May 7, 2012

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Fire Marshal's Office Seeks Data on Fireworks Injuries

The Office of the Fire Marshal would greatly appreciate the assistance of Maine’s medical community in tracking consumer fireworks related injuries.  The purpose of reporting these injuries is to assist the Fire Marshal in developing any necessary statutory, rule, or policy changes essential to minimizing the frequency of fireworks injuries in Maine.  The Office of the Fire Marshal has developed a Consumer Fireworks Injury Report that attempts to collect data necessary for the Fire Marshal’s regulatory effort without being an undue burden on the medical community.  This report form soon will be posted on the web sites of the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Maine Medical Association,  You also may call or email the MMA staff for a copy of the form.

Despite strong objections from the MMA, the Maine Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons (MSEPS), the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Maine Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and other public safety advocates, the 125th Maine Legislature enacted L.D. 83, An Act to Legalize the Sale, Possession and Use of Fireworks (P.L. 2011, Chapter 416) during its First Regular Session in 2011.  You can find the text of the new law here:

Retail consumer fireworks locations are opening around the state and with warmer weather upon us, people will be using consumer fireworks and the medical community must anticipate and prepare for injuries from use of those products. 

You can find more information about Consumer Fireworks in Maine on the Fire Marshal’s web site:

Let MMA Train Your Staff on HIPAA, June 1, 2012

The Annual HIPAA Update is traditionally MMA's most popular First Fridays'  program and this year it will be presented on Friday, June 1st from 9:00 am to noon.  The faculty this year includes Stacey Mondschein Katz, J.D., of SMK Consulting Services, LLC, and MMA's three in-house attorneys, Andrew MacLean, Jessa Barnard and Gordon Smith.

The agenda for the morning follows:

8:30am   Breakfast and Networking

9:00am    Welcome, Introduction and Overview of State and Federal Privacy Law and HIPAA Regulations, Gordon Smith, JD

9:30am    HITECH Regulations, Mental Health Rules and Preparing for an HHS Audit, Stacey Mondschein Katz, JD

10:30am  Break

10:45am  Special Privacy Rules:  Minors and HIV, Jessa Barnard, JD and Andrew MacLean, JD

11:30am   Summation and Q & A,  All presenters, moderated by Mr. MacLean

MMA's sample Notice of Privacy Practices document, consent forms and release forms are currently being updated to comply with the HITECH regulations and will be made available to program participants.

This program is ideal for your annual HIPAA staff education or for training new staff.  There is a $65 fee and registration is available on the MMA website at  A HIPAA Training Certificate will be presented to each participant and CME has been applied for.

Members and practice managers are also reminded that MMA attorneys are available to come to the practice site to provide this program.  Normally, a $200 fee is charged for an on-site program which can be one hour or more if the practice is able to commit that much time to the education.

Any questions about the MMA's educational offerings can be directed to either Gordon Smith, EVP at or Gail Begin via e-mail to [return to top]

Political Pulse: Contact Your Legislators to Comment on Budget

The Legislature has recessed until May 15th following enactment of the second FY 2012 - 2013 supplemental budget (L.D. 1903) several weeks ago.   However, members of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations & Financial Affairs and other members of the legislature continue to meet in partisan caucuses to try to find solutions to the FY 2013 Department of Health and Human Services budget gap.  Significant cuts to MaineCare eligibility and the Fund for a Health Maine, as proposed by Governor LePage in December, remain on the table. The Fund for a Healthy Maine could lose over $25 million from prevention programs, including school health clinics, home visiting, adult immunizations, family planning, Head Start and the Healthy Maine Partnerships.  

If you have concerns about any aspect of the proposed budget, now is the time to contact your legislators and members of the Appropriations Committee.  You can find your legislators by clicking here.  You can find the Appropriations Committee members here.  Appropriations Committee materials are available here

NOTE:  THERE WILL BE NO LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CONFERENCE CALL THIS WEEK.  Please check the Weekly Update next week for news on whether there will be a call on Tuesday evening.

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CMS Delays Implementation of Sunshine Act

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced in a blog posting this past week that it would extend the implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act and will not require drug and device manufacturers to begin collecting data on payments to providers until 2013.

The Physicians Payment Sunshine Act is a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that is intended to increase public accountability and transparency by requiring drug and device manufacturers to report direct and indirect payments to physicians including amounts in access of $10 or even smaller amounts if the aggregate is $100 or more.  While Maine had a similar state law, that law was repealed in 2011 primarily because of the enactment of the federal law.

CMS said in the May 3rd blog post that it plans to issue a final rule later this year and that it will not require data collection by the manufacturers prior to 2013.  The final rule had been expected to be released in June.

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MMA Membership Benefit of the Month

Thank you for those members who took advantage of the contract review service in April, as it was the member benefit of the month.  

In May, we wish to highlight our educational programs that are delivered at the practice site.  Our most popular programs currently include annual training in HIPAA privacy and security regulations, minors rights to care and prescription drug abuse (three separate MMA programs).  The length of the educational sessions can be adapted to the time available.  There is a $200 charge for the presentations which are provided by one of MMA's in-house attorneys.

For more information or to schedule a presentation, contact Gordon Smith at 622-3374 ext. 212 or via e-mail to


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James Leonard Named Deputy Director of MaineCare

The Office of MaineCare Services announced last week the appointment of James Leonard as Deputy Director of MaineCare.  Jim is currently serving as the State Health IT Coordinator.  Prior to that assignment, Jim worked in the Maine CDC for many years and then was part of the staff at the Maine Quality Forum, working with Director Joshua Cutler, M.D.

Jim will be responsible for the value based purchasing initiative and will be working to strengthen relationships with providers of all types.

"We know Jim well from his work at the Maine Quality Forum and we look forward to working with him again in this new capacity," noted Gordon Smith, MMA EVP.  "This is a critical time for MaineCare and Jim is an excellent person to help guide the OMS through these difficult times." [return to top]

Upcoming Events & Conferences

Maine Association Medical Staff Services Biennial Education Conference: The Many Spokes of the Wheel

 May 9-11, 2012

 Residence Inn Hotel and Conference Center, Portland, ME

The conference welcomes physicians and other health professionals with an interest in medical staff activities, including credentialing and quality improvement.  Category I CME is offered for physicians.

An agenda and registration materials are available at


Perspectives on Wellness in Aging 

May 10, 2012

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor, ME

This conference will begin an important discussion about aging, new insights and ideas to help promote wellness for elders in Maine. 

For more information or to register, click here


Maine Health Policy Study Group and Maine AllCare present:

Beyond Patient Care:  Defining the Doctor's Role in Health Care Policy

Friday, May 11, 2012 

 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Maine Medical Association, Manchester, ME

Please join us for a dialogue with physicians about efforts to bring accessible, high quality, affordable health care to all of the people of Maine.

There is no charge to attend but space is limited and advance registration is requested.  To register, please e-mail Julie Pease, M.D. at Coffee and on-site registration opens at 8:00 a.m. and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m.


2012 New England Medical Group Management Association Regional Conference 

Practice Management - A Changing Landscape 

May 15-17, 2012

Samoset Resort, Rockland, ME 

In the face of the changing healthcare landscape, you need to understand the challenges and opportunities your practice is facing. The 2012 New England MGMA Regional Conference features a wide range of speakers who will provide you with the insight and tools you need to help your practice thrive.

For more information or registration, visit:

Members of the Maine Chapter MGMA now receive a $50 registration reimbursement. 


Integrating Mental Health with Medical Practice 

Friday, June 1, 2012

9:00 am - 4:30 pm 

Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME 

 This day-long conference includes presentations, panel discussions and work groups to help attendees understand key questions underlying integration of care. 

For more information, or to register, click here.


22nd Annual Maine GERIATRICS Conference - Save the Date

June 7-8, 2012 

Harborside Hotel & Marina, Bar Harbor, ME

Registration Open.  CME Available. 

 For more information or to register visit


Save the Date: 

Medical Mutual Practice Manager Seminar: 

Caring for our Seniors - Complex medical & liability issues

June 13, 2012

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, South Portland, ME 


Save the Date: 

Emergency Ultrasound Course

October 25-26, 2012

MaineGeneral Medical Center, Waterville, ME 

Primarily geared to emergency and intensivist physicians and mid-levels.  Expected 14 Category 1 CME Credits.  Course Director: John Joseph, MD, FACEP 

To reserve your spot: 626-1303 or

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Job Openings - Primary Care Physician, Hospitalist NP/PA

Lifestyle Position/Primary Care Physician - Augusta, Maine

Board Certified Internal Medicine or Family Practice Physician sought for full-time staff Primary Care Physician position based at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine.   Responsibilities primarily involve providing basic primary care services to a caseload of approximately 45 patients. Enjoy working regular 40-hour workweeks in a collegial environment. No third party insurance billing, no evenings, no weekends, and no-on call responsibilities.  Offering $170k per year, pay by direct deposit on the 15th of each month, 37 paid days off annually, and paid liability insurance. For additional details contact Ian Castronuovo at (610) 389-7430


Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner/Physician's Assistant Position Openings

Sebasticook Valley Health (SVH) a system of healthcare services including a Joint Commission Accredited 25 bed Critical Access Hospital located in Pittsfield, Maine is looking for two full-time nurse practitioners or physician assistants for our expanding hospitalist program. 

The qualified candidate will feel comfortable responding to ED admissions, managing inpatient medical care including proper documentation, meeting with Care Coordinators and Utilization Review staff on a daily basis and performing procedures, as well as assisting the Emergency Department as appropriate.  The current schedule is 3 to 4 days per week, including weekend rotations, 4PM to 10PM with on-call.

The Hospital serves a population of 30,000 and offers primary care, specialty services and emergency services in addition to inpatient care. SVH is one five rural community hospitals which along with Eastern Maine Medical Center, a level 2 trauma center, comprise Eastern Maine Healthcare System. 

The town of Pittsfield is a safe and pretty community with a good school system. The Maine Central Institute, a prestigious college preparatory school is a prominent part of the landscape. Pittsfield is conveniently located for easy access to the mountains, nearby lakes, rivers and the coast of Maine.

Please contact Terri Vieira, Chief Operating Officer at 1-207-487-4032 or email Terri at


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Receive Two Hours of Category One CME for Completing Pain Management Home Study Course

The Home Study Course on the Management of Pain has recently been updated and is available on the MMA website.  Many thanks to primary author Noel Genova, PA-C and a physician advisory committee that reviewed and edited several drafts of this important material.  It can be taken, at no cost, for two hours of CME if the pre-test and post-test questions are taken and the evaluation form completed.  Thank you also to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine which has funded this work and the consultations that Noel has performed out in the practices.

The link to the course follows: [return to top]

RUC Elects New Primary Care Rotating Seat Member

The AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) met in Chicago on April 25-29, 2012 to review specialty society presentations and develop recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for more than 150 physician services.  The RUC reviewed detailed practice cost information, physician time and estimates of physician work relative to other physician services for each of these services described by CPT codes.  The RUC will submit these recommendations by May 31st for consideration for the 2013 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule.  The RUC also will submit a new Multi-Specialty Points of Comparison to CMS, which describes services most commonly performed by multiple specialties and will provide a helpful level of relativity for the review of physician services moving forward.  

Doug Leahy, M.D., an internist, was elected to the new primary care rotating seat member of the RUC, and Larry Martinelli, M.D., an infectious disease specialist, was elected to the internal medicine specialty rotating seat. Alan Lazaroff, M.D. joined the RUC at this meeting as the appointee from the American Geriatrics Society for the new geriatrics seat.   [return to top]

House Committees Begin Mark-up of Reconciliation Legislation

Several U.S. House committees have approved budget reconciliation legislation as required by the House-passed version of the FY 2013 Congressional Budget Resolution, H.Con.Res. 112.  Under the resolution, six House committees are charged with producing legislation that would cut the federal deficit by a total of $261 billion over 10 years.  The Judiciary Committee is charged with advancing a bill with $40 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years, and the House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees are required to produce legislation generating savings of $96.8 billion and $53 billion, respectively, over 10 years.

The House Judiciary Committee approved its portion of the reconciliation legislation on April 25th by a mostly party-line vote of 16 to 14.  The Judiciary Committee draft includes the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act" (H.R. 5), which was passed by the House last month.  The HEALTH Act, originally introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA), contains a wide range of AMA-supported medical liability reforms, including a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages.  The Ways & Means Committee, which acted on April 18th, achieved its required savings in part by enhancing provisions to recapture overpayments of health insurance subsidies that were created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Energy & Commerce Committee passed legislation on April 25th, which included medical liability reform provisions (that differ slightly from the Judiciary Committee approved language) and cuts to several areas of the ACA.

The full House is expected to consider the entire reconciliation package in May.  It is unlikely that the budget reconciliation measure will advance beyond the House because the Senate is not expected to approve a budget resolution that could be conferenced with the House budget resolution.

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AMA Advocates Medicare Private Contracting Bills in Congress

The AMA is conducting a grassroots initiative to generate public support for Congressional passage of H.R. 1700 and S. 1042, the Medicare Patient Empowerment Act, introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), respectively.  This legislation, based on policy developed by the AMA House of Delegates, will create a new Medicare option to allow patients and physicians to enter into private contract arrangements without penalties for either party.  The AMA's focus is on securing House and Senate cosponsors for this important legislation.  

When the AMA announced the launch of this campaign in February, they noted that a patient brochure would be available for distribution in physician offices.  The brochures are available free of charge, in batches of 50, for physicians who order them through the web site.

The MyMedicare-MyChoice web site also features an on-line petition that physicians and patients can sign.  So far, 198 physicians and 167 patients have signed the petition, with the largest number (30 percent of the total) coming from Georgia.  Web stickers can be downloaded from the site and affixed to your own web site to help direct traffic to the petition—please visit and download your web stickers today.

On the AMA’s own website, at, a range of resource material to support this work is available, including: 

  • Background slides and Frequently Asked Questions aimed at both patients and practices.
  • A short educational video for patients.
  • A downloadable patient flyer for physician offices.

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