Responsibilities and Opportunities of the NHMS President

May 2, 2018

Serving as president of your society offers many opportunities far from the usual experiences I have in my medical office, hospital and life in general. One aspect is the responsibility of attending and meeting with the medical societies of our neighboring New England states. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society in Boston. This coming weekend, I’ll be attending a meeting of all the New England medical societies in Groton, Connecticut. In early June, I’ll be in Chicago attending the Annual Meeting of the AMA.

NH Led Nation in Reduction of Opioid Prescriptions in 2017

NH Led Nation in Reduction of Opioid Prescriptions in 2017

Firearm Safety-Where do we at NHMS go from here?

April 18, 2018

At the last NHMS Council meeting on April 11, we discussed the accomplishment of passing the second group of Firearm Safety Policies that were unanimously approved on March 14, 2018. NHMS now has a comprehensive policy to support firearm safety (see my April 11 blog post for the eight specific policy areas covered). However, as we discussed at our last Council meeting, our next step is to develop an action plan to help facilitate the changes (decreases) in gun violence that we hope to accomplish with these policies. We know we can’t do this by ourselves, but can accomplish these goals by working with other organizations who share our goals.

New Hampshire physicians speak out against gun related violence

April 11, 2018

The New Hampshire Medical Society has been focused on the epidemic of gun-related violence in our state and country for the last four years. Indeed, it was almost exactly four years ago, on March 12, 2014, that the NHMS passed its first Firearm Safety Policy. That policy was an appropriate beginning effort of NHMS, but as the last four years have shown, much more needs to be done to curb this ever-increasing public health epidemic in our land. It was ironic but mostly, of course, so tragic that at the NHMS Executive Council meeting on February 14, 2018 we were poised to begin to discuss a more comprehensive group of gun safety policies when we heard of the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

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

EVERY LICENSED PHYSICIAN IS ELIGIBLE!

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. 

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