State of the Village

It’s our 20th episode! To celebrate, we have a very special episode for all of our listeners: those returning or new to the Podcast. VillageMD has been busy throughout the year: big transactions, new lines of business, starting a podcast. And there is even more to come next year! In this episode, we sit down with VillageMD Co-Founders, Tim Barry and Paul Martino, to talk about what has changed this year and what they are excited about for next year.
Thank you to all of our listeners for your comments and feedback. We love hearing from you! We are now available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a rating or comment.

E-Cigarette Epidemic

If a patient presents complaining of nausea and a severe cough, would you think to ask them about vaping? There appears to be more horrific reports of e-cigarette related pulmonary illness every day, and currently the CDC is unsure the exact etiology. On this episode, we will share what we know about this public health crisis including the most recent CDC guidance for identifying these cases early, taking a detailed history, and managing treatment.

Thank you to all of our listeners for your comments and feedback! We love hearing from you! We are now available on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Vaping unknowns:
Vape at your own risk:
Researchers looking for cause of vaping related illnesses: Vape at your own risk:
Vaping-related death toll rises to 12:
Death linked to vaping reveal a complex array of inhaled substances:

Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health

Did you hear President Trump talking about Kidney Health this summer? A new Executive Order on  “Advancing American Kidney Health” was signed in July and multiple CMS regulations followed. These regulations represent a major change in reimbursement for kidney disease, and introduce three new programs to incentivize changes in disease management. In this episode, we are thrilled to talk with Bobby Sepucha, Chief Administrative Officer of Cricket Health. Cricket Health is a comprehensive kidney care provider, and they are closely following these regulatory changes. Tune in to hear about these important initiatives and how they impact primary care providers.  

If you have a question, comment, if you want one of the samples we reference, or if you want to be a guest on Working Smarter click here: or email us at

Service Animals

You may remember the movie “Snakes on a Plane”, but last month a video caused a stir featuring a miniature horse on a plane. Questions about service animals have become more common over the last few years, and we occasionally have discussions with physicians about their concerns regarding service animals. In this episode, we answer frequently asked questions including, “Do I have to allow a miniature horse in my clinic?”. We also provide some practical guidance tips for discussing this issue with patients.

If you have a question, comment, if you want one of the samples we reference, or if you want to be a guest on Working Smart click here: or email us at

Medical Marijuana

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Clive Fields about the clinical and legal issues raised with medical marijuana’s growing popularity and use. We discuss a variety of topics including: the differences between CBD and medical marijuana, how Dr. Fields’ patients are reacting to medical marijuana, and our thoughts about its use for treatment purposes. These conversations are happening more frequently throughout the country, and we hope this discussion will inform your own thoughts and practices.

Vaccine Hesitancy And Your Patients

The “anti-vax” movement is constantly in the news – most recently when the Mayor of NYC declared a state of emergency due to a measles outbreak. Even patients who are not “anti-vax” can have hesitancy about vaccines, and this creates a dilemma for primary care providers. In this episode we talk with Dr. Clive Fields, VillageMD’s Chief Medical Officer, about how to have productive conversations with hesitant patients, how to report contagious diseases, deal with quarantines. We also cover the burning question of if you can terminate an anti-vax patient.

Physician Star Ratings

We all have experienced Star Ratings in our lives, whether it be Uber, Yelp, Amazon, etc. These star ratings are now starting to affect physicians and the world of medicine. In this episode, we find out what Physician Star Ratings are, how you can find out what your rating is, and why this is important to your Practice. Check out after the episode to see what your rating may be!

Opioid Update

Regulations and Guidance are constantly changing. Opioid enforcement feels like it changes daily. We want VillageMD Working Smarter views to stay up to date on the latest information. We have provided a brief update to our previous opioid podcasts based on new information from the DEA.

CMS Primary Cares Initiative

New CMS initiatives are launching January 2020! You may have heard about the “Primary Care First” or “Direct Contracting” models. These two new models will impact value based care and reimbursement for primary care physicians. We are joined by Gary Jacobs, Village Medical at Home President, and Dave Ault, Attorney at Faegre, Backer, Daniels who help us dive into these new initiatives. In this episode, we will tell you what these initiatives are, how they differ from current ACOs, and how you can participate.