Massachusetts Medical Society: Physician burnout continues to gain attention; MassHealth requirements update

Physician burnout continues to gain attention; MassHealth requirements update

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News and announcements

Issue of physician burnout continues to gain attention

Our work related to physician burnout continues to draw attention and spark important conversations. This week, MMS president Dr. Alain Chaoui was interviewed by Boston 25 news at our Waltham headquarters. Dr. Chaoui discussed the recently published paper from the Massachusetts Medical Society, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association that deemed the condition a public health crisis. Dr. Chaoui was featured in the news piece and discussed the prevalence of burnout among physicians and other care providers and means by which to mitigate the condition. Dr. Chaoui noted, "It's a crisis because, at the end of the day, it affects the access for our patients.” Reporter Jim Morelli also spoke with students at Boston University School of Medicine to learn their perspective on burnout.

Watch the report here


MassHealth ordering, referring, and prescribing requirements update

MassHealth is preparing for, but has not yet established, a date to begin denying claims that do not meet the ordering, referring, and prescribing requirements described in the February All Provider Bulletin 274. We are staying on top of this important issue and will let you know in advance of the date the denial process is set to begin. The information in this bulletin is intended to continue to help billing providers prepare their processes and systems for compliance with ordering, referring, and prescribing requirements, and reduce the impact on them once claim denials take effect.

Below are the reasons for denials:

POSC version of the remittance advice

  • 1080—Ordering Provider Required
  • 1081—NPI required for Ordering Provider
  • 1200—Referring Provider Required
  • 1201—NPI of Provider Required—HDR
  • 1202—NPI of Referring Provider Required 2—HDR2
  • 1204—NPI of Referring Provider Required 2—DTL2


2019 annual meeting: Hotel deadline reminder

This year's annual meeting is scheduled to take place May 2-4 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston. The MMS hotel deadline is Friday, March 22. Please visit www.massmed.org/am19reservations to make your reservations today.

Important *NEW* registration information

The annual meeting website will launch in late February/early March and will include online registration. We are pleased to announce that we are using a new registration system for the 2019 annual meeting. Please view this flyer to read more and please view www.massmed.org/annual2019 for important dates and deadlines and a schedule at a glance. The upcoming 2019 annual meeting is sure to be an exciting event and we hope you can join us.

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MMS committees form the backbone of the MMS, where the important work of the Society is accomplished. Do you have a special interest or desire to make a difference in organized medicine? Or, to assist in achieving the greater goals of the Society? Joining a committee is one way to get involved. MMS is currently seeking interested members. Applications are due March 1; more info and applications.


Educational programs and events

Live CME activities

Managing Workplace Conflict – Improving Leadership and Personal Effectiveness
Thursday, June 6, 2019, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
Friday, June 7, 2019, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

More live CME


Featured online CME

MedPEP, Medical Professionals Empowerment Program (15 episodes)

For additional online CME activities, visit www.massmed.org/cme

More online CME


Quote of the week

"So right now, I'm paying $15,000 a year for this medicine, which costs in the United States $53,000 a year which I feel is… at best, criminal."

—  Jon Yeagley, who drives 6.5 hours to Canada to save money of his son’s prescription drugs.  (CBS News)


Tweet of the week

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@HIVMA - HIVMA provides clinical practice & professional development resources for HIV clinicians, and develops & advocates evidence-based federal health policies.


What’s new in health care

Check out the most clicked-on stories from this week's MMS Media Watch. Sign up for daily Massachusetts media roundups by email. Some publications are fully accessible only to their subscribers.

2 children die of flu in Mass. (WBUR)

The state's Department of Public Health said the recent deaths are a reminder of the dangers of flu and the importance of vaccination. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone who is at least 6 months old get a flu shot. The most recent weekly flu report from the Department of Public Health indicated an increase in rates of flu-like illness in the state. In the vast majority of cases, flu is not deadly. Most people will experience symptoms including a fever, chills, body aches, cough, sore throat and runny nose. The CDC say most people will recover on their own within a few days, although symptoms can last for a week or longer.  

Physician sentenced to 6 years for operating 'dangerous pain clinic' (MassLive) 
A physician convicted of fraudulently billing Medicare and private insurance companies while operating a " dangerous pain management practice" and dispensing large quantities of narcotics to addicted patients was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution. Moustafa Moataz Ibrahim Aboshady, 36, of Lake Forest, Calif., was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to make false statements in connection with health care benefit programs and two counts of making false statements in connection with health care benefit programs by a federal jury in September. 

$50m gift to Mass. General will support several projects (Boston Globe)

Massachusetts General Hospital has received one of its largest gifts ever — $50 million from philanthropists James S. and Carol J. Herscot. The money will fund a variety of capital projects and initiatives, and continue support for the Herscot Center for Children and Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC, is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in many organs, especially the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin, and lungs. When it affects the brain, it can lead to seizures, autism, cognitive impairment, and mental health disorders. But its severity varies widely; some TSC patients go much of their lives without knowing they have it, while others have symptoms starting in childhood.  

Baystate Health's plan for new psychiatric hospital raises questions, hopes (Boston Business Journal)
The challenges are exacerbated by the state's expected closure the Department of Mental Health Intermediate Unit at Vibra Hospital in Springfield. The unit has about 30 inpatient psychiatric beds. Vibra had planned to close the hospital on State Street last year, but the state prevailed upon Vibra to keep it open for another year, Fleisher said. He said the state has put out a formal request for agencies that could replace those 30 beds. Meanwhile, Providence Behavioral Health in Holyoke announced layoffs in August. Part of Trinity Health of New England, Providence also closed 12 of its pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds — about half its capacity. It said the payments it gets for mental health treatment don't keep up with expenses.

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New: A Call to Action on Physician Burnout

We’ve published our findings on physician burnout and our directives on ways to mitigate its effect.

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