Maine Medicine Weekly Update: 03/28/2011

 
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Recognizing Doctors Day, Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It is a special pleasure each March 30th to recognize our MMA physician members and all you do for Mainers every day, all year long.  Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your professionalism, skill, and dedication to your profession.  Our staff here at the Maine Medical Association appreciates the opportunity we have to work for you and to advance the mission of the Association!

The first Doctors Day observance was March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia.  Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians.

On March 30, 1958, a Resolution commemorating Doctors Day was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives.  In 1990, legislation was introduced by the U.S. House and the Senate to establish a national Doctors Day.  Following overwhelming approval by the Senate and House, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed Senate Joint Resolution #366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30th as "National Doctors Day."

Doctors Day marks the date that Crawford W. Long, M.D. of Jefferson, GA administered the first ether anesthetic for surgery on March 30, 1842.  On that day, Dr. Long administered ether anesthesia to a patient and then operated to remove a tumor from the man's neck.  Later, the patient would testify that he felt nothing during the surgery and that he was not aware that the surgery was over until he awoke.

March 30th is now celebrated as Doctors Day throughout the nation, honoring the work of our nation's physicians.

POLITICAL PULSE: Good Week for Public Health as Seat Belt Bill Dies & BPA Rule Proceeds

MAINE PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCATES SECURE WINS ON SEAT BELT & BPA ISSUES LAST WEEK!

Thanks to hard work by many of you during recent weeks, violation of Maine's seat belt law remains a "primary offense" with the defeat of L.D. 64, An Act to Make a Violation of the Laws Governing Seat Belts a Secondary Offense as the House and Senate divided on the issue last week.  After passing in Senate votes on March 15th and 16th, the House voted on March 23rd 91-51 against the minority committee report in favor of the bill.  You can see the procedural history of L.D. 64 on the web at:  http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280038966.

On Friday afternoon, the Environment & Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on L.D. 412, a bill seeking approval of the "major substantive" rule of the DEP, Chapter 882, that would regulate Bisphenol A (BPA) in children's products.  So-called "major substantive" rules require legislative review before the administrative agency may finally enact them.  The MMA joined about 20 witnesses speaking in favor of the bill.  Public Health Committee Co-Chair Norma Dreyfus, M.D. prepared the MMA's testimony.  Dr. Syd Sewall spoke in favor of the bill on behalf of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  No one spoke against the bill.  About a half dozen representatives of the business community spoke "neither for nor against" the bill, attacking not the BPA rule itself, but the underlying Toxic Chemicals in Children's Products statute.  Several bills to amend this statute will be heard this coming week.  Immediately following the hearing late Friday afternoon, the Environment & Natural Resources Committee unanimously voted to pass L.D. 412 and thereby to allow Chapter 882 to take effect.

BIENNIAL BUDGET WORK CONTINUES

The HHS Committee  work session plans to spend at least this coming week in work sessions on the health and social service portions of the budget.  The biennial budget now has been printed as L.D. 1043:  http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280040546.  You also can find the Appropriations Committee materials on the biennial budget on the web at:  http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/materials/index.htm.

INSURANCE COMMITTEE HEARS BILL TO CLARIFY & EXPAND COVERAGE UNDER CLINICAL TRIALS STATUTE

On Wednesday, March 23rd, the Insurance & Financial Services Committee held a public hearing on L.D. 712, An Act to Expand Access to Clinical Trials, a bill submitted jointly by the Maine Medical Association and the American Cancer Society.  Representative Meredith Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland), the House Chair of the HHS Committee and a cancer survivor, is the prime sponsor of the bill.  The bill seeks to clarify that all phases (I - IV) of clinical trials are covered and to expand coverage of the statute to include industry-sponsored trials under IRB oversight.  Susan Miesfeldt, M.D., a medical oncologist with the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, brought the concern to the attention of the MMA and ACS, and she traveled to Augusta to speak in favor of the bill.  In addition to the MMA and ACS, Kelly Thomes, a cancer patient, and the Maine Primary Care Association also spoke in favor of the bill.  Health insurers Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim opposed the bill while the Superintendent of Insurance spoke "neither for nor against" it.  MMA and ACS are working on some drafting concerns raised by the committee for a work session scheduled for April 1st.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE CONSIDERS BILL ON ASSAULTS IN HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS

On Friday morning, the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on L.D. 639, An Act to Protect Medical Care Providers and Hospital Staff.  Current law provides for an enhanced classification for the crime of assault (Class C, a felony) when the victim is an emergency medical care provider.  The purpose of the bill is to ensure that the law covers all those working in the hospital emergency department, whether clinical or not, and those providing emergency services on the hospital grounds.  The bill is a priority of the Maine Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.  Supporters included Pamela Harkins Poisson, R.N., a nurse at Rumford Hospital, Scott Kemmerer, M.D., an emergency physician at MaineGeneral, and Carrie Post, an ER nurse from Maine Medical Center.  MMA and MHA also submitted testimony in support.  The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers opposed the bill.  Geoff Rushlau, DA for 4 midcoast counties spoke "neither for nor against" the bill.  This bill is scheduled for a work session this Thursday, March 31st at 1 p.m.

GRASSROOTS CONTACTS NEEDED ON MINORS' RIGHTS BILLS

On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Judiciary Committee heard two bills that would change current law giving the treating health care practitioner the discretion to treat a minor patient confidentially without parental consent if he or she believes it is in the best interest of the child:  L.D. 31, An Act to Protect the Safety of Maine Children by Requiring the Express Consent of a Legal Guardian to Dispense Prescription Medication to a Minor and L.D. 746, An Act Regarding the Consent of Minors for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Aid.  MMA EVP Gordon Smith was the lead witness for opponents of the bills which included the MMA, the Maine Osteopathic Association, Maine Nurse Practitioner Association, Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, and numerous other health care and public health organizations and experts.  The Maine Civil Liberties Union also opposed the bills.  The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine and conservative groups supported both bills.  

The MMA expects these bills to be closely divided coming from the Judiciary Committee and will be vigorously debated on the floor.  We encourage you to contact your own two legislators to urge them to oppose the bills now.  You can find your legislators through the following tool on the legislature's web site:  http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm.  Also, if you are a constituent of a Judiciary Committee member or have a relationship with a member, we ask you to contact him or her.  You can find the members of the Judiciary Committee and their contact information on the web at:  http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/jud.htm.

Here's the link to L.D. 31:  http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280038923.

Here's the link to L.D. 746:  http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280039990.

Remember, you can leave a message for a legislator during the week at the State House as follows:

Senators:  1-800-423-6900

Representatives:  1-800-423-2900

EDUCATION COMMITTEE HEARS BILLS ON CYBERBULLYING AND HEAD INJURIES IN YOUTH SPORTS

Last week, the Education Committee held public hearings on two high-profile youth issues - first on a bill addressing cyberbullying, L.D. 980, An Act to Prohibit Cyberbullying in Public Schools.  Don Burgess, M.D. submitted testimony in favor of the bill on behalf of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Later in the week, the Committee considered L.D. 98, Resolve, Directing the Commissioner of Education to Adopt a Policy Regarding Management of Head Injuries in Youth Sports.  Though questioning whether legislation is necessary given what's happening in the field, many individuals from the education and medical communities, as well as athletic trainers, physical therapists, and parents supported the bill.  John Boothby, M.D., a neurologist from Portland, and Paul Berkner, D.O. spoke in favor of the bill.  The bill gave Dr. Berkner, a pediatrician, Colby College physician, and director of the Maine Concussion Management Initiative, an opportunity to describe the work of the MCMI.

TAXATION COMMITTEE KILLS BILLS ON TAX EXEMPT PROPERTY

On Monday, March 21, 2011, the Taxation Committee held hearings on L.D. 149, An Act To Authorize Municipalities to Impose Service Charges on Tax-Exempt Property Owned by Certain Nonprofit Organizations and L.D. 238, An Act To Limit the Vehicle Excise Tax Exemption Provided to Benevolent and Charitable Institutions and To Repeal the Exemption Provided to Literary and Scientific Institutions.  Since both bills could potentially affect all nonprofit organizations,  testimony regarding the bills was heard concurrently.  Those in support of the bills, including sponsor Representative Celli (R- Brewer) argue that giving individual municipalities the choice of eliminating the financial exemptions for nonprofits would allow communities to recoup lost funding.  Those speaking in opposition to the bills included a strong showing of veterans' organizations, various nonprofit community service providers, community museums, camps, and libraries, and Maine’s CAP agencies.  The primary concern of these groups is their already limited budgets.  Many testified that a ‘service charge” would signal the death knell for their organizations.  The Maine Hospital Association’s lobbyist, Jeff Austin, presented testimony focused on the incalculable charitable services provided by community hospitals and asked that we not pass legislation that would ‘rely on Maine’s non-profit sector to fill gaps created by under funding education, cutting municipal revenue sharing, and granting tax breaks to for-profit companies.” 

In a work session this morning, the Committee voted unanimously "ought not to pass" on both bills.


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LAST CALL: April 1st First Friday Program Featuring Coding Update

The April 1st First Friday educational program, entitled, No April's Fool, Annual Coding Update, has been moved from the morning to the afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Featuring Laurie Desjardins, CPC and Jana Purrell, CPC from the Learning Center (formerly the Coding Center of MMA) at Baker, Newman & Noyes, this annual update will feature several current coding topics.  A flier including the topics and agenda will be distributed this week and placed on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com.  The cost of the seminar is $65 and interested individuals may attend either via WebEx or by joining the faculty at the MMA offices in Manchester.  MMA Executive Vice President Gordon H. Smith, Esq. will be moderating the afternoon discussion.

Questions about the program and any First Friday program may be addressed to Gail Begin or Maureen Elwell at MMA at 622-3374 or via e-mail to gbegin@mainemed.com or melwell@mainemed.com, respectively.

 

 

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Legislative Committee Conference Call This Tuesday; New Bills for Review

The MMA's Legislative Committee will hold its next weekly conference call this Tuesday, March 29th at 8:00 p.m.  Legislative Committee members and specialty society legislative liaisons are strongly encouraged to participate.  Any physician, practice manager, or other staff member who is interested in the MMA's legislative advocacy also is welcome to participate.  It is not necessary to RSVP for the calls.

Please use the following conference call number and passcode.  These will remain the same for every weekly call during the session:

Conference call number:  1-877-669-3239

Passcode:  23045263

The purpose of the weekly conference calls is to review and finalize the MMA's position on bills printed that week, to hear the views of specialty societies on the new bills or their concerns about any health policy issues, and to discuss the highlights of legislative action that week.  The calls rarely last longer than an hour and usually we can accomplish our business in much less time.

If you have any questions about the conference calls, please contact Andrew MacLean, Deputy EVP at amaclean@mainemed.com or 622-3374, ext. 214.

The following bills of interest to the physician community have been printed since last week's call and will be discussed on Tuesday.  For each bill, MMA Deputy EVP Andrew MacLean has proposed a staff recommendation for the MMA's position (support, oppose, monitor) and any specialty society or MMA committee that may be particularly interested in the bill.  Clicking on the "L.D. XX" will take you to the summary page on the legislature's web site showing you the procedural status of the bill.  To find the bill text for review, click on the "Bill Text and Other Docs" tab on the left side of the page.

Priority bills for discussion:

L.D. 1034, An Act to Amend the Law Regarding Comparative Negligence (monitor)

L.D. 1131, An Act to Require Public Disclosure of Health Care Prices (oppose)

L.D. 1139, An Act to Require Students to Receive Instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and the Use of An Automated External Defibrillator prior to Graduation (monitor; pediatricians, Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1159, An Act to Amend the Identification Requirements under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act (monitor)

L.D. 1160, Resolve, to Promote Education Regarding Parkinson's Disease among Health Care and Emergency Personnel (monitor)

L.D. 1166, An Act to Improve Electronic Prescribing (monitor)

L.D. 1179, An Act to Require Advance Review and Approval of Certain Small Group Health Insurance Rate Increases and to Implement the Requirements of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (monitor or support)

L.D. 1185, An Act to Amend the Process for Prioritizing Toxic Chemicals in Children's Products (oppose; Public Health Committee, pediatricians)

L.D. 1212, An Act to Improve Hospital Reporting of MRSA Data (oppose; check MHA position, Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1222, An Act to Promote Fairness in Negotiations between Health Insurance Carriers and Health Care Service Providers (MMA bill, support)

L.D. 1244, An Act to Clarify Usual and Customary Charges under the Workers' Compensation Laws (oppose)

L.D. 1263, An Act to Establish One State Psychiatric Hospital (support; psychiatrists)

L.D. 1296, An Act to Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act to Protect Patient Privacy (monitor)

Consent bills for discussion only if requested by a participant:

L.D. 1003, An Act to Assist Maine Schools to Obtain Federal Funds for Medically Necessary Services (monitor; pediatricians)

L.D. 1008, An Act to Limit the Use of Social Security Numbers by State Agencies (monitor)

L.D. 1014, An Act to Create the Children's Wireless Protection Act (monitor; pediatricians)

L.D. 1016, An Act to Restore the Health Care Provider Tax for Nursing Homes to 6 Percent (monitor)

L.D. 1023, An Act to Authorize the Board of Licensure in Podiatric Medicine and the State Board of Veterinary Medicine to Establish a Podiatrist Health Program and a Veterinarian Health Program (MMA bill; support)

L.D. 1029, Resolve, to Reduce Health Care Costs through Interstate Collaboration (monitor)

L.D. 1030, An Act to Reduce Costs for Small Businesses (monitor)

L.D. 1035, Resolve, to Establish Baseline Information on Health Impacts from Grid-scale Wind Energy Development (monitor)

L.D. 1043, Governor LePage's FY 2012-2013 Biennial Budget proposal (monitor)

L.D. 1056, An Act to Increase the Availability of Independent Medical Examiners under the Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 (support)

L.D. 1062, An Act to Ensure Access to Certain Health Care Services for Children (oppose; pediatricians)

L.D. 1065, An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of Permanent Impairment under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 (monitor; orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists)

L.D. 1067, An Act to Improve Awareness of Smoking Policies in Maine Rental Housing and Condominiums (monitor)

L.D. 1073, An Act to Require Defibrillators in All Health Club Gyms (monitor; cardiologists)

L.D. 1082, An Act Concerning the Protection of Personal Information in Communications with Elected Officials (monitor)

L.D. 1094, An Act to Improve the Delivery of School Psychological Services to Children (monitor; pediatricians)

L.D. 1105, Resolve, to Study Oral Health Care in Maine and Make Recommendations Regarding How to Address Maine's Oral Health Care Needs (monitor; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1144, An Act to Repeal Inactive Boards & Commissions (monitor)

L.D. 1146, Resolve, to Direct the Department of Environmental Protection to Adopt Rules Establishing Sound Level Limits for Wind Turbines (monitor; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1162, An Act to Allow Members of Professional Associations to Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines (oppose)

L.D. 1163, An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commissioner of Corrections' Study Regarding the Placement of Special Management Prisoners (monitor; psychiatrists)

L.D. 1168, An Act to Exempt Firearms Manufactured in this State from Federal Regulation (oppose; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1170, An Act to Establish a Code of Ethics for Individuals Involved in Grid-scale Wind Energy Development (monitor; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1176, An Act to Enhance Reciprocity Agreements Regarding Permits to Carry Concealed Firearms (oppose; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1181, An Act to Increase Access to Vital Records (monitor)

L.D. 1189, An Act to Require Bicyclists to Contribute to the Improvement of Bikeways (monitor; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1192, An Act to Require that Marijuana Seized by Law Enforcement Officers be Tested and Made Available for Use by Authorized Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (monitor)

L.D. 1193, An Act to Strengthen Confidentiality Laws for Child Victims of Crime (monitor; pediatricians)

L.D. 1195, Resolve, to Create Equitable Reimbursement for Mental Health Providers (monitor; psychiatrists)

L.D. 1196, An Act to Clarify Assistance for Persons with Acquired Brain Injury (monitor)

L.D. 1200, An Act to Authorize the Health Care Choice Compact to Permit the Purchase of Health Insurance from New Hampshire (oppose)

L.D. 1215, An Act to Require Health Insurers to Provide Coverage for Nutritional Wellness and Illness Prevention Measures and Products (oppose)

L.D. 1224, An Act to Fund the Screening and Early Detection Elements of the Statewide Cancer Plan (support; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1225, An Act to Create an Income Tax Return Checkoff to Fund Cancer Screening, Detection and Prevention (support; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1226, An Act to Prevent and Treat Cancer in Maine by Implementing Critical Portions of the Comprehensive Cancer Program (support; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1229, An Act to Require Health Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids for Adults (monitor; ENTs)

L.D. 1230, An Act to Prohibit Smoking in Private Clubs Except in Separate Enclosed Areas (support; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1232, An Act to Enhance Self-defense by Removing Restrictions on the Carrying and Use of Weapons (oppose; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1233, An Act to Prohibit Enforcement by a Federal or State Official of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (monitor)

L.D. 1235, An Act to Allow a Tax-free Employee Illness Account (monitor)

L.D. 1236, An Act to Amend the Legislative Findings in the Maine Wind Energy Act (monitor; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1237, An Act to Prohibit Bullying in Schools (support; pediatricians)

L.D. 1239, An Act to Further Expand Access to Oral Health Care by Requiring Insurance Coverage for Services Performed by Denturists (monitor)

L.D. 1241, An Act to Remove the Requirement that Employers Offer Substance Abuse Services to Employees Who Fail Drug Tests (monitor)

L.D. 1252, Resolve, to Develop a Plan to Improve Public Guardianship Services to Adults with Cognitive Disabilities (monitor; psychiatrists)

L.D. 1256, An Act Concerning Tort Claims and Governmental Entities (monitor)

L.D. 1268, An Act to Allow the Repayment of Improperly Awarded Workers' Compensation Benefits (monitor)

L.D. 1270, Resolve, to Convene a Task Force to Study Staffing Ratios and Issues for Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities (monitor)

L.D. 1271, An Act to Require Use of the Electronic Death Registration System (monitor)

L.D. 1280, An Act to Establish a Pilot Physical Education Project in Four Maine Schools (support; pediatricians, Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1290, Resolve, to Promote Prevention Practices in Oral Health Care (monitor or support; Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1293, Resolve, to Establish a Study Group to Promote the Use of Locally Grown Food in Schools (monitor or support; pediatricians, Public Health Committee)

L.D. 1294, An Act to Impose a 90-day Residency Requirement in Order to Receive State Assistance (monitor)

L.D. 1303, An Act to Increase the Fee Paid to a Funeral Home to Transport a Body at the Request of the State Medical Examiner (monitor)

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MedPAC Proposes 2012 Medicare Update

Unless Congress intervenes, Medicare actuaries now predict that Medicare payments to physicians will fall by 29.5% in 2012.  The projection is contained in a letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which instead recommends increasing payments for physician services by 1% next year.  In a report released March 15th, the Commission noted that although permanently fixing the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula carries a very high budget score, there is another "cost related to the current SGR - namely, mounting frustration in the provider community stemming from the uncertainty of future Medicare payments, with looming payment cuts in the balance."  The report suggests MedPAC will explore alternatives to the SGR and consider additional "'levers' for enhancing beneficiaries' access to high-quality primary care."

Between 2006 and 2011, the report notes that payments for primary care services increased by 22.5%, but further actions may be needed.  These actions could possibly include "an expansion of nurses' scope of practice in primary care" and reimbursement for "patient-clinician communication when it avoids the need for office visits."

The AMA played a key role in making Commissioners aware of the problems associated with the multiple temporary SGR fixes in 2010 and the need for a permanent solution.

The full report is available on MedPAC's web site at:  http://www.medpac.gov/.

A March 10th letter from the AMA and 130 state and specialty medical societies, including the MMA, to the U.S. Congress calls for a permanent solution this year to Medicare's broken physician payment formula.  The letter calls on Congress to again work in a bipartisan manner to end the cycle of temporary patches and develop a long-term, meaningful solution to the problem.  You can find the AMA's news release and letters on the web at:  http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/bipartisan-solution-medicare.page.

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Appeals Court Halts Red Flag Rule Implementation

A federal appeals court issued a decision on March 4th that further validates the AMA's long-standing argument to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that physicians who bill after rendering services are not creditors and so are not subject to the Red Flag Rule.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the present regulations of the FTC invalid following passage last December of the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010.  The court issued the judgment in a lawsuit filed by the American Bar Association challenging the application of the red flags rule to attorneys.  The AMA has worked closely with FTC officials and Congress and is engaged in a lawsuit with other physician groups to challenge the FTC's efforts to extend the red flags rule to physicians.  The lawsuit, filed by the Litigation Center of the AMA and the State Medical Societies, the American Osteopathic Association, and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and joined by 26 national medical specialty societies, will now formally end.  You can see an AMA news release on the topic on the web at:  http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/ama-welcomes-clarification-red-flags-rule.page. [return to top]

Maine Regional Extension Center Announces Supported Vendors

The Maine Regional Extension Center (MEREC) is pleased to announce that athenahealth, e-MDs, and Concordant are supported vendors in the MEREC program.  An extensive selection process was performed by MEREC in which the candidates' products, services, and pricing structures were compared and evaluated.  All eligible providers must enroll in the Maine Regional Extension Center to receive best New England pricing for these vendors.

In addition to discounted group vendor rates, all enrolled providers in the Maine Regional Extension Center receive the following services:

  • Eight hours of core REC Support services through our partner Quality Counts  (see attachment for selection);
  • Connection to Maine's statewide health information exchange, HealthInfoNet (see attachment);
  • Low interest loans to purchase an EHR and implementation/optimization vendor services (see attachment).

To enroll in the Maine Regional Extension Center:

  • Select one of our supported vendors;
  • Complete the Direct Services Agreement (attached);
  • Complete the enrollment spreadsheet (attached);
  • After enrollment is complete, return these forms to HealthInfoNet;
  • Upon request, HealthInfoNet will provide your practice with service and pricing summaries for our supported vendors;
  • Work directly with the vendor to execute a contract between their company and your practice

The Maine Regional Extension Center Supported Vendors

  • athenahealth and e-MDs offer ONC-ATCB (Office of National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body) certified products with the EHR functionality to attain Meaningful Use Stage 1 criteria.  We have one additional ONC - ATCB certified EHR which we will announce shortly.
  • Concordant offers implementation/optimization services for providers who already have an EHR, and would like assistance to upgrade to an ONC-ATCB certified version, or providers who would like additional support in implementing an EHR for the first time.  Services include strategic planning, project/program management, technical and clinical deployment, adoption and support.

We encourage you to contact our supported vendors directly:

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DEAPA Is Pleased to Announce Its 2011 Award Recipients!

The Downeast Association of Physician Assistants (DEAPA) is pleased to announce its 2011 Award Recipients!

 

Robert J Lapham Outstanding Service Award:

Cheryl DeGrandpre, PA-C and

Ann Norsworthy, PA-C

 

Rural Physician Assistant of the Year:

Laura Corbett, PA-C


Physician of the Year:

Mark Silver, MD


Outstanding Health Care Professional:

Lori Eckerstorfer, PA-C


Join us for the Awards Presentation during DEAPA's Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, April 9th, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Maine Medical Association in Manchester.  To RSVP, email Barb Farrell at bfarrell@mainemed.com or call 207-620-7577.


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Maine Radiological Society to Meet at MMA on April 11th

Members of the Maine Radiological Society are invited to attend the Maine Radiological Society (MRS) Annual Meeting on April 11th, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Maine Medical Association.  In an effort to bring forward radiology’s most pressing issues and to coordinate our activities for the year ahead, this meeting is of utmost importance and we invite you to be an active part of it.   

Our business section of the meeting will focus on the election of officers, namely President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Councilors to the ACR.  According to the By-laws, elections shall be by ballot at the annual meeting of the chapter, and the nominee for each office designated, who received a majority of votes cast shall be declared elected.  Each shall serve a term of one year, or until their successors are elected and qualified.  All Chapter officers shall be members of the American College of Radiology.  

We look forward to your involvement, input and ideas, as we re-energize our state chapter, to ensure that Radiologists in Maine have the foundation on which to be represented. 

We want to hear from you regarding your intention to attend this important meeting.  Please RSVP prior to April 8th by emailing or calling the MRS staff, Maureen Elwell; melwell@mainemed.com or 207-622-3374, ext. 219.  

Members can also participate via conference call by calling:  1-877-669-3239, followed by the access code:  23030608.

These are exciting times for the medical profession, the radiology profession, and the health care arena in general.  We look forward to seeing you on April 11th.  
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SAVE THE DATE: 33rd American Cancer Society Living with Cancer Conference Scheduled for May 4th

The American Cancer Society invites you to the 33rd Living With Cancer Conference scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at the Augusta Civic Center.  Volunteers and staff from the American Cancer Society created the first Living With Cancer Conference in 1979.  Since then, cancer patients, family members, caregivers, and health care professionals come together to attend this annual event.

This year, please join us for Facing Cancer Together, a day of personal stories and medical information designed to help cancer patients and their families as they continue along their cancer journeys.

Thomas Keating, M.D., M.S., the Medical Director of Palliative Care and Hospice at MaineGeneral Health and a medical oncologist at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care and a long-time ACS volunteer, is a keynote speaker for the event.

You can find more information about Living With Cancer Conferences in New England, including more details about the Maine event, on the web at:  http://www.cancer.org/InYourArea/NewEngland/LocalStories/ne-living-with-cancer-conferences.

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MIHMS Practice Focus Groups REGISTER TODAY!

MaineCare and Molina Medicaid Solutions would like to hear practice feedback on MIHMS (Maine Integrated Health Management Solution).

Focus groups are planned to take place across the state throughout the months of March and April.  Each focus group session will be followed by afternoon demonstrations. 

The morning session will include:

  • Overview of known issues and progress report on resolving these
  • Small-group discussions (by provider type) on how MIHMS is working, and what can be improved

Please note that the purpose of the morning will be to gather high level feedback for process improvement from providers as it relates to MIHMS.  Questions and answers related to specific claims and payments issues will not be addressed in these sessions.  We anticipate providing the opportunity for this type of discussion at future events.  

At the afternoon session, providers can see a demonstration of the MIHMS Online Portal. Demonstration areas will include:  Member Eligibility, Authorizations, Claims, and Remittance Advice Statements.

You can view the dates, locations and register online for all  sessions at:  http://maine.gov/dhhs/oms/forms/2011_provider_forum.shtml

Note: Special hospital-only and dentists-only sessions are planned but not yet scheduled.


 

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Let MMA Train Your New Staff on HIPAA, Friday, May 6th

MMA will present its annual HIPAA staff training on Friday, May 6th at the MMA office or via WebEx.  The program will be from 9:00 a.m. to noon and the cost per person is just $65 which includes substantial materials for all attendees and breakfast for those persons attending the live presentation in the office in Manchester.

This program would be most valuable for staff you may have hired in the past year but have not provided with any HIPAA training. 

The Annual HIPAA staff training is one of MMA's most popular programs so don't delay in registering.  Registration is available now on the Association's website at www.mainemed.com.

For questions, contact Gail Begin or Maureen Elwell at MMA at 622-3374 or via e-mail to gbegin@mainemed.com or melwell@mainemed.com , respectively. [return to top]

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