Massachusetts Medical Society: Mass. Docs Launch New Opioid Abuse Training and Public Service Efforts

Mass. Docs Launch New Opioid Abuse Training and Public Service Efforts


MMS News & Announcements

Mass. Med Schools Create Core Competencies on Prescription Drug Addiction Training  
The state’s four medical schools created a list of 10 Core Competencies this week that will more fully incorporate prescription drug misuse prevention and treatment into their curriculum.  The competencies – developed by the schools, the MMS, and DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD – will cover a number of clinical areas, including risk evaluation, pain management, substance abuse as a chronic illness. 

More than 3,000 students statewide will soon be taught a uniform set of additional skills designed to prevent painkillers from being misused by their patients. “These educational standards represent an innovative and forward-thinking contribution to the state’s multifaceted strategy to curb the opioid epidemic,” said Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker, praising the plan.

Related News:


MMS Announces New Public Messages About Safe Prescribing  
MMS leaders announced this week they would reach out to physicians and patients with additional messages about safe prescribing and pain medications.  The opioid abuse public health crisis is a “top priority,” said MMS President Dennis M. Dimitri, MD. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to end the overdose crisis,” he said. 

Starting this Sunday, a new public service announcement will air during radio broadcasts of New England Patriots football games urging patients to talk with their doctors. Listen to it here.

Also this Sunday, an “Open Letter to the People of Massachusetts” from Dr. Dimitri will be published in The Boston Globe.  The letter encourages patients to have “open and candid conversations with their doctors about opioids.”  The MMS will also distribute its new prescribing guidelines, issued in May, to every member of the society, with a cover letter from Dr. Dimitri urging those who prescribe to study the new guidelines, to recommend opioids in the smallest possible dose for the shortest period of time, to consider alternatives to opioids for treatment of pain, and to review the society’s free offerings of continuing medical education courses on pain management and opioid prescribing.  

Read about the MMS’ comprehensive and ongoing response to the opioid abuse epidemic

Related News About the Opioid Abuse Epidemic: 


Talking With Patients About Gun Safety: Live Webinar Nov. 18  
Join MMS experts for a live CME webinar next Wednesday, Nov. 18, addressing gun safety issues from various perspectives – pediatric and adult settings, medical and legal issues, safe storage, and suicide – and provide helpful resources for medical providers. More information and registration details here.


Interim Meeting 2015: Register for Town Meeting With MMS Officers
The 2015 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates will be held Friday, December 4, at MMS Headquarters and Saturday, December 5, at the Newton Marriott Hotel. 

  • The MMS Alliance will host a holiday boutique to benefit the MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation both days. 
  • Please take the time to pre-register for the meeting. Pre-registration closes Nov. 30 at noon.


MMS Again Named to Globe’s "Top Places to Work" List
For the seventh time, the MMS has been named one of the top large companies to work for in Massachusetts, according to The Boston Globe’s annual employee-based survey project. The survey measures employee opinions about their company’s direction, execution, connection, management, work, pay and benefits, and engagement. The Globe's 2015 issue of “Top Places to Work” will be published on Sunday, and is now available at


Benefit Buzz: The Future of Credit Reporting and Credit Disputes
Live Webinar from IC System, Nov. 19 at noon. Free to MMS members.  Register here.

Education Programs & Events

Live CME Activities 

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA

Initiating a Conversation with Patients on Gun Safety- Live Webinar
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Managing Workplace Conflict
Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20, 2015

Cutting-Edge Advances in Women’s Cardiovascular Care
Saturday, March 19, 2016

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

Behavioral Health Prior Authorizations Now Simplified 
Working with a variety of payers and behavioral health providers, the Mass Collaborative, of which MMS is a founding member, has created new standard prior authorization forms for certain behavioral health services.  The forms have been approved by the state Division of Insurance, and will phased into use over the next six months, according to officials.  More information here.


Health Connector Enrollment Gets Off to a Smooth Start, Officials Say
The first 11 days of enrollment in the Massachusetts health insurance marketplace have gone smoothly, officials said, raising hopes for the state's third attempt to launch a well-functioning website.


With Competition Waning, Prices Skyrocket for Some Generic Drugs
In Massachusetts, spending on prescription drugs jumped 13 percent last year, nearly triple the 4.8 percent increase in overall health care spending.


Harvard Pilgrim Strikes 'Pay-for-Performance' Deal for Cholesterol Drug
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has agreed to cover Amgen Inc.'s pricey new cholesterol drug in exchange for a discount, along with potential rebates if the treatment fails to meet performance targets.


Hospitals Oppose Price Disparity Fixes
At the center of the hot-button issue for hospitals is one bill in the Massachusetts legislature and two 2016 ballot initiatives calling for a cap and a floor for how much high-cost and low-cost hospitals can collect in revenue.


Harvard Medical School Dean Will Step Down
Dr. Jeffrey Flier, 67, plans to serve his final day as dean on July 31, then stay on campus as a full professor on the school's historic quad.


Physician Group Affiliate Opens Worcester Urgent Care Site
AFC Doctors Express, the urgent care services company that is partnering with the Central Massachusetts Independent Physicians Association to provide urgent care to its patients, will celebrate the opening of its first Worcester location.


Partners Agrees to Help Build Hospitals in Malta, Ivory Coast
Partners HealthCare has agreed to help build hospitals in Malta and Ivory Coast, the latest steps by the state's largest health system to expand internationally. Partners will help upgrade two hospitals and help build a third hospital in Malta, a Mediterranean nation off the coast of Italy with a population of 420,000.


Docs Will Pay for Charging Addicts for Free Medicine
A pair of doctors accused of cheating hundreds of addicts by charging them for treatments that were already covered by insurance have agreed to pay more than $445,000, including a $100,000 fine to the state.


Unnecessary Care at Mass. Hospitals Identified in New Report
They are among the findings of a report on health care quality in Massachusetts by the Center for Health Information and Analysis, an independent state agency that analyzes state health care data.

Primary Care in the Dentist Office
The new programs add to an explosion of initiatives across the country aimed at ending the longstanding divide between how we treat the mouth and the rest of the body.


Special Effects Help Train Residents at Boston Children's Hospital
Fractured FX, a Los Angeles make-up and special effects company, is partnering with the Simulator Program at Children's to create a line of plastic model patients with body parts that look and feel real. 

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