August 29, 2011

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Register Now for Sept. 2 CME Program on Compliance; Attend in Person or via WebEx

MMA's popular First Fridays educational programs resume this coming Friday, September 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to noon with an outstanding seminar entitled, Legal Compliance in the Medical Practice.  Presenters include some of the best known health lawyers in the state.  Stacey Mondschein Katz, J.D., founder of SMK Consulting Services, LLC will moderate the program which will cover a variety of compliance topics including OSHA, Billing & Coding, ADA, FMLA and the new HIPAA amendments included in the HITECH legislation.

The cost for the program is just $65 and registration is available via the MMA website at or by calling the office at 622-3374.  

In addition to  attorney Katz, other presenters include Susan Tedrick, J.D., Susan Boisvert, Senior Risk Manager, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine, and Steve Johnson, Esq. and Benjamin Townsend, Esq. of Kozak & Gayer in Augusta.

The agenda for the morning follows:

  • 9:00 am   Welcome and brief introduction to compliance changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Stacey Mondschein Katz
  • 9:20 am   Health Network: General compliance on the ground for the medical practice.  Susan Tedrick, Esq.
  • 9:50 am    Coding and Billing for the small office practice
  • 10:20 am       Break
  • 10:30 am   OSHA in the physician practice.  Susan Boisvert
  • 11:00 am    FMLA/ADA/Employment issues for the physician practice.  Steve Johnson, Esq.
  • 11:30 am    HITECH/HIPAA changes and curious compliance news/updates.  Ben Townsend, Esq.
  • Noon          Conclusion


ALERT: MMA Office Has No Power, No Phone Service; More Information Here
Hurricane Irene has left the MMA and other organizations on Association Drive and Pelton Hill Road in Manchester without power.  Unfortunately, we have been given no indication when power might be restored and, realistically, the outage may continue into tomorrow.  Without power, the MMA phone system is down as well.  The MMA email system is "cloud-based," so we do have access to email, though some MMA staff members still are without power at home, too.  Although we have encouraged the staff to be as productive as possible from home or alternative locations with internet access, most MMA staff will not be easily accessible until power is restored and the office is fully functional.  If you need service during this period, MMA EVP Gordon Smith (cell 215-7461/ and Deputy EVP Andrew MacLean (cell 215-7462/ are available by cell phone or email.

Also, please pardon the appearance of this week's newsletter as we cannot properly format it with the office computer system down.
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Not Too Late to Register for MMA's Annual Session, Sept. 9-11 in Bar Harbor

There are still a few rooms available for members or guests interested in attending the Association's upcoming Annual Session next week in Bar Harbor.  Eight hours of CME are available with sessions at both the world famous Jackson Laboratory and the Bar Harbor Club adjacent to the Harborside Hotel.

A full schedule of events is available on the Association's website at

As the MMA room block has expired at the Harborside, call Diane McMahon at MMA directly if you need a room at the Harborside (622-3374, ext. 216) or via e-mail to [return to top]

Laurel Coleman, M.D. Appointed to Federal Advisory Panel on Alzheimer's Disease

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week announced the appointment of eleven individuals to an advisory council on Alzheimer's disease, including Laurel Coleman, M.D. of Manchester.  Dr. Coleman is an internist and is working as a geriatrician and hospitalist in Augusta and Lewiston.

Dr. Coleman has previously served as a board member of the national Alzheimers Association and is a former member of the MMA Executive Committee.

“We are pleased to have this group of experts and advocates assisting HHS in developing a national plan for Alzheimer’s disease," said Secretary Sebelius. "We received an overwhelming number of nominations, demonstrating not only the impact of this debilitating condition but the widespread commitment to address it.”
The full Advisory Council, established May 23, also includes federal members and will meet quarterly to assist in the development of a national plan by HHS, Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation to address the disease. The Advisory Council is required by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and its members will serve for overlapping four-year terms.
"We are reviewing and coordinating our efforts to address the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias,” said Donald Moulds, deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation.  “With the input of the Advisory Council, we will create a national plan to help reduce financial and care impacts faced by people with the disease as well as promote research toward its prevention and treatment.”
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.1 million Americans and is expected to affect more than 20 million by 2050. The National Alzheimer's Project Act, signed by President Obama in January, will help people and families across the country whose lives are touched by Alzheimer’s disease. The Act will help strengthen Alzheimer’s research, and health and long-term care services for affected individuals.
For more information on the Advisory Committee, please visit

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AMA Offers Webinar Series on Scope of Physician Suicide Problem
Webinar series to examine scope of physician suicide problem. Explore the issue of suicide among physicians by participating in a free AMA webinar at 1 p.m. Eastern time Sept. 7. The program, the first webinar in a three-part series, will examine the problem, point to research on the matter and highlight suicide prevention programs. Subsequent webinars will take place Oct. 5 and Nov. 16. Register today for the Sept. 7 program.
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Maine Law Court Recognizes Doctrine Expanding Period of Exposure for Professional Liability
In a unanimous opinion written by Associate Justice Jon Levy in Baker v. Farrand, et al., 2011 ME 91, handed down on August 18th, Maine's Law Court has recognized a "continuing negligent treatment doctrine," permitting a plaintiff to maintain an action for professional negligence against a physician for acts or omissions outside the usual 3-year limitations period.  The allegations in the matter are failure to diagnose and refer on the part of a primary care physician.  The plaintiff patient underwent PSA tests annually from 2001 through 2006 at which time the defendant physician referred the patient to a urologist who diagnosed a form of prostate cancer.  The plaintiff's 2007 action alleges the referral should have been made sooner and that he would have had more or better treatment options if a specialist referral had been made sooner.  The matter came before the Law Court as an interlocutory appeal of the application of the statute of limitations, so no decision has yet been made about the merits of the allegations.  The matter is now before a pre-litigation screening panel.  

You can find the Law Court's decision on the web at:
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Emergency Preparedness Resources
After a recent earthquake and hurricane hit the East Coast, Mainers need to be prepared for anything.  The Maine Public Health Association has a webpage dedicated to help Mainers become prepared: 

Find information and resources about how to build an emergency preparedness kit, make a plan and be informed.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency also has a website with current weather/emergency watches and warnings, preparedness information and safety tips: 
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Register Now for Maine Medical Directors Association Annual Conference, Oct 14th

AMDA Maine Chapter Annual Conference

October 14, 2011

Location: DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant

25 Long Warf

Portland, ME

Topics include:  Medical Billing & coding in Nursing Homes, Practical Approach to Geriatric Polypharmacy, Palliative Care in Nursing Home Setting and Use of Medicinal Marijuana in Nursing Homes

To register online visit or call Tammy at 207-878-6564.

Register before Friday, Sept. 30 and pay only $50.00 for 2 people. Includes parking, lunch & snacks.

Register after Friday, Sept. 30 and you pay $75.00 for 2 people. Includes parking, lunch & snacks.

        Registration fee: Members “free” 

       Non members: Physicians $100.00

       Non members:  Nurses, Administrators & others $50.00


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Maine CDC Receives $2 Million for Public Health Programs

The Health and Human Services Department announced on August 25th $137 million in grants to help states bolster their public health infrastructure and workforce.
The grants will be used by states, territories, and local organizations to support efforts such as tobacco-cessation programs; strengthen public health laboratory and immunization services; and prevent health care-associated infections, according to HHS.
The Maine CDC received $80,433 for the Tobacco Quitline and $1,256,896 to strengthen public health immunizations 
Nearly every state, the District of Columbia, and several territories received grants. The grants will assist state and local public health programs that are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Funding for the grants comes primarily from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with supplemental funding from SAMHSA.
For a full list of the states and programs funded, see:
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CMS Announces Bundled Payment Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on August 23rd a new bundled payment initiative under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help improve care for patients while they are in the hospital and after they are discharged.
CMS said the initiative will align payments for services delivered across an episode of care, such as heart bypass or hip replacement, rather than paying for services separately. Bundled payments will give doctors and hospitals new incentives to coordinate care, improve the quality of care, and save money for Medicare, the agency said.
The initiative, published in the August 25th Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 53137), will allow providers to apply to help test and develop four different models of bundling payments, CMS said. Providers will have flexibility to determine which episodes of care and which services will be bundled together.
The initiative is being launched by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was created under PPACA to carry out the task of finding new and better ways to provide and pay for health care to a growing population of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. 

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"What Value is Your Peer Review Program," CME Program Offered Free at Noon on Oct. 6

The Peer Review Advisory Committee of MMA is presenting a webinar on peer review on Thursday, October 6, 2011 as part of its mission to advance and improve peer review in the state, and more specifically to improve and enhance the Association's external peer review program.  The objectives of the one hour program are to:

  • Delineate the factors accounting for the impact of clinical peer review on quality and safety 
  • Understand the role of healthcare and physician leaders in catalyzing clinical peer review improvement

Facilitating the program is Marc T. Edwards, M.D., MBA, who brings more than 20 years of broad-based healthcare management and consulting experience to management research on important but frequently neglected topics such as the clinical peer review process.  Dr. Edwards has conducted two national studies and published five scientific manuscripts on this subject.   He was able to characterize and elaborate an evidence-based approach for conducting clinical peer review within a quality improvement framework - the QI MODEL.  Dr. Edwards is currently organizing an "Ideal Clinical Peer Review Practices Collaborative" and a "Normative Peer Review Database Project" to further advance this work.

Dr. Edwards is a graduate of the University of Washington and received his medical degree from the University of Colorado.  He completed training in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and later completed an Executive MBA program at he University of Connecticut.  He maintains board certification in Family Medicine, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American College of Physician Executives.

Anyone interested in registering for the program, which is offered without charge, should contact Peggy Pinkham at

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Resolutions for 2011 Annual Meeting Due by Sept. 2

Any MMA member or committee wishing to submit a resolution to the General Membership Meeting being held on Saturday morning, September 9th should submit a draft of the resolution to the MMA office by Friday, September 2nd.  MMA attorneys are available to assist with the drafting.  Contact Gordon Smith, Esq. at if you need assistance with drafting.

Resolutions will be posted to the MMA website for viewing prior to the meeting. 

The General Membership meeting begins at 7:30am on Saturday, September 9th and is part of the Association's 153rd Annual Meeting.  If a member attends only the membership meeting (i.e., does not attend any CME, annual dinner, etc.), no registration fee is required.

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MMA and OSA Offer Free CME on Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse in Bangor, August 30

Through funding provided by the State Office of Substance Abuse, the Maine Medical Association is presenting three CME programs in Bangor, Lewiston, and Manchester on August 30th, September 14th and October 7th, respectively, focusing on the very serious problem of prescription drug addiction and diversion.

The August 30th program will be held at EMMC in Mason Auditorium from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Dinner will be provided. The faculty for the Bangor program includes local DEA agent Chris Gardner, PMP Coordinator Trish Lapada, MMA EVP and attorney Gordon Smith, and Tamas Peredy, M.D.  The September 14th program will be held at St. Mary's General Hospital, also from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with dinner provided.  The October 7th program will be held as part of MMA's popular First Fridays educational series from 9:00 a.m. to noon and will also be offered as a webinar.  There is no cost for these programs.

The format for each program is identical, although the faculty varies.  Each program will begin with a review of the problem by a local DEA agent, followed by presentations by program staff for the prescription monitoring program, legal staff for MMA, and a clinical talk by a physician experienced in addiction and diversion.

Watch for further information on the programs but you may reserve a seat now by registering with Gail Begin at MMA through e-mail to or call the MMA office at 622-3374 and press 0 for the attendant.  Registration is also available on the MMA website at [return to top]

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