July 23, 2012

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9th Annual MMA Benefit Golf Tournament July 30 to Benefit Medical Students from Maine

Proceeds from the 9th Annual MMA benefit Golf Tournament being played Monday, July 30 at the Augusta Country Club will go towards the scholarship fund of the Maine Medical Education Trust.  The fund was established in 2010 to provide scholarships to medical students from Maine in order to complement the loans granted to such students through the Maine Medical Education Foundation.  Members, Corporate Affiliates or guests wishing to play in the event or sponsor a hole should contact Lisa Martin at MMA.

The scholarship fund was the brainchild of Jo Linder, M.D. Immediate Past-President of MMA and Director of Student Affairs at the Tufts-MMC program.  Although the Maine Medical Education Foundation has traditionally provided low-interest loans to student from Maine, the Trustees of the MMET believed that creating more debt for the students was not as helpful as providing scholarships that did not have to be repaid. 

The Foundation this year did provide $235,000 in loans to 52 students, 38 of whom are at Tufts or the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.  A complete listing of the students is included in the upcoming issue of Maine Medicine which will be mailed around August 10th.

It is not too late to register for the golf tournament.  Members, corporate affiliates or guests wishing to play should call Lisa Martin at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 221 or contact her via e-mail at lmartin@mainemed.com. The cost is $125 per individual golfer.  Hole sponsorships are $500.

Not Too Late to Register for 21st Annual Practice Education Seminar this Wednesday

It is not too late to register for MMA's 21st Annual Practice Education Seminar.  In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, MMA has added an additional ACA track to the Seminar being held at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, July 25th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During each of the three breakout sessions an ACA session will occur, beginning with an overview of the recent Supreme Court decision and what it means for Maine's physicians, hospitals, and patients.  The second presentation will focus on the Medicare annual wellness visit provided for in the law and the final break out will be a limited-enrollment  focus group with practice staff and physicians on how ACA implementation should proceed in Maine.

Registration is available on the MMA website or by calling Lisa Martin at MMA at 622-3374, ext. 221 or via e-mail to lmartin@mainemed.com.  The full brochure (without the ACA track) is available here

The keynote presenter for the event 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 now that the Supreme Court has issues its ruling.  She is also expected to comment upon the recently established CO-OP in Maine, Payment Reform, and Health Information Exchange.

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 pre-litigation screening panels in the 1980s when he served as legal counsel to Susan Collins when she was Commissioner of Professional & 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.  Registration is available on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com.

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Report on L.D. 1818 Work Group: Resolve, To Evaluate the All-payor Claims Database

A work group created by the legislature in L.D. 1818 met last Thursday in Augusta.  The group was charged by the legislature with reviewing and evaluating the current structures of and relationships among the Maine Health Data Organization, the Maine Health Data Processing Center and OnPoint Health Data in order to evaluate the timeliness and effectiveness of the data received.  The work group was established primarily because of concerns regarding the timeliness and efficiency of the data derived from the all payor claims data base (APCD).

As part of its "Voice of the Customer" initiative, at its meeting the group heard presentations from Frank Johnson, formerly the Director of the State Employee Health Commission and Gordon Smith, Executive Vice President of MMA. 

MMA's representative to the group is Josh Cutler, M.D., former Director of the Maine Quality Forum.  Cutler co-chairs the Work Group with Colin McHugh who directs provider networking at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (Maine). Our representative to the MHDO is Neil Korsen, M.D. 

In remarks offered on behalf of MMA, Mr. Smith made the following points:

  • The database needs to be owned by the state but controlled by a group of stakeholders, as exists now through the Maine Health Data Organization.
  • It is an appropriate time to review the make-up of the Board of the MHDO, given that the organization was created nearly twenty years ago and several board positions have been established by the legislature since that time
  • If significant changes need to be made in the organizations involved or in the processes followed, then keep what is working and be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
  • Physicians support the distribution of accurate data on a timely basis and recognize the increasing value of such data as new payment models emerge.
  • Transparency and public reportability of such data is dependent upon the ability of physicians to review the data for accuracy ad the need for specialty societies to review the data to ensure that the public is not inadvertently mislead.
  • As the data is a public resource, the costs of the operation of the organizations and processes should be public funds.

The working group is currently encouraging individuals and consumer organizations to provide input regarding their experiencing using and accessing health care cost and quality information.

The group meets again on August 9 in Portland and August 16 in Augusta.  Materials for the group are posted on the OSC web site.

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Lawsuit Likely Over Proposed Reduction in MaineCare Eligibility

Representatives of Maine Equal Justice Partners said on Wednesday (July 18th) that the organization might be among those interests suing the state if the Maine Department of Health and Human Services proceeds with reductions in MaineCare eligibility provided for in the supplemental budget bill passed by the Legislature this past session.

While both Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General William Schneider have stated that they believe the state can reduce current eligibility by simply filing a state plan amendment with the federal government, advocates for the low-income population served by MaineCare and many Democratic lawmakers have expressed their opinion that reductions in current eligibility are protected by the "maintenance of effort" provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

At issue specifically are the proposed reductions in eligibility for about 24,000 current MaineCare recipients (low-income parents and young adults age 19 and 20) and 260 seniors who would lose eligibility for assistance with their prescription drug benefits.

US Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to give guidance soon to the nation's governors regarding that Department's position on the maintenance of effort provision in the face of the recent Supreme Court decision.

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L.D. 1886 Work Group on Imaging and Breast Density Holds Initial Meeting

A legislatively-created work group chaired by Sheila Pinette, D.O. , Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and John Benson, M.D., FACR,  met for the first time last week at the offices of the Maine Medical Association.  The work group is to review and report on strategies to improve the dialogue between patients and physicians regarding breast density and breast imaging options.  The group is reviewing the current standards for breast imaging, the federal Mammography Quality Standards Act and breast imaging results protocols.  They spent the first meeting discussing these resources as well as discussing the impact of a law in Connecticut that mandates physicians report to women information on their breast density and issues of insurance reimbursement for diagnostic ultrasounds or MRIs if women have dense breast. 

The work group is charged with submitting its report with recommendations to the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature by December 7, 2012.  The Group is staffed with resources from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and next meets August 2nd. 

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August 6 is Registration Deadline for Hotel Rooms at Annual Session, Sept. 7-9, 2012

Registration materials for the Association's 159th Annual Meeting were mailed to all members this week, along with a letter from the Nominations Committee soliciting volunteers for Board vacancies and committee positions.  The meeting will be held in Bar Harbor again this year, at the Bar Harbor Hotel and Marina, September 7-9th.  The Friday afternoon educational program will be held at the Jackson Laboratory.  

Room reservations must be made at the Harborside Hotel and Marina by August 6th.  Reservations received after August 6 will be based on availability.  The MMA does maintain a list of alternative accommodations in the Bar Harbor area and members and guests are asked to contact Diane McMahon at MMA for the list (dmcmahon@mainemed.com or call 622-3374 ext. 212).

The theme of this year's CME program is Caring for Our Elders and the keynote speaker is well-known author and geriatrician Dennis McCullough, M.D.  Dr. McCullough is the author of the best-selling book entitled, My Mother, Your Mother, Embracing Slow Medicine (2008). He is also the co-author of The Little Black Book of Pediatrics.  Dr. McCullough is associated with Dartmouth Medical School and resides in Norwich, Vermont.

On Saturday evening, MMA President Nancy M. Cummings, M.D. will  present the Presidential gavel and medallion to in-coming President Dieter Kreckel, M.D.  Dr. Kreckel is a family physician practicing in Rumford. He is a former President of the Maine Academy of Family Physicians.

Interested members may also register now on the Association's website.

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Dr. Amy Belisle Nominated for 2012 RWJF Young Leader Award

Amy Belisle, MD, Maine Quality Counts Director for Child Health Quality Improvement, has been nominated for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Young Leader Award.  RWJF will select up to 10 leaders age 40 and under who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans. The Young Leader Awards will honor individuals who have demonstrated innovative leadership in health and health care.

Dr. Belisle was nominated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter (AAP-Maine) in conjunction with Maine Quality Counts (QC) for her work to advance health care quality by leading a number of collaborative efforts in the state.  

After serving in the Air Force as a pediatrician for four years, Dr. Belisle returned to Maine in 2007 to work as a pediatric hospitalist.  She began her leadership role shortly thereafter, leading a statewide asthma quality improvement project for AAP Maine as part of a National AAP Learning Collaborative.  Since that time, she has led several other statewide child health improvement efforts, including the First STEPS initiative to improve preventive health services for children receiving MaineCare services; the Snuggle ME Project, an effort to improve medical care and outcomes for drug-affected babies and their families in the first year of life; and the Maine Child Health Improvement Partnership (ME CHIP), a statewide effort to optimize the health of Maine children by initiating and supporting measurement-based efforts to enhance child health care by fostering public/private partnerships.  

The RWJF Young Leaders Award nomination recognizes Dr. Belisle’s work to pave the way for improved health and health care for all Maine children.  RWJF will be making the awards in Princeton NJ in October 2012.

For more information on Dr. Belisle’s efforts and a range of child health improvement efforts she is currently leading, go towww.mainequalitycounts.org.  For more information on the RWJF Young Leaders Award, see  www.rwjf.org/yla.

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Physicians Generally Satisfied With EHRs, Say Use Improves Care Delivery, CDC FInds

The majority of office-based physicians who have adopted electronic health record systems say they are satisfied with their systems and that using EHRs has resulted in overall enhanced patient care, according to a July 17 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC surveyed approximately 3,200 physicians in 2011. Fifty-five percent reported having adopted an EHR system in their practice; 85 percent of physicians using an EHR said they are either somewhat satisfied (47 percent) or very satisfied (38 percent) with their system; and 74 percent reported that using an EHR had resulted in improved patient care.

The majority (74 percent) of physicians claimed the main benefit of using an EHR was having access to patients' charts remotely, according to the report, Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems: United States, 2011.

The study also found that 77 percent of physicians using EHRs use an EHR system that currently meets the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ”meaningful use” criteria for federal incentive payments. 

Among those physicians who have not yet adopted an EHR system, 27 percent reported either intending to purchase an EHR system within 12 months, and 21 percent said they had already purchased one. Conversely, 32 percent reported having no intention to purchase an EHR system within the next 12 months, and 20 percent were undecided on whether they would adopt an EHR.

The study attributed a physician's decision to adopt an EHR system to age, physician speciality, and practice size.

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New Fraud Awareness & Prevention Educational Modules

CMS would like to share with physician practices two new program integrity Medscape Modules.  The first module, Reducing Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Abuse: Protecting Practices and Patients, contains educational information relevant to all provider practices. The second module, How CMS is Fighting Fraud: Major Program Integrity Initiatives, describes strategies that CMS has undertaken to detect and to prevent fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These modules provide 1.25 hours of free CME credit. Medscape user registration is required. 


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National Provider Call: CMS Proposals for the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier

On August 1, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a national call to discuss their proposed implementation of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that will apply a value-based modifier to physicians' Medicare payment rates.   As stipulated in the Affordable Care Act, the program is being phased in over three years, beginning in 2015.  It is budget neutral and therefore will result in payment increases for some physicians and reductions for others.  CMS is proposing to base the 2015 payment adjustments on physicians' quality and resource use in 2013 and to apply the modifier only to physicians who practice in groups of 25 or more physicians and other health professionals.  By 2017, the modifier will be applied to all physicians.  Additional details on CMS's proposed implementation of the value based modifier can be found on pages 559-622 of the proposed 2013 physician fee schedule.

The call will take place on Wednesday, August 1 from 2:30-4 pm ET.  In order to receive call-in information, you must register for the call on the CMS Upcoming National Provider Calls web page. Registration will close at 12pm on the day of the call or when available space has been filled; no exceptions will be made, so please register early.

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Upcoming Events & Conferences

Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke: Free Training 

July 26, 2012, 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Portland Public Library, Portland

Please join the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine for a free event on Thursday, July 26th in Portland to learn more about the emerging health issue, thirdhand tobacco issue, from Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, a researcher and pediatrician from Massachusetts General Hospital.       

For more information or to register, click here


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


3rd Annual Maine Telehealth Conference 

August 14, 2012

Colby College, Waterville

The conference will feature talks on new and emerging clinical telemedicicne programs, Legal and Regulatory issues related to Tele-healthcare programs, IT and Management, Telehealth options for primary care, Updates on Reimbursement for Telehealth Services. 

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


3rd Annual Patient Safety Academy

September 7, 2012

USM Portland Campus, Abromson Center 

Join colleagues and other health care professionals this September in an engaging and thought-provoking day of presentations, workshops, and skill-building activities designed to advance patient safety throughout the state and region.

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


Maine CDC Infectious Disease Conference 

November 13, 12012

Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine

Presenting a review of emerging issues in the field of infectious diseases, particularly as they impact the Maine medical community. 

For more information or to register, click here[return to top]

Job Openings

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.


Medical Director for Treatment Center in Rockland, Maine

Colonial Management Group, LP (CMG) operates a number of nationally recognized and accredited methadone treatment centers dedicated to helping these individuals and their families regain control of their lives. We take great pride in treating our patients with dignity and respect in each phase of their treatment experience.

Colonial Management Group, LP, is currently searching for a licensed physician to be the Medical Director for our treatment center in Rockland, Maine.

This position is a part time position for physicians, offering convenient work hours. Experience in substance abuse field is not required per specific state standards. ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) certification preferred but not required. Qualified candidates must have current license to practice medicine in the state, board eligible or board certified. A valid DEA license is also required. Candidate must be able to prescribe schedule 2 and 3 drugs. Candidates must be able to pass a credit check, background check and drug screening.

Candidate will provide direct care, medical evaluation and consultation for patients on a daily basis. Candidate will need to cover approximately 9-12 hours per week between the hours of 5:30am-2:00pm. Hours can be built flexibly around physician’s current schedule.  For more information, contact Karen Millsap at kmillsap@cmglp.com or 407-351-7080 ext: 136.

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