MMS Issues Statement on Immigration; Wellness Website Created

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MMS News and Announcements

MMS Issues Statement on Immigration and the Medical Community

James S. Gessner, M.D., President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, earlier this week issued a statement regarding immigration and the medical community. “When physicians are targeted based on their nation of origin,” he stated, “it has the potential to stifle innovative medical research, hinder patient access to care, and violate our fundamental commitment to all patients.” Read the full statement here.

MMS Creates Webpage on Physician Wellness

With the rising concern for physician wellness, the MMS Physician Practice Resource Center has created a dedicated webpage for members, including examples of wellness programs and resources from a variety of sources, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Medical Association. Click here to visit the site. A webinar on wellness is also available.

Share Your Stories

Do you have a patient who is worried about losing needed health coverage in case of repeal of the Affordable Care Act? Do they have a preexisting condition, or worry about unexpected bills for maternity care or mental health treatments? Did they gain coverage through Medicaid expansion? We’d like to share such stories (respecting privacy, of course) with our Massachusetts Congressional delegation to help them in their efforts to defend ACA coverage for the state’s patients. Email vitalsigns@mms.org.

MMS Comments on Gov. Baker’s Budget

Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a 2018 fiscal year budget surpassing $40 billion, nearly 40 percent of which is dedicated to MassHealth. The budget included a number of proposals aimed at controlling the state’s health care costs, including a growth cap on physician reimbursement based upon cost tiering, and an overall reimbursement cap tied to 160 percent of Medicare rates for Group Insurance Commission plans. MMS is submitting a letter in strong opposition to both proposals, highlighting the success of the physician sector in relative cost growth over the past several years, and detailing the reasons for which Medicare is an improper basis for capping certain commercial payments. MMS will remain engaged in the budget process through the next several months as the House and Senate Ways and Means release their own budget proposals.

MMS Noted for Training Members in Transgender Issues

In a Boston Globe report noting the difficulty of transgender patients in getting health care, the MMS was cited as working to increase training for its members in providing care for this population. Dr. Marian Craighill, Chair of the MMS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Matters, and Dr. Joyce Rosenfeld, Vice Chair, told the newspaper of MMS efforts to train members to provide greater access to health care, as well as some of the difficulties these patients face.

MMS Committee Application Deadline is March 3

If you would like to become more involved in the MMS, consider participating on a committee or the Member Interest Network Executive Council. Committee appointments are for specific terms, usually three-year renewable commitments. We have put in place resources for distance participation including conference calls and online meetings. Click here for details and application forms.

MMS Committee on Nominations Currently Seeking Candidates:
MMS Officer and New AMA Delegate/Alternate Delegate

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. Please click here to learn more and submit your application online.

In addition, due to an increase in AMA membership, the MMS has now earned three additional AMA Delegate and three additional AMA Alternate Delegate positions in the AMA House of Delegates. For more information and to apply, click here. 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. – 8:00 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 lhealy@mms.org.

A Reminder to Renew for 2017

Renew your MMS membership for 2017 and make sure you continue to receive valuable benefits like your subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine and up to 50 percent off upcoming events, including the Women’s Health Forum on April 21, 2017. Click here to renew online today 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, 2017. Awards will be presented at the Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference on April 2. Click here for more information.

Benefit Buzz: Special Member Discount and Resources for PQRS Deadline

The deadline for submitting your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures to CMS is February 28, 2017. There is up to a 6 percent penalty at risk for non-compliance with PQRS. MMS has arranged for a 33 percent 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 percent success rate and avoid payment adjustments. Click here for more information.

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.

JoAnn Manson, MD Is Keynote Speaker at Women’s Health Forum April 21

JoAnn Manson, MD will deliver the keynote address at the MMS Women’s Health Forum, “Hormones: Do They Define Us?,” on April 21. Dr. Manson is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School.

The Women’s Health Forum, provided by the Massachusetts Medical Society and its Committee on Women in Medicine in collaboration with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, features a lecture and panel on transgender health, a session on the effect of hormones on metabolism and weight regulation, and a discussion on the evolution of breast surgery by faculty from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Also planned are networking opportunities and an awards luncheon. The Women's Health Award will be presented to Barbara L. Smith, M.D., and the Women's Health Research Award will be presented to Robert H. Young, M.D. — both from MGH. For registration, visit www.massmed.org/whf2017, or contact Erin Tally at etally@mms.org.





Education Programs & Events
Live CME Activities


Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA. Visit www.massmed.org/cme/events to view our full calendar of upcoming live CME activities.

Women’s Health Forum – Hormones: Do They Define Us?
Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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 www.massmed.org/cme.




This Week in Health Care


Lahey Clinic and Beth Israel Agree to Merge

The merger of Lahey Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center would be the largest among hospital systems in Massachusetts since the 1994 formation of Partners, the state's largest health network. The combined organization would start out with eight hospitals, nearly 29,000 employees, and $4.5 billion in annual revenue.

Mass. Opioid Fatalities Continue to Rise

The opioid epidemic in Massachusetts didn't let up in 2016 as State Police investigated 877 deaths suspected of being caused by the powerful drug, a 16 percent increase from the year before that authorities blamed on an influx of fentanyl. While the report left out several key cities, Taunton reported an increase in fatal heroin/fentanyl drug overdoses in 2016, three times more than in 2015.

Lahey Health CEO: Local Care Costs Less

Lahey Health CEO Dr. Howard Grant says patients need to consider getting care at their community hospitals before going to one of the Boston hospitals.

Flu Cases Up, More Likely to Come

The Department of Public Health says this year’s flu season is seeing more cases and hospitalizations that last year, but that it will likely get worse.

UMass Memorial Plans Psych Unit Closures

UMass Memorial Health Care has notified the state of plans to reduce the number of beds in its 28-bed inpatient acute psychiatric unit on the University campus in Worcester, to make room for more medical-surgical beds.

UMass Medical, Law Enforcement to Study Prison Substance Abuse

The University of Massachusetts Medical School is partnering with law enforcement officials in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to study best practices in treating substance abuse in prisons and jails.

Women’s Health Advocates Lobby State Legislators

A coalition of women’s health advocates is headed to Beacon Hill to lobby legislators on sexual and reproductive health care matters.

Gov. Baker Presses for Cannabis Framework in April

Gov. Charlie Baker said any changes to the framework for legal cannabis should be made by April to allow that deadline to be met.

Physicians Join Copley Sq. Protest

Physicians were among the protesters that gathered in Copley Square declaring that President Trump's immigrant ban is especially concerning to doctors.

Boston Hospitals Grapple with President Trump’s Travel Ban

Boston-area hospitals are grappling with a charged political climate that could upset the city’s flow of ideas, scholars and doctors in the wake of President Trump’s travel ban.

Cape Cod’s Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Battles Opioid Crisis

Cape Cod’s Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been hit by the opioid crisis as the 2,500-member tribe has lost 17 to addiction, and leaders plan to offer tribe members services, including creating halfway homes on tribal land.

Milford Regional Medical Center Reports $6.99M Loss

Milford Regional Medical Center reported a $6.99-million loss came largely because of a $16-million increase in staff wages and benefits and a $4 million increase in supply expenses.

Mass. Faces a Shortage of Facilities for Psychiatric Patients

Massachusetts is facing a shortage of facilities for patients who require intensive, in-patient mental health care for patients who experience urgent and sometimes dangerous psychiatric crises who are often left to languish for hours in noisy emergency departments alongside people with heart attacks, broken bones and stab wounds.











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