October 9, 2007

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Hanley Center Invites Nominations for 2007 Hanley Leadership Award

Note:  Deadline for Nominations is October 15, 2007!

The Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership is pleased to invite nominations for the 2007 Hanley Leadership Award.
Each year, the Award recognizes a healthcare professional who embodies Dr. Dan Hanley’s principles of courage, innovation, collaboration, kindness and hard work. Learn more about Dr. Hanley and his work at www.hanleyleadership.org.
Important Note: In addition to individuals, Maine-based organizations, collaborative initiatives and partnerships also are now eligible for the Hanley Award! 
Previous Hanley Award winners have included Stephen Shannon, D.O, M.P.H., former Dean of the University of New England College of Medicine (2003); nationally known medical researcher John Wennberg, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Services at Dartmouth Medical School (2004); and Franklin County clinicians Sandra Record, R.N. and Burgess Record, M.D. (2005); Caribou-based diabetes specialist Ann Gahagan, F.N.P. (2006).
We encourage nominations for individuals and organizations whose work has led to improved health and healthcare at the community, regional, state or national levels; nominations are encouraged from small and large communities across Maine.
Although several previous winners are well-known at state and national levels, we are anxious to receive nominations for individuals and organizations that are making a difference at the community level (see attached criteria for details). Individual  nominees may be clinicians, administrators, board members and others.
It takes just a few minutes to complete and return the two-page nomination form---just print the form, provide examples that illustrate your nominee's achievements and then mail the form---along with background information;
Nomination deadline is October 15.
Nationally-known healthcare futurist Jeff Goldsmith  will keynote the November 5 Award Dinner at the Marriott in South Portland. The Dinner will be hosted by the Hanley Center and The Institute for Civic Leadership, which has partnered with the Center to develop a new statewide Health Leadership Development Program.
Please mark your calendar today and plan to attend.  You will  soon receive a separate announcement and invitation for the Dinner.  Please note that this is a date change---an awards luncheon on October 5 will no longer take place.
If you've previously nominated a colleague for the Hanley Award, there may not be a need to complete another nomination form---simply notify Jim Harnar at jharnar@maine.rr.com and provide an updated resume or bio.

Deadline for Applications is October 15, 2007
Awards Dinner is Monday, November 5 at the Marriott in South Portland
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Jim Harnar at jharnar@maine.rr.com

Governor's Office & DHHS Representatives to Hold District Health Forums

Representatives of the Governor's Office of Health Policy & Finance (GOHPF) & the Maine CDC are holding a series of health forums across the state this fall.  State officials, including GOHPF Director Trish Riley & Maine CDC Director Dora Ann Mills, M.D., M.P.H. will be traveling across the state to the new HHS Districts to provide information about the emerging public health system, to review health data about each district, and to seek input & ideas about health priorities for action in the next state health plan.

Each meeting will begin with a brief overview of the current state health plan & its accomplishments, including a summary of the emerging public health system.  Each forum's attendees will then see health data about that area of the state for their review & comment, & attendees will be asked to provide public comment about their priorities for action in the next state health plan.  The State Health Plan, established as part of the Dirigo Health legislation in 2003, is charged with setting specific tasks that will make Maine the healthiest state as a way to improve our health & lower health care costs.

Following public comments, the final 1.5 hours will provide an opportunity for Maine CDC to discuss with the audience how the Local Health Officer system can be revitalized.  This system currently consists of a requirement that municipalities employ someone whose main duty is to report public health threats.  However, as part of the new emerging public health system in Maine, interest is high in assuring local health officers are a more integral part of the system while maintaining their local integrity & functions.

The agenda for each meeting is:

  • 1/2 hour:  Coffee & networking
  • 1/2 hour:  Overview of State Health Plan, emerging public health system & district health data
  • 1 hour:  Public comment
  • 1.5 hours:  Discussion on Local Health Officer system
The schedule for the meetings follows:
  • 10/15/07:  Governor's Restaurant, Waterville, 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.
  • 10/16/07:  Holiday Inn, Ellsworth, 8:30 - 12:00 noon
  • 10/16/07:  Ramada Inn, Bangor, 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.
  • 10/17/07:  Caribou Inn & Convention Center, 8:30 - 12:00 noon
  • 10/24/07:  Village by the Sea, Wells, 8:30 - 12:00 noon
  • 10/24/07:  Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.
  • 10/29/07:  Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn, 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.
  • 10/30/07:  Samoset Resort, Rockport, 8:30 - 12:00 noon
For more information, contact Elaine Lovejoy at 287-3266 or elaine.lovejoy@maine.gov.

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Certificate-of-Need Work Group Convenes

Legislation enacted during the First Regular Session of the 123rd Maine Legislature, Resolves 2007, Chapter 110, establishes a stakeholder working group to consider most of the contentious issues in the state's CON laws from the last 10 years, including the amendments made in the Dirigo Health legislation.  The 11-voting-member group includes physician, hospital, nursing facility, insurer, consumer, & other advocacy representatives & convened for the first time on Tuesday, October 9, 2007.  MMA Deputy EVP Andrew MacLean is a joint appointment of the MMA & the Maine Osteopathic Association to the group & John Wipfler, J.D., M.B.A., CEO of Orthopaedic Associates, is the Maine ASC Coalition representative to the group.  The group may review the thresholds for CON review, the role of the Capital Investment Fund, the relationship between the CON program & the State Health Plan, the roles of the MQF, the Maine CDC, & the Bureau of Insurance in CON review, & various process issues.  The group has scheduled 5 meetings between now & early January.  It must make its recommendations to the HHS Committee by January 15, 2007.
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State Medical Society CEO Group Meets in Bar Harbor

More than thirty state medical society CEOs met last week in Bar Harbor for their annual Fall meeting.  Topics considered and discussed included the impact on state societies of more employed physicians, non-dues revenue, and Medicare reimbursement.  The only outside presentation was from David McDermott, M.D., chairman of the MMA Committee on Physician Quality who spoke to attendees on the role of state medical societies in quality improvement.  Dr. McDermott noted the MMA activities in quality improvement including the external peer review program, the office-based quality improvement program, the Voluntary Practice Assessent Initiative, and Quality Counts! 

AMA Executive Vice-President Michael Maves, M.D., MBA attended the meeting and shared a new vision for the future of the AMA.  The changing landscape will necessitate a new way of doing business for the AMA, Dr. Maves noted. 

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Medicare Part B Premiums Will Increase by 3.1% in 2008

On October 1, 2007, CMS announced that Medicare Part B monthly premiums for physician & related services will increase by 3.1% from $93.50 to $96.40, effective January 1, 2008.  The Part B deductible also will increase from $131 in 2007 to $135 in 2008.  Acting CMS Director Kerry Weems said that the $2.90 premium increase is the smallest in 6 years, but advocates for Medicare beneficiaries responded that the increase is more than beneficiaries' cost-of-living adjustments.

CMS pointed to growth in the Part B program, physician-administered drugs, DME, laboratory services, & home health services among the cost drivers contributing to the premium increase.  The CMS staff also pointed to the cost of the Medicare SGR fix as having an impact, predicting that Congress will act as it has in the past &  replace the planned cut of approximately 10% with about a 5% increase.

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U.S. House Schedules SCHIP Veto Reconsideration for October 18, 2007

On the same day that President Bush vetoed the 5-year, $35 billion SCHIP reauthorization bill (H.R. 976), October 3, 2007, the U.S. House voted 222-197 to set October 18, 2007 as the date for a vote to override the President's veto.  The House passed H.R. 976 by a vote of 265-159 on September 25, 2007, about 24 votes short of the votes needed to override the President's veto.  The House Democrats will spend the next 2 weeks trying to persuade about 15 House Republicans to change their votes.  During an appearance at a chamber of commerce event in Pennsylvania on October 3, 2007, President Bush said that he vetoed the SCHIP bill because it provides coverage to higher income families, provides coverage to adults in addition to children, & would "federalize health care."

The political posturing over the program likely will continue until very close to the end of the year.  The continuing appropriations bill recently passed will continue funding the program until November 16, 2007.  All members of Maine's congressional delegation have supported the $35 SCHIP reauthorization bill.
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MedPAC Will Study Effect of Ownership of Imaging Equipment on Utilization

On October 3, 2007, the staff of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said that it will begin to study how physician ownership of diagnostic imaging equipment affects Medicare utilization.  The staff has suggested that the study is prompted by the rapid growth of diagnostic imaging services during the last 10 years & the lack of study of this trend.  MedPAC will consider the types of care episodes in which diagnostic imaging services are used, something not considered in previous imaging utilization studies.  The MedPAC staff expects to study:

  • the degree to which the volume of imaging services vary depending on market;
  • whether patients are more likely to receive more imaging services when their physicians own the diagnostic imaging equipment; &
  • whether a market-level correlation between self-referral & the level of imaging exists.
You can find more information on the web at:  http://www.medpac.gov/meeting_search.cfm?SelectedDate=10/03/2007&t=m&month=2007-10
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CMS Proposes Amendment to Medicaid Definition of Hospital Outpatient Services

On September 28, 2007, CMS issued a proposed rule to amend Medicaid's definition of hospital outpatient services by removing non-facility services provided by practitioners, school-based, & rehabilitative services, & to set Medicaid upper limit payments to the Medicare payment rate for equivalent outpatient services.  The proposed rule would require that a provider-based entity have a "legal relationship" with a principal provider that has provider-based status in order to bill Medicaid for outpatient services.  CMS has stated that a provider-based entity that is not a department of the principal provider would be treated as a separate, non-hospital entity.  CMS sees this proposed rule as a way to "align" the Medicaid & Medicare outpatient hospital & clinic services definitions.

You can find the proposed rule on the web at:  http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-19154.pdf.
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MPHA 23rd Annual Meeting, October 23

The Maine Public Health Association's 23rd Annual Meeting will take place on October 23, 2007, at the Augusta Civic Center.  The title this year is "Public Health Emergencies...for EVERYONE involved in the health of Maine people!"  Please go to www.mcdregistration.org for registration information or please contact Dot Seigars at 622-7566 x232.  [return to top]

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