Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Applauds New Regulations on Ambulatory Surgery Centers; MMS Reacts to Signing of Naturopathy Bill

MMS Applauds New Regulations on Ambulatory Surgery Centers; MMS Reacts to Signing of Naturopathy Bill


MMS News and Announcements

MMS Applauds New Regulations for Ambulatory Surgery Centers

MMS and the Massachusetts Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (MAASC) applauded new regulations for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) approved by the State Public Health Council. The new regulations will promote greater patient access to high-quality care and provide opportunities for lower-cost surgical care. Additionally, they will eliminate a 20-year moratorium on freestanding ambulatory surgery centers in the state and will allow all currently licensed ASCs to apply for a Determination of Need certificate.

MMS Reacts to Signing of Naturopathy Bill

Despite strong opposition from MMS, Governor Charlie Baker this week signed legislation that will license naturopaths, an action that MMS has opposed for many years. President James S. Gessner, MD, said that licensure is “likely to be perceived by the public as an endorsement of an area of care that lacks rigorous medical training and standards of care and offers few if any treatments based on clinical and scientific evidence.” Read the MMS statement.

MMS Committee on Nominations Seeking Candidates; AMA Delegate Positions Available

The MMS Committee on Nominations is currently considering candidates for nomination for the following offices: President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Speaker, and Vice Speaker. To learn more, click here and submit your application online.

In addition, due to an increase in AMA membership, the MMS has now earned three additional AMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate positions in the AMA House of Delegates. For more information and to apply, please visit

The deadline for submission of all nomination applications is Monday, February 6 at 4 p.m. Interviews for both officer positions and the new AMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate positions will be held at MMS Headquarters in Waltham on Thursday, March 2, 2017 between 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Applicants should plan to be available on this date. If you have questions, contact Linda Healy at (800) 322-2303, ext. 7008 or

Last Chance to Register for CME Webinar “Running on Empty”

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn strategies for combatting burnout in the upcoming CME webinar, “Running on Empty,” on Jan. 25, 2017. Click here to register.

Renew MMS Membership in 2017

Thank you to our many members who have renewed their membership with the MMS for 2017. We look forward to another year bringing you practice management support, continuing medical education, professional network and advocacy. If you have yet to renew, make sure you continue to receive your subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine and maintain access to the many other membership benefits the Society has to offer. Renew online today at or call 800-322-2303, ext. 7495 with questions.

Do you know an immunization hero?

The Massachusetts Adult Immunization Coalition is seeking nominations for its Adult Immunization Champion Award. Nominees should be individuals or organizations (including physician practices) that have demonstrated particular leadership, initiative, innovation, collaboration and/or advocacy in promoting adult immunization. Nominations are due on February 10, 2016. Awards will be presented at the Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference on April 2. Click here for more information.

Volunteer Physician Opportunity with Medical Students

Boston University School of Medicine’s Integrated Problems course depends on volunteer physicians to facilitate small group problem-based learning sessions for second-year medical students. Share your valuable medical experience and expertise in developing the students’ clinical reasoning skills. The course runs between January and March 2017. Click here for more information.

Last Day to Register: Low-Cost Legal Service Available

Retaining an attorney to respond to a Board of Registration in Medicine inquiry can be costly. The Legal Advisory Plan (LAP), a member-only, low-cost legal service, is designed to effectively respond to Board issues at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. Subscription starts on January 14, 2017. You must be enrolled at the initiation of a BRM-related investigation to avail yourself of plan services. Click here to learn more.

Benefit Buzz: Resources Available for PQRS Deadline and Live Webinar

The deadline for submitting your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures to CMS is February 28, 2017. There is up to a 6% penalty at risk for non-compliance with PQRS. MMS has arranged for a 33% discount using PQRSwizard from CECity for physicians and group practices to rapidly collect, validate, report, and submit data on the quality of care to Medicare with 99.5% success rate and avoid payment adjustments. Click here for more information. For an overview of the PQRS 2016 registry requirements, tune in to a live webcast on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Click here to register.

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop Planned

A Mindful Practice in Medicine workshop is planned for March 18 and 19 at MMS Headquarters, followed by 4 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 .

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.

Running on Empty? Physicians' Path to Enjoying Life and Medicine More
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - LIVE WEBINAR

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

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

Lahey Clinic Opens New ER

Lahey Clinic held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Joseph C. Corkery Emergency Center, a 41,000-square-foot facility that cost about $80 million.

Cape Cod Healthcare Invests in Opioid Treatment Programs

Cape Cod Healthcare plans to spend $2.5 million in the next three years to increase medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence at community health centers and add recovery coaches to emergency rooms.

MassHealth Enrollment Rising

MassHealth enrollment has rocketed upwards, growing by 70 percent since 2007 when Gov. Deval Patrick took office.

Report: Bay State Doctors Order Extra Tests

Health Policy Commission offered details about non-recommended care involving the state's large physician and hospital networks.

A.G. Healey: $80m Recovered from Fraudulent MassHealth Claims

Attorney General Maura Healey said the funds her office recovered in 2016 are primarily the result of 29 civil settlements, 19 of which were multi-state agreements.

Fall River Reports Rise in Opioid Overdoses

Fall River reported a rise in the numbers of people dying from opioid overdoses.

More than 50,000 People are Narcan-Trained

Dr. Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, said that over 7,000 people were trained in the use of Naloxone in the first six months of 2016, representing a 40 percent increase over the same time-period in 2015. This brings a total of 50,000 people in Massachusetts are trained in this life-saving antidote.

Attleboro’s Sturdy Hospital Reports Surplus

Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro reported a $7.7 million surplus for 2016 at its annual meeting this week.

Bay State has Lowest Gun Death Rate in Nation

Massachusetts has the fewest gun deaths per 100,000 residents in the nation, a statistic confirmed by the Violence Policy Center analysis showing that states "with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership" had the highest overall gun death rates in the nation in 2015.

Northampton’s Cooley Dickinson Invests in New Facilities

A new breast health center and improved medical record keeping are among patient-focused initiatives as Cooley Dickinson Health Care recovers from a crisis at its Childbirth Center and finds itself again on solid financial footing.

Greenfield’s Baystate Franklin Helps Newborn Addicts

Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Dr. Julie Thompson and registered nurse Linda Jablonski have been appointed to the Attorney General's Advisory Council to Support the Interagency Task Force on Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

Worcester County Opioid Death Toll on the Rise

Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said there were 148 overdose deaths in Worcester County last year, and he cautioned that as toxicology test results come back, that number could still rise. He said for four years that number has been in the triple digits, and said it has impacted the cities and the nearly three quarters of those overdose deaths, the powerful drug fentanyl played a role.

UMass Memorial and Dana-Farber Join Forces

UMass Memorial has notified the state Massachusetts Health Policy Commission that it intends to join the Dana Farber Cancer Care Collaborative.

Top Lawmakers Speak Out on Right-to-Die Lawsuit

Two of the Bay State’s top law enforcement officials are calling on a judge to dismiss a right-to-die lawsuit filed against them by a Falmouth cancer patient, arguing the case is premature and involves a highly controversial issue that should be decided by the legislature.

SJC Explores Marijuana Sobriety Tests

Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments this week over whether police officers can give jurors their opinion of whether a driver is drugged on marijuana.

Zika Virus Warnings Issued for Travelers

State health officials issued warnings to travelers who are preparing to visit Caribbean beaches to escape the Massachusetts winter to be vigilant of the Zika virus.

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