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CSMS Recent Headlines

FOI Commission Ruling Favors CSMS

(June 29, 2017) Yesterday, Connecticut's Freedom of Information Commission accepted all of the recommendations made earlier this month, finding in favor of CSMS' Freedom of Information Act request to the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID). "[CID] Commissioner [Katharine] Wade, acting in part through her deputy commissioners, is the official directly responsible for denying the complainant its right of prompt access to non-exempt public records. It is found that the exemptions claimed by Commissioner Wade were almost entirely without merit, and it also found that the Commissioner's refusal to submit records for in camera inspection and to provide an index of exempt …

HHS ASPR/CIP HPH Cyber Notice: Current International Ransomware Campaign

From the HHS/ASPR Critical Infrastructure Protection ProgramJune 28, 2017 If you are the victim of a ransomware attack Mitigating against this threat US-CERT Resources Sector ISAO and ISAC resourcesIf you are the victim of a ransomware attackIf your organization is the victim of a ransomware attack, HHS recommends the following steps: Please contact your FBI Field Office Cyber Task Force (www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field/field-offices) or US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force (www.secretservice.gov/investigation/#field) immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. These professionals work with state and local law enforcement and other federal and international partners to pursue cyber criminals globally and …

CSMS Announces CTHealthLink

Connecting for Better Care with New Statewide Health Information ExchangeNew: Webster Bank offers special CTHealthLink financing for CSMS members - customized for your practice. Learn moreIn support of its mission to improve the quality of care and safeguard the health of patients, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) is pleased to announce CTHealthLink, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live. CTHealthLink encompasses an interoperable health information exchange, as well as patient health portals, extensive data analytics tools, and population health solutions.CTHealthLink’s proven technology is already successfully operating in Kansas and similar efforts are under development in Georgia …

2017 Maloney and HLI Award Nominations Now Open

CSMS is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Maloney Distinguished Service Award and the 2017 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 known for his exemplary service, active engagement, and dedication to the community. The Maloney Award is the highest honor CSMS can confer upon a member. Each year, CSMS donates $1,000 to the charity of the Maloney Award winner’s choice. The Connecticut Medicine …

CSMS Hails End to Mega-Mergers: A Significant Victory for Patients and Physicians

For Immediate Release May 12, 2017(North Haven, CT) – Today, Anthem announced that it is ending its effort to merge with Cigna. This is a significant victory for Connecticut physicians and their patients.CSMS President Jeffrey Gordon, MD welcomed the news, saying, “Today, CSMS and its local and national coalition proved that we can make a difference through hard work and relentless advocacy. Together, we are stronger, protecting both access to care and the patient- physician relationship.”This decision is the result of nearly two years of tireless CSMS physician advocacy at the national level, working in partnership with the American Medical …

MIPS Essentials: New CSMS Webinars

We’re halfway through the 2017 MIPS program year – is your practice where it needs to be?Join CSMS for this free one-hour MIPS Essentials webinar, and learn how your practice can succeed. Overview of 2017 MIPS participation MIPS components and scoring MIPS reporting options Live Q&A session – get real-time answers for your MIPS questionsOffered at two convenient times: Thursday, 6/22 from 4 - 5 pm (register) and Tuesday, 6/27 from 12:15 - 1:15 (register).

CSMS Applauds Court Decision on Anthem-Cigna Merger

CSMS applauds today’s decision by the US Court of Appeals to uphold the District Court ruling that blocked the Anthem-Cigna merger.“Since late 2015, CSMS has expressed serious concerns about the negative impact of the Anthem-Cigna ‘mega-mergers’ on patients and physicians. The anti-competitive effects of the merger would have forced patients to accept higher prices and reduced access to care,” said CSMS President Jeffrey Gordon, MD. “Continued access to high quality medical care can only come through competition, not consolidation, in insurance markets.”  

CDC Health Advisory: Recommendations for Diagnosing and Managing Shigella Strains with Possible Reduced Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin

https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00401.aspDistributed via the CDC Health Alert NetworkApril 18, 2017, 16:00 ET (4:00 PM ET)CDCHAN-00401SummaryThis Health Advisory describes the identification of emerging Shigella strains with elevated minimum inhibitory concentration values for ciprofloxacin and outlines new recommendations for clinical diagnosis, management, and reporting, as well as new recommendations for laboratories and public health officials. Current interpretive criteria provided by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) categorize these strains as susceptible to ciprofloxacin, which is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and a key agent in the management of Shigella infections.However, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and …

Open Payments Review and Dispute Period Now Open

You can now review your 2016 Open Payments data, which shows any payments drug or device companies say they made to you. If the data is wrong, you can dispute it and give those companies the chance to fix the data before the public can see it on 6/30/17.Data review is not required, but it is strongly encouraged.If you wish to dispute any of the data, be sure to initiate your dispute before the review period closes on May 15, 2017.If the dispute is initiated after 5/15, any corrections will not be reflected in the published data. Need to register? …

CSMS, KHS Partner on Physician-led Health Information Network for Connecticut

For immediate release March 29, 2017 CSMS, KHS Partner on Physician-led Health Information Network for ConnecticutIn support of its mission to improve the quality of care and safeguard the health of patients, the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with KaMMCO Health Solutions (KHS) to establish a statewide, physician-led health information network.This new health information network, also known as a health information exchange, will allow connected physicians, hospitals and other providers to share patient information, employing powerful analytic tools designed to help improve clinical outcomes, reduce inefficiencies, and positively impact patient safety. A launch …

CSMS Joins AMA in Letter to New CMS Administrator

Below is the text of a letter signed by CSMS, the American Medical Association, and other state and national specialty societies. Click to view the PDF of the letter.March 21, 2017Seema VermaAdministratorCenters for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesDepartment of Health and Human ServicesHubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 445-G200 Independence Avenue, SWWashington, DC 20201Dear Administrator Verma:The undersigned physician organizations welcome the Trump Administration’s emphasis on reducing regulatory burdens. Congress recognized when it passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in an overwhelming bipartisan vote that the existing Medicare value-based purchasing programs affecting physicians—Meaningful Use (MU), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), …

AMA Statement on CBO Estimates of Health Reform Bill

Statement attributable to:Andrew W. Gurman, M.D.President, American Medical Association“Today’s estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office underscore the AMA’s concerns about the AHCA as it is written: If this bill were to become law, CBO projects 14 million Americans who have gained coverage in recent years could lose it in 2018. For the AMA, that outcome is unacceptable. While the Affordable Care Act was an imperfect law, it was a significant improvement on the status quo at the time, and the AMA believes we need continued progress to expand coverage for the uninsured. Unfortunately, the current proposal – as the …

Webster Bank Cybersecurity Presentation: "It's Not a Case of If, but When"

CSMS Affinity Partner Webster Bank presented an informative program on cybersecurity for CSMS member physicians and practice administrators on February 22.Attendees were welcomed by Matthew Katz, CSMS EVP/CEO, and Jordan Arovas, Webster Bank SVP and Manager of Webster's Specialty Banking Group.The presentation featured Laurance Selnick, Webster Bank SVP, Director, Treasury & Payment Solutions Sales; Matt Kozloski, VP of Professional Services at Kelser Corporation; and Larry Racioppo, SVP of Management and Professional Services at USI Insurance Services.The presentation team walked the audience through the basics of cybersecurity, types of fraud and cyber risks ("It's not a case of if, but when... …

CSMS Hails Anthem-Cigna Merger Decision

A Clear Victory for Physicians and PatientsFor immediate release February 9, 2017(North Haven, CT) – Connecticut State Medical Society President Jeffrey Gordon, MD and CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz have issued the following statement in response to last night’s US District Court ruling:The Connecticut State Medical Society applauds the ruling made by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson against the proposed $54B merger between insurance giants Anthem and Cigna. This is a clear victory for physicians and patients, protecting accessibility, affordability and quality of medical care. In Connecticut, the merger would have further consolidated our state’s already highly-concentrated insurance market. Judge …

CT Health Insurance Literacy: FAIR Health White Paper

CSMS Affinity Partner FAIR Health has released a new report, Improving Health Insurance Literacy in the State of Connecticut.Although Connecticut has been a leader in enrolling residents in health insurance, the FAIR Health paper finds there is still work to be done in improving low levels of health insurance literacy (HIL) among the newly insured, minorities and others. "Ironically, barriers to understanding and using coverage may reinforce the racial/ethnic disparities that the ACA sought to eliminate, undermining the law's potential to advance health equity." View the full white paper here.FAIR Health has also developed the free FH® Cost Lookup CT …

CSMS Applauds Federal Judge’s Decision to Block Aetna-Humana Merger

For immediate release January 23, 2017(North Haven, CT) – Connecticut State Medical Society President Jeffrey Gordon, MD and CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz have issued the following statement in response to today’s US District Court ruling:The Connecticut State Medical Society strongly supports the ruling made by US District Judge John D. Bates against the proposed $37B merger between Aetna and Humana.Since late 2015, CSMS has expressed serious concerns about the proposed Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna “mega-mergers,” and the potential negative effects of those mergers on physicians, patients, and insurance markets.CSMS has been working here in Connecticut with the Universal Healthcare Foundation of …

CSMS President Joins US Reps, Lt Gov for ACA Presser

CSMS President Jeffrey Gordon, MD was invited to speak at a press conference hosted by US Representatives Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) on the effects of ACA repeal on Connecticut. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also participated in the press conference.In his remarks, Dr. Gordon acknowledged that physicians in Connecticut (and across the country) have not agreed on every aspect of the ACA. However, he noted "[A] majority will agree that we must fight to maintain certain provisions of the Act... and continue to to ensure that patients have access to the services needed in an affordable manner, without …

Demystifying MACRA

CSMS executives provided a deep dive into Medicare's new Quality Payment Programs (QPP) at today's Demystifying MACRA program, presented by Qualidigm and the New England Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (New England QIN-QIO).The CME program provided physicians and practice administrators from across New England with an in-depth look at MACRA and its two Quality Payment Programs: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM).After a warm welcome from Qualidigm Principal and Vice President of Community Relations Anne Elwell, the CSMS team went to work.CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz, MS offered an overview of Medicare quality programs and how …

New: MIPS Tool

PQRS is over (except for the 2016 data reporting), and MACRA's Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is here.To help you maximize your MIPS potential, CSMS members who have renewed their 2017 membership can receive The MIPS Navigator™ free of charge.The MIPS Navigator™ is an on-line tool that makes it possible for individual clinicians or practice administrators to quickly and easily sort through the various MIPS alternatives and produce a “2017 MIPS Itinerary/Plan” designed to maximize their potential 2019 MIPS bonus.By answering a few questions specific to your practice, the MIPS Navigator™ will let you determine: Whether you or your practice …

Q1 Deadlines for Reporting 2016 PQRS Data

It's time to report your 2016 PQRS data! The deadlines vary by reporting method, so be sure to review the chart below and don't miss out on the reporting window.Download chart hereRemember: if you don't successfully report 2016 PQRS data, you'll be subject to a -2.0% PQRS payment adjustment in 2018. In addition, unsuccessful 2016 PQRS reporting will trigger an additional payment adjustment of -2.0% (-4.0% for groups of 10 or more) from the Value-Based Payment Modifier.