Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS responds to recent hurricanes; Senate GOP drops ACA repeal

MMS responds to recent hurricanes; Senate GOP drops ACA repeal



Registration is open for the 2017 Interim Meeting

The 2017 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates will be held Friday, December 1, at MMS Headquarters and Saturday, December 2, at the Westin Hotel, Waltham. Online registration is now open at Plan to attend these exciting Interim Meeting events: the Town Hall Forum with the presidential officers, the Annual Oration, the bi-annual Ethics Forum, and the Annual Research Poster Symposium, which offers a venue for residents, fellows, and medical students to display their original research.

Renew your MMS membership

Stay connected with colleagues from across the Commonwealth. At 25,000 strong, the MMS is Massachusetts’s largest physician-led organization working on behalf of physicians and their patients. Online renewal is simple and only takes minutes. Visit now to renew your MMS membership for 2018. If you have questions, please call (800) 322-2303, ext. 7495. Make sure you continue to receive your New England Journal of Medicine, and your access to other valuable membership benefits, such as quality CME and practice management support from the Physician Practice Resource Center.

MMS matching donations for hurricane relief — and exploring ham radio's role

The Society is donating $25,000 to the Florida Medical Association for the purpose of helping physicians re-establish their practices and patient care in the wake of Hurricane Irma. In addition, the MMS has extended our $75,000 member donation matching period to October 15. Members donating to hurricane relief efforts should email Jennifer Day at MMS with the amount and date of their donation and the name of the organization receiving it. The MMS website provides more information on charitable and volunteer efforts.

Got ham radio? The disaster in Puerto Rico has highlighted the role of ham radio in disaster preparedness. "The Society would like to know how many licensed amateur radio operators we have," says Henry Dorkin, MD, FAAP, president of the MMS and ham radio aficionado; read his blog post

Saturday priority: Take our survey and get your free CME

What are your views on medical-aid-in-dying (also called physician-assisted suicide)? When you complete our 10–15 minute survey — check your email inbox — you will receive free access to one MMS end-of-life focused online CME program. We're hoping to catch you when you have 10 minutes to fill this out. Your views are highly valuable to the Society. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam folder. If you requested a paper copy of the survey and haven't yet sent it in, please fax it to (781) 434-7373. Thank you in advance for your participation.

RBPO webinar: Learn or brush up your skills

Need to learn or reacquaint yourself with the annual Risk-Bearing Provider Organization (RBPO) process? The Division of Insurance (DOI) is hosting a webinar on October 12, 2017, 2:00–3:00 p.m. The Division has not made any changes to what is expected to be filed in an annual application. This webinar is for RBPOs who are new to the process as well as existing RBPOs who want a refresher or have questions. The risk certificate application is due to the DOI on November 15, 2017, for the certificate period March 1, 2018, to February 28, 2019. 

How to join the RBPO Webinar 2017:

  • Dial (1-877) 820-7831 and enter Participant Code 627192
  • To join from a video system or application, dial
  • Meeting number 620 089 856; password 3uwTMM9G

Questions? Call Niels Puetthoff at (617) 521-7326.

Vaccine needs: Tdap for pregnant women, pneumococcal for asthmatic adults

  • Asthma is a risk factor for complications from pneumonia, yet many adults with asthma are not getting the pneumococcal vaccine, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Healthcare providers should offer pneumococcal vaccine to asthmatic adults who have not been vaccinated, in accordance with CDC recommendations, the authors said.
  • Just over half of pregnant women are not getting the whooping cough vaccine, despite findings that Tdap administered during the third trimester of pregnancy prevented 78 percent of cases of whooping cough in babies younger than two months, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The CDC recommends women get Tdap during each pregnancy.

Thank you for your efforts on Graham-Cassidy

Thank you to everyone who emailed and called your political representatives, Senate committee members, and associates in other states to highlight the medical profession’s concerns regarding the Graham-Cassidy attempt to repeal and replace the ACA. This was another positive outcome for grassroots advocacy. The MMS advocates at the state and federal level for the best interests of physicians and patients, including inclusive access to affordable and meaningful health care coverage.

New art exhibit at MMS HQ

Two MMS members are pleased to announce the recent opening of their first joint art exhibit. The exhibit in the lobby of MMS headquarters, Waltham, includes vivid hand-painted posters on the theme of ‘Improved and Extended Medicare for All /Single Payer’ by Pat Downs Berger, MD, of the Norfolk District. The exhibit also includes photographs taken over 65 years on a variety of themes by Hu Caplan, MD, of the Charles River District. The exhibit is sponsored by the MMS Member Interest Network and runs until mid-November.

What's up at the State House

MMS testifies in opposition to MAID/PAS bill

Dr. Henry Dorkin, president of the MMS, provided testimony before the Joint Committee on Public Health in opposition to two bills seeking to legalize medical aid in dying/physician assisted suicide in Massachusetts. Dr. Dorkin conveyed the Medical Society's longstanding policy in opposition to MAID/PAS. He informed the legislature that the Society is currently surveying the membership on their views on this issue.

Reminders: Stuff you should click on

Public Health Leadership Forum: Transforming Health Through Technology

Advances in technology have changed the ways we obtain, disseminate, analyze, and apply health information. The MMS Annual Public Health Leadership Forum, The Promise and Pitfalls of Transforming Health through Technology and Information, will convene policy leaders, researchers, and public health experts to explore technology’s role in improving population health. The event will be held on October 26, 2017, at MMS Headquarters, Waltham; information, including CME credit designation, and registration. For more on how technology is driving health care delivery (and vice versa), see the forthcoming October issue of Vital Signs.

Discover ways to access community resources for patient care

Free health care programs face continuous challenges in providing quality screening and community-based resources to the uninsured and underinsured. Learn and discuss with experts and others on the front line about best practices and innovations. The free forum is on October 25, 2017 at the MMS headquarters in Waltham, hosted by the Committee on Senior Volunteer Physicians. Current and potential physician and medical student volunteers and staff at free health care programs are welcome. Learn more and register here.

Meet colleagues at Club Café

Recognize gender identity expert, Joshua Safer, MD, who will be receiving the MMS 2017 LGBT Health Award for his outstanding contributions to LGBT health. The event is on October 26, 2017, at 7:00 p.m., sponsored by the MMS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Matters; information and registration.

Apply for a LGBT disparities grant

The MMS Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Matters is offering grants for curriculum development or research in order to address health disparities in the LGBT community. MMS members who are medical students and residents/fellows can submit the proposal by October 30, 2017. Download the application form.

2018 Annual Awards: Join with MMS in honoring your colleagues' achievements

Do you have a colleague who deserves to be nominated for their outstanding work or service to the community? The MMS recognizes excellence in multiple categories, including: medical service or public health; contributions to medical education, men’s health, women’s health, women’s physician leadership, or reducing health disparities; service to the MMS; and more. The MMS and its Committee on Recognition Awards are currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Annual Award Program; information and applications.

Students and residents: Apply for our $3,000 IT in Medicine Awards

The annual MMS Information Technology in Medicine awards are for medical students, residents, and fellows who come up with innovative ways to use technology in the practice of medicine, the teaching of medicine, or the pursuit of clinical research. Applications are due by November 26, 2017; more information.

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. 

14th Annual Public Health Forum – The Promise and Pitfalls of Transforming Health through Technology and Information
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Heller School’s Executive MBA for Physicians (EMBA)
January 2018 – May 2019  Discount for MMS members
Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy and Management
415 South Street, Waltham, MA

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

Featured online CME courses – Risk Management  

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

Find additional risk management online CME activities.

This week in health care

Police say patient attacked UMass nurse, stabbed her in face with pen

A 34-year-old man is accused of attacking a nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center, University Campus, in Worcester after police say he stabbed the nurse with a pen, shoving it through her lip.

Boston opens a day center for drug users

Within a few blocks, there are two shelters, at least three recovery homes, two methadone clinics, doctors who specialize in care for people who are homeless, and the city's largest safety net hospital. 

This woman's opioid relapse could change drug laws forever

If Eldred prevails, drug courts, parole, and probation systems in Massachusetts might be prevented from punishing people in similar situations—and a legal precedent set recognizing addiction as a disease that impairs self-control.

Feds seek nearly $74M from convicted exec in meningitis case

The intended recipients of the money include survivors of 62 people killed by NECC's mold-blighted steroid pain medication, 210 people left disabled, and another 37 who remain partially disabled, according to the government's filing before US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns.

Mass. lawmakers hear emotional appeals on medical-aid-In-dying bill 

The Massachusetts Medical Society on Tuesday reiterated its position against the bill, saying it was incompatible with the role of doctors as healers. But the group also said it was surveying its 25,000 member physicians to gauge their views on the subject, with the results expected in December. 

Massachusetts man dies after being swarmed by bees

A Massachusetts man attacked by a swarm of bees while doing yard work has died. Alison Dahl tells The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro that her husband, Eric Dahl, was blowing leaves from the lawn of their Foxborough home on Saturday afternoon when he was swarmed by bees.

Many MA residents with chronic illness denied prescriptions in fight against opioids 

Dr. Dimitri said for acute pain, usually a short course of opioids, no more than three to five days, is all that's necessary. But for chronic pain, such as headaches, nonspecific abdominal or back pain, or fibromyalgia, the effectiveness of opioids isn't so clear.

Mass. hospital execs implore out-of-state senators to vote no on Obamacare repeal

With Massachusetts's congressional delegation uniformly against repealing the Affordable Care Act, health care stakeholders have turned to lobbying senators from other states to keep health care repeal efforts at bay.

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