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CSMS Recent Headlines

Senate HELP/House Energy & Commerce Agreement on Surprise Billing Legislation

Details on Surprise Billing Legislation from the American Medical Association: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have announced an agreement on legislation to end surprise medical bills, raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21, and extend funding for federal health programs, such as community health centers.The agreement is essentially a merging of the surprise billing legislation approved by both the House Energy and Commerce (H.R. 2328) and …

Preparing for the 2020 Legislative Session

The CSMS Legislative Committee is currently working to develop our 2020 Legislative Agenda - one that is in the best interests of Connecticut physicians, physicians in training, and patients. Here's a sneak peek at the significant issues for the 2020 CT legislative session (February - May): High Deductible Health Plans Vaccines Vaping Red Flag Laws Liability Reform Drug pricing Physician recruitment and retention Recreational marijuanaHave questions, opinions, or would you like to get involved? Contact Ken Ferrucci, SVP of Government Affairs today: KFerrucci@csms.org!

Your Support Is Needed: CSMS Charitable Trust & Physicians' Health & Education Fund

This holiday season CSMS invites you to donate to one (or both) of our charitable funds. Thank you for your generosity and support!CSMS Charitable TrustFounded in 1989, the CSMS Charitable Trust enables CSMS physician members to contribute to organizations fighting illness, domestic violence, poverty, and homelessness in Connecticut. A 501(c)3, the Charitable Trust is funded exclusively by voluntary contributions from Connecticut physicians.Click here to donate today!CSMS Physicians’ Health and Education FundThe CSMS Physicians’ Health and Education Fund is a separate 501(c)(3) entity of the Connecticut State Medical Society, organized and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes. Among its …

CSMS Led Physician Leadership Programs Begin

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of our sixth consecutive year of providing young physician leadership programs. Bridgeport Hospital is our newest partner to engage and train young physicians (less than 40 years of age or less than 8 years in practice) in healthcare leadership. The program kicked off with a cohort of 35 residents and hospitalists. We thank The Physicians Foundation and members from Bridgeport Hospital who are sponsoring this new program, as well as, Karen Hutchinson, MD, Chair of the CSMS CME Committee, and M. Natalie Achong, MD, CSMS Vice Speaker who are the Principal Advisors.The successful …

CSMS Joins AMA & Others to Voice Concern Over a Presidential Executive Order Regarding Medicare

On October 3, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled, “Protecting and Improving Medicare for our Nation’s Seniors.” CSMS signed onto a letter with the AMA and many other medical and specialty societies to share our concerns with the broad, yet vague language in the Executive Order. Particularly the language related to the supervision and reimbursement of non-physician professionals. We are highly concerned this language requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to propose a regulation to eliminate or weaken current Medicare supervision requirements of nonphysician professionals, a critical safeguard to ensure the health and safety of Medicare …

Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Medical Societies Commend Governors’ Efforts to Address “Cross-Border” Issues Relating to Cannabis, But Concerns Remain About Legalization of Marijuana Use

The following is a joint statement from the presidents of the Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York Medical Societies:“We commend the regional approach that the Governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are seeking to address ‘cross-border” issues relating to cannabis purchase and use.However, our medical societies continue to have serious concerns with proposals to legalize the purchase of recreational or so-called “adult use” marijuana given the public health challenges that have arisen in other states that have legalized the purchase of marijuana for non-medical purposes.These concerns have grown in recent weeks given the significant number of cases of …

New Training Requirements Under the Time’s Up Act

The Time’s Up Act, comprised of Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93, went into effect on October 1. The Time’s Up Act strengthens laws protecting employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition to requirements regarding training and education, the new statute changes existing requirements of the posting of information about sexual harassment in the workplace.Click here for more information, provided by the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

CSMS Elects New Officers for 2019/2020

President: Bollepalli (Bo) Subbarao, MD, New BritainPresident-Elect: Gregory Shangold, MD, WillimanticVice-President: Ron Adelman, MD, New HavenSecretary: David Hass, MD, HamdenTreasurer: Jay Ginsberg, MD, New LondonSpeaker of the Annual Meeting: Michael Carius, MD, StratfordVice Speaker of the Annual Meeting: M. Natalie Achong, MD, West HartfordImmediate Past President: Claudia Gruss, MD, Redding

NORTHEASTERN MEDICAL SOCIETIES URGE CONGRESS TO ENACT FAIR SURPRISE BILLING REFORM LEGISLATION

(North Haven, CT) “Our respective associations representing tens of thousands of physicians across the northeastern United States applaud the many members of the US Congress who are seeking to take action to protect patients from “surprise” medical bills. However, what is needed is a balanced, comprehensive solution to this problem, not a one-sided gift to America’s health insurance companies, some of the richest corporations in the United States. That approach will create shortages in our emergency departments and an acceleration of health care consolidation.Proposals that have begun to advance in the US House and Senate appropriately prevent patients from facing …

The Connecticut State Medical Society Announces New President, Bollepalli Subbarao, MD

September 30, 2019 (North Haven, CT) – At the 227th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut State Medical Society Bollepalli Subbarao, MD, of Avon was inducted as the organization’s 181st President. A practicing Psychiatrist, Dr. Subbarao earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in India. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Subbarao currently practices at Advanced Behavioral Health in Middletown, a non-profit behavioral health management company.He previously served as the President of the Hartford Medical Association. He remains an active member …

Greenwich residents on Medicare, Medicaid struggle to find health care specialists - Featuring Input from CSMS EVP/CEO Mattew Katz

Tatiana Flowers - September 22, 2019 - Greenwich TimeGREENWICH — Alyssa Williams was shopping at Target in Stamford nearly five years ago when her then-2-month-old daughter's face turned blue. The baby was rushed to Greenwich Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with reactive airway disease.The infant was then transferred to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital for 10 days, where doctors found she was also living with a partially collapsed left lung."I lost like 60 pounds in three months," said Williams, a Greenwich mother of three. "After she turned blue that time, it was really bad. There was no time for me …

The Physicians Foundation Launches Campaign to Help Prevent Physician Suicide

In recognition of National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, The Physicians Foundation, today announced the launch of Vital Signs, a campaign to help raise greater awareness about the physician suicide epidemic and to provide physicians the tools to attend to their own well-being.“One physician commits suicide every day, the highest suicide rate of any profession and more than twice that of the general population,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “These are our mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They are human beings who deal with emotional and physical pain, and neurocognitive …

QPP Roundup: September 2019

Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice.QPP Tip of the Month: Consider Virtual Group Participation in 2020The election window to sign up as part of a Virtual Group for performance year (PY) 2020 begins October 1st. If you are part of a small-group practice of 10 or fewer eligible clinicians (EC), or work as an individual practice, you may qualify to participate as part of a Virtual Group under MIPS in PY 2020. Virtual Groups allow smaller practices to band together regardless of geographic location, opening an opportunity for such practices to be …

Kansas Health Information Network and subsidiary KAMMCO Health Solutions announce ability to share data with MinuteClinic providers

(TOPEKA, KANSAS, September 9, 2019) The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) and its subsidiary KAMMCO Health Solutions (KHS) announced today they have completed a secure electronic connection allowing the seamless sharing of data between MinuteClinic, a CVS Health company, and the KHIN/KHS network. The KHIN/KHS network connects over 6,900 health care organizations across the nation with health information exchanges in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey and South Carolina. The exchanges are supported by the respective state medical societies.Laura McCrary Ed.D, Executive Director of KHIN and President and CEO of KHS noted, “The transfer of patients’ health records between …

CSMS Is Advocating to Combat Anthem Medicare Advantage Termination of CT Physicians

This week, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut sent letters to Connecticut physician specialists informing them that they are being terminated from the Medicare Advantage Select Plan provider panel. The termination would take effect January 1, 2020. It does not affect the physician participation status with the other Anthem Medicare Advantage plans or commercial insurance products; and it does not impact primary care physicians.CSMS has reached out to Anthem (click here to read the letter/email that was sent) and they have told us that all terminated physicians and providers have appeal rights for the termination, which are outlined in …

QPP Roundup: August 2019

QPP Roundup: August 2019Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice.  QPP Tip of the Month: Review Your QP Status for Advanced APM ParticipationThe third snapshot period for determining 2019 Qualified Participant (QP) status will end on August 31st. Physicians part of an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) who achieve QP status (based on number of patients or payments received through an Advanced APM) in 2019 will automatically qualify for a 5% positive payment adjustment in 2021. CMS uses three snapshot periods to determine QP status.You can look up your current QP participation status from …

CSMS Leads CMS Prior Authorization Listening Session

In August, Claudia Gruss, MD, CSMS President; Steven Thornquist, MD, CSMS Immediate Past President; Stacy Taylor, MD, CSMS Councilor, also representing the CT Academy of Family Physicians; Mariam Hakim- Zargar, MD, CT Orthopedic Society Immediate Past President and CSMS Councilor; Michael Aronow, MD, CT Orthopedic Society President; Susan Schaffman, CT Orthopedic Society Executive Director; Debbie Osborn, CT Eye, CT Derm, CT ENT and CT Urology Executive Director; and CSMS staff gathered to voice their frustrations and concerns about prior authorization. Richard E. Wild, MD, JD, MBA, ACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Atlanta and Boston Regional Offices, CMS, HHS, and Joseph Stone, …

CSMS, OHA, and OHS Join Forces to Defend the Health Care Rights of the LGBTQ+ Community

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) joined the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and the Office of Heath Strategy to voice our strong opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed rule, “Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities,” HHS-OCR-2019-0007 (RIN 0945-AA11). We believe it is critical to oppose this proposed rule for patient access to care.The Department’s proposed rule will institutionalize discrimination in health care, health insurance, and health education. It will hurt Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ and other health insurance consumers by repealing the regulation that today bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity …

CMS Proposes Medicare Physician Fee Schedule & Quality Payment Program Rule for CY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule updating Medicare policies and providing payments for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) in CY 2020.Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposals Payment Changes to Office/Outpatient Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services Reducing coding complexity by consolidating CPT coding from 5 levels to 4 levels for office/outpatient E/M visits for new patients Improving payment for office/outpatient E/M visits, and establish a new add-on code for prolonged service time. Consolidating the Medicare-specific add-on code in primary care and non-procedural care into a single code for ongoing care …