Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS and Other State Leaders Weigh in on Trumpcare

MMS and Other State Leaders Weigh in on Trumpcare



Join discussions on concussions for best practice updates at our live CME webinar 
Concussion research and treatment guidelines have evolved rapidly. This live webinar will cover concussions and head injuries, recurrent concussions, and post-concussion syndrome. Discussions on Concussions: Clinical Headlines will help you identify symptoms and best practices for treating and moving past a concussion or traumatic brain injury. The seminar will be presented by William Meehan, M.D., Director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention and Director of Research for the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. The webinar will be held May 10, 2017 (noon); information and registration.

See the MMS warn of “grievous harm” to patients if the American Health Care Act becomes law
The MMS and other leaders in state politics and health care responded with dismay to the passage of the American Health Care Act (“Trumpcare”) in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. Henry Dorkin, M.D., president of the MMS, said, “None of the modifications made to the original legislation have mitigated the grievous harm that this bill would inflict on our patients — including the most vulnerable.” Check out his full statement in The Recorder. In an interview with NECN, Dr. Dorkin described the potential impact of the bill on his patients with cystic fibrosis (starting at 3:45).

Find out how media and lawmakers responded to MMS support for a supervised injection facility 
The decision by the MMS House of Delegates to advocate for a pilot supervised injection facility (SIF) in the Commonwealth drew extensive media coverage. Leading lawmakers on Beacon Hill responded cautiously, though indicated their willingness to learn more. The MMS is the first medical society in the US to endorse a SIF as a potential tool in reducing opioid overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment. Media highlights include:

Renew your MMS membership: Now, more than ever, it counts
Please renew today. From Washington, D.C. and the preservation of the Affordable Care Act to Beacon Hill and proposed legislation that would streamline medical decision making, the MMS ensures that your perspective and expertise is reflected in legislative and regulatory policy affecting Massachusetts physicians. Your voice and support are vital to our ability to advocate for the concerns of physicians and their patients.

Graduating medical students: Continue your free MMS membership

  • If you are staying in Massachusetts, talk with your residents-fellows residency program director about free MMS membership. Alternatively, ask your program coordinator to submit a 2017 program roster to activate the MMS benefits for you and your colleagues.

  • Beginning your training out of state? Maintain your membership through December 2018 at no cost. Watch your email inbox for more information.

  • Questions? Email or call (800) 322-2303, ext.7748.

Residents & fellows completing training in June 2017: Access your free MMS membership

  • The MMS offers free membership for your first year in practice. Maintain benefits like your New England Journal of Medicine subscription whether or not you’re staying in MA. For more information, contact or 800-322-2303 ext. 7495.
  • Supplementing training with a fellowship? Your new program coordinator can submit a 2017–18 roster to provide membership for you and your program colleagues. Watch your email inbox for details.
  • For more information, contact or 800-322-2303 ext. 7748.

Join the coalition to increase adult immunization 
Physician practices are invited to join the Massachusetts Adult Immunization Coalition (MAIC), a collaborative partnership dedicated to increasing adult immunization through education, networking, and sharing innovative and best practices. MAIC currently includes more than 200 members representing local and state public health organizations, community health centers, health insurance plans, pharmacies, physicians, vaccine manufacturers, long-term care and senior service organizations, consumer advocacy groups, hospitals, home health, and college health services. There is no charge to join. The Coalition meets three or four times a year, and sponsors an annual conference in spring. The Coalition will hold its next meeting on Thursday evening, June 1, 2017, at MMS Headquarters in Waltham. The agenda includes, among other things, updates from the DPH on adult vaccination rates and Tdap maternal effectiveness data, and a discussion of standing orders, EHR optimization, and other strategies to overcome barriers to increasing adult immunization. For more information about the Coalition, please visit, or contact Robyn Alie,

Be heard on proposed changes to BORIM licensing requirements
The Board of Registration in Medicine has proposed changes to its licensing and Practice of Medicine regulations. These may affect the delegation of medical services, medical record retention, and more. A hearing is planned for May 18, 2017, at 4.00 p.m., in Wakefield, and the board will accept written comments until May 19, 5.00 p.m. The MMS plans to provide input and encourages members to do so; information.

Volunteer as a facilitator with medical students
The Boston University School of Medicine Integrated Problems (IP) course depends on volunteer physicians to facilitate the 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 is between September and November 2017. Join us for lunch to learn more on June 15, 2017; information and registration.

Collaborate with physicians and film-makers on diversity in medicine
Changing the Face of Medicine, an exploration of diversity, will include the Boston premier of the Oscar-qualified Black Women in Medicine, a short documentary that “packs in enough smarts, context and emotional clarity for a far longer film” (Los Angeles Times). The event includes a presentation by Crystal Emery, the film’s director, and workshops designed by Emery to promote collaboration between physicians of all races and systemic changes supporting diversity in medicine. The event is free, catered, and open to physicians, medical students, aspiring physicians, and the general public. It is being held at Wellesley College on May 6, 2017; information and registration. Here’s that review from the Los Angeles Times: “Inspiring doc ‘Black Women in Medicine’ profiles glass-ceiling-busting physicians.”

Get trained for the Registration of Provider Organization Program
Select provider organizations are required to file with both the HPC and CHIA in an effort to improve transparency relating to care and track changes in the health care market. The Massachusetts Registration of Provider Organizations (MA-RPO) Program makes this double-registration a one-step process. This year’s training, provided by the HPC, includes financial and APM filings. Sessions will be held at MMS Headquarters, Waltham (May 16, 2017; Commonwealth Room, 10am ) and Baycare Health Partners, Springfield (May 9, 2017). To register, click on your preferred date. The deadline for filing is July 31, 2017; information.

Build leadership, effectiveness, and conflict management skills
This interactive, experiential two-day program is for residents and physicians in clinical practice, administration, and leadership. Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership and Personal Effectiveness is designed to help you establish relationships, teams, and work environments in which you and your colleagues can deliver your best care. You will learn to communicate more effectively, apply negotiation and conflict resolution skills with peers and leaders, implement appropriate changes in personal and organizational practices, exhibit appropriate boundaries, and more. The program provides 17 hours of category 1 risk management CME and is co-sponsored by Physician Health Services and the Massachusetts Medical Society. It will be held on June 8-9, 2017 at MMS Headquarters, Waltham: information and registration.  

Educational Programs and Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA. View our full calendar of upcoming live CME activities.

Discussions on Concussions: Clinical Headlines Via Live Webinar
Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Directors of Medical Education Conference – Advancing Collaboration and Compliance
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership & Personal Effectiveness
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., June 9, 2017, 8:00 a.m - 12:45 p.m.
15th Annual Symposium on Men’s Health – The Many Facets of Men’s Health: Clinical Conversations Impacting Your Patients
Thursday, June15, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
Medical Care of Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Via Live Webinar
Friday, June 16, 2017, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
See our additional risk management online CME activities.

This Week in Health Care

GOP plan could erode Mass. universal care law
The health care bill that squeaked through the US House of Representatives Thursday threatens to blow a hole in the Massachusetts budget and undermine the state's near-universal access to insurance. Local reactions poured in after the vote. Analysts warned of steep cost increases for consumers in Massachusetts, which has a high prevalence of chronic disease.
Atrius cuts 125 positions, freezes salaries after rough fiscal year
The state’s largest independent physician group, an accountable care organization with 875 doctors across the state, reported a $37 million operating loss off $1.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015. Executives say they expect to end 2016 in the red.
Staff cuts at Brigham and Women’s reflect missed financial targets
Despite reporting operating margins in the black, the hospital said revenues are no longer keeping pace with expenses, leading to several years of missed budget targets.
Massachusetts insurers ask state to suspend key Obamacare program
Board members of Massachusetts Association of Health Plans voted to support suspension of the risk adjustment program in Massachusetts.
Community health centers receive state grants
Nearly $500,000 in grant money was awarded to 11 community health centers for projects including telehealth services in dermatology and optometry, installation of video conference equipment, and the purchase of a panoramic dental X-ray machine.
UMass Memorial says area hospitals can meet demand for psychiatric beds
The hospital, which has said the decision to close the beds was a difficult one, said there is a need for medical/surgical beds for the region's only major trauma center. Hospital leaders have noted that several area hospitals are scheduled to open psychiatric beds.
BMC study finds most transgender patients don't get surgery
Hormonal therapy may be popular for transgender patients, but gender-affirming surgery is not. The findings come from a study performed by Boston Medical Center, which opened the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in 2016. The study looked at 99 transgender patients undergoing hormone therapy at BMC.
Want healthy food? In much of Mass., it’s hard to get
A new analysis done for the Massachusetts Public Health Association found that these areas of limited grocery access—sometimes called “food deserts”—stretch across a surprisingly wide swath of this prosperous state.
In unique deal, Amgen offering full refund to Harvard Pilgrim if $14,000 drug fails
Amgen is so sure its cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha works that it has agreed to fully cover the costs for Harvard Pilgrim patients taking the drug if they land in the hospital with a heart attack or stroke, in a deal the insurer calls groundbreaking.
High lead levels found in water at hundreds of schools
Water testing at more than 1,000 Massachusetts schools found that a majority had at least one sample showing lead levels above regulatory limits, and in a few cases results rivaled or exceeded levels measured during the crisis in Flint, Mich. The results of water testing at state schools were published.
HPC encouraged by interventions involving drug-addicted babies
Early results from a pilot program focusing on babies born addicted to drugs show promise for treatment and prevention efforts, according to the state's Health Policy Commission. The commission awarded grants ranging from around $250,000 to $1 million to six hospitals for initiatives that care for and treat mothers and infants affected by opioid use.
Boston VA office incorrectly processed 1 in 6 traumatic brain injury cases: ‘An absolute travesty’
The Veterans Administration benefits office in Boston has bungled traumatic brain injury claims at an alarming rate, shortchanging some veterans out of thousands of dollars.
Two drugs from Massachusetts biotechs win FDA approval
Federal regulators used an accelerated approval process to green-light a targeted small-molecule lung cancer drug, developed by Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. Also approved was a hormone treatment developed by Radius Health Inc. to treat postmenopausal women at high risk for bone fractures.
Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ has gone viral; so has alarm over its depiction of suicide
The National Association of School Psychologists issued a statement warning parents about the possible impact of the series on vulnerable youth.  

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