Massachusetts Medical Society: EOHHS Issues New Regulations for Provider Organizations

EOHHS Issues New Regulations for Provider Organizations



EOHHS Issues New Regulations for Provider Organizations  

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) released final regulations implementing the prior legislative mandate that all Massachusetts providers have interoperable electronic health records. The final interpretation of the regulations is largely consistent with the MMS suggested approach: to implement the requirement by provider organization rather than individual provider, to a take phased-in approach by provider organization size, and to ramp up the requirements incrementally over four years. The regulations do not impose this mandate on provider organizations with fewer than 10 licensed providers (MDs, NPs, PAs). The regulations also provide changes to the patient consent process for the Mass HIway, the state’s electronic health information exchange, clarifying that consent with a choice by patients to opt out of participation.

DPH to Send Prescribing Information

The Department of Public Health will be sending emails on March 1st to all prescribers in Massachusetts providing information on how their prescribing of Schedule II and III opioids compares to other prescribers within their specialties. The “Provider Trend Notifications," as required by the Governor’s 2016 opioid law, are issued once annually for the sole purpose of prescriber education. Such information is not shared with licensing boards and cannot be compelled from the DPH. The notifications will provide information regarding the quantity and volume of opioids prescribed, as compared with others in the same specialty. (Specialty is determined by the self-selection at the time of enrollment in MassPAT.) 
All Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT) users will be sent their password-protected notification by email. If you have any questions regarding the notification contact, MassPAT at or 617-753-7310. Updated information will be available on the MassPAT website next week:

A Reminder to Renew for 2017
Renew your MMS membership for 2017 before March 15 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 CME, 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.

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop Planned
A Mindful Practice in Medicine workshop is planned for March 18 and 19 at MMS Headquarters, followed by four 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: PQRS Reporting Deadline Extended and Special Member Discount
The deadline for submitting your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures to CMS is March 10, 2017. MMS has arranged for a 33 percent discount using PQRSwizard to rapidly collect, validate, report, and submit data on the quality of care to Medicare with 99.5 percent success rate and avoid payment adjustments.   Click here for more information.

Benefit Buzz: Legal Advice with Board of Registration in Medicine Issues
Your medical license is one of your most valuable assets and the Legal Advisory Plan is designed to help safeguard your license in the event of a Board of Registration (BRM) investigation. The LAP, a member only, lost-cost legal service, is designed to provide expert advice from the plan's attorneys to effectively respond to BRM issues. Enrollment for 2017-2018 plan year is available. Click here to learn more. Questions? Email, or call (781) 434-7311.

Dr. Adelman to Conduct Workshop at Schwartz Center’s Annual Compassion in Action Health Care Conference
PHS Director Steven Adelman, M.D. will be conducting a workshop, “Dream Team 101: Creating a Culture of Teamwork,” at the Schwartz Center’s Annual Compassion in Action Health Care Conference on June 26. The conference runs from June 25-27 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel, Boston, MA. Click here to register.  

Women's Health Forum to Present Awards April 21
At the Women’s Health Forum on April 21, Robert H. Young, M.D., will be presented with the 2016 Women’s Health Research Award; Barbara L. Smith, M.D., will receive the 2016 Women’s Health Award; Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., will receive the 2017 Women’s Health Award, and JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., will receive the 2017 Women’s Health Research Award.
JoAnn Manson, M.D. will deliver the morning keynote address. 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).
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).
For registration, visit , or contact Erin Tally at  

Educational Programs and Events

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.
Norfolk District Attorney’s Office – Safe Prescribing & Dispensing Conference
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Randolph, MA
Open to subscribers of controlled substances who practice in Norfolk County.
Women’s Health Forum – Hormones: Do They Define Us?
MMS Headquarters, Waltham Conference Center
Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Save the Date

Annual Education Program – The Winding Road of Addiction: Hope on the Horizon, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA
Friday, April 28, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

MMS Annual Meeting, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA
Shattuck Lecture and Luncheon – Personalized Medicine or Precision Medicine
Friday, April 28, 2017, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Directors of Medical Education Conference – Advancing Collaboration and Compliance
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit
Talking to Patients About Gun Safety - NEW
The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
For additional risk management online CME activities, visit
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  

Opioid Overdoses Blamed for Nearly 2,000 Deaths in Mass.
Department of Public Health report released last week showed that opioids were confirmed as the cause of 1,465 deaths and suspected in 514 additional deaths in 2016. Opioids killed or were suspected of killing five times more people than died in car crashes.

Massachusetts Hospitals Feel Pressure to Reject Med Students
Massachusetts medical school officials say as many as 1,000 medical school graduates may be unfairly penalized because of their country of origin, due to policies put forth by President Trump. Massachusetts could be hit particularly hard because the state is home to some of the world's leading teaching hospitals as well as smaller community hospitals that typically depend on a large pool of foreign medical talent.
Gov. Baker and Businesses at Odds on MassHealth Expenses
Gov. Charlie Baker has been backed into a corner by the soaring expense of MassHealth, the state's publicly subsidized health insurance program for lower-income residents. MassHealth now accounts for about 40 percent of the state budget, and he fears that even more people will choose it over their employer's coverage.
Hospitals Awarded $8M in State Grants for MassHealth IT Upgrades
State grants to hospitals are intended to help the health systems better care for patients on a budget, as the state's MassHealth program moves into what is known as an accountable care model of health care payment, which doesn't require a designated primary care provider.

Massachusetts Budget Group Warns Loss of Federal Funding  
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center warns Massachusetts is at risk of losing billions in federal funding — the vast majority of that going to Medicaid — if the Trump administration decides to change several federal programs.
Haverhill Hospital Eyed for Fentanyl Addiction Study
Holy Family Hospital is being considered for a study aimed at fighting addiction to the opioid fentanyl to test pharmacologic treatment, or using certain drugs, and to fight substance abuse.  
Berkshire Medical Center's Opioid Unit Fills Much-Needed Gap
Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield has found that its opioid unit has filled what doctors and other care providers said was a gap in substance abuse treatment in the area — a longer term detox unit.
Boston Medical Center to Run Corrigan Mental Health Center
Dr. John C. Corrigan Mental Health Center at Boston Medical Center will control emergency services, taking over operations from the state, who will continue to operate Corrigan's in-patient psychiatric hospital, counseling services and other mental health programs.
State Issues Licenses to Holistic Healers
Massachusetts became the 22nd state in the nation to license naturopathic doctors after legislation passed last year to bring the medical professionals under the authority of the state Department of Public Health.

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