CSMS Supports Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015

For Immediate Release (North Haven, CT) Today, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) issued a strong endorsement for the “Fair Medical Audits Act of 2015,” introduced today by U.S. Representative George Holding of North Carolina. The legislation addresses many concerns that physicians have with regard to the extraordinary lack of transparency and expensive, time-consuming and […]

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Pediatric Clerkship Preceptors Needed

The Frank Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University is in need of additional preceptors for its required third year Pediatric Clerkship. The clerkship is 6 weeks in duration, two weeks will be inpatient based at CCMC while 4 weeks will be outpatient/office-based in community practices. Thus, a given physician or group practice will have […]

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AMA Therapeutic Insights: Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

The full newsletter Painful Diabetic Neuropathy, prescribing information and CME self-assessment are free for both AMA members and nonmembers. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy (PDN) develops in more than 50% of patients who have diabetes. Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 79 million (or nearly 1 in 3) Americans have pre-diabetes based on testing of fasting blood […]

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Thank You to Our Biondino Golf Classic Sponsors

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the annual Biondino Memorial Golf Classic go to support the CSMS Charitable Trust. We’re hard at work preparing for the 2015 Classic (coming up on July 27) – but we want to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the organizations and businesses whose generous sponsorship makes […]

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CSMS, 45 Healthcare Stakeholders Oppose SB 1028

CSMS and the coalition to oppose SB 1028 were joined by other healthcare stakeholders this week, and sent a joint letter to the Connecticut Senate expressing serious concerns about the bill. SB 1028 would extend the statute of limitations for an injured minor to bring a negligence action to one year after the minor attains […]

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Nominations Now Open for 2015 Maloney, HLI Awards

Nominations are now open for the Maloney Distinguished Service Award and the Healthcare Leader and Innovator (HLI) Award. All CSMS members are welcome to nominate their colleagues for recognition of outstanding work. The Paul K. Maloney, Jr., MD Distinguished Service Award was established to honor the life and work of Dr. Maloney, an eminent physician […]

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Open Payments Program Increases Transparency in Health Care

This guest post is written by William J. Kassler, MD, MPH. Dr. Kassler is the Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Region I. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Open Payments program collects data from drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) about  payments  they make to physicians […]

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Fighting for Physicians: CSMS Announces UnitedHealth Settlement

CONNECTICUT STATE MEDICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT OF LITIGATION AGAINST UNITED HEALTHCARE (North Haven, CT) – In a settlement announced today by the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), UnitedHealthcare Group has agreed to spend $11.5 million to resolve actions brought by four medical societies and individual physicians challenging United’s provider claims payment practices. Under the settlement, […]

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Senator Murphy & MACRA

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was at St. Francis Hospital today to talk with physicians, other health professionals, and patient advocates about his support for the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which finally repealed the flawed SGR formula. Sen. Murphy was joined by CSMS President Bob Russo, MD, who spoke about the Society’s advocacy […]

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CT DSS: Electronic Bulletins

Effective June 30, 2015, CT Department of Social Services (DSS) will no longer mail provider bulletins and workshop invitations via the US Postal Service. To ensure that you receive the latest information from the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP), you must either subscribe to receive this information via email, or review the information posted to […]

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Calling all PCPs: Med Student Teaching Opportunity

From the Yale Integrated Primary Care Clerkship Are you a Primary Care Physician (i.e., trained in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, or Pediatrics) who enjoys teaching medical students? Would you be interested in applying for Community Faculty Appointment at Yale School of Medicine, which allows you to participate in Faculty Development at no charge and […]

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New AMA Economic Impact Study Released

Spread the word: Physicians boost the U.S. economy. Beyond their role of safeguarding a healthy community and a productive work force, physicians have a huge positive impact on the national and state economies, as demonstrated in an American Medical Association study that was completed in conjunction with state medical associations. Now is the time to […]

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Group Practice Reporting Option – Registration Now Open

If your practice wishes to participate in PQRS as a group for the 2015 reporting year, you must register for the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) by June 30, 2015 using the Physician Value-PQRS (PV-PQRS) registration system. GPRO Reporting Choices When you register your group, you need to select a GPRO reporting method: Registry EHR […]

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Open Payments Review Period Now Underway

On June 30 of this year, 2014 Open Payments (Sunshine Act) data will be displayed on the CMS public website. Before the data is made public, physicians can review and dispute payment data submitted by applicable manufacturers and GPOs from April 1 – May 20. During this review period, physicians can affirm records (optional – […]

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What Does SGR Repeal Mean for CT Physicians?

Before last night’s Senate vote to approve H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), there was a great deal of concern about the possible 21% cut to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for Medicare services provided on or after April 1, 2015. The President is expected to sign MACRA […]

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CSMS Statement on SGR Repeal

April 15, 2015 (North Haven, CT) – After more than a decade of patches, the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was finally repealed last night by an overwhelming Senate vote. On behalf of our physician and physician in training members, the Connecticut State Medical Society would like to thank the entire Connecticut Congressional […]

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US Senate Passes “Doc Fix” – SGR Finally Repealed

After weeks of uncertainty, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 2, the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA),  last night with an overwhelming majority vote of 92-8. The House passed H.R. 2 last month, in an unprecedented bipartisan vote  of 392-37. The bill now moves to the White House for President Obama’s signature. H.R. 2 finally […]

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CMS Update: 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On April 1, 2015, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) was updated using the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology as required by current law. The SGR methodology required a 21% decrease in all MPFS payments beginning April 1, 2015. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps to limit the impact on Medicare […]

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US Senate Must Act Now on SGR Repeal

Today the U.S. Senate returns from a two-week recess to tackle the bipartisan sustainable growth rate (SGR) repeal legislation that overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives more than two weeks ago. The Senate must act immediately to repeal the 21 percent cut to Medicare payments that already went into effect with the expiration of […]

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New Proposed Rule for Meaningful Use Modifications (CMS press release)

Modifications to Meaningful Use for 2015 through 2017: Realigning the EHR Incentive Programs to support health information exchange and quality improvement  On April 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to align Stage 1 and Stage 2 […]

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CSMS Deeply Concerned With DSS Cuts to Obstetric Care

Recently, CT DSS released a bulletin on changes to the rate structure for obstetric care. CSMS and other physician and hospital groups across the state are very concerned with the potential impact of these changes. Today, a joint letter was sent to DSS Commissioner Roderick Bremby and DSS Health Services Director Kate McEvoy requesting an […]

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Potential Medicare Cuts: Is Your Practice Prepared?

Last week, the House passed H.R. 2, the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA), with overwhelming bipartisan support: 392-37.  Click here to view a section by section bill summary. However, the Senate failed to vote on the bill before Congress adjourned for its two-week spring recess on March 27. This means that a 21% Medicare […]

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UPDATE: Medicare Physician Payment Reform

Today, the Medicare physician payment reform legislation was modified to include budget offsets, policy extenders, and other provisions and reintroduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) as H.R. 2, the “Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA).  Click here to view a section by section summary from the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees. […]

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No More Patches: Fix Medicare Now

The clock is ticking for Congress to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) before the March 31 deadline. Bipartisan repeal legislation (H.R. 1470/S. 810) is expected on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives next week, but Congress needs to know that physicians and patients demand action to fix Medicare NOW. That’s why […]

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Physicians’ Day at the Capitol 2015

It was a busy – and successful – day at the Capitol for CSMS physicians today. In addition to meetings with state representative and senators, CSMS physicians heard presentations from the American College of Surgeons, the State Comptroller, and the Senate President and Minority Leader. L-R: Gary Price, MD; Kathleen LaVorgna, MD; guest speaker Patrick […]

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Protecting Young Athletes from Concussion

The CT Mirror recently published an op-ed by members of  State of Connecticut General Assembly Task Force on Youth Athletics and Concussions: “Time to pass bill protecting young athletes from concussion.” Several CSMS members are on the Task Force, including Michael Krinsky, MD (Co-Chair), Karen Laugel, MD, and David Wang, MD (Co-Chair). Read the op-ed […]

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Deep Concerns Over Medicaid Budget Cuts

CSMS has joined with the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA), the Connecticut Association for Health Care at Home (CAHCH), and Leading Age CT in response to the significant cuts proposed to the state Medicaid budget by Governor Malloy. The group has put together a flyer expressing their concerns over the impact these cuts would have on […]

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Connecticut Emergency Department Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

CSMS, the Connecticut Hospital Association, and the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians have developed opioid prescribing guidelines as an educational tool to assist emergency medical personnel (EMPs) in addressing the care needs of persons who come to the Emergency Department (ED), and have a a chronic pain condition that may involve the use of opioids. […]

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2014 PQRS Data Submission Deadline Extension

Some good news if you’re an individual Eligible Provider (EP) or Group Practice reporting your 2014 PQRS data through EHR or QCDR. The filing deadline has been extended to March 20, 2015 at 8 pm ET: If you’re filing EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor that is certified EHR technology (CEHRT) – or – If […]

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CSMS Urges NGA to Focus on Overdose Prevention, Treatment

The Connecticut State Medical Society joined more than 150 national and state organizations in signing a letter to the National Governors Association (NGA). The letter urges their strong support for shifting the national discussion about prescription drug toward an increased emphasis on overdose prevention and treatment. Signed by the American Medical Association, every state medical […]

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CSMS Members in the News

CSMS members are making national news on trending healthcare topics such as telemedicine and patient perspectives of care.    Politico Pro, a site for national politics and policy professionals, interviewed CSMS President Robert Russo, MD on current Connecticut legislation on telemedicine (SB 5). “This is not an effort to protect the practices of doctors,” President […]

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ACTION ALERT: Preserve CT Medicaid Funding

Please contact the Governor and Legislative Leaders and urge them to: Support the Medicaid Program Support Those Enrolled in Medicaid Support Providers Across the Continuum of Care Background: The Governor and the members of the General Assembly are facing difficult funding choices as they begin to craft a new two-year budget under the shadow of […]

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Valentine Miscellany

Giant Lifelike Gummy Heart Make a cardiologist laugh… (or make an endocrinologist cry, since it weighs in at 1.5 pounds.) Click for details. The Quickest Way to My Heart… “… is through my mediastinum with a #11 blade.“ This and other downloadable clinical expressions of love can be found at Medicine: A Love Story Happy […]

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Racial, Ethnic Disparities Common in CT Hospital Readmissions

The Connecticut State Medical Society hosted a well-attended symposium yesterday highlighting its multi-year research into racial and ethnic disparities in readmissions. The symposium, funded by a generous grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation, brought together physicians, nurses, patients, and other stakeholders from across the state. The stakeholders had an opportunity to review and discuss the […]

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Dr. DeFrancesco Interview on Healthy Rounds

CSMS member and ACOG President-elect Mark DeFrancesco, MD was a recent guest on WTIC’s Healthy Rounds program, hosted by CSMS member Anthony Alessi, MD. Dr. DeFrancesco discussed readmission disparities in Connecticut, noting that CSMS has been active in research and physician education on this issue for many years. He also talked about the upcoming CSMS […]

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Changing Course: CT Mirror series Part 2

Part 2 of the CT Mirror series on childhood trauma, adversity and health. Science suggests that having a secure relationship with a caregiver can help protect a child’s brain and body from the effects of adversity. A Connecticut program for very young children who have experienced trauma or other challenges has gotten results by focusing […]

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The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma – CT Mirror Series

The CT Mirror is featuring a series of reports on childhood trauma, adversity and health. A growing body of research is  links between childhood abuse and neglect, and a wide range of mental and physical illnesses. A key way to target adult diseases, reduce health care costs and address a host of problems throughout life […]

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PQRS Data Submission Process

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently hosted a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) National Provider Call on PQRS data submission. The call covered a number of important topics, including: Submission Information Qualified Registry Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Electronic Health Record (EHR)-based Reporting Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option […]

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Flu Update: CDC Health Alert Network

CDC HEALTH UPDATE / Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network January 9, 2015, 11:00 ET CDCHAN-00375 CDC Health Update Regarding Treatment of Patients with Influenza with Antiviral Medications As a follow-up to HAN 00374 (http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00374.asp, Dec. 3, 2014), CDC is providing 1) a summary of influenza antiviral drug treatment recommendations, 2) an update about […]

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Medicare Quality Reporting Programs: National Provider Call

The January MLN Connects™ National Provider Call will be held on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 from 1:30 – 3 pm. The presentation will provide an overview of the 2014 quality data submission process for Medicare Quality Reporting Programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Payment Modifier, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) […]

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CSMS – The Year in Review

2014 was a busy year for CSMS – we’d like to share some of the highlights with you!

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Congratulations to Connecticut Valley Hospital

The CSMS CME Committee is pleased to announce that Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) of Middletown has been Accredited with Commendation as a CME provider. CVH was the only Connecticut hospital to receive re-accreditation with this designation in 2014. In addition, the CVH Medical Library received Special Recognition for its CME efforts. L-R: Karen Hutchinson, MD, […]

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2014 PQRS Reporting Timeframes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the 2014 PQRS data submission timeframes. A number of these are starting soon, so please take a moment to review if you are reporting PQRS data for 2014. Please note: 2014 PQRS data is used to determine 2016 payment adjustments. Be sure to submit your […]

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Joint Statement on Tenet Healthcare Decision

The Presidents of the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Hartford County Medical Association, the New Haven County Medical Association, the Tolland County Medical Association, and the Waterbury Medical Association have released a joint statement expressing their concern about the recent decision by Tenet Healthcare to withdraw its application to purchase Waterbury Hospital and four other […]

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CSMS 2015 Legislative Agenda

The CSMS Legislative Committee has released the final Legislative Agenda for the 2015 General Assembly Session, which will begin on January 7. The Agenda focuses on four primary topics: Professional Liability Insurance and Reform Contracting, Transparency and Fairness Physician Workforce Issues Proactive Public Health Initiatives Click here for details of these agenda items, as well […]

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DSS Pharmacy Changes for 2015

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (CT DSS) has issued a new provider bulletin (PB 2014-86) detailing pharmacy changes for 2015. These changes include: January 1, 2015 Changes to the Connecticut Medicaid Preferred Drug List (PDL) – modifications to the list of preferred prescription products Reminder About the 5-Day Emergency Supply – DSS allows a […]

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CEHRT Hardship Exception Deadline Reminder: 11/30

Hardship Exception Applications to Avoid the 2015 Medicare Payment Adjustment Due November 30, 2014 CMS reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The deadline is 11:59 PM EST November […]

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10 Medicare PFS Revisions You Need to Know

The AMA has identified the “top 10” policy changes in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. Below is a quick summary; the full document is available here. 1. The sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula calls for a 21.2% cut to physician payments, effective April 1. 2. Continuing medical education (CME) will not be […]

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HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations: HHS/OCR Bulletin

In response to the recent cases of Ebola in the US, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released an updated bulletin with guidance on HIPAA privacy in emergency situations.The bulletin addresses sharing and safeguarding patient information, waivers, and other resources. Although the protections of the HIPAA Privacy Rule are not set aside during […]

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CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Payment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) late Friday issued a final rule for physician reimbursement under Medicare in 2015. The final rule is similar to the proposed rule that CMS issued in July, with a few modifications. For example, CMS had proposed a payment rate of $41.92 for its chronic care management code, […]

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