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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H.R. 5539: Common-Sense Changes for the Sunshine Act

After nearly three decades in private practice, Texas physician Michael Burgess, MD now represents Texas’ 26th District in the US House. Dr. Burgess has sponsored H.R. 5539, which would clarify that certain applicable manufacturer transfers of value to support independent certified/accredited medical educational programs and materials (including medical textbooks, peer-reviewed medical reprints, and journals) are […]

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Delay of Additional Documentation Request Letters Affecting Part B Connecticut and New York Providers

National Government Services has identified an issue with additional documentation request (ADR) letters for Medicare Part B claims were not sent in a timely manner. This impacted Part B providers from Connecticut and New York only. For the period of 9/17-10/20/2014, letters for claims requiring additional documentation to make a payment determination were not mailed. […]

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CSMS Participated in Ebola Roundtable

(October 22, 2014) — CSMS President Robert Russo, MD and CSMS Legislative Chair David Emmel, MD were among those invited to participate in a roundtable on Ebola hosted by US Representative John Larson (CT-1) at Hartford Healthcare. Rep. Larson was joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, and US Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2) for […]

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CSMS Health Insurance Survey: The Physician Perspective

Dear Colleague, As a Connecticut physician, you are well aware of the extent to which health insurance companies rate, rank, and categorize you and your practice. CSMS would like to offer you an opportunity to rate Connecticut’s health insurance companies. This brief survey will ask for your perspective on topics such as patient impact, timeliness […]

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New CDC Guidance for Managing Patients with Ebola

The CDC has released new guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers managing patients with Ebola virus. This guidance contains the following key principles: 1. Prior to working with Ebola patients, all healthcare workers involved in the care of Ebola patients must have received repeated training and have demonstrated competency in performing all […]

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Insurers Reaping Profits While Weakening Healthcare – NH Register

This letter to the editor by CSMS Vice Chair Steve Wolfson, MD was published in today’s New Haven Register. The letter discusses physician concerns with current approaches to telemedicine. Click to read the full letter.

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Flu Vaccine Added to Fee Schedule – CT DSS Provider Bulletin

Effective for dates of service October 1, 2014 and forward, the Department of Social Services (DSS) will allow reimbursement for procedure code 90688 (Influenza virus vaccine, quadrivalent, split virus, when administered to individuals 3 years of age and older, for intramuscular use) under the physician office and outpatient fee schedule. Since procedure code 90688 is […]

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CDC issues new Ebola recommendations for health professionals

The CDC has released a new Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory with Ebola recommendations for health professionals. The HAN Advisory provides background information, as well as information about the clinical presentation and clinical course of Ebola, infection control, patient management, and diagnostic testing. To view the full advisory, which includes downloadable clinical guidelines, please click […]

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CT Medicare Advantage market sees new competition

The Hartford Business Journal interviewed CSMS President Robert Russo, MD and CSMS Councilor Bollepalli Subbarao, MD about the changes in Connecticut’s Medicare Advantage (MA) landscape following last year’s abrupt and significant cuts by United Healthcare. Read the full story here.

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Plan aims to aid patients waiting for liver in New England

In today’s New Haven Register, the story Plan aims to aid patients waiting for liver in New England features a quote from CSMS member David Mulligan, MD. Dr. Mulligan is the head of the committee and professor in chief of transplantation and immunology at the Yale School of Medicine.  

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HBJ Healthcare Heroes Awards

Nominations are open for the Hartford Business Journal’s 2014 Healthcare Heroes Awards. These awards identify outstanding leaders in the healthcare industry who are the epitome of a “hero,” and recognizes their excellence in helping others.  The Health Care Heroes Awards identifies outstanding leaders in the health care industry who are the epitome of a “hero.” […]

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2014 Physicians Foundation Survey Results

Earlier this year, The Physicians Foundation, a non-profit group of physician and medical society leaders, conducted its third national survey of America’s physicians. The PF survey is instrumental in conveying physician opinions about the current state of the medical profession. National survey results Connecticut-specific results Many thanks to the CSMS members who participated in the […]

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CSMS Opposes H.R. 5304, Signs National Letter

The Connecticut State Medical Society joined more than 110 state and national specialty medical societies in signing a letter opposing H.R. 5304. H.R. 5304 is a bill that would inappropriately allow audiologists to have direct access to Medicare patients without a physician referral. It would also amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to […]

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CSMS Names Rep. DeLauro as Legislator of the Year

September 12, 2014 (New Haven, CT) — The Connecticut State Medical Society presented U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) with the CSMS Legislator of the Year Award at its 2014 Annual Meeting. Since first being elected to Congress in 1990, Rep. DeLauro has consistently focused on improving the quality of life for her constituents, and she […]

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Maloney Distinguished Service Award

CSMS Presents 2014 Maloney Distinguished Service Award to Richard Torres, MD   September 12, 2014 (New Haven, CT) — The highest honor CSMS can confer upon a member, the Paul K. Maloney, Jr., MD Distinguished Service Award was established to honor the life and work of Dr. Maloney, an eminent physician known for his exemplary […]

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HLI Award – 2014 Winner

CSMS Presents 2014 Healthcare Leader/Innovator Award to David Hass, MD   September 12, 2014 (New Haven) — The Connecticut Medicine Health Care Leader and Innovator (HLI) Award is presented to a physician at any stage of practice who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership and innovation at a time of significant changes in the practice […]

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Connecticut Medicine – September 2014

The September edition of Connecticut Medicine is now available online. Click here to view the digital edition.  

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New CT DSS Bulletin: Reimbursement for Practitioner Services Rendered in a Facility Setting

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (CT DSS) has released a new provider bulletin: PB 14-60: Reimbursement for Practitioner Services Rendered in a Facility Setting. If you provide care for patients in the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP), please review the bulletin for changes in reimbursement for practitioners based on the facility type code/place of […]

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New CMS rule will allow flexibility in Certified EHR technology for 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule allowing more flexibility in using certified EHR technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use (MU) reporting requirements for 2014. The change is expected to result in greater provider participation, and more will be able to meet MU objectives such as electronic prescribing, drug […]

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Ether Dome @Hartford Stage

“In 1846, the world was forever changed by a dentist from Hartford.” Join Hartford Stage for the East Coast premiere of Ether Dome, an original play based upon the discovery of anesthesia in 1846 by Hartford’s own Horace Wells.  This riveting play highlights the struggle between the earnest Wells and his manipulative protégé, William Morton, […]

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CSMS’ Matt Katz Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Nominated by HealthyCT CEO Ken Lalime, CSMS EVP/CEO Matt Katz stepped up to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Click here to see Matt’s #IceBucketChallenge. Cold, wet, yet undaunted, Matt in turn has challenged CSMS member Steve Fleischman, MD and Ohio State Medical Association CEO Brent Mulgrew to support the ALS Association in its efforts to […]

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Share Your Experience: Take the Open Payments Survey

The AMA has issued a nationwide survey to  gather information from physicians about their experiences registering for the Open Payments (Sunshine Act) system and reviewing their data. Please click here to take the brief advocacy survey. The AMA wants to know what you think about the Open Payments System.  The deadline to complete the survey […]

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Courant Editorial on Physician Volunteers & Liability

Today’s Hartford Courant ran a common-sense editorial on the need to reconsider liability for physician volunteers. Connecticut needs an Access to Health Care Act similar to Florida’s. Imagine the improvement in care for poor people if one were to be passed.

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2014 Biondino Golf Classic Roundup

The day began with clouds and a few raindrops, but the sun — and the golfers — turned out for the shotgun start of this year’s Biondino Golf Classic to benefit the CSMS Charitable Trust. Held at the Wallingford Country Club on July 28, Classic Co-Chairs Steve Fleischman, MD and Ben Gardner, MD organized a […]

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ICD-10 webinar – August 5

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for an eHealth provider webinar on CMS ICD-10 resources tomorrow, August 5, 2014 from noon – 1 pm. CMS offers a variety of practice resources, including the Road to 10, a free online tool that enables small provider practices to create an ICD-10 action plan and […]

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Dueling Rulings

Yesterday saw conflicting Obamacare rulings issued by two U.S. Appeals Courts: one striking down subsidies for federally-run exchanges (Halbig v. Burwell, U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia), and one upholding them (King v. Burwell, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit). The CT Mirror has an overview of what the rulings mean […]

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Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule for 2015

The annual proposed rule to govern Medicare physician payment policy in 2015 was published in the Federal Register[gpo.gov] on July 11 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Key provisions for 2015 include Chronic Care Management, RUC/CPT, Telehealth, VBM and more. Click here to see a summary of the key provisions. Physicians wishing […]

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Inspirational Physician Award

The AMA’s Women Physicians Section (WPS) is now accepting nominations for its annual Inspirational Physician Award.  Formerly the Physician Mentor Recognition Program, the Inspirational Physician Award recognizes physicians who have offered their time, wisdom and support throughout their professional journeys. The individual may have inspired you to greater heights, steered you into a specialty you […]

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Nurse Practitioners Gain Flexibility With New State Laws

Connecticut isn’t the only state facing changes in scope of practice. This Kaiser Health News story features a quote from CSMS member Robert McLean, MD. Click here to read the full article.

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CSMS Awarded CT Health Grant

The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) awarded the Connecticut State Medical Society a one-year $76,625 grant for an initiative to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in 30-day hospital readmission rates. The grant enables CSMS to continue its research in racial and ethnic readmission disparities. This initiative will be primarily focused on two conditions: uncomplicated childbirth […]

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Yale med students, volunteers commit to caring

Yale medical students and CSMS members Isha Di Bartolo, Nicole Krenitsky, Ian McConnell, and Bobby Rosen were profiled in a recent New Haven Register story about the Haven Free Clinic. Haven Free Clinic reinforces the idea that health care is not one-way. By giving, the students receive benefits to carry with them through their careers.  […]

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DeLauro, Blumenthal – New Medicare Advantage Bill

(North Haven, CT – 6/27/14) — A new Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights has been formally introduced in the US House by Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, along with Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (full […]

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Indoor tanning leads to early skin cancer

CSMS member Jeffrey Salomon, MD was quoted in this WFSB story about the  dangers of indoor tanning for teens and young adults. Dr. Salomon is an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine.    

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CT Emergency Preparedness Exercise

Connecticut just completed a statewide emergency preparedness exercise that allowed the state, local municipalities, utility companies and the private sector to enhance readiness and disaster preparedness, including mass care planning, in advance of the Connecticut’s hurricane season. The exercise, which simulated a Category 1 hurricane, took place on Saturday, June 21 and Monday, June 23. […]

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Administrative Simplification Initiatives

Learn more about Administrative Simplification initiatives and how they can simplify your practice at this CMS e-Health webinar on Thursday, June 26 from noon – 1:30 pm. Join subject matter experts from CMS and The Electronic Payments Association (NACHA) to hear about: Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Remittance Advice (ERA) Operating Rules Automated Clearing House […]

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Two Local Doctors Try New Model

CSMS members Thomas Blum, MD and Domenic Casablanca, MD were interviewed in The Day: Two local doctors try new model to offer ‘customized, enhanced primary care’.    

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Physicians Foundation Releases New ACA Report

The Physicians Foundation recently released Part II of their ACA Critical Issues white paper series, Beyond the Horizon into 2015. The white paper is organized into three chapters: The ACA: CBO Speaks, Shadow of the Mid-Term Elections, and Assessing the Initial Coverage Rollout The ACA: The Changing American Healthcare Marketplace Select Issues for Physicians in […]

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Anthem Provider Update

Anthem recently released information regarding payment for ACA-Compliant Individual and Small Group Claims. In response to concerns about the length of time needed to process these claims, Anthem has taken several steps: Expedited professional claims processing for their other products in an effort to maintain provider cash flow, and increased the frequency of professional remittances. […]

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CT Senators Helping Physicians Affected by Identity Theft

(North Haven, CT) – In a letter released today, Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy requested a briefing on the physician ID theft investigation from the Director of the US Secret Service and the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Noting that physicians are not only “vital healthcare providers in their communities but also […]

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Antimicrobial Stewardship

A Call to Action for Connecticut Physicians The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) has issued a call to action to Connecticut physicians, urging a new approach to reducing the number of antibiotic-resistant infections in our state. National and international experts recognize resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials as a serious public health threat. […]

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