Death Penalty Repeal Revisited from a Medical/Psychiatric Perspective, Part I

March 12, 2018

Once again the legislature and New Hampshire is considering repeal of the death penalty. The repeal bill, SB 593, would replace capital punishment with imprisonment without the possibility of parole. SB 593 has 13 sponsors in the Senate, which is already a majority, so it is likely to pass in the Senate. It is also likely to garner sufficient support to pass in the House. Unfortunately, Governor Sununu has already indicated he will veto repeal of the death penalty if it comes to his desk. We can only hope he listens to the many arguments from both sides of the aisle to reconsider his opposition to repeal. The arguments for repeal are from so many different perspectives: religious, moral, pragmatic, legal, financial, medical and psychiatric/psychological. I will offer the arguments here from a medical and psychiatric perspective.   

Anthem Agrees to Fully Rescind Modifier 25 Cuts

February 23, 2018

In December, the New Hampshire Medical Society alerted its member physicians that Anthem had adjusted its proposed policy to reduce payments for evaluation and management (E&M) codes appropriately reported with a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) modifier 25 by 25% instead of 50%, as originally planned. 

Another School Shooting, One More Tragedy, One Too Many!

February 19, 2018

In today’s blog post I was going to write about the AMA Advocacy Meeting that Jim Potter, Bill Kassler, Georgia Tuttle and I attended in Washington, D.C., on February 12-14. However, another school shooting involving seventeen deaths has overshadowed that very positive opportunity that we had to meet with Senators Shaheen and Hassan and their staffs, Congresswoman Kuster and her staff, and staff of Congresswoman Shea-Porter. Our meetings were both enjoyable and productive, as we have excellent representation on “the Hill.” We came home to New Hampshire, however, on February 14, Valentine’s Day, to confront yet another gun-related tragedy.

Are You a Pre-Trial Panel Volunteer?

February 21, 2018


Over 600 NH licensed physicians have signed up to be volunteers for pre-trial panels for medical liability cases.  But, that’s not enough!  The NH Superior Court system needs a larger volunteer pool in order to avoid conflicts in cases involving a physician from a particular area or health system in the state.    Most panels meet for one day – a few may go into a 2nd day and the courts are giving panelists several months notice for the actual date of the panel. 

Seeking Physician Judges for NH Science & Engineering Expo

February 21, 2018


The NH Science & Engineering Expo Association is seeking 30 more judges to participate in the annual state science fair for high schools, the NH Science & Engineering Expo.  They are looking for medical professionals and those with training in biology/chemistry/biochem for the open competition.  Please review the details below and consider voliunteering!

NH HealthCost Rates Updated

February 12, 2018

Thank you for your interest in the NH HealthCost website. We are pleased to let you know that the rates shown on the NH HealthCost website and the downloadable ‘Statewide Rate Report’ have been updated to show estimates based on claims data paid through March 2017. 

AMA Launches Podcast Series: AMA Doc Talk

AMA Doc Talk podcastFebruary 2, 2018

Considering Firearm Issues

January 29, 2018

My plan for today’s blog post was to discuss the current NHMS policy regarding firearms and to suggest some further actions that NHMS could take regarding the U.S. epidemic of gun violence.  I do plan to explore this issue in more detail soon in our bi-monthly magazine, but recent bills in the NH Legislature and almost daily events in the news prompted this discussion today.

Dr. William Kirmes Receives NHOA Distinguished Service Award

January 29, 2018

NH Osteopathic AssociationDr. William Kirmes was presented the New Hampshire Osteopathic Association Distinguished Service Award this past weekend during the NHOA Annual meeting held at the North Conway Grand in North Conway.

Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced

January 29, 2018

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the launch of a new voluntary bundled payment model called Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced), which is available to organizations in Region 1. 

The application period for this model is now open and will run from January 11 – March 12, 2018.