Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS In The News

MMS In The News

SHNSDecember 3, 2019 - Exemption, standards bills stir debate over vaccinations


The bill is backed by a number of health-related organizations, including the Massachusetts Medical Society.

“Eliminating the non-medical vaccine exemption for school-aged children, as Representative Vargas’ bill intends, is an important step toward protecting our patients of all ages from illness and its harmful, sometimes deadly, consequences ... and will greatly reduce the likelihood of an outbreak of preventable disease that could bring with it a dangerous public health crisis,” MMS President Dr. Maryanne Bombaugh said in a statement.

To read the entire SHNS article, click here


wbjournalNovember 13, 2019 - UMass Memorial ramping up interpretation services for non-English-speaking patients


"Language barriers can create an obstacle to patients’ access to care and present a safety issue when communications by a physician or the healthcare team are not well understood," said Dr. Maryanne Bombaugh, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

To read the entire Worcester Business Journal article, click here


WBUR logoNovember 21, 2019 - Why Some Boston Doctors Are Taking Up Immigration Advocacy


A silent protest staged earlier this month outside of Boston Medical Center drew hundreds of BMC employees, as doctors, nurses and other health care providers scrawled messages on white lab coats and held posters that said things like, "More hospitals, less cages."

To read the entire WBUR article, click here


HCIGNovember 15, 2019 - EHR Usability Gets an ‘F’ Grade, New Research Finds


Earlier this year, researchers with the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA), the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Global Health Institute, collaborated to issue a noteworthy report on physician burnout; findings from the report unsurprisingly revealed that inefficient EHRs are one of several leading causes of burnout among healthcare providers.

To read the entire Healthcare Innovation article, click here


Gloucester Daily TimesNovember 13, 2019 - Ban on flavored vapes, tobacco advances


The state House of Representatives approved “first-in-the-nation” legislation that will outlaw flavored vapes, including menthol and mint-flavored cigarettes, limit the nicotine content of vape pods and impose a 75% excise tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes. The 127-31 vote went largely along party lines, with a number of Republicans voting against it.

To read the entire Gloucester Daily Times article, click here


The Herald News
November 13, 2019 - Lawmakers wrestle with balance between drug treatment, incarceration


Legislation (H 1343 / S 937) allowing those on pre-trial release conditions or probation to stay out of prison if they relapse or test positive for drugs or alcohol remains in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary following an Oct. 22 hearing. Eldred, along with legal and health experts, discussed the bill and called for its passage on Wednesday.

To read the entire Herald News article, click here


Mass Live logoNovember 3, 2019 - ‘Senior’ flu shot proves hard to find

Massachusetts Medical Society officials said everybody over the age of 6 months should get vaccinated from the flu this year and every year. “Influenza can be deadly and should be taken seriously by every patient and their physician,” the MMS said in a press release. “Each year, 12,000 to 79,000 Americans die from the flu.” MMS officials also asked people to practice “cough courtesy” — coughing or sneezing into the sleeve of their upper arm to limit airborne germs — and to wash their hands frequently.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here


Mass Live logoOctober 28, 2019 - Lawmakers take steps to ban flavored tobacco, menthol products

“We cannot leave out menthol products,” said Cynthia Loesch-Johnson of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council in Dorchester, alongside lawmakers and representatives from the Mass Medical Society, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and the Massachusetts Health Council, among other heath groups.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here


Mass Live logoSeptember 30, 2019 - Massachusetts Medical Society among those to testify at safe injection site hearing

MMS was the first state medical society in the country to back the concept of a supervised consumption site as early as 2016 and in 2017 issued a report in support of such sites. In a 2017 Boston Globe article, Dorkin, then MMS president, wrote about changing his mind to support such sites in recognition of the need to meet “patients where they are in their disease to eliminate existing barriers to rehabilitation" and that data from sites in other countries shows them to have “yielded substantial and evidence-backed reductions of death, disease, and expenditures.”.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here


Gloucester Daily TimesSeptember 15, 2019 - Lawmakers want tighter rules for vaccines


A proposal filed by Rep. Paul Donato, D-Medford, and Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham, would require the state Department of Public Health to set standards for medical and religious exemptions to vaccines required of children attending public and private schools, and take over the processing of applications to opt-out.

To read the entire Gloucester Daily Times article, click here


wbjournalAugust 23, 2019 - Burnout is now a recognized contributor to your health


“It’s a conflicting healthcare model that physicians and everyone is working in right now,” Bombaugh said. “Physicians are leaving medicine because of the impact burnout is having on their personal lives and professional lives.”

To read the entire Worcester Business Journal article, click here


Salem News LogoAugust 22, 2019 - Cases of Drug Diversion Increase


The Massachusetts Medical Society, the state's largest physician group, has called for tougher rules to limit the amount of excess opioid medication that can be diverted, including through safe disposal programs, strict adherence to prescription monitoring programs and prescribing guidelines, partial-fill prescriptions and patient and caregiver education.

To read the entire Salem News article, click here


Boston Globe logoAugust 15, 2019 - What to know about the planned merger of 2 big Mass. health insurers

“As physicians who care for patients in Massachusetts, we value all our local nonprofit health plans,” Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said in a statement.

But Bombaugh said she didn’t want to guess what a Tufts-Harvard Pilgrim merger would look like. “We will rely on the process of review from state and federal regulators,” she said.

To read the entire Boston Globe article, click here


WBUR logoAugust 12, 2019 - New Immigration Rule Could Affect Half A Million Mass. Residents

Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh said in a statement she feared that the new regulation will have serious consequences for some of the most vulnerable patients. "Physicians recognize that social determinants play a pivotal role in one’s ability to access appropriate, quality medical care, and the fact that those who are disadvantaged will be penalized for utilizing Medicaid, food and housing assistance and other services aimed at addressing social determinants is inhumane,"

To read the entire WBUR article, click here


Lowell SunAugust 11, 2019 - Data shows flood of opioids before OD surge

For Maryanne Bombaugh, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the database, shows where we were and what we should change — from education to prescribing practices.

“We have data to look at,” she said. “We can see where we were, what was going on. Getting a better idea of how serious, significant and widespread prescriptions for opioids happened to be occurring. And because of that data, it facilitates us to be able to make changes.”

To read the entire Lowell Sun article, click here


Boston Globe logoAugust 9, 2019 - Safe injection sites are another tool on the path to recovery


Researchers from the Massachusetts Medical Society assisted with an AMA study and issued an April 2017 report recommending that the state pursue a pilot program for safe injection facilities, create an advisory board to design an evaluation protocol for the pilot, and build on programs with expertise in providing high-quality harm-reduction services to populations that would be served by the facilities.

To read the entire Boston Globe article, click here


AMAAugust 7, 2019 - Cut burnout by following these 3 steps to optimize the EHR

In 2016, Reliant’s EHR ranked in the 97th percentile nationally for usability, according to a white paper from the Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association and Reliant Medical Group.

To read the entire AMA article, click here


Boston Globe logoJuly 29, 2019 - State watchdog seeks to simplify complex health care system — and save money

“From the physician perspective, administrative complexities, specifically prior authorization, are a patient safety concern,” Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said in a statement. “We strongly support the Health Policy Commission’s focus on administrative complexities.”

To read the entire Boston Globe article, click here


Boston HeraldJuly 26, 2019 - Mass. Medical Society backs end to religious exemption for vaccines 

“I think we, as a state, have been a vanguard for promoting public health and making sure that our population is insured, and I think this particular bill and what it’s trying to accomplish will make our children and our communities and people safer and healthier,” Dr. Maryanne Bombaugh,  president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said Thursday on Herald Radio. 

To read the entire Boston Herald article, click here


commonwealthJuly 25, 2019 - Are vaccines a religious matter?

In May, the Massachusetts Medical Society adopted a resolution making it the society’s policy to oppose non-medical vaccine exemptions for students to enter school.

To read the entire Commonwealth Magazine article, click here


Boston Herald RadioJuly 25, 2019 - "On the Mend" Podcast: MMS President Discusses Vaccinations

Massachusetts Medical Society president Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh joined the “On the Mend” podcast, hosted by Boston Herald health reporter Alexi Cohan, to discuss vaccinations. Dr. Bombaugh affirmed the medical society’s support for state legislation that would remove religious exemption from state law in an effort to increase vaccination levels and prevent disease.

To listen to the entire Boston Herald Radio podcast, click here


wbjournalJuly 24, 2019 - Worcester pharmacies stocked 49 million opioids in years leading up to crisis

The Massachusetts Medical Society, a group advocating for physicians and medical students, helped develop the state’s opioid prescribing guidelines and has worked to offer provider education and support the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, said Maryanne Bombaugh, the society’s president.

To read the entire Worcester Business article, click here


Cape Cod TimesJuly 15, 2019 - Falmouth doctor sees major issues ahead for state medical society

Bombaugh, 65, said issues concerning Cape physicians — including health care as a human right, burnout and insurance struggles — also affect doctors across the state.

Bombaugh said it was an exciting time to be head of the medical society, which represents 25,000 physicians and medical students in 20 districts across the state. The medical society also publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the nation’s premier medical journals.

During the society’s annual meeting in May, its house of delegates adopted a policy declaring that health care is a basic human right.

To read the entire Cape Cod Times article, click here


Mass Live logoJune 23, 2019 - Health care systems turn to a ‘new’ old medicine: healthy food

Maryanne Bombaugh, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said doctors increasingly recognize the importance of social factors, including nutrition, in health. But, she said during the panel discussion, “There’s definitely a need for education. Most of us in medical school get very little education on nutrition.

In Western Massachusetts, there are programs already underway — and hoping to expand — to treat food as medicine.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here


WBUR logoJune 11, 2019 - 1 In 5 people in Mass. have experienced a recent medical error

Study finds the excess cost of medical errors in just one year is more than $600 million. The researchers used insurance data to track preventable errors like infections after surgery, excess blood loss and bed sores.

MMS president Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh discussed the findings and opportunities to collaborate on improving patient safety.

To read the entire WBUR article, click here


Boston Globe logoJune 11, 2019 - Mass. lawmaker faces antivaccine backlash over his bill to scrap religious exemption

He is not alone in facing vitriol over his stance. Local doctors also say they are being attacked online for recommending parents vaccinate their children, with the attacks part of a coordinated effort by antivaccine groups.

Last month, the Massachusetts Medical Society’s House of Delegates passed a resolution opposing nonmedical vaccine exemptions for schoolchildren. Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh, the society’s president, said it is important to discuss — and later embrace — vaccinations by relying on accurate, transparent information.

To read the entire Boston Globe article, click here


WBUR logoJune 4, 2019 - Mass. Sees 2nd Measles Case This Year. Now There's A Bill To Remove Religious Exemption For Vaccines

Last month, the Massachusetts Medical Society's House of Delegates adopted a resolution making it the society's policy to oppose non-medical vaccine exemptions for school entrance.

To read the entire WBUR article, click here


The Eagle TribuneMay 27, 2019 - Pain patients struggle amid drug scrutiny 

In recent years, the society has trained thousands of prescribers on how to manage pain without overusing opioids; how to screen for substance abuse; and alternative therapies to opioids.

To read the entire Eagle Tribune article, click here


Computer WorldMay 23, 2019 - Poorly designed systems make doctors 'a slave to their EHR'

Problems with clunky electronic health record workflows – and the inability to share patient information between clinics – are driving some physicians right out of healthcare. But some facilities have figured out how to make things work more smoothly.

To read the entire Computer World article, click here


The Eagle TribuneMay 13, 2019 - Physicians want to end vaccine exemptions

A group representing the state's physicians wants to limit parents' options to opt out of vaccines required of children attending school.

To read the entire Eagle Tribune article, click here


WBUR logoMay 13, 2019 - Mass. Medical Society Calls For An End To Religious Vaccine Exemptions For Schoolkids

The Massachusetts Medical Society wants to do away with religious vaccine exemptions for students entering school. The association, which has more than 25,000 members, says it will start advocating for state legislation and regulation that would end the practice.

To read the entire WBUR article, click here


Mass Live logoMay 8, 2019 - Falmouth physician Maryanne C. Bombaugh elected Massachusetts Medical Society president

Dr. Maryanne C. Bombaugh, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Community Health Center of Cape Cod who earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Northampton, has been elected the new president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here


South Coast TodayApril 27, 2019 - Why the measles virus is spreading again in Massachusetts

Massachusetts in April reported this year’s first case of the measles, for which Enders created a vaccination more than 50 years ago. The deadly virus is making a comeback across the United States.

To read the entire South Coast Today article, click here


Mass Live logoApril 12, 2019 - Prescription spending in MassHealth doubled over past 5 years, Massachusetts officials say

Dr. Alain Chaoui, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said rising prescription drug costs are affecting his ability to give his patients the best care he can.

Chaoui also told of a patient who went into diabetic ketoacidosis after rationing insulin, another who had a stroke after being unable to afford an anticoagulant, and a patient with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who couldn't afford inhalers.

To read the entire Mass Live article, click here



News Medical logoMarch 20, 2019 - Five things to know about the electronic health records mess


The U.S. government claimed that ditching paper medical charts for electronic records would make health care better, safer and cheaper. Ten years and $36 billion later, the digital revolution has gone awry.

To read the entire News Medical article, click here



Boston 25 logoFebruary 6, 2019 - New study says physician burnout is becoming major problem

Now, a new study is claiming that physician burnout is becoming a major problem, with doctors forced into doing too much paperwork, and too little of why they became doctors in the first place..."You can say it's talked about, and it's actually not talked about enough," Alain Chaoui, M.D., of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said.

To read the entire Boston 25 News article, click here



NBC Boston logoFebruary 28, 2019 - Gov. Baker rejects supervised drug injection site proposal

On Tuesday, a legislative commission recommended the state approve one or more supervised injection sites for drug users on a test basis. Commission members said the state should allow the sites to see if they can help reduce the harm associated with injecting illegal drugs, including the risk of overdosing alone.

To read the entire NBC Boston article, click here



WBUR logoMarch 19, 2019 - Sen. Markey, pro-choice advocates slam administration's Title X proposed changes

"Providing a patient with all the relevant information and options within the context of a confidential, trusting relationship is an obligation for physicians, one that we don't take lightly," said Dr. Carole Allen, a trustee with the Massachusetts Medical Society. "To strip from a physician the ability to provide all needed information to a patient is unconscionable."

To read the entire WBUR article, click here



CBS Boston logoFebruary 27, 2019 - We have to think outside the box’: Lawmakers consider safe injection sites

Dr. Alan Chaoui, President of Massachusetts Medical Society says, “The access really is to the patient and giving the patient the opportunity and the facility and the education to move on to the medical assistance treatment.”

To read the entire CBS Boston article, click here



Boston Globe logoJanuary 17, 2019 - Physician burnout now a public health crisis

A lot of physicians feel they are on a treadmill, on a conveyor belt,” said Dr. Alain A. Chaoui, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and a family doctor in Peabody. “They’re not afraid of work — it’s the work that has nothing to do with the patients that makes physicians unhappy. And it makes the patients unhappy, because they feel the system is failing them.

To read the entire Boston Globe article, click here

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