Massachusetts Medical Society: Health Groups Oppose Question 4

Health Groups Oppose Question 4


MMS News and Announcements

MMS, AG Healey, Health Groups Oppose Question 4

MMS President James S. Gessner, M.D. joined Attorney General Maura Healey, other health care leaders, and the Campaign for a Safe & Healthy Massachusetts at a press conference at the State House November 3 to voice opposition to recreational marijuana. MMS has been a leading opponent of Question 4, objecting to the commercialization of marijuana and the effects it would have on public health. Related: MMS Responds to Column on Question 4. 

MassPAT Tip of the Week: Exemptions

Regulations outlining use of MassPAT, the state’s prescription monitoring program, include limited but important exceptions for mandated MassPAT use that include care to hospice patients, hospital inpatients, and pediatric patients under 96 months. DPH has clarified that included in the inpatient exception are prescriptions written for a patient while they are an inpatient that will be filled by the patient after discharge. MMS expects the exemption related to certain emergency department prescriptions to be eliminated in the DPH’s upcoming regulatory review. 

November Physician Focus: Choosing Your Care

The November edition of Physician Focus examines questions patients should consider when making health care decisions. Featured guest is Dr. Barbara Spivak, Chair of the MMS Committee on Quality of Medical Practice and a primary care physician with Mount Auburn Medical Associates. Watch the program here. 

Town Hall Meeting with Presidential Officers

A Town Hall Meeting with Presidential Officers will be held at the Interim Meeting on December 2 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. MMS Director of Advocacy, Government and Community Relations Alex Calcagno will speak on “MACRA: What Physicians Need to Know.” MACRA restructures how Medicare will reimburse physicians and other providers for the care they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. This CME session will provide participants a general overview of key provisions in the new law, choices that physicians will need to make, and key dates for implementation. Click here for more information. 

MMS Awards - Call for Nominations

MMS recognizes its members by presenting numerous awards annually. Let us know if you have a colleague who deserves to be nominated for their outstanding work or service to the community, or if you know a medical student or resident worthy of recognition due to cutting edge innovation. Click here for information.

Student and Resident Information Technology Awards Program Accepting Applications

Each year the MMS Committee on Information Technology presents two $3,000 awards for the creation of information technology solutions for medicine by one student and one member of a hospital house staff or training program. Deadline for submission is Sunday, November 20, 2016. Click here for information.

MMS Advocates for Physicians with Tufts Health

MMS advocated for physician-led teams with Tufts Health Plan and succeeded in having “incident to” services covered appropriately.

Physician Supervisors Needed at Bridge Clinic Project

MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation awarded Bridge Clinic Project (BCP) at Boston University School of Medicine a grant to support Bridging Gaps in Care, a student-led, physician-supervised community service project.  Physician supervisors are needed to keep these clinics running. If interested in serving as a physician supervisor, contact

MMS LGBT Committee Sponsors Fall Mixer

MMS Committee on LGBT Matters is sponsoring a fall mixer at Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave., Boston, on November 3 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Dr. Harvey Makadon, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center in Boston, will be presented with the 2016 MMS LGBT Health Award. Register for the event here. 

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.

PCSS-MAT Half and Half Buprenorphine Waiver Training – Provider’s Clinical Support System For Medication Assisted Treatment
Thursday, November 17, 2016, 1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

2016 Annual Oration – Zika: Responding to the Challenges of an Emerging Infection
Friday, December 2, 2016, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

2016 Ethics Forum – Ethical Challenges in Systems of Care
Friday, December 2, 2016, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

A Town Hall Meeting with the MMS Presidential Officers
MACRA: What Physicians Need to Know
Friday, December 2, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

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

Save the Date

MACRA: What Physicians Need to Know
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

End-of-Life Care

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

ER-Based Addiction Treatment Initiative Piloted

Three Massachusetts hospitals will receive $3 million to test a model of ER-initiated medication-assisted treatment, including buprenorphine and naltrexone, for individuals suffering from a substance use disorder. 

UMass Medical Awarded $1.5M for Suicide Prevention Research

UMass Medical School has been awarded $1.5 million to study ways to reduce short-term risk of suicide for those who have been evaluated and treated by the hospital.

BMC Launches Opioid Urgent Care Center

Boston Medical Center launched its Opioid Urgent Care Center last month after receiving a $2.9 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Leapfrog Group Rates Bay State Hospitals

Leapfrog Group, a national, nonprofit healthcare ratings agency, said the majority of Bay State hospitals are getting A's and B's for safety, but 10 of the state’s 60 hospitals graded received a C grade.

Hospice Care Underutilized in Massachusetts

Health Policy Commission researchers presented data examining the cost and type of care received by Medicare patients in the Bay State during their last six months of life, finding that spending on care is concentrated in the hospital setting. 

Berkshire County Pulmonary Rehab Program Certified

Fairview Hospital’s pulmonary program in Great Barrington was officially certified in August by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. 

Salem Hospital Downscales Expansion

Salem Hospital will downscale expansion plans due a loss of $36 million last year, more than any hospital in Massachusetts.

Brockton Hospital Closes Transitional Care Unit

Brockton Hospital will lay off 64 employees from its Transitional Care Unit which has become financially unsustainable.

Rate Spike Blamed on Drug Prices, Hospital Readmissions

The 6.7 percent spike in Massachusetts health insurance rates is being blamed on rising pharmaceutical costs and hospital readmission rates.

Mariano Calls for Reevaluating Supplemental Hospital Payments

House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano (D - Quincy), urged a reevaluation of supplemental payments made to hospitals by the state's Medicaid program. 

Southcoast to Cut Ties with Tufts Medical

Southcoast Health System in New Bedford plans to cut ties with about 425 doctors now affiliated with Tufts Medical Center's physician network as it readies a launch of its own independent doctors group.

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