June 25, 2012

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MMA to Host Physician Payment Reform Forum on Wednesday Evening, June 27

The Maine Medical Association will host a forum on physician payment reform June 27th featuring national expert Harold Miller.  The Forum is presented through the generous support of the Maine Health Management Coalition and is also co-sponsored by the Maine Osteopathic Association and Quality Counts.  The Forum will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and dinner will be available.  

The Forum is intended to inform physicians of the expected role of physicians in payment reform and will cover subjects ranging from Accountable Care Organizations to bundled payments and answer questions such as: 

  • What will payment reform mean to physicians?
  • What impact will an ACO have on your practice?
  • How can physicians lead payment and system change?

Mr. Miller will share national lessons and local opportunities for physician engagement and leadership in payment reform projects taking place around the state.

There is no charge to attend but registration is required.  Any physician interested in attending should communicate with Dianna Poulin at MMA by calling 207-622-3374, ext. 223 or via e-mail to dpoulin@mainemed.com

Mr. Miller is the Executive Director of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform and the President and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. Miller also serves as Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. 

AMA Concludes Annual Meeting; Anticipation Mounts re Supreme Court Decision

The Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates concluded around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, June 20th.  Among the delegates attending were Maine physicians Richard Evans, M.D and Maroulla Gleaton, M.D.  MMA President Nancy Cummings, M.D. attended as an alternate delegate.  Daniel Spratt, M.D. and John McGill, M.D. were present as specialty society delegates.  Completing the Maine contingent were AMA former President Robert McAfee, M.D. and MMA EVP Gordon Smith.

Saturday's opening session featured presentations by out-going President Peter Carmel, M.D. and EVP James Madera, M.D.  Dr. Madera rolled out the new strategic plan of the organization and emphasized the new focus on a limited number of areas including Research & Education, Practice Support, Improving Health Outcomes, and Advocacy.  He noted that the organization could no longer try to be all things to all members.  He also announced the creation of a new position, a Vice President for Physician Satisfaction.  Dr. Madera noted that there would be more emphasis on outcomes and less on process.

A lot of conversation at the meeting focused on the highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act which is now expected to be issued on Thursday, June 28th.   The House of Delegates supported a policy statement directing the AMA to reassess its positions on federal health care reform if some or all of the law is declared unconstitutional.  But the AMA declined to affirm a statement forwarded by ACA opponents demanding full repeal or broad revision to the law.

In other action, the AMA adopted policies supporting financing reform to the Medicaid and Medicare programs. The Medicaid proposal envisions a system of tax credits permitting some participants to purchase private health insurance coverage. The Medicare proposal describes a defined contribution program, allowing seniors to purchase traditional Medicare coverage or private health insurance.

Other issues discussed through the presentation of Board of Trustee Reports, Council Reports, and Resolutions included the following:

  • Several issues surrounding EHR implementation, including a Board Report recommending tools to rate EHR's, vendor accountability and research on errors related to the EHR and computerized physician order entry.

  • On-line doctor ratings and protecting physician reputations on-line.

  • Serving returning veterans and integrating their care into the community.

For materials from the meeting, including a summary of actions taken by the House of Delegates, click here

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Maine Hospital Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary and Installs New Officers

The Maine Hospital Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary last Wednesday night at a black tie gala at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.  Nearly two hundred guests attended the event, including a half-dozen former Maine hospital executives who had served as chairs of the MHA Board of Directors.  Each guest received an MHA anniversary booklet with a brief history of the Association, beginning with the early meetings of hospital administrators during the depths of the Great Depression until the present day recession.  In addition, each hospital CEO received a crystal award commemorating the anniversary.  During the dinner, historic hospital photos and pictures of past MHA meetings were displayed in a slide slow.

During the dinner meeting, Arthur J. Blank, president and CEO of Mount Desert Island Memorial Hospital in Bar Harbor, was installed as chair of the MHA Board of Directors for the coming year.  He succeeds outgoing Board Chair Marie Vienneau, CEO of Millinocket Regional Hospital.  Other officers for the year are:  Michelle Hood, CEO of Eastern Maine Health Systems, chair -elect; Rebecca Ryder, president and CEO of Franklin Memorial Hospital, treasurer; and James Donovan, president and CEO of Lincoln County Healthcare, secretary.

Joining the MHA Board as at-large members are R. David Frum, president of Bridgton and Rumford Hospitals; Charlie Therrien, president and CEO of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital; and William Caron, president and CEO of Maine Health.  Eileen Skinner, president and CEO of  Mercy Hospital, will chair the Public Policy Council; Steve Diaz, M.D. of MaineGeneral Medical Center will chair the Quality Council.  All of the Council Chairs will serve on the Board, along with Dianne Swandal, vice president of patient care at St. Joseph Hospital, who will be the OMNE Nursing Leaders of Maine representative.

The Maine Medical Association congratulates MHA on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.  We appreciate the close working relationship between our respective organizations which represent well the interests of hospitals and physicians in the state.


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PowerPoint Presentation on Activities of 125th Legislature of Interest to Physicians Now Available

Members or medical practices interested in a report on the actions of the 125th Legislature may contact Andy MacLean, Jessa Barnard, or Gordon Smith at MMA to receive a copy of the PowerPoint recently prepared.  Or, you may schedule a presentation by one of MMA's lobbyists at your practice (MMA charges $200 for out-of-office presentations).

During the course of the two sessions in 2011 and 2012, MMA followed more than 300 pieces of legislation impacting public health, physician practice, MaineCare and health system delivery reform.

The MMA staff also is working on a final legislative summary that will be available later this summer.  We will notify you through the Update when the document is available.


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Job Openings - Psychiatrist in Rockport and Family Practitioner in Jonesport

Psychiatrist Position in Rockport

Midcoast Medicine seeks psychiatrist for thriving half time practice in Rockport.  2-3 days per week established panel for many years inside family medicine group setting.  Please call Chris McIntosh (207) 230-0698 for more information.


Family Practitioner Position in Jonesport

Busy rural practice located in Jonesport seeking a Family Practitioner to join our successful, well-established practice.  Coverage would include a four day work week, nursing home coverage, and shared call for the practice.  We are currently not looking at any hospital coverage.  We offer a competitive salary and benefits with the possibility of loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps.  This is an excellent opportunity to practice in a gorgeous ocean community.  For more information, please contact Laurie Charbonneau, Administrator at lauriec@ammc.us207-497-5614.


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Upcoming Events & Conferences

CMS Region 1 National Medicare Training Program 2012

August 7-9, 2012

Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center, Framingham, MA

Information about key aspects of Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and pertinent legislation

Registration information available by clicking here


Maine Immunization Program Regional Trainings 

July 27, 2012 – Houlton Regional Hospital – Houlton

August 3, 2012 – Hilton Garden Inn – Bangor

August 9, 2012 – Fireside Inn – Portland

Augusta 10, 2012 – Maine Principals Association – Augusta

Open to all health professionals responsible for managing and supporting childhood vaccine programs including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and practice managers.

For more information or to register, click here


Rewiring the Brain

August, 20, 2012

Samoset Resort, Rockport 

This seminar will examine the use of brain-based interventions to enhance outcomes with a variety of client populations.  Keynote presenter John Arden, PhD. 

More information will be posted here as the date approaches. 


2012 New England Clinical Symposium & Workforce Summit 

August 23, 2012 

Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland

Maine Primary Care Association and the Maine Office of Rural Health and Primary Care will host their first Summit  featuring two prominent keynote addresses, an 'Ask the Expert' Roundtable/World Café, a clinical track on caring for aging New England and a workforce development track. Target audience includes the clinicians and administrators of New England's critical access hospitals, community health centers, rural clinics and tribal health centers.

For more information or to register, click here


17th Annual Northern New England Conference on Child Maltreatment 

September 13 & 14, 2012

University of New England Campus Center, Biddeford, ME 

The goal of this conference is to provide multi-disciplinary training to increase professional skills and knowledge of professionals who are involved in child abuse prevention, recognition, evaluation, reporting, investigation, treatment and all forms of child maltreatment. 

For more information, email spec@spurwink.org or call 207-321-6080 x 3311. 


First Annual Let's Go 5210 Childhood Obesity Conference 

September 27 & 28, 2012

Maine Health Conference Center, 110 Free Street, Portland 

For anyone who works 1:1 with patients and families.  Learn how to build capacity in your practice, in your community and for your patients. 

For more information, click here.


11th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium

September 28-30, 2012

Harborside Hotel & Marina, Bar Harbor, Maine

The Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons will host the 11th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine once again this year.  Offering 15.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits to ophthalmologists across the country.  

For more information and registration information, click here[return to top]

Register Today for 21st Annual Practice Education Seminar, July 25 in Augusta

Registration is available on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com or by calling Lisa Martin at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 221 or via e-mail to lmartin@mainemed.com for the July25th Practice Education Seminar being held on Wednesday, July 25 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The keynote presenter is Susan Turney, M.D., President of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) in Englewood, Colorado.  Prior to accepting the MGMA position, Dr. Turney served as Executive Vice President of the Wisconsin Medical Society.  Dr. Turney will share with attendees the trends she sees across the country as practices wait to see what aspects of the Affordable Care Act remain as a result of the Supreme Court decision and the Presidential election.

Maine's former Insurance Superintendent Brian Atchinson, Esq. is the luncheon speaker.  Mr. Atchinson is now serving as President of the Physician Insurers Association of America and will update attendees on medical liability trends across the country.  He was instrumental in the enactment of Maine's prelitigation screening panel in the 1980s when he served as legal counsel to Susan Collins when she was Commissioner of Professional and Financial Regulation in the McKernan administration.

The afternoon keynote presentation will be given by Suzan Oran, a national speaker on the subject of engaging staff in the delivery of excellent patient care.

Nine breakout sessions are also scheduled on the following topics:

  • Employer Expectations of Maine Physicians

  • Maine's New CO-OP Health Plan

  • MaineCare Update

  • Update on State HIT and Health Information Exchange

  • Responding to Complaints to State Licensing Boards

  • Tools for Medical Professionals in Assessing Senior Drivers

  • Update on Actions of the 125th Legislature

  • Prescription Drug Abuse and the Prescription Monitoring Program

  • What's New in Academic Detailing

The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and we hope to see you there!

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States Increasingly Compelling Physicians To Check Rx Databases Before Prescribing

Legislation requiring doctors to check prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs) before prescribing potentially addictive drugs—as several states have recently done—is an emerging national trend, according to Sherry Green, chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.

So far this year West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee have adopted such legislation, following a similar law in Ohio last year, according to Green. This work follows earlier laws enacted in Colorado, Louisiana, Delaware, and Nevada, which was the first, Green said.

In a June 14th interview, Green said now that 49 states have PMPs, and given the ever-changing scope of prescription drug abuse, more will be looking at this standard-of-care tool as an instrument for law enforcement.

Currently, Missouri is the only state without a PMP, she noted, adding New Hampshire's governor signed legislation June 12th to create a database to track certain prescription drugs.

Among states compelling physicians to consult PMPs prior to prescribing, “each is putting their own flavor [on this policy],” said Green, with drugs that trigger the requirement varying from state to state, from a specific class of painkiller in West Virginia to broader “controlled substances” language in Kentucky and Tennessee.

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PCORI Releases Draft Methodology Report

On June 5th, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) (www.pcori.org) released its preliminary draft methodology report, which is intended to set the groundwork for the standards and types of research methods that can be used to develop comparative effectiveness research (CER).  The draft report, which was produced by the PCORI Methodology Committee, proposes 60 standards to guide CER and will be subject to a formal public comment period, as required by law, starting in July.  The report is a resource for use by applicants for PCORI funding.

PCORI issued its first round of funding applications on May 22nd.  Applications, which are due July 31st, will not be scored on adherence to recommendations in the draft methodology report because of the timing of the comment period.  According to PCORI, adherence to the finalized methodology standards will be required in future funding cycles.

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AMA Releases Second Edition of "How-to" Manual on New Delivery Models

The AMA’s Private Sector Advocacy unit has published the second edition of its resource, ACOs, CO-OPS, and other options:  A “how-to” manual for physicians navigating a post-health reform world.  This new edition is updated to reflect changes in public and private sectors, including the regulatory updates for the Medicare Shared Savings and CO-OP programs.  It also includes a new chapter, “Retaining independence while embracing accountability:  Care coordination and integration strategies for small physician practices.”  This chapter describes how solo practitioners and physicians practicing in small groups can acquire the core capabilities necessary to succeed in new payment and delivery models, and the steps that physicians can readily take to improve health care quality, including how to standardize their practices, improve care coordination, and use their practice data.  It also outlines how solo practitioners and small physician practices can create a clinically integrated organization through which they may more effectively coordinate patient care with other physicians in their communities.  To this end, the chapter discusses how physicians can develop a business strategy for, and solicit community physician interest in, the clinically integrated organization.  Additionally, the chapter describes the various organizational and legal structures that may be available to optimize the organization’s strategy, mission, and values, and provides guidance regarding how to obtain financial capital and support.  You will find the second edition here:  http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/psa/physician-how-to-manual.pdf.

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