabolism and weight regulation, and a discussion on the evolution of breast surgery by faculty from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).


Also planned are networking opportunities and an awards luncheon. The Women's Health Research Award will be presented to Robert H. Young, M.D. , from MGH. For registration, visit , or contact Erin Tally at


Education Programs & Events

Live CME Activities 

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

Women’s Health Forum – Hormones: Do They Define Us?

Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 

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

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

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

For additional risk management online CME activities, visit

This Week in Health Care

HPC Offers Ideas for Reducing Health Care Costs
Health Policy Commission’s executive director David Seltz said incentivizing the use of community hospitals, setting "aggressive targets" for reducing hospital readmissions and monitoring drug prescribing patterns are among the ways to control rising health care costs in Massachusetts.

Brookline Psychiatric Hospital Cited for Violations
Arbor-HRI, a Brookline psychiatric hospital, has been cited by OSHA’s workplace safety inspectors after they discovered that front-line employees suffered broken bones and concussions during interactions with violently ill patients.

Partners HealthCare Reports Operating Loss of $17m
Partners HealthCare has reported losses in a new assessment, piling on top of pressures from higher operating expenses at its hospitals and ongoing struggles with its insurance business.

State Employers Favor Changes to ACA
Massachusetts employers agree that the federal health care system needs to change, but there is no consensus around what changes to make or how to make them, an Associated Industries of Massachusetts survey found.

State Approves Clinton Hospital, HealthAlliance Merger
Massachusetts Public Health Council approved the merger between Clinton Hospital and HealthAlliance hospitals, with Massachusetts Health Policy Commission declining to review the merger proposal, eliminating one layer of scrutiny.

New Physician Network Eyed for South Shore
RPMG Physician Associates plans to break from its three-year relationship with Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, moving an estimated 34,000 patients to a new physician network.

Holyoke Medical Expands ER Facilities
Holyoke Medical Center will increase its emergency room’s treatment beds from 26 to 40, 12 of those designated as behavioral-health beds, as part of a new Crisis Center for Psychiatric Services, segregated from the main ED to give those patients more privacy.

Taunton Introduces Needle Exchange Mobile Service
Taunton rolled out a "syringe service programming" from Seven Hills Foundation that will afford intravenous drug users in the city a safe way to dispose of used, or dirty, needles in exchange for clean ones.

Health Connector Adds Record Numbers of New Patients
Health Connector, the Massachusetts online marketplace for health insurance, added 53,000 new enrollees as of Feb. 1, the close of open enrollment, a number that is up from the 36,000 new enrollees that came to the market last year. 

Private Ownership of Hospitals a Growing Trend
Private ownership of community hospitals is growing, both in Massachusetts and the U.S. at large, a telling signal of the shift away from nonprofit toward for-profit health care.

Gov. Charlie Baker Takes Next Steps for ACA
Gov. Charlie Baker is already laying the groundwork for returning Massachusetts to key elements of the state's 2006 universal health care law, which provided a blueprint for the Affordable Care Act.

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