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KMS Update: New Kansas law in response to federal vaccine mandates

(Update, 11/24/2021) AG Derek Schmidt advises employers not to question religious beliefs of employees who claim waiver from vaccine mandate: Read full announcement here.

The Kansas Legislature convened for an unprecedented special session on Monday to consider legislation responding to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Both chambers concluded their work in just 13 hours. Gov. Laura Kelly has already signed the bill into law.

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KMS Update: 2022 Advocacy Day, guidance on recent vaccine mandate developments, and Legislature calls special session

Physician Leaders Forum
Building on the information shared during the Physicians Leaders Forum in June, this virtual session will focus on physician resilience and wellbeing in a post-COVID environment. A panel discussion will highlight strategies currently being used in Kansas to address physician and health care worker resilience. This event—co-presented by KMS and the Kansas Hospital Association—will be from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2021. More information and free registration here: www.kmsonline.org/PhysicianLeadersForum.

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Physicians Leaders Forum: Innovative Strategies to Address Wellness

Building on the information shared during the Physicians Leaders Forum in June, this virtual session will focus on physician resilience and wellbeing in a post-COVID environment. A panel discussion moderated by Rick Kellerman, MD, KU School of Medicine-Wichita will highlight strategies currently being used in Kansas to address physician and health care worker resilience.

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KMS Update: Fall Legislative Series, new COVID-19 funding, and other updates

New COVID-19 relief funding for rural communities
The Biden administration announced plans to distribute $25.5 billion in funding to physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). The portal for funding applications opened Sept. 29 at: https://prfreporting.hrsa.gov.

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KMS Fall Legislative Series

Circumstances in our professional and day-to-day lives continue to change, perhaps as much now as they had previously in the pandemic. According to public health officials, heightened levels of COVID-19 spread may continue for months more. If so, it's possible we may not be able to host an Advocacy Day in early 2022 (although we are making plans to do so).

Rather than wait until then, we have decided to host a series of brief online sessions to get KMS members up to speed on the coming legislative session and the main issues currently implicating the practice of medicine in Kansas.

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KMS Advocacy Day 2022

Advocacy Day will offer a chance to hear from KMS leadership about the upcoming legislative session, to meet with legislative leaders, and to meet with your specialty society peers. While some specialty societies may also hold events later in the year, Advocacy Day is the one event of the year for all Kansas physicians.

KMS Position Opening: Clinical Case Manager

The Kansas Medical Society Professionals’ Health Program is hiring a full-time Clinical Case Manager.  Under the direct supervision of the KMS PHP Program Director, this position provides appropriate activities/talks for intakes, intervention, support, treatment facility referral, monitoring of program participants with health related issues such as substance use disorders, mental and emotional health issues, and other issues resulting in PHP involvement.  Applicant will meet with participants for monitoring with appropriate interaction to meet criteria set forth in KSBHA Professional Development Plans and Consent Orders.

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KMS update: Resources for strain from COVID-19 fallout, Medicare 2021 webinar, and other updates

From KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo
While the elections are now at least partially behind us, the all too familiar tension and unpredictability of 2020 is lingering. Hospitals across the state are struggling to manage the influx of COVID-19 and other critical patients, which is creating staffing and capacity challenges in facilities. Our communities, neighbors, providers, and patients are fatigued—even as we head into the holiday season and expected resulting surges across the state. We know your practices are facing myriad challenges, first with PPE and protocols for COVID-19 care, then with surviving the shut down and securing financial resources. Now we face appropriately prioritizing the backlog and current demand of necessary medical  care for the spectrum of patients amid strained capacity. As you encounter these ongoing challenges, please know we continue to advocate for you each day as the environment evolves.

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HHS extends compliance dates for information blocking requirements

Due to COVID-19, the federal government is extending compliance dates for a complex federal regulation aimed at ending information-blocking practices that impede the secure exchange and use of electronic health information by patients, doctors, and health care organizations.

On Oct. 29, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released an interim final rule that extends the timeframe for implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act’s information blocking requirements to April 5, 2021 (45 CFR Part 171), (§ 170.401).

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2021 Advocacy Day


Update — January 2021:
Our plans for Advocacy Day hinge, in large part, on the Legislature's plans. We want to be sure that we are meeting at the right time, in the most effective way, and in such a manner that safeguards your health and that of the patients for whom you provide care.

Because the legislative calendar appears likely to be changed, we believe it is most prudent to postpone Advocacy Day to a date to be determined, perhaps in the spring. We will be looking for the best ways to engage you and to help you most effectively advocate given current circumstances.

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KMS Response to Hilburn Decision

In June 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court struck down the law that limits noneconomic damages (KSA 60-19a02) in Hilburn v. Enerpipe Ltd.   The Court’s decision is viewed by many as reversing its October 2012 ruling upholding the same cap in Miller v. Johnson, a medical malpractice case.

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Free, secure texting with DocbookMD

Docbook MD LogoThrough a free, specialized app KMS members can now securely exchange patient information. DocbookMD–a new KMS member benefit–is a HIPAA-compliant messaging solution designed to facilitate the exchange of protected health information via a smart phone, tablet or laptop.

 DocbookMD simplifies physician-to-physician communication because messages can contain diagnosis, consult requests, test results and even high-resolution images such as x-rays. It also facilitates physician communication with practice administrators, PA's, nursing staff and other members of the patient care team. Messages exchanged within the app meet HIPAA requirements for encryption and security allowing physicians to safely realize the benefits of texting within the care provision process.

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KMS endorses emergency planning for high schools

KMS has recently reviewed and endorsed an emergency action planning program for Kansas high school sports. The Anyone Can Save A Life program identifies three simple steps schools can implement to assure preparedness in the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency. The program, which is recommended by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, encourages high schools to connect with a local physician, the county medical society or EMS service for support in developing their individual action plan. For more information visit www.anyonecansavealife.org or contact the Kansas State High School Activities Association at 785.273.5329.

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