October 13, 2008

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MMA and Board of Licensure in Medicine Present Home Study CME Course on Appropriate Prescribing for Pain

The Maine Medical Association, with financial support from the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine, now offers a home study CME course on the topic of appropriate prescribing for pain.  The course may be downloaded from the Maine Medical Association website at www.mainemed.com.  Given the significance of prescription drug abuse in the state, physicians and other health professionals who are able to prescribe narcotics are encouraged to take this course or attend one of the several CME programs offered by MMA and funded by the State Office of Substance Abuse.

The MMA/BOLIM Chronic Pain Home Study is now available in pdf form on the MMA's website.  The link to the monograph is on the righthand side of the website, in the "spotlight" section.  For now, to obtain credit, a second pdf containing a registration form, post-test, and evaluation, also in the "spotlight" section, must be printed, completed, and returned to MMA (instructions are included in the file).  Upon receipt, and successful completion of the post-test, a CME certificate for 2 credits will be mailed to participants.

Governor Baldacci Recognizes University of New England PA Program

Joining Governor John Baldacci (center) in his office at the capitol building in Augusta, are (L to R): UNE PA Professor Lisa Southwick, UNE PA students Lindsey Jones and Heather Lawler, Immediate Past President of the Downeast Association of PAs, Greg Christensen, and UNE PA student Shawn Stepp.

In recognition of National Physician Assistant (PA) Week, Governor John Baldacci presented a proclamation honoring the UNE PA program to students, faculty, and a representative of the DownEast Association of PAs.  PAs play an important role in Maine’s health care and the University of New England (UNE) is the only school in the state educating PAs.

During the week of October 6 to 12, PAs across the United States celebrate National PA Week, and scenes like this are likely to be playing out as PA programs receive the recognition of local and national leaders.  PA students in particular typically engage in activities during the first week of October that benefit the residents of their local communities. [return to top]

Next First Friday CME Presentation on November 7th: the Move Toward Transparency

The November First Friday program at MMA is entitled, "Public Reporting of Physician Data:  the Move Toward Transparency."   The program will be held from 9:00 am to noon on Friday morning, November 7th at the offices of the Maine Medical Association in Manchester.  The experienced faculty includes Douglas W. Libby, RPh, Executive Director of the Maine Health Management Coalition, D. Joshua Cutler, M.D., Director of the Maine Quality Forum, and Andrew MacLean, Esq., Deputy EVP of the MMA.

Maine is a data-rich state, having both an all-payor claims data base and a hospital discharge database.  Physician-identifiable data now can be released under certain circumstances.  Physicians and practice managers will benefit from this educational program which will focus on the types of data likely to be released and how patients are likely to react to the data.

With employers, the public, and consumers all asking for more transparency and accountability in the health care system, physicians and group practices will benefit from learning of the current efforts going on in Maine that address these trends.

A registration fee of $60 covers the course materials and breakfast.  Registration is available on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com or by calling 622-3374, ext. 219.  [return to top]

Maine Academy of Family Physicians Join No on One Coalition

The Maine Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) on Friday joined the Health Coverage for Maine Coalition which is opposing Question One on the November 4th election ballot in Maine.  Question One proposes to repeal the modest beverage tax and insurance premium assessment passed by the Legislature to assist in improving premiums in the troubled individual health insurance market and to replace the savings offset payment (SOP) currently funding the Dirigo Health Agency activities including the Maine Quality Forum and the DirigoChoice health plan offered through Harvard-Pilgrim Health Care.

In joining the Coalition, the MAFP joins MMA, the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Maine Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Maine Primary Care Association, and more than thirty other organizations representing health care, consumer, and senior citizen interests in the state.

PAC finance reports filed Friday showed that the interests supporting Question One had raised more than $2.1 million dollars, with virtually all of the money raised in the past reporting period coming from beverage interests outside the state.  Pepsi Cola distributors in N.Y. and Texas recently contributed nearly $900,000 to the campaign.

Persons interested in contributing to the No on One campaign may contribute through the website at www.healthcoveragemaine.org or may send a check payable to Health Coverage for Maine, to P.O. Box 15312, Portland, Maine 04112.  [return to top]

Three Hour CME Program on Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse Offered Thursday at MMC

On Thursday, October 16th, the MMA and the Maine Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians will present a three-hour program on preventing drug diversion at the MMC's Dana Center.  The program will run from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and refreshments will be available.  Faculty includes emergency physicians, attorneys, a DEA agent, and Daniel Eccher from the Maine Office of Substance Abuse.  Mr. Eccher operates the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.

There is no cost for the program which has been approved for three hours of category one CME.  The program is geared particularly to emergency physicians, but any physician may attend.  Please call Anna Bragdon at Maine ACEP if you would like to attend (cell 441-5989).

This program is the twentieth in a series of such educational programs presented by the MMA and funded by the State Office of Substance Abuse. [return to top]

Maine CDC/DHHS Diabetes and Cardiovascular Health Programs Seek Program Manager

The Maine CDC/DHHS Diabetes and Cardiovascular Health Programs are looking for a new program manager.  The position of “Health Program Manager” in the Chronic Disease Management Team, Maine CDC is being recruited until October 24, 2008.  This position will oversee the work of the diabetes and cardiovascular health programs.  

As Health Program Manager in the Chronic Disease Management Team, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, you will oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of two chronic disease programs - Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes.  You will provide leadership to develop program goals and objectives, monitor program progress, administer grants, collaborate with internal and external partners, and oversee the work of program personnel.  Responsibilities include providing overall direction for planning, implementing, and evaluating statewide program efforts, and developing and monitoring contracts and budgets.  Knowledge of public health practices related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes prevention and control is necessary as well as public health planning, implementation, and evaluation techniques.  The successful candidate should be comfortable working in a team approach, have excellent writing and people skills, and be able to handle multiple tasks concurrently with limited supervision.

Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health or Health Sciences, Health Education, one of the Behavioral Sciences, Public Administration, Education, or related fields –AND- three (3) years experience in health program planning, development, implementation, and evaluation –OR- an equivalent seven (7) year combination of education, training, and experience.

The following hyperlink will take you to the Bureau of Human Resources Jobs website where you can download a direct hire application http://www.maine.gov/bhr/state_jobs/how_to/direct.htm[return to top]

MeMGMA Presents Full Day Educational Seminar, November 12th

The Maine Medical Group Management Association is Pleased to Present:  Maine Employment Law Updates By Lawrence Winger, Esq. and How to Keep Your Employees on Track By Nicole Morin-Scribner, MBA, SPHR

Date: Wednesday, November 12th
Location: The Hilton Garden Inn - Freeport, Maine
Time: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Employment Law Updates - By Lawrence Winger, Esq.
Lawrence C. Winger, Esq., has over twenty-four years of experience in the area of Labor and Employment Law. He has handled labor and employment law litigation matters such as: NLRB unfair labor practice trials, union picketing injunction litigation, age, sex, and handicap discrimination trials, sexual harassment jury trials, litigated wage and hour cases, wrongful discharge jury trials, severance pay litigation, NLRB unit determination hearings, NLRB unit clarification hearings, non-competition agreement litigation, unemployment compensation
litigation, and arbitrations.  Lawrence Winger has been on retainer with the MEMGMA for several years to answer questions regarding employment law as a benefit of membership.

How To Keep Employees on Track - By Nicole Morin-Scribner
Nicole Morin-Scribner, MBA, SPHR has been the Director of Human Resources at St. Mary’s Health System since 1997.  She has over 20 years of experience in HR and has achieved Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Nicole has served in a number of HR leadership positions including President of the Maine Society for Healthcare Human Resources and is currently on the national board of directors for the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources.  Nicole has published articles and made presentations on HR topics at the state, regional and national level.

Congratulations! You have all your positions filled!! Your staffing challenges are over, right? But…is everyone working full speed ahead to help your organization meet its goals? There are tools managers can use (REALLY! You DO have some options!) to help employees who are not meeting your expectations.  In this interactive session, you’ll learn some helpful hints on how to best utilize the performance evaluation process as well as a new approach to progressive discipline.  We’ll also cover some of the “newer” challenges experienced in the workplace with the blurring of work/personal life presented by cell phones, e-mail, myspace etc.  Our goal is for you to walk away with some concrete ideas you can take back to your workplace!

If you have questions concerning this seminar, or for late registration, please contact Pamela Beaulé at (207) 777-8553 or by E-mail: pbeaule@stmarysmaine.com [return to top]

Earn a 4% Bonus by Putting Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiatives (PQRI) and E-prescribing Into Practice

Physicians may increase their overall Medicare reimbursement by 4 percent by successfully e-prescribing and reporting Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) measures.  In 2009 and 2010, physicians who successfully e-prescribe may receive a bonus payment of 2 percent of their overall Medicare reimbursement.  In addition, physicians who successfully report measures (one of which addresses e-prescribing) in the PQRI may receive a 2 percent bonus in 2009.

In conjunction with the Vermont Medical Society, MMA is offering two educational sessions on Vermont Interactive Television (VIT) to help practices prepare to implement this program.

Thursday, October 16th, 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Speakers: Andy Finnegan, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and
Paul Harrington, EVP, Vermont Medical Society

Tuesday, October 21st, 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.
Speakers: William Kassler, M.D., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and Paul Harrington, EVP, Vermont Medical Society

Educational sessions will be presented on VIT at the MMA's office in Manchester.  Both sessions will include plenty of time for questions and answers.  Please forward this announcement to colleagues and staff who may be interested in attending.  There is no charge to attend these events. [return to top]

AMA Co-sponsors E-prescribing Conference and Guide

The AMA and a number of other health care organizations co-sponsored an e-prescribing conference held by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Boston, MA on October 6-7, 2008.  The purpose of the conference was to highlight the new financial incentives for physicians who use e-prescribing that were established by H.R. 6331, the “Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act,” which passed Congress last July.  As part of the conference, the AMA participated in one of several breakout sessions that focused physician e-prescribing experiences.  Medicare’s new financial incentives for e-prescribing begin on January 1, 2009.

More information can be found at:

Also, in collaboration with the e-Health Initiative, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, and the Medical Group Management Association, the AMA released a "Clinicians Guide to E-Prescribing.” The Guide can be found at
http://www.ehealthinitiative.org/assets/Documents/e-Prescribing_Clinicians_Guide_Final.pdf. [return to top]

New AMA Resource: Selecting the Best EMR/EHR System for Your Practice

Procuring an electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) system for your practice can be an intimidating process with the many facets and the multitude of EMR/EHR vendors currently available.  How do you select the one that’s best for your practice?  The American Medical Association has created the educational resource “15 qestions to ask before signing an electronic medical record or electronic health
record agreement” to help you assess your practice’s needs and determine which vendor will best meet those needs.  Visit the AMA Practice Management Center Web site at www.ama-assn.org/go/pmc to access this information as well as many other educational resources. [return to top]

CMS Announces New RAC Contractors

CMS announced four companies that will serve as the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) in the nationwide RAC program.  Congress initially created the RACs as a pilot program in five states and subsequently expanded it nationwide.  The expanded program is being rolled out in phases and a map detailing when each state will see RAC activity can be found at

The four new RACs are:

  • Diversified Collection Services, Inc. of Livermore, California, in Region A, initially working in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.
  • CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. of Fairfax, Virginia, in Region B, initially working in Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota.
  • Connolly Consulting Associates, Inc. of Wilton, Connecticut, in Region C, initially working in South Carolina, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.
  • HealthDataInsights, Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada, in Region D, initially working in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona.

AMA Position:  While the AMA has aggressively worked to secure improvements from CMS in the RAC program, the association continues to strongly oppose the program’s bounty-hunter approach in advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. [return to top]

Wal-Mart Soon Will Offer Employees Web-based Personal Health Records

On September 30, 2008, Wal-Mart announced that it would give its more than 1.4 million workers the opportunity to establish "personal health records" (PHRs) through a web-based system called Dossia in 2009.  Wal-Mart worked with other large employers BP America, Inc., Pitney Bowes, Intel Corp., and Applied Materials to develop Dossia in December 2006.  Since then, Microsoft and Google each have established online PHRs called HealthVault and Google Health respectively.  Some observers have raised privacy concerns with these PHRs, though Wal-Mart claims that Dossia has strong user identification and authentication systems to ensure security.

You can find more information on Dossia on the web at:   http://www.dossia.org/. [return to top]

For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.mainemed.com l ©2003, Maine Medical Association