July 30, 2012

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

MMA's 159th Annual Session will be held September 7-9, 2012 at the Harborside Hotel and Marina in Bar Harbor.  Educational and business sessions will take place at the Jackson Lab on Friday and at the Bar Harbor Club on Saturday and Sunday morning.  The theme of this year's meeting is Caring for Our Elders.  

Registration materials for the Association's 159th Annual Meeting were mailed to all members last 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.


Board of Directors to Meet Friday, August 3

MMA's Board of Directors will meet this coming Friday at 3:00pm at the summer home of President Nancy Cummings, M.D. on Moosehead Lake in Rockwood.  Much of the agenda involves governance work required prior to the Annual Meeting to be held September 7-9th, including proposing a budget for 2013 and considering a nominating committee report and potential resolutions.

The Board will also review a proposal to allow small federally qualified health centers to join the Association on a pilot basis.  If approved by the Board, the pilot project would be reviewed after two years.  It is anticipated that six to eight centers may be interested in participating in the pilot.  The centers will receive a menu of services from MMA in exchange for a fixed annual dues.

The Board is chaired by Kenneth Christian, M.D. of Holden.


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MMA Hosts Successful Practice Education Seminar

Last Wednesday, well over 100 practice staff, physicians and speakers gathered at the Augusta Civic Center for a day of learning and discussion regarding the trends currently facing physician practices. 
Four national speakers added a broad perspective to the day.   Dr. Susan Turney, President of the Medical Group Management Association, set the stage by opening the conference with a talk on how practices can achieve excellence in the current climate of uncertainty.  Both independent and hospital-based offices share the challenges of managing finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates, preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice, preparing for the transition to ICD-10 diagnosis coding and dealing with rising operating costs.  She offered suggestions for how practices can not only survive but thrive in the face of such challenges by understanding revenue and costs, implementing and optimizing the use of technology, understanding quality measures, being willing to work as a team, and being patient-centered.

Other keynote speakers included Dr. William Kassler who gave an update from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Brian Atchinson who discussed trends in medical liability, and Suzan Oran who discussed staff interpersonal relations and how to engage staff in their work.   The day also included twelve breakout sessions on topics ranging from assessing senior drivers to handling licensing board complaints to the prescription monitoring program.

A limited number of printed materials from the day are still available for $25 to clinicians and staff who were unable to attend.  Please contact Lisa Martin at lmartin@mainemed.com or 207-622-3374 x 221 for more information.
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LD 1628 Update, Limiting Payment for Care and Treatment of Residents of State Institutions

LD 1628, An Act to Limit Payment for Care and Treatment of Residents of State Institutions passed in the recent legislative session, will be effective on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Section 5 of the law limits the amount Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center may pay for residents receiving medical care, goods, prescription drugs and other medications outside a state institution to "an amount not greater to than what the provider would be paid under the Medicare fee schedule."

Physicians were recently issued a letter by DHHS (dated July 16, 2012) indicating that the department was requesting providers to bill the Medicare rate for residents of the state's two institutions. The Maine Osteopathic Association Payor/Payee committee contacted DHHS and the Superintendent of the Psychiatric Center to explain that it is inappropriate and illegal to bill a different amount than a physician's normal fee schedule. The department acknowledges the letter was sent in error and that it will be rescinded. Physicians are reminded to bill according to their normal fee schedule. You will be reimbursed at an amount "not greater than the Medicare fee." [return to top]

Maine Community Health Options Award Announcement, August 16

Please join Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) to learn more about a new and exciting health plan option that's under development in Maine.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a $62.1M award to MCHO for its establishment as a non-profit, CO-OP health plan in Maine. Come hear firsthand about the preparations for enrollment to begin October 1, 2013. 

What:     CMS award announcement & press conference

When:    Thursday, August 16, at 10:15 a.m.

Where:   Bates Mill Storehouse #2, on the DaVinci's patio, Lewiston, Maine

In the event of inclement weather, the event will convene on the Third Floor of Mill Storehouse #2, two floors above DaVinci's.

To assist with planning, please RSVP no later than Thursday, August 8th to Beth Austin at betha@crescendocg.com.  Space is limited, so confirming your attendance as soon as possible is recommended.

For more information, please visit www.maineoptions.org.

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New Geriatric Society Seeks Participation

A Maine chapter of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is forming and needs your help. An organizational meeting will be held on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm at the MaineHealth building on 110 Free Street in Portland. Teleconferencing will be available to interested individuals unable to attend the meeting in person.

The group encourages all practicing geriatric care providers to join and hope to have all disciplines represented. They also welcome trainees and other clinicians interested in learning more about geriatric medicine. Membership in the AGS is not required for participation.

The hope is that a Maine chapter will provide clinicians a “local” opportunity to form collegial relationships with other geriatric providers and the organizational framework to collaborate on geriatric quality and educational initiatives to improve care for our patients.

If you are interested in learning more about the meeting or wish to attend, either in person or via teleconferencing, please contact: Christy Tibbetts,TIBBEC2@mainehealth.org, 661-7120.

The group is also planning an evening business meeting for the Chapter, to address issues such as Bylaws and Officers, on Tuesday April 9, 2013 just prior to the Maine Medical Center Geriatric conference on Wednesday, April 10.

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Senate Committee Takes Historic Vote To Overhaul US Chemical Policy

In an historic vote last week, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) passed S. 847, the Safe Chemicals Act, sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). This is the first time in over three decades that Congress has voted on any proposal to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a 36-year-old law that is widely considered to be outdated and ineffective at protecting health and ensuring chemicals used in everyday products are adequately tested for safety.  MMA passed a resolution in 2010 urging reform of TSCA.  

The vote comes after months of formal and informal meetings between Lautenberg, chemical and consumer product companies, public health advocates, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers. As a result, the original bill was changed substantially to address industry concerns about the speed, confidentiality, and burden of proof that will become part of the improved system, while still updating TSCA to ensure that dangerous chemicals are quickly identified and phased out of the market.

In an important show of bipartisan support, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe sent a letter to EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) to “express my support for reform of our nation’s chemical safety law.” Snowe stated in her letter that “a law enacted in 1976 cannot effectively regulate our modern chemical industry” and “reforms must be made to ensure the safety and confidence of the millions of Americans who use these products.  I am ready to join you in finally modernizing TSCA.”

The full Senate is expected to take up the Safe Chemicals Act when they return from their August recess. [return to top]

McKesson to Pay $1.4 Million to MaineCare Program in Healthcare Fraud Settlement

Attorney General William J. Schneider announced last week that Maine, as part of a national settlement against McKesson Corporation, has resolved allegations that McKesson violated the Federal False Claims Act and various state false claims acts by reporting inflated pricing information for a large number of prescription drugs, causing the state's Medicaid program to overpay for those drugs. 

The drug pricing data at issue in this settlement concerns the "Average Wholesale Price" (AWP) benchmark used by most states to set pharmacy reimbursement rates for pharmaceuticals dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries. Maine alleges that McKesson, one of the largest drug wholesalers in the country, reported inflated AWP pricing data to First Data Bank (FDB), a publisher of drug prices, thereby inflating many AWPs that are used to set reimbursement.

The Medicaid program is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. In April, the federal government settled the federal portion of this lawsuit for over $187 million. As part of the settlement with the states, Maine will receive a total of $1,438,600.28 for the state Medicaid share.  [return to top]

Drop in Mortality Rates Shown in States With Medicaid Expansions, Study Says

Major expansions of Medicaid eligibility in three states resulted in a significant decrease in deaths among enrollees, compared with neighboring states without Medicaid expansions, according to a study released July 25 by The New England Journal of Medicine.

The drop in mortality rates was 6.1 percent among low-income adults between ages 20 and 64, with the biggest declines occurring among older adults, minorities, and residents of counties with the lowest average income, said researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, who conducted the study, “Mortality and Access to Care among Adults after State Medicaid Expansions.”

The study comes as states consider whether to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that said states were not required to join in the expansion, set to begin in 2014 under the health reform law.

The study examined mortality rates in three states that expanded their Medicaid programs over the past decade—New York, Maine, and Arizona—and compared those rates against rates in four neighboring states that did not expand Medicaid—Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, and New Hampshire.

The study is available by clicking here

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AMA CPT Code Edits Files Available

The American Medical Association (AMA) is making available to all interested parties a data file containing Current Procedural Terminology (CPT® ) Code Edits which are consistent with guidelines and conventions established by the CPT Editorial Panel to ensure correct coding.

The Code Edits include both (i) explicit exclusionary edits describing codes that should not be reported together; and also (ii) inclusionary edits describing codes that should be reported together.  By using these Code Edits, physicians can streamline their claims revenue cycle while also helping to ensure commercial third-party payers use an appropriate approach in the claims adjudication process.

Royalty-free, evaluation licenses allowing practices to review the Code Edits can be obtained through the AMA’s Intellectual Property Services department.  Please contact Cheryl Ashe, Licensing Specialist, at cheryl.ashe@ama-assn.org or (312) 464-4779 to request a license.

If CPT Code Edits used by your practice are not included in this file and you would like to see them added, please submit an application for consideration by the CPT Editorial Panel. Applications can be found at:  http://www.ama-assn.org/go/cpt-application.

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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


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

Family Practitioner Position in Jonesport, Maine

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.


Medical Director/Family Practice Physician

Katahdin Valley Health Center, established in 1974, is a high performing FQHC with a continuous track record of growth and stability.   KVHC seeks a Medical Director/Family Practice Physician to join our team and pursue our mission to provide community accessible, quality healthcare with compassion and dignity.   The Medical Director at KVHC will begin by providing patient primary care 3 days per week and performing administrative Medical Director Duties the other 2 days of the week.  This position will progressively move to a Full Time Medical Director Administrative role.  KVHC offers state of the art facilities and technology, electronic medical records, as well as a competitive salary and benefits package which include sign on bonus, generous amounts of paid time off, health insurance, life and disability insurance as well as Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) malpractice coverage. No nights, no weekends, either limited or no inpatient care and limited call coverage.  

KVHC has site locations in Houlton, Island Falls, Patten and Millinocket.  The Medical Director will work between the Houlton and Patten site, or the Millinocket and Patten Site.  Interested applicants should contact Michelle LeFay at mlefay@kvhc.org or visit our website at www.kvhc.org.  KVHC is an equal opportunity employer.


Family Practice Physicians - Millinocket & Houlton, Maine Locations

Katahdin Valley Health Center is recruiting dedicated Family Practice Physicians that are committed to providing quality health care services to the people in Central/Northern Maine.  Join our practice in one of the newly expanded facilities.  We are seeking physicians for our Millinocket and Houlton locations.  KVHC is a fully electronic medical record site and offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes sign on bonus, generous amounts of paid time off, health insurance, life and disability insurance as well as Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) malpractice coverage.  No nights, no weekends, either limited or no inpatient care and limited call coverage.  Physicians who join KVHC are eligible to apply for NHSC Loan Repayment.

Physicians that join KVHC will be providing quality care in a dynamic, cutting edge environment, within a patient focused team of 11 Providers and 90 Staff Members.  As one of New England’s highest performing Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), KVHC has a mission to provide community accessible, quality healthcare with compassion and dignity. 

To learn more about KVHC and Practitioner Opportunities, please contact Michelle LeFay at mlefay@kvhc.org or visit our website at www.kvhc.org.  KVHC is an equal opportunity employer.


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