UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - November 8, 2022/EDUCATION

Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to

Table of Contents

Message From the Chair

Upcoming Events

Focus of the Week - Education


Department Member Recognition

Faculty Presentations/Publications

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message From the Chair

As I said last week, in stressful times, it is important to pause and join together as a community to recognizeour exceptional faculty. Please join me virtually on November 15th at noon for our department's Annual Awards Ceremony. The invitation is attached. The link is:

Upcoming Events


FMCH Grand Rounds

Tuesday, November 8th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "Where We Stand with New Diabetes Therapies!", presented by Asem Ali, MD.

Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

Focus of the Week - Education

Undergraduate Medical Education

VISTA continues to roll out with our class of 2026. Please attend the upcoming town hall to learn more. 

Vista Town Hall

Wednesday, November 30th, 7:30 am - 8:20 am

Mark Vining recently met with the WFMR Unit Directors to discuss the 3-year accelerated MD track. See the attached presentation to learn more. Students can apply now. This will provide students the opportunity to focus on Family Medicine from early in their training and work with their future residency starting in their first year.


Graduate Medical Education

Residency admissions interviews are in full swing. Much appreciation to the WFMR and FFMR residency teams in all their efforts at building strong residency teams of the future.  

The fellowship matches will be coming up quick. I look forward to those announcements soon.  

Faculty Development

The Clinical Faculty Development Center is excited to have the first in person TOT since before COVID. It will also be our largest. Over eighty interprofessional faculty will come together in Northampton on November 18 and 19 to meet the foundations of clinical teaching GNOME. Much appreciation to the faculty and participants who prioritize excellence in clinical teaching.  

Alumni News

Congratulations to WFMR Hahnemann Graduate (2005), Clara Keegan who was recently named Vermont Family Physician of the Year.


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter will now be available on the UMass Chan website under Resources. The editions currently available will be from October 2022 forward. Thank you to Mike Smith for his work creating the link to the archived Tuesday Talk newsletter.

The following is the link:

Physician Volunteers for the Barbershop Health Network

The Barbershop Health Network (BHN) is a UMass Chan medical student organization seeking to bring health literacy and engagement to the local Worcester community. We will be hosting a health screening event in collaboration with the YMCA. Student volunteers will be screening for hypertension, diabetes, and visual acuity at the YMCA basketball tournament held at Clark University on Saturday, November 12th and we are hoping to have at least two physician volunteers per shift present as preceptors and to provide medical advice if individuals have specific questions. 

Location: Clark University (950 Main Street, Worcester) Time: 11 AM - 4 PM (shifts available) If you would be interested in volunteering, please sign up for a shift: Physician Sign Up Sheet - BHN/YMCA Health Screening. If you have any questions, please email

The medical school has kicked off the annual employee giving campaign – UMass Chan Cares – a time when the medical school community comes together to demonstrate care and compassion for friends and neighbors.

By visiting, you may donate by payroll deduction, check or credit card, and direct your donation to a variety of worthy organizations and causes. They are:

  • UMass Chan’s North Quadrant Support Services initiative in partnership with the Worcester Public Schools providing support to address socioeconomic barriers to academic success faced by students.
  • Several funds administered by the UMass Chan Medical School Foundation:
  • The Research Fund supports UMass Chan research that advances treatments and cures for a range of diseases.
  • The Student Financial Aid Fund provides students who are financially disadvantaged.
  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund supports institution-wide efforts to educate our community about the importance of diversity and inclusion and address bias.
  • The UMass Chan Cancer Walk supports adult and pediatric cancer research and clinical trials of new and potentially lifesaving therapies.
  • The UMass Chan Medical School Fund allows UMass Chan to put the funds to use wherever and whenever the mission-critical need is greatest as situations arise throughout the year.
  • United Way of Central Massachusetts or more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations

Gender Affirming Care Provider Self-Identification and Directory

MassHealth is collecting information from MassHealth providers who want to voluntarily self-identify as providers of gender-affirming services. The purpose of this effort is to help members find MassHealth providers who offer gender-affirming care services. Using this self-reported information, MassHealth intends to post an informal directory of MassHealth gender-affirming care providers on the publicly available gender-affirming-care web page (, toward the end of this calendar year.

  • If you are an active MassHealth provider who provides gender-affirming care and would like to self-identify as such, please fill out the form at While you may fill out the form at any time, it would be helpful if you can do so by November 15, 2022.
  • If you are a MassHealth provider who had previously self-identified as a MassHealth provider of gender-affirming care, but would like to be removed from this gender-affirming care provider directory before the initial posting, please email with the subject line “gender-affirming care provider form removal,” by November 15, 2022.

For information about gender-affirming surgeries and hair removal as a treatment for gender dysphoria, visit MassHealth’s Guidelines for Medical Necessity Determination for Gender-Affirming Surgery and Guidelines for Medical Necessity Determination for Hair Removal, found at

For UMass Med/Dual Employees: Interested in a Headshot Photo? If you (faculty, staff, or students) are looking for a headshot please sign up here:

Sessions are held on the 5th floor of the Sherman Center near the staircase. 

Department Member Recognition

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP, was a Panelist covering the topic of Oral Health Roles of Different Health Professions on November 3rd at the Sharing and Exchanging Idea and Global Experiences on Community-engaged Approaches to Oral Health - A Virtual Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education hosted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. 

The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Disorders (AATOD) presented Jeff Baxter, MD, with the Nyswander-Dole Award at their 2022 annual meeting for “extraordinary service in the opioid treatment community”.

 Faculty Presentations/Publications

Alexandra Boland recently had an article published with local and international colleagues in Sleep Medicine.

Henry Louis (PGY3)’s study about a CHW project in Palestine was recently published in Global Health: Science and Practice.

Frankly Speaking Podcast

A weekly Podcast series covering newsworthy topics in primary care medicine.

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: In this episode, we will discuss a simple and inexpensive yet effective strategy for slowing the loss of knee joint cartilage in a patient with osteoarthritis: walking. Hear how recent evidence suggests that including a walking regimen into treatment plans may confer numerous benefits in this patient population. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, presents: "Walking and Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Simple Strategy to Slow Cartilage Loss". - Frankly Speaking Ep 301.

Clinical Services Spotlight:



  • The 7-day percent positivity is 23%, increased from 18.9% last week. 
  • Inpatient UMMMC, there are 32 cases, fully vaccinated, 59%.
  • Inpatient average daily census over past week is 40 at Med Center and 60 across the system.


  • The confirmed cases in the past 7 days, 5,569. The confirmed total for MA is 2,092,838.
  • The confirmed deaths in MA due to COVID 22,106. 

Healthcare Personnel data

  • According to the CDC, 1,018,314 healthcare personnel have been diagnosed with COVID; of these 2,400 resulted in death. 
  • The largest number of healthcare personnel deaths were between March 1, 2020, and January 2, 2022. 


RSV and Adults

  • Most adults with RSV will have mild symptoms. 
  • Patients with chronic disease may experience a more severe course of illness. 
  • Symptoms are consistent with an upper respiratory tract infection. 
  • Adults and children should remain at home if they have symptoms to prevent the spread of infection. 
  • Management: Currently, there are two medications approved for treating patients with RSV. They are palivizumab and ribavirin. 


Advanced Care Planning

The two CPT codes used to indicate ACP services are:

  • 99497 First 30 minutes (minimum of 16 minutes).
  • 99498 Add-on for additional 30 minutes.
  • Advance care planning services should not be reported on the same date of service as critical care services (i.e., CPT codes 99291 and 99292), neonatal and pediatric critical care codes, and some intensive hospital care services.

Requirements for CPT Code 99497:

  • Advance care planning, including the explanation and discussion of advance directives such as standard forms (with completion of such forms, when performed).
  • Provided by the physician or other qualified health care professional.
  • First 30 minutes face-to-face with the patient, family member(s), and/or surrogate (minimum of 16 minutes documented).
  • As stated in the CPT code description, completion of an advance directive is only required “when performed.” It is not an overall requirement for billing ACP services.
  • When billing for extended ACP discussion (CPT 99497 with or without 99498 for additional 30 minutes).
  • You can bill just the 99497, when the entire visit is devoted to advance care planning.
  • OR you can use 99497 with modifier 25 when the advance care planning is just one component of the visit.

Requirements for CPT Code 99498 (Add on code):

  • Each additional 30 minutes face-to-face with the patient, family member(s), and/or surrogate (minimum of 16 minutes past the first 30 minutes documented).
  • Listed separately in addition to code for primary procedure.
  • There are no limits on the number of times ACP can be reported for a given beneficiary in a given time period. Likewise, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not established any frequency limits.

Wellness Resources

The Caring for the Caregiver Program provides resources such as the Caregiver Support Line (508-334-HELP) and The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers a variety of services and supports (including virtual peer support and wellness tips. EAP can be accessed at 866-263-3525, or, [company code UmassMemorial]. More information is available on the Caring for the Caregiver page.

Yoga Classes with Dr. Liz Erban

Yoga classes are on hiatus. Please join us as we restart on December 7th

Happy Fall.