September 6, 2010

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Annual Meeting Features Gubernatorial Forum; Still Time to Register

MMA's 157th Annual Meeting this coming weekend will feature the appearance of all five of Maine's candidates running for Governor and many other highlights.  More than seven hours of CME are available featuring presentations at the Jackson Laboratory beginning on Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. with Saturday's general membership meeting and more CME at the Bar Harbor Club adjacent to the Bar Harbor Hotel & Marina.  On Saturday evening, President David McDermott, M.D., M.P.H. will present the Presidential Medallion to incoming President Jo Linder, M.D.  Dr. Linder is an emergency physician in Portland.

The Gubernatorial Forum on Public Health will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, September 10th at the Bar Harbor Club.  All five candidates have committed to attending the session in which they will answer six questions prepared by the Association's Committee on Public Health.  Any health professional is welcome to attend.  Physicians receiving CME will be charged a fee of $50 which includes brunch.

In addition to the candidates, the Honorable Chellie Pingree is expected to speak on Saturday morning as will current AMA President Cecil Wilson, M.D.  Dr. Wilson practices internal medicine in Winter Park, Florida.

The theme for the meeting is Life Transitions, for Patients, Families and Communities.  Registration is available on the Association's website at or by calling MMA at 622-3374.

MaineCare's MIHMS Goes Live; Tell MMA How it Went for Your Practice

The new claims and information management system for MaineCare, called MIHMS (Maine Integrated Health Management Solution) went live for claims processing on September 1, 2010.  Any claims for dates of service beginning September 1, 2010 and later must be submitted to MIHMS using the new billing instructions found on the MIHMS Portal at  Companion Guides for electronic claims submissions are also located here under "Claims Submission Manuals."  If you need further assistance, call Provider Services at 866-690-5585 or via e-mail to

Claims for dates of service through August 31, 2010 must be submitted through the previous MECMS system.  Billing instructions are located at  For assistance on these claims, call 207-624-7539 or 800-321-5557.

Claims that span dates of service August 31, 2010 and September 1, 2010 must be split-billed.  The portion of the claim with dates of service through August 31, 2010 must be billed to MeCMS and the portion with dates of service on or after September 21, 2010 must be billed to MIHMS following the instructions above.

The MMA staff is interested in member experiences with the transition to MIHMS.  We received just a few calls last week, noting a problem with being able to review referrals on the portal which was a problem for some specialist practices.  Given the five and one-half year experience with MeCMS, we know it is important to share information on a timely basis so that problems can be addressed quickly.  If you experience a problem, contact your MaineCare provider representative but please let MMA know as well (contact either Gordon Smith at 622-3374, ext. 212 or e-mail  or Andrew MacLean at 622-3374, ext. 214 or via e-mail to

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State Establishes New Health Website Providing Updates on Affordable Care Act

The State has established a new website and online tool where the public can learn more about the federal health care reform law (called the Affordable Care Act or ACA) and how it impacts the state. 

The site,, includes a summary of the law and links to federal and state agencies, the Maine Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Health Reform and other information sources.

MMA will also be providing information to practices on opportunities patients may have to acquire or improve coverage under the new law, supported by a grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) to the Maine Medical Education Trust (MMET).  One of the first opportunities to be marketed will be the benefit to Medicare patients related to preventive services.  Seniors who have Medicare coverage now have to pay the entire cost of annual physicals and as much as 20% of the cost for various diagnostic tests, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.  As of January 1, 2011, Medicare will pay 100% of those costs, as well as fully covering some other services.  The MeHAF grant provides resources for the MMA and nine other organizations in the state to inform patients of these and similar opportunities as they become available.

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Upcoming MMA Educational Presentations

In addition to the monthly First Friday educational presentations, MMA attorneys frequently are speaking at educational sessions at medical staffs and at other health care association events around the state.  Among upcoming presentations by MMA staff are the following:

  • Tuesday, September 7th (noontime, grand rounds) at Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston, What Physicians Need to Know about Maine's New Medicinal Marijuana Law (G. Smith)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15th, 8:00 a.m. at York Hospital (Medical Staff meeting), Legislative and Regulatory Update (G. Smith)
  • Wednesday, September 15th,  6:00 p.m.   at Cary Medical Center, Caribou (Medical Staff meeting), Legislative and Regulatory Update  (G. Smith)
  • Saturday, September 18th, 11:15 a.m.  at Sunday River Resort for Maine Osteopathic Association Conference, Protecting Your Patients and Your Practice:  HIPAA Refresher and Red Flag Rules Update  (G. Smith)
  • Tuesday, September 21st, 6:00 p.m. to employed physicians group at MaineCoast Memorial Hospital, The Impact of federal Health Care Reform on Maine's Hospitals and Physicians (G. Smith)
  • Monday, October 4th, 6:00 p.m. at Franklin Memorial Hospital (Medical Staff meeting), What Physicians Need to Know About Maine's New Medicinal Marijuana Law (G. Smith)
  • Tuesday, October 5th, 11:00 a.m. at Maine Medical Center Family Medicine Residency (Faculty), What Physicians Need to Know About Maine's New Medicinal Marijuana Law (G. Smith)
  • Wednesday, October 6th, 2:00 p.m. to Lewiston-Auburn Chapter of American Association of Procedural Coders, The Impact of Federal Health Care Reform (G. Smith)
  • Tuesday, October 12th, 7:15 a.m. to Medical Staff at MaineCoast Memorial Hospital, What Physicians Need to Know About Maine's New Medicinal Marijuana Law (with John Woytowicz, M.D.)

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Remembering Ferris Ray, M.D. 1927-2010

Ferris S. Ray, M.D. of Falmouth died on August 28, 2010 at age 83.  Dr. Ray was a well-known vascular surgeon for more than 40 years at the Maine Medical Center and was a long-time member of the Maine Medical Association.  During the majority of his career, he practiced in a group surgical practice alongside Robert McAfee, M.D., Richard Dillihunt, M.D., and the late George Sager, M.D. 

Dr. Ray was born in Bangor and grew up in Eastport, graduating from Shedd Memorial High School in 1946.  After serving in the United States Army, he entered the University of Maine where he graduated in l950.  He then studied medicine at Tufts Medical School where he graduated in l954.  While he had originally intended to practice family medicine and return to his hometown of Eastport, his skill in surgery led him to a surgical residency at MMC.  During his surgical career, he took a special interest in teaching students and medical students at the University of Vermont chose him to be an honorary member of Alpha Omega Alpha in l991.

Dr. Ray married Carolyn McCurdy in Lubec in l958.  They lived in the Portland area then moved to Falmouth where they raised a family and spent a productive 50 years. 

According to his family, the proudest moment of Dr. Ray's career came when he led the operating room team at MMC during the first kidney transplant in Maine in October, 1971.

Dr. Ray is survived by his wife, two older brothers, four children, and eight grandchildren.  Donations in his memory can be made to Falmouth High School to support a scholarship for graduating students planning to study medicine.  The address is Falmouth High School, 74 Woodville Rd., Falmouth, Maine 04105, Att:  Ferris S. Ray, M.D. Memorial Scholarship. [return to top]

MMA is Pleased to Partner with Baker, Newman & Noyes on Coding Services

MMA's Coding Center, which has provided expert coding advice to MMA members and their staffs for several years, has been conveyed to Baker, Newman & Noyes, a major regional accounting firm headquartered in Portland.  The Coding Center activities will be merged with the activities of the BNN Learning Center.  MMA members and their staffs will continue to be able to receive responses to their inquiries from BNN's certified coders at no cost, so long as the inquiries are of a routine nature.

About BNN Learning Center

The Learning Center is part of the Healthcare Management Consulting Division
of Baker Newman Noyes.  The Learning Center has been established to assist,
educate and advocate for the provider community.  Specializing in coding and
reimbursement issues, the courses are taught in locations throughout Maine, and
other parts of New England.  The courses are designed to accommodate full-time
work schedules.

The faculty of The Learning Center includes professionals who have served the
healthcare industry for their entire careers. Laurie Desjardins, Maggie Fortin, Hayat
Lutes, Carol Cherry and Jana Purrell all bring specialized expertise to the classroom
for courses tailored to the audience, as opposed to “cookie-cutter” lectures.

More on MMA's Agreement with The Learning Center

Routine inquires are defined in the conveyance Agreement as inquiries that can be responded to without spending more than one hour.  Members who order additional services from BNN will receive discounts off of standard rates of not less than 10%.  Members or staff who present more than five questions a month may be charged for responses to the sixth question or any response to additional questions that particular month.

MMA is pleased to be re-united with the first and second Directors of the Coding Center, Laurie Desjardins, CPC and Jana Purrell, CPC.  Laurie directs the activities of the Learning Center and Jana provides services in a consulting role.

Baker, Newman & Noyes has been a Corporate Affiliate of MMA for many years and will continue to be an affiliate, as a condition of the Agreement.

The Learning Center of BNN will be exhibiting at the Association's Annual Meeting this week.  Stop by their booth and say hello to both Laurie and Jana.

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BNN Learning Center Offers Coding Course at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center

The Learning Center, part of the Healthcare Management Consulting Division of Baker, Newman & Noyes, is presenting a 16-week course on professional medical coding at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. beginning on September 14, 2010 and concluding on January 11, 2011.  The course tuition is $1600.00.  The course instructors are Laurie Desjardins, CPC, PCS and Jana Purrell, CPC-I, CEMC.  For more information about the course, please to to the BNN web site: [return to top]

MeMGMA Presents Half-Day Session on Service Excellence at MMA on September 29th

The Maine Medical Group Management Association is pleased to present a program on Service Excellence by Dan Booth from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, September 29th at the MMA headquarters in Manchester. 

Dan Booth is the Vice President of Operations and Chief Human Resource Officer at Inland Hospital in Waterville, Maine.  He has worked in this position for 10 years.  Prior to working at Inland, Dan has worked in several other healthcare organizations throughout New England for the past 20 years.  Dan started his healthcare career working for Marriott Management Services in their contract management division.  In his role as VP of Operations/CHRO, he has administrative responsibility for the employed physician practices, ancillary support departments and human resources.  He also is the service culture development point person for the organization.  Dan has a B.S. in Clinical Nutrition from Penn State University and a M.B.A. from Thomas College.  He lives in Oakland, Maine with his wife Joanne and 3 children and enjoys skiing and kayaking.

Dan's presentation on Service Excellence will address Establishing a Culture of Service and Key Service Behaviors.

The program cost is $25 for MeMGMA members and staff (whether live or by WebEx) and $50 for non-members (also live or WebEx).

For more information, please contact Karen Wheeler at 873-6173 or by email at

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Seeking Volunteers for Medical Marijuana Advisory Board

Pursuant to the new medical marijuana statute and rules, the MMA and the Maine Osteopathic Association must jointly recommend physician members for the Advisory Board to DHHS on the medical marijuana law.  The following is some background on the composition and duties of the Advisory Board.

 Advisory Board

•       DHHS Commissioner establishes, chairs, & staffs

•       Membership includes at least 11 health care practitioners from various fields of practice, including neurology, gastroenterology, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, hospice medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, treatment of addiction, & gynecology

–     Recommended by MMA/MOA

–     Board certified

–     Knowledgeable about medical marijuana

•       Membership includes 2 public members, 1 must be registered patient

Advisory Board Duties

•      Accept, review, & evaluate petitions to add to list of debilitating medical conditions

•      Convene at least once a year to hold hearings on petitions

•      Make recommendations to Commissioner on additional conditions

•      Recommend quantities of marijuana necessary to constitute an “adequate supply”

If you are board certified and "knowledgeable about medical marijuana" and would like to serve on the Advisory Board, please send an email describing your interest and knowledge about medical marijuana, along with a current C.V., to Gordon Smith, EVP at

 You can find more information about the Maine Medical Marijuana Act and its implementation on the DHHS web site at:

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Pertussis in Maine: Advisory for Parents & Clinicians

Pertussis is still an important concern in Maine and throughout the U.S.  To date in 2010, Maine has seen 32 confirmed cases of pertussis with 11 of those reported in the past month.  The majority of people identified are younger than 13 years of age.  Half are not up to date on their vaccines or their vaccine status is not known.  This advisory provides information on pertussis for the public and clinicians as well as a reminder about required vaccines for school attendance.  * A full version of this advisory can be downloaded from the Maine CDC website as a Microsoft Word document (.doc) or Adobe PDF (.pdf) by clicking the hyperlink at the bottom of this message and looking under the Recent Health Advisories section of the page that loads.  Please contact the MaineHAN Helpdesk at if you have trouble accessing this document.  Thank you.

Alert Id: 1310

Acknowledge: No

Alert Program: HAN

Delivery Time: 60 minutes

Event Status: Actual

Jurisdictiona l Level: State, Local

MessageType: Alert

Sensitive: No

Severity: Minor
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October "First Fridays" Presentation Addresses Compliance in the Medical Practice

The next MMA First Fridays presentation from 9:00 a.m. to noon on October 1st features two popular speakers at MMA programs, John Gleason, Esq. and Laurie Desjardins, C.P.C., P.C.S., who will address Compliance in the Medical Practice.

John Gleason is a member of the Portland law firm of Curtis, Thaxter, Stevens, Broder & Micoleau, and chairs its Health Care Practice Group and its Employment Law Practice Group.  His practice includes the representation of physicians and other health care providers in the organization and operation of their practices and the antitrust and regulatory issues arising from the affiliations between medical practices.  His practice also includes counseling on a variety of employment matters ranging from compliance with federal and state laws on employment discrimination to regulatory issues arising from benefits administration.

 Laurie Desjardins joined Baker, Newman & Noyes in 2006.  She is a Senior Manager in the Healthcare Management Consulting Division specializing in revenue management including physician coding, provider based implementation, chargemaster analysis, fee schedule analysis, chart review, and coding and billing education.  Laurie is the former director of the Coding Center, a joint venture of the Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont Medical Societies.  She currently serves as Regional Governor of the American College of Medical Coding Specialists.

You can find more information about this program and you may register online at:

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