Flu vaccination vigilance required for adult day facilities

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MMS NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

DPH advisory: Flu vaccination diligence needed at group homes, adult day care, long term care facilities

Children and adults with neurological and neuromuscular conditions — e.g., intellectual disability, developmental delays, seizure disorders — are at increased risk for flu complications. Low vaccination rates among health care workers in adult day health programs, long-term care facilities, and rest homes have prompted the Massachusetts DPH to issue recommendations to protect patients and staff. People attending day facilities, and staff, should be vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine is available. In the event of an outbreak, healthcare providers should be notified immediately and consider rapid antiviral treatment of ill individuals and antiviral prophylaxis of exposed individuals.

Benefits Buzz: Complementary articles from medical journals

It’s vital to stay up-to-date with medical research, and your subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine is an important tool for that. But if there’s a specific journal article you need for research or clinical purposes, the MMS can help. Through our partnership with the Boston Medical Library, MMS members have complementary access to up to 10 articles each year from any journals in the BML collection. Bookmark this newly revamped, easy-to-use site and fill out the form when you need our assistance.

Financial literacy for medical students, residents, and fellows: Free MMS program (live and webcast)

Want to learn to more effectively manage your finances, including ideas for how to save and reduce student debt? Join us for Financial Literacy 101: Basics for Medical Students and Residents/Fellows includes dinner with your peers and practical financial advice from Dr. John Blute, a recently retired orthopedic surgeon. The event will be held on October 30, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Countway Library, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston, and is free to MMS members. You can alternatively join us via webcast. It is sponsored by the MMS and its Medical Student and Resident and Fellow Sections; information and registration.

MMS supports new gun violence research organization and Stop the Bleed

The MMS Board of Trustees this week voted to support the mission and goals of the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM). AFFIRM is an independent, physician-led organization that seeks to raise private funding for research into firearm injury prevention and to support the development of evidence-based, best practice recommendations for health care providers to reduce the incidence and health consequences of firearm-related violence. The Board also voted to support Stop the Bleed, a national public education initiative aimed at controlling severe hemorrhage in disaster and trauma events.

Time to renew your MMS membership

Stay connected with colleagues from across the Commonwealth. At 25,000 strong, the MMS is Massachusetts’s largest physician-led organization working on behalf of physicians and their patients. Online renewal is simple and only takes minutes; most MMS members are due to renew. Visit www.massmed.org/renew now to renew your MMS membership for 2018. If you have questions, please call (800) 322-2303, ext. 7495. Make sure you continue to receive your New England Journal of Medicine, and your access to other valuable membership benefits, such as quality CME and practice management support from the Physician Practice Resource Center.

2017 Interim Meeting resolutions due Oct. 17

The 2017 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates will be held Friday, December 1, at MMS Headquarters and Saturday, December 2, at the Westin Hotel, Waltham. For more details about all the Interim Meeting events and to register online, please visit www.massmed.org/interim2017

The deadline to submit resolutions is Tuesday, October 17 at www.massmed.org/resolutions.  

Other important dates:

DPH issues Hepatitis A advisory

Hepatitis A outbreaks in other parts of the US suggest that preventive measures and vigilance are prudent, the Massachusetts DPH has warned. Healthcare workers are encouraged to offer vaccination and promote hand hygiene, and be especially alert for persons at higher risk, including those who experience homelessness, use illicit drugs, have chronic liver disease, or men who have sex with men. Report all cases of Hepatitis A to Boston Public Health Commission at (617) 534-5611.

Reminders: Stuff you should click on

Public Health Leadership Forum: Transforming Health Through Technology

Advances in technology have changed the ways we obtain, disseminate, analyze, and apply health information. The MMS Annual Public Health Leadership Forum, The Promise and Pitfalls of Transforming Health through Technology and Information, will convene policy leaders, researchers, and public health experts to explore technology’s role in improving population health. The event will be held on October 26, 2017, at MMS Headquarters, Waltham; information, including CME credit designation, and registration. For more on how technology is driving health care delivery (and vice versa), see the October issue of Vital Signs.

Back by popular demand: FREE personalized assistance with QPP prep

Maximize your reimbursement and avoid penalties: Join us for light refreshments and personalized assistance to help you develop your strategy for successful MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) implementation in your practice. The program includes Managing the Madness of MIPS, which outlines reporting requirements and timelines. It is designed for providers who are MIPS-eligible and required to report for 2017 (check your MIPS participation status). 
The session will be led by Yael Miller, MBA, director of Practice Solutions & Medical Economics at MMS, and Leila Volinsky, MHA, MSN, RN, senior program administrator at Healthcentric Advisors. Two sessions will be held (participants need attend only one): October 23, 2017, or November 8, 2017, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts Medical Society headquarters, Waltham. At the October 23 session, also plan to learn from a practice administrator who is working to implement MACRA and has firsthand stories to share on challenges and successes. Your registration should include at least one clinician and one colleague/team member responsible for reporting. Space is limited; registration.

MMS matching donations for hurricane relief — TWO DAYS TO GO

The MMS has extended our $75,000 member donation matching period to October 15. Members donating to hurricane relief efforts should email Jennifer Day at MMS with the amount and date of their donation and the name of the organization receiving it. The MMS website provides more information on charitable and volunteer efforts.

Expand your network of community resources for free patient care

Learn and discuss with experts and others on the frontline of free health care programs about best practices, innovations, and access to community resources to the uninsured and underinsured. Current and potential physician and medical student volunteers and staff at free health care programs are welcome. The free forum is on October 25, 2017, at the MMS Headquarters in Waltham, hosted by the Committee on Senior Volunteer Physicians; information and registration.

MMS LGBT Committee fall event

Plan to join us for a 3-course dinner, a cash bar, and an evening with friends and colleagues committed to LGBT care at Club Café on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. You will also have the opportunity to join in the presentation of the MMS 2017 LGBT Health Award to Joshua Safer, MD, for his outstanding contributions to patients’ health in the LGBT community. The event is sponsored by the MMS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Matters; there is a $20 registration fee; information and registration.

Share your news: Promotions, appointments, awards?

Have you moved to a different hospital, opened a new practice, or been recently promoted? Got a new board appointment, award, or speaking engagement? Vital Sign, the monthly print and online newsletter of the MMS, is listing your professional news. We are currently seeking submissions for the December/January 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 October 23, 2017.

2018 Annual Awards: Let MMS know about your colleagues' achievements

Do you have a colleague who deserves to be nominated for their outstanding work or service to the community? The MMS recognizes excellence in multiple categories, including: medical service or public health; contributions to medical education, men’s health, women’s health, women’s physician leadership, or reducing health disparities; service to the MMS; and more. The MMS and its Committee on Recognition Awards are currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Annual Award Program; information and applications.

Students and residents with IT projects: Can you use an extra $3,000?

Each year, the MMS Committee on Information Technology recognizes a medical student and a member of a hospital house staff or training program for information technology solutions in medicine. The two Medical Information Technology Awards are presented annually for functioning projects that use technology to assist physicians in the practice of medicine, the teaching of medicine, or the pursuit of clinical research; more info and application. For more on technology and health care delivery, see the October issue of Vital Signs.


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. 

14th Annual Public Health Forum – The Promise and Pitfalls of Transforming Health through Technology and Information
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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 Heller School's Executive MBA for Physicians (EMBA)
January 2018 – May 2019   Discount for MMS members
Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy and Management
415 South Street, Waltham, MA

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. 

State Health Connector rates to rise 8.7 percent, less sharply than feared

It's still unknown whether the federal government will continue paying the subsidies, but Connector officials said they didn't want to subject consumers to "unwarranted" increases right now. 

Dr. Paul Dratch, Mount Auburn radiologist with a gift for humor, dies at 78

A gifted and caring radiologist, Dr. Paul Dratch possessed such intuitive diagnostic skills that he could "almost see into the patient without X-rays," recalled Dr. Stanley C. Foster, a longtime friend and former colleague at Mount Auburn Hospital. 

Mass. business owner at Trump health care signing: 'I'm here with history'

Critics of the move say it will undermine the Affordable Care Act by pulling healthy people out of the individual market, raising costs for those that remain. It also eliminates certain state protections on what insurance must cover.

Worcester health agency owner arrested over MassHealth fraud

Hellen Kiago, a 47-year-old Sturbridge resident, was arrested on Wednesday morning for allegedly stealing about $2.7 million from the MassHealth system as the owner of a Worcester-based home health agency, Attorney General Maura Healey's office said.

UMass Med. School creating Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research with $10M charitable gift

With the support of a $10 million charitable gift through the Li Weibo Charitable Foundation, UMass Medical School will be able to build upon its work studying rare diseases, potentially leading to cures and treatments that will be available across the country and beyond, perhaps even to Li's hometown of Shenzhen, China.

Doctors advocate for immunizations as more parents claim exemptions

"The more people you have that are unimmunized, the more risk there is to them and the population as a whole," said Dr. Henry Dorkin, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. "I have grave concerns over large numbers of people who, for non-medical reasons, are not having their children immunized."

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