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CSMS: A Look Back at 2016

2016 was a busy and successful year for CSMS. Our member physicians were active in state and national advocacy, research projects, philanthropy, education and other efforts. Click on the video below for a summary of the year.Thank you for being a member of CSMS. Your commitment made this year possible. With your continued support, 2017 can be a great year for physicians and patients across Connecticut.

Holiday Greetings from CSMS President Jeffrey Gordon, MD

Dear Colleague,On behalf of the Connecticut State Medical Society, best wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season.I want to thank you for your membership in CSMS. With your support, CSMS was able to serve as a strong advocate for Connecticut physicians and patients in 2016. Among this year’s important achievements, CSMS successfully: Strengthened network adequacy protections for physicians and patients Established reasonable non-compete agreements that don’t impede physician practice Hosted a public forum on prescription drug pricing with the State Comptroller Blocked bills from the trial lawyers which would have worsened our state’s already-bad liability climate Worked with …

DEA Reverses Announced Change to Registration Renewal Process

After last week's announcement (DEA Eliminates Informal Grace Period for Registration Renewals), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has largely reversed this decision with one minor change.From the American Medical Association:We recently alerted the Federation to a notice from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that effective January 1, 2017, the DEA was changing its long-standing policy of allowing a grace period for registrants who failed to file a timely renewal application. Late yesterday afternoon, the DEA reversed its decision and posted a notice that it is retaining its current policy and procedures, with one minor change, regarding registration renewals. The revised …

CSMS Physicians Leading CT Medical Marijuana Research Efforts

New medical research projects are placing Connecticut at the forefront of national medical marijuana research.Earlier today, the Connecticut Hospice hosted a press conference to highlight its newly-approved medical marijuana research project. CSMS member and AMA Delegate Ted Zanker, MD is the principal investigator for the research project, which is designed to reduce opioid use in palliative care.CSMS Legislative Chair David Emmel, MD joined Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jonathan Harris in speaking at today's press conference. In his remarks, Dr. Emmel noted that the project is an important first step in …

CSMS Submits Formal Comments on CON Task Force Recommendations

Earlier this year, Governor Dannel Malloy issued an Executive Order establishing a Certificate of Need (CON)Task Force. The Task Force was directed to undertake a review and analysis of the state’s CON process and programs, and determine if changes are necessary to ensure quality of care and access for all state residents and the preservation of an open and competitive health care market. CSMS Past President Gary Price, MD is a member of the CON Task Force, and has been a strong advocate for physicians.CSMS, with the support or several surgical specialty organizations, recently submitted comments in response to recommendations …

DEA Eliminates Informal "Grace Period" for Registration Renewals

(Via the American Medical Association)Through a notice on its website, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process. Effective January 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations. Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant’s “mail to” address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided. The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be …

CSMS Charitable Trust & PHEF: Your Donation Makes a Difference

As we approach the end of 2016, please consider making tax-deductible donations to the CSMS Charitable Trust and the CSMS Physician Health and Education Fund (PHEF). Your support helps make a positive difference in the health of Connecticut.Since its founding, the CSMS Charitable Trust has awarded more than $500,000 to fighting hunger and homelessness. The CSMS Trust is funded exclusively by voluntary contributions from Connecticut physicians, and through the annual Biondino Memorial Golf Classic. 100% of all funds raised go directly to the Charitable Trust. In 2016, the Charitable Trust donated to 15 organizations that provide food, shelter and services …

MACRA QPP Comment Period Closing 12/19

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule with comment period incorporates input received to date. To continue building on a user-centric approach, CMS is seeking feedback for future rulemaking. We welcome feedback from patients, caregivers, clinicians, healthcare professionals, Congress and others on how to better achieve the goals of the program. CMS is currently seeking feedback on the topics below through 5 p.m. on December 19, 2016.Under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS):1. Virtual Groups [81 FR 77074-81 FR 77076]:We intend to implement virtual groups for the 2018 calendar year performance period and we intend to address all of the …

HealthyCT To Move Into Liquidation; Claims Will Be Paid

As HealthyCT moves into liquidation, providers should know:– You should continue to provide healthcare services without interruption to HealthyCT members.– You will be paid for covered services delivered to HealthyCT members per your contract. Claims will be processed as usual.– You should continue to submit claims for services as usual.The complete news release is available here: healthyct-provider-alert

CSMS Charitable Trust Announces 2016 Donations

(North Haven, CT) – The Connecticut State Medical Society Charitable Trust is pleased to announce its 2016 donations to the following organizations: AIDS Project New Haven American Liver Foundation, Connecticut Chapter, North Haven The American Red Cross of Connecticut, New Haven Channel 3 Kids’ Camp, Coventry CRIS Radio, Windsor The Diaper Bank, North Haven HAVEN, Southington Interval House, Hartford Malta House of Care, Waterbury Natchaug River Young Marines, Dayville New Reach, New Haven The Open Hearth, Hartford Project Access-New Haven Prudence Crandall Center, New Britain Safe Futures, New LondonCSMS President Jeffrey A. Gordon, MD presented the donations at the CSMS …

Informal Review Deadline Extended to 12/7

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced an extension of the deadline to request an Informal Review of the 2017 Value Modifier (VM) payment adjustment. Originally November 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET, the new deadline is December 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET.Do I need an Informal Review?You need to review your Annual Quality and Resource Use Report (AQRUR) to see whether you will be subject to a -2% VM payment adjustment in 2017. If you think that you have been assigned the VM incorrectly, you can request an Informal Review from CMS.What's an AQRUR, and how …

Doctors in the the House

The Connecticut State Medical Society is proud to recognize three of our members who brought their commitment to physician advocacy to an even higher level by running for state House seats in this election cycle.William A. Petit, Jr., MD CT-22Former CSMS Council Chair Dr. Petit unseated long-term incumbent Betty Boukus, running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and a focus on core functions such as public safety, providing services and protecting those most vulnerable in our society (children, very elderly and the disabled) and providing adequate infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.).  Prasad Srinivasan, MD CT-31Dr. Srinivasan is returning to represent the 31st …

Meaningful Use Update

To participate successfully in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs in 2016, providers must be in active engagement with a public health agency. Eligible professionals (EPs) must submit electronic public health data using certified EHR technology (CEHRT), except where prohibited and in accordance with applicable law and practice.2016 Public Health Reporting RequirementsThe public health reporting objective for 2016 includes three measures for EPs, and four measures for eligible hospitals and CAHs. EPs must attest to any combination of two measures, and eligible hospitals and CAHs must attest to any combination of three measures. Measure 1: Immunization …

New FAIR Health App: Find CT Medical and Dental Costs, Plan Your Cost of Care

CSMS Affinity Partner FAIR Health has launched a free mobile app that enables both insured and uninsured healthcare consumers to estimate the costs of medical and dental services received in Connecticut. The app also has cost information for the neighboring states of New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.Available in English and Spanish, the FH® Cost Lookup CT app includes: Educational articles that explain health insurance CT-specific healthcare issues Links to community resources for related services, including healthcare and transportation assistanceDownload the app by visiting the iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app is funded by a grant from the …

2017 Connecticut Medicine Cover Photo Contest: Focus on CT

Connecticut Medicine is pleased to announce a new photo contest, with the winning images selected for use on the journal’s cover in 2017.CSMS members travel the world, and many have shared their amazing photos with us. Past Connecticut Medicine covers have featured member photos from Marrakech and Guatemala to Haiti and Nepal.This year’s contest theme is closer to home: “Focus on Connecticut” provides an opportunity for CSMS members to appreciate the beauty of our state.Send your submissions to pdumond@csms.org. Please use the subject line “CT Med Photos.”

224th CSMS Annual Meeting

Nearly 200 physicians and guests from across New England were on hand for the 224th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut State Medical Society. Held at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, the evening featured: Jeffrey A. Gordon, MD was inaugurated as the 178th President of the Connecticut State Medical Society. Dr. Gordon, a hematologist-oncologist, is the first CSMS President from Windham County in 30 years. The CSMS Legislative Awards were presented to Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) for their commitment and dedication to preserving and strengthening the practice of medicine in …

CT Senators Fasano, Kelly Call for "Re-start" to CID's Anthem-Cigna Review

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), the ranking Republican member of the Insurance & Real Estate Committee, called on the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) to "re-start" the Anthem-Cigna merger review process.Their letter, in response to last week's decision by CID Commissioner Katharine Wade to recuse herself from the Anthem-Cigna merger review, called on CID Deputy Commissioner Timothy Curry to re-start the process “with fresh eyes and leadership” and to “assign new staff with no past or present ties to either Cigna or Anthem to oversee the process.”Highlights of the letter include: “We, …

CSMS Statement on EpiPen Price Spikes

The physicians of the Connecticut State Medical Society are deeply concerned by the recent EpiPen price spikes. The pens are a simple, reliable mechanism for delivering a pre-measured dose of epinephrine to patients experiencing life-threatening allergic reactions. EpiPen manufacturer Mylan has increased the price of the pens by more than 550% over the past eight years, placing patient access to this life-saving medication at risk.In response to this unprecedented spike in EpiPen prices, CSMS President Henry Jacobs, MD, JD has issued the following statement:We physicians feel that Mylan has violated the public trust and imperiled the lives of those who …

Turn the Tide on Opioid Abuse: US Surgeon General

This week, the Office of the US Surgeon General is mailing a letter to nearly 2.3 million doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It is a direct appeal from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, calling on these professionals to join a movement that can help stem our nation’s prescription opioid epidemic. The Surgeon General's office has developed a digital home for this initiative at www.TurnTheTideRx.org.The site provides clinicians with a number of resources to improve prescribing practices and educate patients about the proper use of opioids. It’s also a platform to share your stories, challenges and best practices on this …

Medicare Revalidation Deadlines Coming Soon

If you participate in Medicare Part B, you must complete a CMS revalidation application every 5 years.Not sure if you have to revalidate now? Use the Medicare Revalidation Look Up Tool to find if and when your revalidation is needed. It's easy (and fast). Just enter your name and/or NPI, plus your state, then hit "search."See "TBD" in your file? You don't need to revalidate at this time.See a date? You need to revalidateHow do I revalidate?The most efficient way to submit your revalidation application is by using the CMS Internet-based PECOS system. PECOS allows you to review information currently …