House Votes to Modify Meaningful Use Requirements for Mass. Physicians

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MMS News & Announcements

House Votes to Modify Meaningful Use Requirements for Mass. Physicians
The Massachusetts House has passed legislation modifying existing state requirements that physicians demonstrate proficiency in electronic health records at the level of meaningful use as a condition of licensure. Modifying this language has been a major MMS advocacy priority. 

The MMS strongly supports both these initiatives and will encourage the Senate to include similar language in its budget recommendations, expected in mid May.

The House language, contained in the state budget bill passed last week, is designed to prevent disenfranchising more than 10,000 physicians who, by law or other circumstance, cannot achieve meaningful use certification. The Board of Registration in Medicine has released draft regulations that would also modify the current meaningful use requirement. 

The House also adopted a budget amendment to modify the timetable for implementation of statewide interoperable health records. The language would postpone the requirement that all health care providers implement fully interoperable electronic health records systems that connect to the statewide health information exchange from 2017 to 2022.

MMS Annual Meeting 2014: Register Now! 
This year’s Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place, May 15-17, 2014 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston.

  • The pre-registration deadline for all events is Monday, May 12 at noon. Register online today at www.massmed.org/annual2014/register.
  • Onsite registration will be available to those who miss the pre-registration deadline.  Onsite registration opens at 7 a.m. on Thursday, May 15 at the World Trade Center.  (Please note: Members who do not pre-register by Monday, May 12 for the Presidential Inauguration and Awards Dinner must register onsite no later than Thursday, May 15 at noon to allow for meal planning and assigned seating for this event.)

MMS Testifies on Opioid Addiction, Scope of Practice Measures
Saying that physicians “share the Senate’s deep concern with the problem of opioid addiction and overdoses,” the MMS this week offered testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Drug Abuse and Treatment Options. The MMS cautioned that a need exists “to balance the needs of legitimate patients with pain against the dangers to the public of opiates being in circulation.”   Read the complete testimony.  
Related news:

Volunteer BU School of Medicine Faculty Facilitators Wanted for Fall 2014
Boston University School of Medicine is seeking physicians interested in serving as faculty facilitators for its Integrated Problems Course.  Volunteers will work with groups of six to eight medical students to help them develop clinical reasoning skills and methods for integrating information from other courses. An orientation session on June 10, sponsored by the Committee on Senior Volunteer Physicians and led by Megan Young, M.D., Course Director at BUSM, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at MMS headquarters. A complimentary lunch will be provided. To register to attend the session, please contact Carolyn Maher at (781) 434-7311 or via email at cmaher@mms.org.

Education Programs & Events

Live CME Activities 

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA

Ethics Forum: Ethical and Practical Implications of the Hospitalist Model 
Thursday, May 15, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
MMS Annual Meeting, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA

Annual Education Program: Data-Driven Clinical Decision Making and Improving Quality of Care 
Friday, May 16, 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 
MMS Annual Meeting, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA

Shattuck Lecture and Luncheon: Short Telomeres and Age-Related Degenerative Disease 
Friday, May 16, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
MMS Annual Meeting, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA

Enhancing Community Resiliency through Partnership and Preparedness 
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
Conference or via live webinar 

12th Annual Symposium on Men’s Health 
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Medical Marijuana: Regulations, Responsibilities, and Communication 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The above activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Online CME Activities

The following courses are jointly sponsored with Empathetics LLC and hosted at http://empathetics.com/

The above activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

For additional risk management online CME activities, visit www.massmed.org/cme

This Week in Health Care

Coming Soon: Medicare Cuts for Failure to Demonstrate Meaningful Use                  
Deadlines are fast approaching for physicians to file reports and avoid Medicare and Medicaid payment penalties for failing to demonstrate the meaningful use of electronic health records. Read full details and information about hardship exemptions on the MMS website.

Lawrence General Hospital Tightens Alliance with Beth Israel 
Lawrence General Hospital is expanding an alliance with Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in a deal bringing the community hospital into a fast-growing group that negotiates health insurance contracts for Beth Israel Deaconess hospitals, doctors, and affiliates. 

ER Merger at Cambridge Hospital Draws City Scrutiny 
Cambridge officials are worried that the smoothness of care for psychiatric patients could change as the hospital prepares to merge its psychiatric emergency services into Cambridge Hospital's regular emergency department.

Conn. Hospital Exec to Lead HealthAlliance 
Deborah Weymouth will oversee the hospital's Leominster and Fitchburg campuses when she assumes the top role June 16, said its parent organization UMass Memorial Health Care.

Dr. Joanne Mather Conroy Will Head Lahey Hospital 
Lahey Health System, a Burlington-based network of hospitals and primary care doctor practices, said Tuesday that Dr. Joanne Mather Conroy will become chief executive of one of its hospitals, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.

AG Opposes Moving Massachusetts Health Exchange to Federal Site
Coakley said it is critical that Massachusetts fix the problem of its troubled health insurance exchange, but the solution is not to join the federal site. 

Settlement Reached in Meningitis Cases 
Bankruptcy lawyers have reached a settlement worth more than $100 million with insurers and the family that owns the defunct Framingham pharmacy that manufactured tainted drugs blamed for killing 64 people and sickening hundreds more in 2012.
 
Report: Crippling Debt to Blame for NARH Closure 
A full-service hospital in North Adams is sustainable, but a series of bad investments based on "poor management" decisions led to the demise of North Adams Regional Hospital.

More Health Insurance Equals Fewer Deaths in Mass.  
Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

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