Massachusetts Medical Society: New MACRA Rules Posted; MMS Website Restored

New MACRA Rules Posted; MMS Website Restored


MMS News and Announcements

New MACRA Rules Posted

An updated summary of new rules on MACRA is now available on the MMS webpage that also connects to links to the AMA website and other useful sources. Click here for our special webpage.

MMS Website Now Operational

After a brief interruption to install a new member database system, the MMS website is now fully operational. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact our Customer Service Department by phone at 800-843-6356 or by e-mail at

MMS Interim Meeting Deadlines

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. Deadlines are as follows: November 4 – Hotel Deadline; November 28 at Noon – Pre-Registration Deadline. For more details about all the Interim Meeting events and to register online, click here.

Recap: State of State’s Health Care Leadership Forum

The impact of the presidential election on health care was the focus of the MMS’s 17th Annual State of the State’s Health Care Leadership Forum. Read a synopsis of what the expert presenters shared with the nearly 150 attendees at the event.

Senator Markey to Deliver Keynote at MMS Opioid Summit Oct. 31

Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey will deliver the keynote address, Reducing the Demand for Opioids Through Effective Treatment, at the MMS Medication Assisted Treatment Summit on Oct. 31. Review the agenda and list of expert faculty. Space is limited, and registration is required. Contact the MMS Department of Health Policy & Public Health at 781-434-7373 for more information.

MassPAT Tip of the Week – Use of Delegates

Massachusetts laws and regulations allow for prescribers to authorize access to MassPAT to an unlimited number of delegates and to query MassPAT on behalf of the prescriber. New procedures that allow office staff delegates to check a daily roster of patients can be a helpful way to improve efficiency in adapting to the increasing requirements of using MassPAT. Additional information about delegates is available on the DPH’s MassPAT website, including a video tutorial on delegate/resident account management.

HPC Cost Trends Hearings

The Health Policy Commission held its annual Cost Trends Hearings this week at Suffolk University Law School, a two-day event that brought many health care stakeholders, together to discuss topics affecting costs in Massachusetts, which rose by 4.1% in 2015. MMS closely monitored the hearings and provided input on MMS policy regarding opioid prescribing and partial-fill legislation.

Boston Medical Library Sponsors Garland Lecture Nov. 3

H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research, will deliver the 41st Joseph Garland Lecture titled, Less Medicine, More Health, on Nov. 3, 2016, at 5:30 p.m., at the amphitheater in the Armenise Building, Harvard Medical School, 210 Longwood Ave., Boston. Register for the event at

MMS Fall Forum on Free Health Care Clinics and the DPH

DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, M.D. will deliver the keynote address regarding the Intersection Between Massachusetts Free Health Care Programs and the DPH at the 13th annual fall forum hosted by the MMS Committee on Senior Volunteer Physicians on Oct. 26th from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. at MMS headquarters. Learn more and register for the event here.

PHS Offers CME Course on Managing Workplace Conflict

Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership and Personal Effectiveness, a CME course offered by Physician Health Services, will be held on November 3 and 4. Designed for physicians to improve leadership skills and personal effectiveness with work relationships, the course also teaches how to enhance skills for addressing difficulties in the workplace. To register click here.

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. For information click here.

Student and Resident Information Technology Awards Program Accepting Applications

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. Deadline for submission is Sunday, November 20, 2016. Click here for information.

MMS LGBT Committee Sponsors Fall Mixer

MMS Committee on LGBT Matters is sponsoring a fall mixer at Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave., Boston, on November 3 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Dr. Harvey Makadon, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center in Boston, will be presented with the 2016 MMS LGBT Health Award. Register for the event here.

Educational Programs and Events

Live CME Activities

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

Workplace Violence Against Healthcare Workers in the US (Webinar)
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Via Live Webinar.

Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership & Personal Effectiveness
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. & Friday, November 4, 2016, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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.

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

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

Firearm Violence: Policy, Prevention & Public Health (6 Modules)

  • Module 1: Reducing Firearm Injury
  • Module 2: Unintentional Firearm Fatality & Suicide
  • Module 3: Changing the Conversation about Firearms
  • Module 4: Community Based Prevention
  • Module 5: Evaluating the Risks for Gun Violence in Patients
  • Module 6: Role of the Clinician

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

Children's Hospital Expansion Approved

State health officials on Thursday gave Boston Children's Hospital approval for the controversial $1 billion expansion, by voting 10-0 in favor of the expansion, with one abstention.

Report Praises Blue Cross for Helping to Reduce Opioid Use

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has praised a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts program as an example of a private health insurer collaborating on a public health goal to reduce opioid use.

Carfentanil: Deadliest Opioid Threat

Carfentanil – a powerful, deadly drug used as an elephant tranquilizer – is the nation’s newest killer, and New England authorities and health workers are bracing for its arrival.

National Rx Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 22

On Oct. 22, you can make your community safer by participating in a Take-Back Day event. 130 people in the U.S. die every day from a drug overdose, and most of those involve prescription opioids or heroin. The majority of people who misuse prescription drugs report that they obtained the drugs from family or friends.

Franklin County Substance Abuse Incidents Decrease

According to newly released data, substance abuse in Franklin County is decreasing, but youth of color, those from low-income families, and others face health disparities that put them at higher risk.

Southcoast Health, Care New England Nix Merger Talks

Merger discussions have ended with both groups saying were moving in the best interest of their patients.

Small Businesses Face Uptick in Healthcare Costs

Small businesses in the Bay State will pay 20 percent more this year to insure their workers, leaving employers frantically looking for solutions owners and officials told a state agency this week.

High Costs of Rx Drugs Singled Out as Cost Driver

Eric Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, said the high costs of prescription drugs is to blame for health care spending that is growing faster than state policymakers would like.

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