membership@csms.org 203-865-0587

CSMS Recent Headlines

Changing Times, Changing Work, Changing Culture

The first of a new AMA educational series on physician burnout and resiliency made its debut today, with a webinar led by led by nationally-known speaker Bruce Bagley, MD.Dr. Bagley provided a overview of the rapidly-changing practice environment, and the ways these changes can stress physicians and practice staff. He then introduced the STEPS Forward program and office practice transformation. Click to view the webinar.Registration is open for the next program in the series, Provider Worklife and Wellness. This live CME event will be held at Hartford Hospital on May 24.The series wraps up with Physician Resiliency Assessment and Response, …

National Attention for CT Opioid Efforts

Earlier today, CSMS was honored to host a special meeting on opioid prescribing and addiction issues with Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and a multidisciplinary group of practicing Connecticut physicians. Director Botticelli was joined by US Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) for an opportunity to hear directly from front-line physicians about their challenges, and their recommendations for federal support.Director Botticelli noted that Connecticut has been at the forefront of opioid efforts, and applauded our state's efforts on issues like prescriber education and the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). Rep. DeLauro spoke about …

Back by Popular Demand: Live PQRS Webinars

The deadlines to submit your 2015 PQRS data are coming up fast, so CSMS is offering two encore presentations of PQRS: What You Need to Know in 2016.Wednesday, 2/17 at 4 pm & Thursday, 2/18 at 12:15 pm Get the information you need, and take advantage of the opportunity for live Q&A.

Zika Virus Resources

This page content has been transferred to csms.org/zika (click to view updates)With Zika virus in the news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) have the information that you -- and your patients -- need:For Physicians Practice Advisory: Updated Interim Guidance for Care of Women of Reproductive Age During a Zika Virus Outbreak American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 3/31/16 Webinar - From Ebola to Zika: What Do Providers Need to Know? (3/29 @3 pm Central - hosted by Modern Healthcare) MMWR Interim Guidelines for Health Care Providers Caring for …

Physician Resiliency Series

CSMS and HCMA are pleased to introduce a new educational series from the American Medical Association, focusing on the growing issues of physician burnout and resiliency.The three-part series begins with Improving Physician Resiliency on March 2, a webinar led by nationally-known speaker Bruce Bagley, MD.Dr. Bagley will also lead Provider Work Life and Wellness, a live CME event at Hartford Hospital on May 24. Register online for the 5/24 event. Click here to download a printable registration form for the 5/24 event.The series culminates with Physician Resiliency Assessment and Response, a webinar led by Christine Sinsky, MD on July 20. …

CSMS Supports Breast Tomosynthesis Coverage for Medicaid Patients

The Connecticut State Medical Society recently sent a letter to the Connecticut Department of Social Services in support of SPA 16-003: HIPAA Billing Code and Reimbursement Update - Physician Fee Schedule.The SPA would add breast tomosynthesis codes to the Medicaid program. CSMS supports that decision, and has been very vocal regarding the benefits of tomosynthesis relative to other imaging devices.Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tomosynthesis uses multiple images from multiple angles to create a three-dimensional, high-resolution picture of the breast. A mammogram usually takes only a two-dimensional image of each breast, from top to bottom and side …

Adult Pneumococcal Vaccine Timing

Following up on earlier guidance regarding pneumococcal vaccination in adults, the Connecticut Immunization Coalition has developed a new handout with the algorithm for the two pneumococcal vaccines in circulation (13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine).Click to downloadThe Connecticut Immunization Coalition has additional information here: https://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_pneumococcal_vaccines.asp

New CT Department of Public Health Hereditary Cancer Genomics Resource

From the Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office:With the rise of personalized medicine, and rapid advances in genomic sequencing technology and diagnostic testing, healthcare providers and consumers have an increased need for accurate information about genetic testing, genomics, and heritable conditions. In response to these information needs, the Connecticut Department of Public Health Genomics Office has published a new version of Cancer Genomics Best Practices for Connecticut Healthcare Providers. In a concise format, the booklet provides information and resources for healthcare providers, patients, and patient family members about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome (LS, …

Share Your Thoughts: CMS Quality Measures Reporting RFI

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment/feedback on several items, including: Certification of health information technology (IT), including EHR products used for reporting to PQRS How often to require recertification The number of clinical quality measures (CQMs) a certified Health IT Module should be required to certify Testing of certified Health IT Module(s)The CMS Request for Information (RFI) was issued on 12/31/15, and the comment period is open through 5 pm on February 1, 2016. Comments may be submitted via email, mail, express/overnight mail, or by hand. Details available here.CSMS urges practicing physicians to take …

2015: The Year in Review

CSMS had another great year in 2015, with legislative successes, nationally-published research on readmission disparities, strong physician advocacy on a range of public health issues, programs for residents and fellows, and more.Here's a video review of these and other highlights from 2015:You can view this and other CSMS videos on our YouTube channel

Cost Transparency: Physician Impact in 2016

On January 1, 2016, an important section of this year’s healthcare reform legislation takes effect. While most physicians currently do so for their patients, Public Act 15-146 will require physicians to provide certain information to patients for non-emergency care prior to services being provided. If you have questions or concerns about the implementation of this requirement, please contact CSMS SVP for Government Affairs Ken Ferrucci.Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2015) (a) On and after January 1, 2016, each health care provider shall, prior to any scheduled admission, procedure or service, for nonemergency care, determine whether the patient is covered …

PQRS: What You Need to Know in 2016

Start 2016 off on the right foot and join CSMS for this new Medicare quality webinar. Avoid negative payment adjustments in 2017 by successfully reporting your 2015 PQRS data Learn about changes in the PQRS and VM programs Preview the transition from PQRS to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)The webinar will be offered at two convenient dates and times: Tuesday, January 12 12:15 - 1 pm Register Thursday, January 21 4 - 4:45 pm RegisterBoth webinars will have opportunities for live Q&A, so bring your questions and get real-time answers.

CSMS Charitable Trust & PHEF: Your Donation Makes a Difference

As we approach the end of 2015, 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.Founded in 1989, 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 2015, the Charitable Trust donated $39,000 to 14 organizations that provide food, shelter and …

How to Request an Informal PQRS Review (Deadline Extended to 12/16)

Do you have questions about your 2014 PQRS reporting status, or concerns about potentially receiving the -2.0% PQRS negative payment adjustment in 2016?It's not too late to submit an informal review request.CMS will be in contact with every individual eligible professional (EP) or PQRS group practice that submits a request for an informal review of their 2014 PQRS data. Additionally, revised 2014 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) are now available via the CMS Enterprise Portal.Not sure how to navigate your AQRUR? Check out the free, on-demand CSMS AQRUR webinar.All informal review requests must be submitted electronically via the …

CSMS Members Honored as HBJ Health Care Heroes

CSMS was well-represented at today's Hartford Business Journal Health Care Heroes Awards ceremony: award finalists Pauline Olsen, MD, William Petit, Jr., MD, Jack Ross, MD, Hank Schwartz, MD, and Prasad Srinivasan, MD are all accomplished professionals who have demonstrated tireless commitment to the communities they serve.Dr. Olsen, winner of the 2016 Health Care Heroes Volunteer Award, is one of the founders of Malta House of Care, which utilizes a mobile medical van and volunteer health providers to deliver free primary health care to vulnerable communities in the Greater Hartford region. Dr. Olsen helped found the organization in 2006 after retiring …

CMS Extends Informal Review Deadline

CMS has announced an extension of the deadline to request an informal review of 2014 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (AQRUR) - it is now December 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm (previously 12/11/15).Your 2014 AQRUR (Annual Quality and Resource Use Report) shows whether you successfully participated in PQRS in 2014.If you didn't report PQRS in 2014, you will receive an automatic -2.0% adjustment in your 2016 Medicare payments.For groups of 10+, 2014 non-participation in PQRS results in an additional automatic -2.0% Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) adjustment in 2016 Medicare payments.***Review your 2014 AQRUR to make sure your PQRS status …

Veterans Health Resources: "A Nationwide Community of Care"

CSMS was honored to host Lucile Burgo-Black, MD for a program on healthcare for veterans and their families. Dr. Burgo-Black is the National Co-director, Post Deployment Integrated Care Initiative, Associate Primary Care at the Veterans' Administration (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT.The program opened with remarks by State Rep. David Yaccarino (R-North Haven), who is a Ranking Member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Rep. Yaccarino is a strong advocate for veterans, and has worked closely with CSMS on veterans' mental health issues.Dr. Burgo-Black’s talk, titled From the War Zone to the Home Front: Supporting the Mental Health …

CSMS Joins National Call for MACRA Information, Design Input

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) joined more than 100 state and national medical specialty societies in letters submitted to the CMS Administrator and to the CMS regulatory comments site.The first letter lays out principles CMS should follow in designing regulations to implement the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Full text of the letter is available at http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/macra-sign-on-letter-16nov2015.pdf. CSMS and some other medical societies have asked the AMA to provide further detail on particular items and issues.Additionally, the group submitted a request for information (RFI) on MACRA implementation. Full text of this letter is available at:http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/washington/x-pub/macra-letter-17nov2015.pdf. The detailed …

Original CSMS Research Presented in ACOG Journal: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Readmissions After Delivery

For immediate releaseNovember 10, 2015(North Haven, CT) – The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) believes that the identification of health disparities among and within Connecticut’s increasingly diverse population is central to providing quality patient medical care. Original research data from a multi-year CSMS readmission disparities study was used in an article published in the November issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the “Green Journal”).The study, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Readmissions After Delivery, was authored by CSMS members Mark DeFrancesco, MD and Steven Fleischman, MD; CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz; and …

Adult Pneumococcal Vaccines

The Connecticut Immunization Coalition recognizes that there is some confusion surrounding pneumococcal vaccination in adults with the two vaccines in circulation (13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine).In response, they have provided these pneumococcal vaccine resources: September 4, 2015 MMWR highlighting the intervals between the two vaccines: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6434a4.htm?s_cid=mm6434a4_w The CA Dept. of Public Health's Pneumococcal Vaccine Timing for Adults tool (a nice one-page algorithm): http://eziz.org/assets/docs/IMM-1152.pdf September 19, 2014 MMWR highlighting the use of the two pneumococcal vaccines among adults: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6337a4.htm?s_cid=mm6337a4_w Ask the Experts (Pneumococcal Vaccines): http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_pneumococcal_vaccines.asp