Massachusetts Medical Society: New CDC recommendations on patients from hurricane zones

New CDC recommendations on patients from hurricane zones



CDC issues recommendations for providers treating patients from hurricane zones

The CDC has issued a health advisory for providers treating patients who recently travelled from (or are in) hurricane-affected areas, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The recommendations are aimed at assessing and limiting the risk posed by certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza. The recommendations include:

  • Ask patients about recent travel (within the past 4 weeks) to hurricane-affected areas;
  • Consider less common infectious disease etiologies in patients presenting with evidence of acute respiratory illness, gastroenteritis, renal or hepatic failure, wound infection, or other febrile illness;
  • For assistance ordering diagnostic tests or to consult about empiric therapy pending test results, contact your territorial or state health department;
  • Confirmed and highly suspected cases of leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and vibriosis should be immediately reported to the territorial or state health department.

2017 Interim Meeting spotlight: Reserve your hotel room now

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.  

The deadline for the MMS hotel room block is this Monday, October 30. If you have questions regarding hotel reservations, please contact Laura Bombrun at MMS; or (781) 434-7007. 

For more details about all Interim Meeting events, visit

Other important dates:

2018 Annual Awards: Celebrate your colleagues' achievements (and yours)

All physicians likely have at least one colleague who deserves to be nominated for outstanding work or service to the community. Who's yours? The MMS Committee on Recognition Awards are currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Annual Award Program;  information and applications. Medical students, residents, and fellows are recognized too. The MMS honors excellence in multiple categories (below, in order of deadline):

  • Reducing Health Disparities Award (Nov 3)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer (LBGTQ) Health Award (Nov 13)
  • Women's Health Award (Nov 13)
  • Men's Health Award (Nov 13)
  • Woman Physician Leadership Award (Nov 13)
  • Women's Health Research Award (Nov 13)
  • Medical Student History Essay Award (Nov 13, Jan 15)
  • Medical Information Technology Award (students, residents, fellows) (Nov 26)
  • Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Award (Dec 4)
  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education (Dec 4)
  • Award for Excellence in Public Health (Dec 4)
  • MMS Lifetime Achievement Award (Dec 15)
  • Distinguished Service to the MMS Award (Dec 15)
  • Excellence in Medical Service Award (Dec 15)
  • Medical Student Scholar Awards (Jan 19)

What's up at the State House

Pros and cons of the new cost containment bill

Medical Society President Dr. Henry Dorkin testified before the Special Senate Committee on health care cost containment and reform at the State House on Monday, commenting on a comprehensive bill aimed at curbing health care costs in Massachusetts. Dr. Dorkin praised several provisions of the bill, including proposals to streamline the quality metric reporting process and provide greater transparency on pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers. Dr. Dorkin expressed concern, however, on proposals aimed at expanding scope of practice for advanced practice practitioners, on a proposal aimed at addressing out-of-network care, and on a provision related to telemedicine. The bill is expected to reach the Senate floor in mid-November. The House is expected to take up the bill later in this session.

Protecting girls from female genital mutilation

The MMS provided testimony in strong support of a bill seeking to protect girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). This bill would criminalize FGM and related actions, and establish a much-needed program for education, prevention, and outreach on the health risks and emotional trauma associated with FGM. Massachusetts ranks #12 in the nation for populations at risk from FGM, which is recognized internationally as a human rights violation, torture, and an extreme form of discrimination against woman and girls. In its testimony, the MMS cited its policy on preventing child abuse.

Reminders: Stuff you should click on

Contributing to a healthier Massachusetts: Renew with MMS for 2018

From effective pain management and opioid prescribing to firearm safety, emergency preparedness, and promoting access to quality care, the MMS and its members have led the way on Beacon Hill and in Washington, DC, fighting for policies that protect patients and contribute to a healthier Commonwealth for us all. If you have yet to renew your MMS membership for 2018, do so today. Stand with the MMS in our work to make sure the physician’s voice is heard. Renew online or call (800) 322-2303, ext. 7495 for assistance.

LGBTQ health disparities grant proposals: MONDAY deadline

The MMS is currently accepting grant proposals from medical students and residents/fellows whose curriculum development or research addresses health disparities in the LGBTQ community. Grant proposals are due October 30, 2017. Download the application form.

Financial literacy for medical students, residents, and fellows: Free MMS program (live and webcast): MONDAY

Want to learn to more effectively manage your finances, including ideas for how to save and reduce student debt? Join us for Financial Literacy 101: Basics for Medical Students and Residents/Fellows includes dinner with your peers and practical financial advice from Dr. John Blute, a recently retired orthopedic surgeon. The event will be held on October 30, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Countway Library, 10 Shattuck Street, Boston, and is free to MMS members. You can alternatively join us via webcast. It is sponsored by the MMS and its Medical Student and Resident and Fellow Sections;  information and registration.

Back by popular demand: FREE personalized assistance with QPP prep

Maximize your reimbursement and avoid penalties: Join us for light refreshments and personalized assistance to help you develop your strategy for successful MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP) implementation in your practice. The program includes Managing the Madness of MIPS, which outlines reporting requirements and timelines. It is designed for providers who are MIPS-eligible and required to report for 2017 ( check your MIPS participation status). 

The session will be led by Yael Miller, MBA, director of Practice Solutions & Medical Economics at MMS, and Leila Volinsky, MHA, MSN, RN, senior program administrator at Healthcentric Advisors. It will be held on November 8, 2017, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts Medical Society headquarters, Waltham. Your registration should include at least one clinician and one colleague/team member responsible for reporting. Space is limited; registration.

Physician art exhibit at MMS HQ

Catch this unusual art exhibit in the lobby of MMS Headquarters, Waltham. The vivid hand-painted posters on the theme of ‘Improved and Extended Medicare for All /Single Payer’ are 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.

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. 

2017 Annual Oration – Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, and American Football
Friday, December 1, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Ethics Forum – CRISPR and the Ethics of Germline Manipulation
Friday, December 1, 2017, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

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

Featured online CME courses – Risk Management credit

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

Find additional risk management online CME activities.

This week in health care

Sign up for daily roundups of health news affecting Massachusetts. 

Mass. General dilemma: separate conjoined twins to save one, or let both die?
"So if we do nothing, we know they will both die, probably in the next few weeks to months," said Dr. Brian Cummings, chair of the pediatric ethics committee at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. And "if we act, we'll be able to save one sister from dying, but one will die in that act." 

UMass warns of student diagnosed with illness that can cause meningitis
The illness is caused by the bacteria named Neisseria meningitides and can sometimes cause meningitis, an infection of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord, or sepsis, an infection of the blood, which can be fatal if not treated.

Pharmacist in NECC meningitis outbreak case acquitted of murder
The supervisor of a former Framingham compounding pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday by a federal jury of murder charges but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in connection with a meningitis outbreak that killed dozens of people across the country.  

MGH researcher develops promising Alzheimer's drug
The drug follows a host of other therapies that have tried — and failed — to deal with Alzheimer's, a disease that will cost the U.S. economy $259 billion this year alone, the Alzheimer's Association has predicted. 

Mass. faces an Alzheimer's epidemic, forecast warns
The number of people in Massachusetts who have Alzheimer's and other dementias will increase by 25 percent in just eight years, rising from 120,000 in 2017 to 150,000 in 2025, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Dana Farber/Harris poll reveals most Americans are unaware lifestyle affects cancer risk 
The poll also shows that few people realize that lifestyle factors increase the risk of cancer, including consumption of fatty foods, alcohol and lack of exercise. Further data from the poll shows 91 percent of people think the government should play a role in identifying risks and developing better treatments for cancer. 

State to move forward with new medical marijuana rules
After a yearlong delay, Governor Charlie Baker's administration said Tuesday it will move forward with a series of improvements to the state's medical marijuana program, drawing praise from dispensaries and patients who said the changes are overdue.

Heads of largest hospitals question state Senate health plan
The chiefs of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital asked lawmakers to reject any measure that would punish the two academic medical centers, which are hubs for research and major employers in Boston.

Partners HealthCare seeks state OK for $73M ED expansion at Brigham and Women's
Boston-based Partners HealthCare is seeking state approval for a $73 million expansion at its Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital. The proposed expansion project would include renovating and expanding Brigham and Women's emergency department, adding an MRI simulator and converting a research-only 7T MRI for use in a clinical setting.

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