Massachusetts Medical Society: MA Drug Registration (MCSR) moving online

MA Drug Registration (MCSR) moving online


News and announcements

MA Drug Registration (MCSR) moving online 


MMS is pleased to report that the Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration (MCSR) system (for physicians and several other prescribers) is moving to an online system in the coming weeks. Starting on January 7, 2019, physicians applying for an MCSR will no longer need to submit paper applications, can pay via credit/debit, and will benefit from shorter turn-around times and instant notification and verification. 

Please note that all physicians will need to create an account with the new system, though information will be prepopulated from BORIM once you enter basic information. Since this account will be needed in order to renew your registration, or to attest to supervising advanced practice providers, we encourage all physicians to create an account.

Additional information is available at here. Thirty-minute webinars with specific details are available at here.


Texas ruling: MMS remains supportive of ACA

Late last week, a Texas judge declared that the Affordable Care Act – in its entirety – is unconstitutional. We know that, should the ruling stand, health care will be disrupted for a large swath of our patients, regardless of their source of insurance coverage. A shift so seismic and so far-reaching will affect all patients, including those most vulnerable, those from underserved communities and those with pre-existing conditions.  In short, this latest attempt to compensate for failed efforts to repeal the ACA will produce effects that are cruel to patients and will fuel an increase in health care cost and a decrease in coverage for too many among us. The consistent and ill-advised attempts to weaken the ACA threaten health care and, quite frankly, threaten lives.  The Massachusetts Medical Society will not waver from its commitment to fight for access to basic and life-saving medical care for all Americans.  We support the ACA and the myriad provisions contained within that aim to improve health care which are now in peril, including:

  • Access to their parents’ plan coverage for young adults up to age 26
  • Elimination of annual and lifetime caps on benefits
  • No pre-existing condition coverage exclusions or medical underwriting
  • Coverage of prevention and screening benefits with no deductibles or copayments
  • Required coverage for mental health and addiction treatment services
  • Federal support for expanded Medicaid eligibility
  • Premium subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase coverage and cost sharing subsidies to lower out-of-pocket costs

The Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission releases draft report

The American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) has provided an update on its  process entitled, “Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future" (aka The Vision Initiative).  

The Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission (Commission)," an independent body that represented diverse stakeholders - including practicing physicians, health care leadership, academic medicine, group medical practices, state and national medical societies, ABMS Board executives, specialty societies, and health advocate groups -  was appointed to review the framework and purpose of continuing certification of physicians.   

The Commission has released its draft report for public comment.  The report includes the Commission’s key findings and recommendations and is posted on the   Vision Initiative website for comment through Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 11:00 p.m. CST.  

Kristin Schleiter, JD, ABMS Vice President, Policy, Government Relations and Strategic Engagement commented, “The American Board of Medical Specialties and its 24 Member Boards are committed to working with stakeholders to improve the continuing certification process so that it becomes a system that demonstrates the profession’s commitment to professional self-regulation, offers a consistent and clear understanding of what continuing certification means, and establishes a meaningful, relevant and valuable program that meets the highest standard of quality patient care. The Boards will seriously consider the Commission’s findings and recommendations once finalized, as they continue implementation of improvements and pilots currently underway.”

Benefit Buzz

Legal Advisory Plan: Why you should enroll now

Do you know that your professional liability policy may limit your coverage for Board of Registration in Medicine investigations, and you may quickly reach your coverage maximum? Are you aware that your premium may subsequently go up? Using the MMS Legal Advisory Plan (LAP) first provides an extra layer of coverage and may help prevent malpractice insurance premium increases. For a nominal fee of $70 a year, you have access to expert attorney representation for a successful outcome. Enroll or renew for January 2019 – January 2020 coverage. Additional discounts apply for groups of five or more. For questions, call (781) 434-7311 or email

Member verdicts

"When I received the Board complaint, I tried to sign up for the LAP.  It was too late. I had to be enrolled already when I received the letter from the Board. It cost me thousands of dollars for an attorney to resolve the issue. Don't wait. The Plan is an incredible bargain."  

"The LAP newsletters were very helpful. Made me aware of situations to avoid that could impact my medical license."


Renew your membership

MMS Membership

Attention physicians: Protect  your profession by  renewing your membership for 2019.  Invoices have been mailed to you. You may also renew online

Questions? Call the Member Processing at 800-322-2303, ext. 7495

A special thank you to those who have already renewed for 2019.

Happy holidays from all of us at MMS.


Get Involved

Call for Candidates: MMS officer positions  

The MMS Committee on Nominations is currently seeking candidates for nomination for the following MMS officer positions: President-elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Speaker; and Vice Speaker. 

If interested in applying for one of these positions, please visit (login required) to view additional information and to submit your nomination applicationThe application deadline is Monday, January 28, 2019.

Interviews with the Committee on Nominations will be held at MMS Headquarters in Waltham on Thursday, February 28, 2019, from approximately 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Applicants should plan to be available on this date. Questions? Please contact Linda Healy (800) 322-2303, ext. 7008 or, or Karen Harrison at ext. 7463 or

Reminders: Stuff you should click on


What do you need to help you care for patients with opioid use disorder?

We need to hear from you. This survey is designed to assess physicians’ perspectives and needs when caring for patients with opioid use disorder. The Society and Shatterproof, a national advocacy organization addressing the stigma of addiction, are partnering to understand the Commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic and to identify opportunities for improvement. Please check your email inbox for the survey: the email subject line is How can we help providers better address opioid use disorder? This effort will be strengthened by your participation. If you did not receive a survey and would like to participate, please email The MMS-Shatterproof partnership is made possible by funding from the GE Foundation and RIZE Massachusetts.

Announce your career news in Vital Signs

Have you recently changed jobs, received an award, been appointed to a board or committee, been featured in the media, or been otherwise recognized? Help us spread the word among your professional community. To have your news included in the next issue of Vital Signs Member News and Notes (in print and online), email  

Look out for the Dec/Jan issue of Vital Signs, on trends in medicine, which mails next week. Click the button to see Member News and Notes listings in the latest issue.


Educational programs and events

Live event

Evolving Models for Sustainable Medical Practice
Saturday, February 2, 2019
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

More live CME

Featured online CME

Restoring Well-Being to the Medical Profession

Running on Empty? Physician’s Path to Enjoying Life and Medicine More

For additional online CME activities, visit

More online CME

Quote of the week

"The giant drug companies fighting to protect and expand their monopoly handouts will hate this idea. But Congress doesn’t work for them. And so long as these companies continue to game the system, we should insist on competitive markets that actually work for consumers."

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), on her bill that would bring changes to the manufacturing of generic drugs.

Tweet of the week


@ maura_healey
Attorney General of Massachusetts, tweeting from the AG's office as @MassAGO.

What’s new in health care

Check out the most clicked-on stories from this week's MMS Media Watch. Sign up for daily Massachusetts media roundups by email. Some publications are fully accessible only to their subscribers.

$474,725: Mass. stroke patient receives 'outrageous' medical flight bill  (CommonHealth)

Cunningham's insurer, CareFirst, initially paid $14,304.55, leaving about $460,420 unpaid. In Massachusetts, a ground-based ambulance could not demand that Cunningham pay the balance, as state law doesn't allow so-called balance billing. But air ambulances are governed by federal aviation laws. There are numerous cases of companies demanding payments from patients.

Did toxic exposure play role in death of 11-year-old Haverhill girl? (Boston Globe)

Emergency medical responders were called to the Jackson House residence Saturday around 3:30 a.m. after the girl became fatally sick and lost consciousness. She died Tuesday at Tufts Medical Center in Boston after being placed on life support. Authorities said they are investigating whether the girl was exposed to a toxic substance, possibly the synthetic drug fentanyl, a leading cause of overdose deaths. 

Why do the rich live longer in Massachusetts? (MassLive)

In a poor neighborhood in New Bedford, a heavily Hispanic area where residents have little education and high unemployment, the average person will die at 68.1 years old. In a white, wealthy neighborhood in Newton, where people are well-educated and most are working, the average resident will live until 94.2. The vast difference in life expectancy is not coincidental. "The conditions in people's lives are really what impact their health," said Cheryl Bartlett, CEO of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center.  

Mass. 'not immune' to ripple effect of health care law ruling (Boston Globe)

The Massachusetts law, which went into effect more than a decade ago, has bipartisan support and was the model for the sweeping federal health care overhaul approved under President Obama in 2010. But Massachusetts relies on billions of dollars in federal funding every year to provide coverage to lower-income residents, and the state's health care system is deeply entwined with the federal system.

Obamacare architect: Dire consequences for Massachusetts (Boston Herald)

"If the Affordable Care Act goes away, it means Massachusetts will have to bear all the costs of covering these people." The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor hands a victory to 20 Republican governors and state attorneys general who sued to wipe out the 2010 health care law, widely known as Obamacare. If the ACA is eliminated, Massachusetts' requirements for insurance would be unchanged, but it would mean an end to federal contributions to states that have expanded Medicaid, as Massachusetts does. 

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