MassHealth Revises Home Health Regulations; Interim Meeting Updates

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MMS News and Announcements

MassHealth Revises Home Health Regulations

MassHealth has revised home health regulations requiring prior authorization for intermittent skilled nursing services and home health aide services whenever the services exceed more than 30 skilled nursing visits in a 90-day period, or more than 240 home health aide units in a 90 -day period. Physicians certifying the plan of care cannot be a physician on the staff of, or under contract with, the home health agency. To review the revised regulations, click here.

Interim Meeting Updates

The 2016 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates will be held Friday, December 2, at MMS Headquarters and Saturday, December 3, at the Westin Hotel, Waltham.

  • HOD Online Testimony is open through 8:00 a.m., Friday December 2.
  • The complete Delegates’ Handbook for the Interim Meeting is available at www.massmed.org/interim2016/hod.
  • Bring your holiday shopping list and support the MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation. The MMS Alliance will be hosting a holiday boutique on Friday of the MMS Interim Meeting. All proceeds will benefit the MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation.
  • Please take the time to pre-register for any and all events. Pre-registration closes on Monday, November 28, at noon.


MMS Awards - Call for Nominations

MMS recognizes its members by presenting numerous awards annually. Let us know if you have a colleague who deserves to be nominated for their outstanding work or service to the community, or if you know a medical student or resident worthy of recognition due to cutting edge innovation. Click here for more information.


Stay Connected with MMS

Attending the Interim Meeting? Can’t attend, but want to stay in the loop? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MMSInterim, and don’t forget to follow us at @MassMedical. And, watch for a special edition of Vital Signs This Week on Monday, December 5, containing a wrap-up of the meeting. More information on how to use social media can be found here.


Last Chance! Student and Resident Information Technology Award Program

Deadline for submission is Sunday, November 20, 2016. Each year the MMS Committee on Information Technology presents two $3,000 awards for the creation of information technology solutions for medicine by one student and one member of a hospital house staff or training program. Click here for application and additional information.


Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Nomination Deadline Extended

Submit your nomination for an MMS member age 60 or older who deserves to be recognized for volunteer efforts, particularly to direct patient care in Massachusetts, by December 5. Criteria and nomination form here.





Education Programs & Events

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.

2016 Annual Oration – Zika: Responding to the Challenges of an Emerging Infection
Friday, December 2, 2016, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

2016 Ethics Forum – Ethical Challenges in Systems of Care
Friday, December 2, 2016, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

A Town Hall Meeting with the MMS Presidential Officers
MACRA: What Physicians Need to Know
Friday, December 2, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

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

Save the Date

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

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

End-of-Life Care

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


CDC: Fewer Deaths from Preventable Killers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports fewer people are dying prematurely from three of the five leading causes of death between 2010 and 2014: cancer, stroke and heart disease.


Groups Collaborate to Help Drug-Addicted Babies

Three groups are collaborating -- Middlesex D.A. Marian T. Ryan, Hallmark Health System, and Jewish Family & Children's Services -- to provide services and medical care for women with drug abuse problems or mental illness and their young children.


Beth Israel, Lahey Discuss Merger

Beth Israel Deaconess and Lahey Clinic are discussing a possible merger, the fourth time they have explored a deal in the past five years.


Volunteer Opioid Task Force Trained in Worcester

Worcester groups unite to train volunteers to counsel families and provide support for those battling opioid addiction.


Advocates Brace for Obamacare Repeal

Health care advocates fear if Obamacare is repealed the resulting cuts in the federally funded Medicaid program will affect tens of thousands of Massachusetts low-income residents.


Health Connector Launches Outreach Campaign

Massachusetts Health Connector has developed an outreach program in hopes of reaching uninsured Latino residents in Western Massachusetts.


Health Insurers Blame Losses on Increased Demand

Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts Health plans blamed operating losses for the third quarter on increased utilization and more expensive care.


Private Doctors Tap into Public’s Largess for Testimonies

Some private-practice psychiatrists and psychologists reap several hundred thousand dollars a year from the state's public defender agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, to provide expert opinions and trial testimony.


Towns May Block Marijuana Sales

Local town officials may block marijuana stores out of fear their quaint New England downtowns will turn into drug havens, or be clustered along the New Hampshire state line, luring out-of-state customers.


Opponents Seek to Halt Children’s Expansion

Opponents seeking to halt Children’s Hospital’s expansion plan to build over Prouty Garden claim public health officials have "conducted a flawed and legally insufficient review." The hospital, however, plans to close Prouty Garden for good in the coming weeks.


DCF: Child Deaths Declining

Department of Children and Families data show a major drop in child mortality rates from previous years.


Milford Hospital Cuts Pediatric Services

Milford Regional Medical Center, facing a $9-million loss in operations, is cutting inpatient pediatric care services.


Boston Hospitals Introduce Home Health Programs

Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals have introduced programs that send physicians, nurses and equipment into patients' homes to help reduce health care costs.


Veterans Care Improves in Central Mass.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System has improved its services.


A.G. Launches Opioid Prevention Initiative

Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a $500,000 grant program to support school-based initiatives to fight and prevent opioid abuse, tapping funds gleaned from a settlement with CVS Pharmacy









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