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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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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