CSMS maintains legislative involvement, with continuing review of all bills brought before the Connecticut General Assembly, preparing position statements and maintaining an active lobbying presence in support of those beneficial to elevated standards of public health, and opposing those detrimental to good patient care, endangering the physician-patient relationship, or restricting the independent judgment of physicians.
CSMS also drafts and promotes its own legislative proposals in areas such as public health, tort reform, and medical practice. This being the most crucial area of physician advocacy, the Society retains qualified full-time professional staff for legislation, as well as outside legislative counsel on a year-round basis. When requested, CSMS acts as a resource to legislators on health-related issues.
CSMS carries on an active public and media relations program through news releases, medical advertising, its website and the participation of physician leadership and executive staff in health-related events of public note.
Connecticut Medicine, the monthly CSMS journal, highlights current issues of clinical as well as socio-economic importance. It also serves as the “journal of record” for the Society’s policies and actions. Connecticut Medicine has received journalistic awards for its design and content, and provides a forum for clinical and political discussion among the state’s physicians.
CSMS Action News updates members on matters of immediate importance involving public policy, legislation, regulations, practice matters and events of note.
Legislative Update is published on short notice during sessions of the General Assembly to apprise physicians of impending legislation of importance to the profession and to the public health. Fast “grassroots” action can sometimes make the difference in winning favorable bills, or in defeating harmful legislation.
SportsMed Newsletter is published online quarterly for distribution to athletic directors, coaches, nurse, trainers and interested physicians in Connecticut. Its information emphasizes the prevention of sports-related injury and treatment of injury, with a special focus on young athletes.
The CSMS Online Pictorial Referral Directory lists all members and carries updated information of importance to physicians.
Health-related pamphlets and booklets have also been published and distributed by the society as a public service, and are available upon request.
Although the primary object of a strong and unified medical profession is effective representation of the special interests of physicians and their patients, a rewarding by-product of such solidarity is the availability to members of needed insurance coverage at low group rates.
A striking benefit of physicians united through CSMS membership is the return of competition to the malpractice insurance market. CSMS physicians benefit from the stability and support of their own physician-owned and physician-directed professional liability insurance company, the Connecticut Medical Insurance Company (CMIC), founded in 1984. CSMS members benefit from the elimination of profit and commission factors, reduction of administrative costs, and the reinvestment of all income, including that from its investment portfolio, to pay losses or reduce premiums.
Finally, CSMS physicians cooperate with insurers in the professional liability underwriting and claims review processes, and in loss control and patient injury prevention programs. Physician committees of the county medical associations meet in all regions of the state to resolve issues of insurability, negligence, and quality assurance.
In 1986, CSMS established Connecticut’s first statewide IPA, CSMS-IPA, Inc. The board of CSMS-IPA, a wholly owned subsidiary of CSMS, is still chaired and composed entirely of CSMS physicians.
In 1988, CSMS established a charitable foundation. Through CSMS member donations, the Trust is able to present an annual gift to help the needy in Connecticut.
In 1995, the CSMS Physicians' Health and Education Fund was established as a separate 501(c)(3) entity of the Connecticut State Medical Society, organized and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes. Among its many efforts, the Fund engages in activities to improve and enhance the professional knowledge and skill of physicians, as well as activities designed to improve the health of physicians generally, and to improve the quality of healthcare rendered in the State of Connecticut.
At the heart of the medical profession’s independence and integrity lies its willingness to police its own ranks through the peer review process, carried out in hospital staffs, county associations, and the state society. With CSMS-sponsored legislative improvements in recent years, medical peer review has been granted the confidentiality and legal immunity necessary to carry out its vigorous and frank inquiries into the quality and circumstances of the medical care offered to patients. CSMS and the county associations have been particularly active in the area of malpractice, insurability and claims review, as well as the review of reimbursement policies of third party payers for specific medical procedures.
Finally, CSMS members have the vital right to a due process appeals mechanism from an adverse decision of their county association concerning patient complaints and physician discipline. The continuing vigor and effectiveness of medicine’s peer review activities is a strong bulwark against unwarranted governmental or corporate intrusion into the practice of medicine.
Since October 2005, CT state law has required that licensed physicians/surgeons participate in continuing medical education (CME) activities, earning a minimum of fifty contact hours of qualifying CME every two years, commencing on the first date of license renewal on and after October 1, 2007. Details are available on the DPH website at www.dph.state.ct.us/licensure.
Thanks to our CSMS CME Accreditation Program, abundant approved CME is available throughout the state at some 35 accredited hospitals and other organizations, as well as online at www.CMElectures.org/CSMS.
CSMS also sponsors live and web-based CME on topics such as: Connecticut Women in Medicine, Appropriate Prescribing, Practice Management, Medical Information Technology, Professional Boundaries, Lean Six Sigma/Process Improvement, and Healthcare Disparities.