March 11, 2013

 
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HHS Officials Begin Implementing Cuts In Federal Health Programs Under Sequester

The process of slicing billions of dollars in federal health spending began March 4 as program offices at the Department of Health and Human Services started implementing across-the-board budget cuts mandated by the so-called budget sequester that took effect March 1.  Medicare reimbursement, EHR incentive programs, graduate medical education and research will all be impacted. 

The exact dollar amounts that would need to be held back from each HHS discretionary spending account were spelled out in a report released March 1 by the Office of Management and Budget.

According to the OMB report, most HHS programs will see a 5.1 percent spending cut, which—because the reductions must be achieved within the seven months remaining in the current fiscal year—will effectively be spending reductions of closer to 9 percent.

Medicare providers March 1 said sequestration spending cuts scheduled to begin next month will cause jobs to be lost within the industry and further reduce already inadequate reimbursement levels.

Most of the sequestration cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011 were implemented March 1, including cuts to parts of the Department of Health and Human Services. However, a 2 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare providers is slated to begin a month later, on April 1.

Absent further action by Congress, the provider cuts will result in $11 billion in lost revenues to Medicare doctors, hospitals, and other providers, who will only be reimbursed at 98 cents on the dollar for their services to Medicare beneficiaries.

The cuts will also lead to a 2% cut in one of the federal electronic health-record incentive payment programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a federal official has confirmed. EHR incentive payments distributed under Medicaid won't be affected.

The Association of American Medical Colleges said sequestration will negatively affect medical schools and teaching hospitals, leading to its having “a significant impact on institutions' ability to invest in training the next generation of health professionals.”

Federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health saw their budgets slashed under sequestration, beginning March 1.

The Affordable Care Act authorized the FDA to develop a pathway for the approval of biosimilars, but the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM) said March 1 that sequestration could hamper the agency's “ability to issue final guidance and, ultimately, to begin reviewing the safety and efficacy of biosimilars for approved patient use.” ASBM is composed of diverse health care groups and individuals working to ensure patient safety.

Elsewhere at HHS, National Institutes of Health research programs are due for a budget cut of $1.5 billion this fiscal year, according to the OMB report. “Hundred of medical research projects may go unfunded,” the HHS spokesman said. “Many projects will be difficult to pursue at reduced levels and may need to be canceled, while multiyear projects already under way could be scaled back, putting prior year investments at risk.”

Programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be reduced by $289 million, causing CDC to reduce staffing and employee hours at ports of entry, health screening for new citizens, monitoring of global surveillance data, and response activities, the HHS spokesman noted.

Other CMS budget accounts listed for reductions in the OMB report include the following:

  • federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund—cut by $5.7 billion;
  • federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund—cut by $5.3 billion;
  • Medicare prescription drug account, federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund—cut by $588 million;
  • grants to help states establish health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act—cut by $40 million;
  • other state grants and demonstrations—cut by $27 million; and
  • health care fraud and abuse control account—cut by $57 million.

The OMB report on the sequestration is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fy13ombjcsequestrationreport.pdf.

Please Join Us for Physicians' Day at the Legislature on March 19th

The Maine Medical Association and the Maine Osteopathic Association invite you to Physicians' Day at the Legislature taking place in the State House Hall of Flags (second floor) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19th.  This is a great opportunity for you to mingle with members of the 126th Maine Legislature and to discuss with them issues of importance to physicians and patients, such as health care reform; Medicaid funding; scope of practice; state budget priorities; childhood obesity prevention and other public health efforts; and more!  If you cannot afford to take the whole day, come for an hour or two.

NOTE:  Please bring your white coat & consider beginning the day with our Walk/Run on the beautiful Kennebec River Rail Trail at 7 a.m.

MMA/MOA PHYSICIANS' DAY AT THE LEGISLATURE

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

                                

 7:00 - 8:00 am        Walk/Run – Maine Physicians and Legislators

                                     (Kennebec River Rail Trail - Capitol Park Trail Entrance)

 7:30 - 8:30 am       Set up Displays/Hall of Flags

 8:30 - 11:00 am     Staff Booths/Network with Physicians & Legislators/Hall of Flags

 9:30 – 10:00 am    Welcome, Legislative/Grassroots Presentation/Hall of Flags
                                  Remarks by:

                                   President, Maine Medical Association

                                   President, Maine Osteopathic Association

                                   Representative Linda Sanborn, MD, (D) Gorham

                                  Senator Geoffrey Gratwick, MD, (D) Bangor

10:15 - 10:45 am    Meeting with Governor LePage/Cabinet Room

10:00 - 12:00 pm    Attend House/Senate Sessions

12:00 – 1:00pm     Lunch – on your own

1:00 - 3:00 pm       Meetings with Senate/House Leadership/Welcome Center

                                       Senate President ~

                                      Senate Majority ~

                                      Senate Minority ~

                                      Speaker of the House ~

                                      House Majority ~

                                      House Minority ~

  3:00 – 4:00p.m.     Closing Remarks / Breakdown of Displays/Hall of Flags

**Legislative Appointments Subject to Change**

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US!   

Please RSVP to Maureen Elwell, Legislative Assistant, at melwell@mainemed.com or 622-3374, ext. 219                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  [return to top]

POLITICAL PULSE: Legislative Highlights of the Week

Here are some highlights of what MMA's advocacy team followed at the State House the week of March 4th: 

MMA OFFERS PERSPECTIVE ON ACCEPTING FEDERAL FUNDS TO EXPAND HEALTH COVERAGE 

Last Tuesday Maine Medical Association Executive Vice President, Gordon Smith, was invited by the Appropriations and Financial Services Committee to present the physicians' perspective on accepting federal dollars to cover more uninsured Mainers with MaineCare.   Mr. Smith acknowledged shortcomings with the MaineCare program but stated that they were outweighed by the benefits of having more Mainers covered. He also stated that increasing MaineCare coverage makes more sense in the context of DHHS' value based purchasing initiative and other payment and quality reform effort taking place in the state.  His handouts to the Committee can be found here.  His presentation was also covered by the Kennebec Journal and Bangor Daily News

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE KEEPS BUSY PACE

The Health & Human Services Committee had another extremely busy schedule this week, full of public hearings and work sessions of interest to MMA.  

The MMA participated in public hearings on the following bills:

  • LD 460, An Act To Protect Newborn Infants by Requiring Birthing Facilities To Screen for Congenital Heart Disease Using Pulse Oximetry.  MMA along with a number of other health providers and institutions testified neither for nor against the bill, stating that a mandate to screen newborns with pulse oximetry is unnecessary as all facilities are either already screening for heart disease or will be by March.  However, they do support screening and are interested in how data about screening rates can be collected.  
  • LD 468, An Act To Protect Public Health at Public Institutions of Higher Education.  Gordon Smith, MMA EVP delivered testimony in favor of this bill, which would prohibit smoking on all public university and community college campuses in Maine.  

The Committee held work sessions on: 

  • LD 197, An Act To Permit Nurse Practitioners To Perform the Functions of School Physicians.  Despite objections from the MMA, Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Maine Chapter of Family Physicians to nurse practitioners filling the policy and clinical roles of school physicians, the Committee passed the bill with minor amendments to change the title of the bill and clarify that it did not change the scope of practice for nurses. 
  • LD 257, An Act To Protect Newborns Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol.  After discussion lasting close to an hour, the Committee tabled the bill, which would require physicians who assist in the delivery of a baby to report the family to DHHS if the child had any exposure to an illegal drug during the course of the pregnancy. MMA is working with other interested parties, such as Maine Medical Center, Maine Ostopathic Association and Maine Civil Liberties Union to propose alternative language. 
  • LD 272, An Act To Reduce Youth Cancer Risk.  This bill would ban minors under 18 from using tanning facilities.  A majority of the Committee voted that the bill ought to pass, largely along party lines. 
  • LD 337, An Act To Require That Burn Injuries and Wounds Be Reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.  The Committee voted that the bill ought not to pass after receiving a letter from the Hospital Association and Fire Marshal's Office agreeing that the bill is not necessary but that they would work together with the MMA and other interested parties to determine what additional information about burn injuries in Maine would be useful and what sources of the information exist. 
  • LD 386, An Act To Reduce Tobacco-related Illness and Lower Health Care Costs in MaineCare.  The Committee voted that the bill, which would restore the tobacco cessation benefit in the MaineCare program, ought to pass as amended.  
  • LD 388, An Act To Amend the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program Participation Requirements.  This is an MMA drafted bill that provides for an alternative to the current mandatory participation provision for prescribers in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program consisting of automatic enrollment at the time of licensure or renewal.  The Committee unanimously voted that the bill ought to pass as amended, amending the bill to direct the Substance Abuse Services Commission to appoint a work group to craft a solution for improved enrollment in the PMP.  
  • LD 390, An Act To Restore MaineCare Coverage for Ambulatory Surgical Center Services.  This MMA drafted bill would restore MaineCare reimbursement for ASCs, and was unanimously supported by the Committee. 

LCRED FAVORS BILL UPDATING REPORTING, DISCIPLINE FOR SUBSTANCE USE STANDARDS

Last week, the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee held a work session on LD 411, An Act To Amend the Health Care Practitioner Licensing, Disciplinary and Reporting Laws Regarding Alcohol and Drug Abuse. This bill updates terminology used to reference drug or alcohol problems in the statutes related to professional discipline and reporting. The Medical Professionals Health Program proposed the changes.  The Committee voted unanimously that the bill ought to pass with amended language that all parties agreed on.  

IFS SUPPORTS REDUCED ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN FOR FREE CLINICS, HOLDS HEARING ON TIERING 

The Insurance and Financial Services Committee last week approved an amended version of LD 205, An Act To Exempt Free Clinics from Licensing under the Charitable Solicitations Act.  The bill is sponsored by Rep Rochelo of Biddeford.  The Committee also held a public hearing on LD 448, An Act To Authorize the State Employee Health Commission's Preferred Provider Program.  MMA EVP Gordon Smith testified in favor of the bill on behalf of the MMA.  The bill authorizes the State Employee Health Commission to develop and implement a preferred provider program the purpose of which is to rank into tiers health care providers based on cost and quality of health care. 

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE CONSIDERS BIOPIC LENSES 

The Transportation Committee held a public hearing on LD 564, Resolve, To Allow Maine Drivers To Use Bioptic or Telescopic Spectacles When Driving Class C Motor Vehicles and When Testing for a Class C Driver's License.  Dr. Dan Onion delivered testimony on behalf of the Maine Medical Association and Secretary of State's Medical Advisory Board in opposition to the proposal, citing safety concerns.  Dr. Robert Dreher also offered testimony in opposition from the Medical Advisory Board.  Representatives from the Iris network testified in favor. 

MMA TESTIFIES IN FAVOR OF TAX CREDITS FOR PRIMARY CARE 

The MMA along with a number of other healthcare organizations testified in favor of LD 468, An Act To Support Community Health Centers through Tax Credits for Dentists and Primary Care Professionals Practicing in Underserved Areas.  The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to certify up to 5 eligible primary care professionals who have unpaid student loans and practice full time for at least 5 years in an underserved area for primary care access credits in each tax year.  

EDUCATION COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARINGS ON ANTIPSYCHOTICS, SCREENINGS 

The Education Committee held public hearings last week on LD 528, An Act To Require Parental Consent for a School To Conduct Mental Health or Behavioral Screening on a Student and LD 338, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Amend Its Rules Governing the Use of Certain Antipsychotic Drugs by Children Enrolled in MaineCare.  MMA monitored LD 528 and MMA EVP Gordon Smith testified in opposition to LD 338, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services to amend its rules governing the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs by children enrolled in MaineCare to require that the prescriber of a drug beyond the recommended period provide documented justification and perform a timely assessment and ongoing monitoring of metabolic and neurologic variables. 

EVENTS WEEK OF 3/11/13 

If you are interested in attending or learning more about any of the events taking place at the State House this week, please contact Jessa Barnard at jbarnard@mainemed.com or 622-3374 x 211.  For a full list of events taking place at the State House, visit the Legislative Calendar.

Tues, March 12, 11 AM, Welcome Center. Press conference on economic benefits from accepting federal funds to expand health coverage in Maine.
 
Tues, Mar 12, American Cancer Society Information Session, 8:00am to 11:00am, Hall of Flags
 
Thurs, Mar 14, Maine Public Health Association Information Session, 8:00am to 12:00pm, Hall of Flags
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MMA Legislative Committee Conference Call, Tuesday, March 12th, 8 p.m.

The MMA Legislative Committee weekly phone calls will continue tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12th at 8 p.m..  They will be held every Tuesday at 8 pm through the session. 

Legislative Committee members and specialty society legislative liaisons are strongly encouraged to participate.  Any physician, practice manager, or other staff member who is interested in the MMA's legislative advocacy also is welcome to participate.  It is not necessary to RSVP for the calls.

Please use the following conference call number and passcode.  These will remain the same for every weekly call during the session:

Conference call number:  1-877-669-3239

Passcode:  23045263

The following are bills of interest to the physician community printed last week.  We will discuss the priority bills marked with an asterisk (*) first:

LD 801, Resolve, To Extend the Deadline for the Department of Health and Human Services To Submit a Report on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism (monitor; pediatricians; psychiatrists)

LD 802, An Act To Encourage Alternative Forms of Treatment for Opiate or Opioid Addiction by Prohibiting MaineCare Coverage for Medication-assisted Treatment for Addiction (oppose; psychiatrists; addiction specialists)*

LD 804, An Act To Improve Preventive Dental Health Care and Reduce Costs in the MaineCare Program (monitor or support)

LD 812, An Act To Create an Open Enrollment Period Consistent with Federal Regulations for Health Insurance Exchanges (support)*

LD 825, Resolve, To Study Climate Change and Implement the Recommendations of the Department of Environmental Protection Report on Climate Change (support: Public Health Committee)

LD 830, An Act To Further Protect Pregnant Women under the Maine Human Rights Act (monitor or support; OB-GYNs; pediatricians)*

LD 835, An Act To Improve Organ Donation Awareness (monitor or support)

LD 839, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Licensing of Technicians Involved in a Display of Fireworks or Special Effects (monitor)

LD 844, Resolve, To Require a Study of the Availability of Food Packaging without Bisphenol A (support; pediatricians; Public Health Committee)

LD 845, An Act To Change the Classification of the Lower Androscoggin River (monitor or support; Public Health Committee)

LD 846, An Act To Improve and Modernize the Authority of Local Health Officers (monitor; Public Health Committee)

LD 848, An Act To Clarify the Right To Name a 3rd Party To Receive Notification of Policy Cancellation (support)

LD 863, Resolve, To Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Consumer Energy Costs (monitor or support; Public Health Committee)

LD 865, An Act Regarding Contract Indemnification (monitor or support)

LD 867, An Act To Streamline, Amend and Clarify Certain Professional and Occupational Licensing Statutes (monitor)

LD 881, An Act To Improve the Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal Program (support; psychiatrists; Public Health Committee)

LD 883, An Act Regarding the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Advisory Board (monitor)

LD 884, An Act To Improve Death Investigations (monitor)

LD 886, Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 270: Uniform Reporting System for Quality Data Sets, a Major Substantive Rule of the Maine Health Data Organization (monitor)

LD 902, Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 882: Designation of Bisphenol A as a Priority Chemical and Regulation of Bisphenol A in Children's Products, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Environmental Protection (monitor or support; pediatricians; Public Health Committee)

LD 908, An Act To Limit MaineCare Reimbursement for Suboxone and Methadone Treatment (oppose; psychiatrists; addiction specialists)*

LD 914, An Act To Certify Nuclear Medicine Technologists in Computed Tomography (monitor; radiologists)*

LD 928, An Act To Improve MaineCare Nursing Home Reimbursement To Preserve Access and Promote Quality (monitor)

LD 933, An Act To Establish a Separate Regulatory Board for Dental Hygienists (monitor)

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Hanley Centerís Physician Executive Leadership Institute Seeking Nominees

The Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership is inviting nominations this month for the Center's prestigious McAfee Fellows program.

The McAfee Fellows are a cadre of experienced physician leaders from across Maine who are selected for the Hanley Center’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute (Advanced Program). 

The inaugural class of McAfee Fellows included an impressive group of men and women who are dedicated to carrying on the leadership legacy of two of Maine’s most respected physician leaders:  Longtime MMA Executive Vice President Dr. Dan Hanley (1916-2001) and Dr. Bob McAfee, a former MMA President and the only Maine physician to have served as President of the AMA.  The first class of McAfee Fellows will complete the course this month and form the nucleus of an ongoing network of physician leaders committed to leading change in the years ahead.

This year’s course will begin May 2 in Brunswick.   Nominations must be received by March 15 and completed applications are due March 29.   

Please use this link to see program dates, eligibility criteria and  to access the Hanley Center’s online nomination form.   You may nominate yourself or a physician colleague.

The Hanley Center’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute (PELI) is the first program of its kind in the nation  a five year statewide initiative aimed at positioning physicians to take on greater leadership roles in the transformation of health and healthcare.  Interest in the Program is strong and growing, so I can assure you that you will be joining a highly experienced group of physician leaders from across Maine who are passionate about leading change within their own organizations and throughout the state.

As a participant in the Advanced Program, you will become  one of 150 physician leaders from across Maine who will take part in this one-year program offered annually through 2016. 

Physicians interested in becoming a McAfee Fellow are encouraged to call into one of four Informational Webinars that have been scheduled in March:

1.      Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:00-8:00 am

2.      Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 5:30-6:30 pm

3.      Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 7:00-8:00 am

4.      Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 5:30-6:30 pm

Call in number is:  866-740-1260, Code 5231501#. 

For more information, please contact:  

James A. Harnar, Executive Director

Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership

207-807-6646

 

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Federal Trial Court Rejects TRO Request In Challenge to MaineCare Eligibility Changes

Disabled recipients of Maine's Medicaid program are not entitled to a temporary restraining order vacating federal approval of changes to the state's program that will allegedly reduce or terminate their benefits, a federal trial court ruled Feb. 28 (Bourgoin v. Sebelius, D. Me., No. 2:13-cv-55, 2/28/13).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine ruled that the individuals challenging the Department of Health and Human Services' approval of changes to MaineCare eligibility requirements failed to show that they were likely to prevail on the merits of their argument that the approval violated the “maintenance-of-effort” provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The court characterized the contested provisions of the Medicaid Act and ACA as “unusually complex, voluminous, and dense,” and said that the plaintiffs' interpretation of applicable law, though plausible, was not necessarily better than that of HHS. The court also found the record concerning a threat of irreparable harm to the individuals “too vague … to warrant a TRO.”

Although the court recognized that the changes to the state Medicaid program were approved by HHS in January and were scheduled to take effect March 1, it found there was simply too little evidence supporting the claims of Louis Bourgoin, and other plaintiffs, to justify blocking the changes to the mechanisms the state used to determine eligibility for certain MaineCare recipients.

In a ruling based largely on procedural grounds, the court said it was faced with determining—at a preliminary stage—the proper level of deference to be accorded to HHS's “nuanced interpretation of a complicated statute.” 

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CMS Launches New eHealth Initiative To Consolidate HIT Incentive Reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a new program to consolidate reporting requirements for its various health information technology incentive programs at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Annual Conference March 5.

The eHealth Initiative will align a number of the quality reporting measures across the agency's various incentive programs, where possible, and allow health care providers and hospitals to report for multiple programs at the same time, Kate Goodrich, acting director for the Quality Measurement & Health Assessment Group in CMS's Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, said.

The eHealth Initiative also will combine CMS assistance efforts geared toward helping health care providers and health IT developers comply with the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, coding system (ICD-10), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (Hospital IQR), “meaningful use,” and electronic prescribing incentive program requirements, Robert Tagalicod, director of CMS's Office of E-Health Standards and Services, said.

In coming years, CMS will implement a “unified, aligned set of electronic clinical quality measures and e-reporting requirements” to integrate the reporting requirements of these programs, Goodrich said.

“The goal is to report once,” she said.

CMS officials did not provide a timeline for the consolidation of these programs. Goodrich said CMS will convene stakeholders for the consolidation process.

The eHealth Initiative website is available at http://www.cms.gov/eHealth/about.html.

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MAFP Offers Local Live Training in April for new DOT Physical Requirements

Effective May 2014, ALL medical examiners of commercial drivers (including school bus drivers) MUST complete FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) mandated training every 5 years and pass a certification examination every 10 years. This training is offered both in-person and on-line by a variety of organizations.  In fact, chiropractors (who are eligible to perform these exams) are among the groups most actively promoting training courses.

The Maine Academy of Family Physicians is the only physician organization that will be offerring this day-long training conveniently here in Maine on April 13, 2013, at Sunday River.  For more information, click here or contact Deb Halbach at MAFP, 938-5005. 

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Drug Importation Informational Call Tomorrow, March 12

Heard all the talk about CanaRX and Canadian drug importation?  Want to learn more about importation from a physician?

Join Dr Bryan A. Liang MD, PhD, JD, from the Partnership for Safe Medicines (www.safemedicines.org) on Tuesday, March 12, at 1:00 p.m., or Tom Kubic, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (“PSI”), on Tuesday, March 12, at 4:00 p.m. in a live teleconference.  They will cover the following key questions every doctor should know:

  •  Is it safe for patients to order from Canadian online pharmacies?
  • Are the drugs they will get FDA approved?  Are they therapeutically the same?  Where do they come from?
  • Are patients protected if something goes wrong with the medications they receive?

The following is the call-in information for both teleconferences:

PARTICIPANTS DIAL-IN:  1-800-874-4559

VERBAL POSTCODE:   VM41704

About the presenters:

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD E. is the Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Law and Executive Director, Institute of Health Law Studies; Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Tom Kubic is  President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (“PSI”), a non-profit association dedicated to protecting the public health by ensuring the distribution of pharmaceuticals that are safe and effective. Mr. Kubic has worked closely with INTERPOL in the development of international operations against counterfeiters lead by the Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit, as well as the World Health Organization’s IMPACT Enforcement Working Group. He is also a member of the scientific committee of the Paris-based International Institute against Counterfeit Medicines. Prior to joining PSI, I had a 30-year career in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), including serving as a Deputy Assistant Director.

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Elizabeth Mitchell Selected to Head Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition and Foundation, has been selected to head the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

The national organization is dedicated to supporting the efforts of regional health improvement collaboratives working to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care, the coalition announced Thursday.

Since Mitchell took the helm of the Maine coalition in 2008, it has become one of the most respected and effective regional health improvement collaboratives in the United States, according to Harold Miller, outgoing president and CEO of the national network.

The coalition was recently named the state's primary partner in a $33 million, three-year federal grant to fund healthcare innovation in MaineCare, the state's version of Medicaid.

“Both the federal government and many other states see the coalition’s innovative programs in quality and cost measurement, employer and consumer engagement, and payment and delivery reform as models for improving both the quality and affordability of healthcare,” Miller said in a news release.

The coalition is an employer-led organization that includes health care providers and insurers dedicated to improving the quality of health care and lowering its cost.

The foundation publishes the getbettermaine.org website listing quality ratings for Maine hospitals and the majority of physician practices in Maine.

Mitchell will assume her new duties on May 1 but will remain with the Maine coalition on a part-time basis to assist in the implementation of the federal MaineCare innovation grant through the spring.

A national search firm has been retained to assist the coalition's board of directors in selecting a new CEO.

Michael DeLorenzo, the coalition's director of health analytics, has been appointed interim CEO.

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Upcoming Events

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare


Documentary premiere on CNN


Saturday, March 16 at 8 pm & 11 pm


The premiere will be immediately followed by a roundtable discussion led by CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta centered around the themes in the film.  Dr. Steven Nissen and Dr. Erin Martin from the film will be joining a number of special guests for the discussion.


For more information, click here

 

*** 


Quality Counts 2013: 

 

Alligning Maine's Forces to Become the First State to Reach the Triple Aim

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 

8 am - 4 pm 

 

Augusta Civic Center 

 

Registration Now Open 

 

***

Medical Professionals Health Program 

1st Annual Professionals Conference:

Health, Wellbeing and Awareness, Fostering Wellness in the Workplace

April 5, 2013

Holiday Inn By The Bay, Portland

For more information, or to register, click here.

***

Muskie School of Public Service Health Policy Colloquia

Examining MaineCare's Coverage Options Under the Affordable Care Act  

Monday, April 8, 2013

9-11 am

Lee Hall, Wishcamper, USM (Remote Locations Available in Augusta & Orono)

Speakers: Joseph Antos, PhD., the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at American Enterprise Institute & Sara Rosenbaum, J.D., the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. 

Speakers will join a panel of Maine leaders who will react to the presentations and engage in a facilitated discussion about options and challenges confronting Maine and respond to audience questions. 

For more information or to register, click here.

***

AMDA Maine State Chapter 2013 Medication Safety Conference 

Friday, May 17, 2013

11:30 am - 3 pm 

DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant

25 Long Warf Portland, ME 

No cost to Healthcare Professionals

Topics include reducing adverse drug events related to Coumadin and practical approaches to reducing antipsychotic use in dementia. 

Attendees may registration online at www.mainemda.com or by contacting Tammy Wing directly at (207) 780-6565 or email thewitt@mainegeriatrics.com

 ***

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Development of Adult Health-risks, Violence, Disease & Premature Death 

presented by Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians

April 19, 2013

8-4:30 pm 

Mariott at Sable Oaks, South Portland 

Presenter: Vincent J. Felitti, MD 

For more information or to register, contact Dianna Poulin at dpoulin@mainemed.com or 622-7743 

 

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Job Openings

Associate Medical Director (with part-time active clinical practice)

Job Summary
Associate Medical Director position, with part-time active clinical practice, on the staff of the MMC Physician-Hospital Organization, reporting to the Chief Medical Officer. The Associate Medical Director will work with a high degree of independence, and will work as a team member with staff on programs, projects and lead initiatives. Provides clinical input and leadership to PHO programs; supports physician offices in achieving quality and cost targets tied to accountable care activities; provides general medical affairs support; provides leadership and oversight for contracted physician leaders.  Interested applicants who wish to work less than full time will be considered.
 
Job Requirements:

  • Board Certified Physician with active Maine license
  • Working knowledge of healthcare systems and financing, managed care systems, process improvement, health policy and public health principles 
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills 
  • Working knowledge of healthcare systems and financing, managed care systems, process improvement, health policy and public health principles

Contact Information:
MMC PHO
Human Resources
Fax: 207-771-2005
Email: jamesj@mmc.org

3/11/13 

FULL-TIME HOUSE MANAGER

Hospice of Southern Maine seeks a full time House Manager responsible for the management and coordination of the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, ensuring continuity, cost effectiveness and quality of operations.  This position is also responsible to facilitate communication, provide leadership to the Gosnell House staff and other areas of HSM, and directly supervise all Gosnell House Staff (nurses, home health aides, social workers, cooks, housekeepers, house assistants).

Requirements:  Active Registered Nurse license in the State of Maine.  Bachelor’s degree in nursing, public health, health services or business administration, or related field such as public administration preferred. CHPN preferred. Minimum of 3-4 years of progressively responsible experience in acute care nursing (oncology and/or hospice) required.  Experience managing staff on a shift basis and recent experience in a skilled facility or as a case manager of hospice patients required.  Valid driver's license with an automobile that is insured according to state and/or agency requirements and is in good working order.

Contact Information:  You may submit your resume, cover letter and salary requirement to:  hr@hospiceofsouthernmaine.org or by fax to (207) 883-1040.

Hospice of Southern Maine is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. All employment decisions shall be consistent with the principles of equal employment opportunity. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Act, the Maine Human Rights Act, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants that require accommodation in the job application process may contact the Human Resources Office at 207-289-3640 or by e-mail at hr@hospiceofsouthernmaine.org for assistance.

3/18/13 

MEDICAL DIRECTOR/PHYSICIAN - Health Access Network - Lincoln, Maine

Health Access Network (HAN), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Lincoln, Maine, is seeking a dynamic physician leader to serve in the role of Medical Director to provide overall direction and oversight of our clinical team, as well as provide part-time direct patient care. The Medical Director will join the health center’s leadership team in meeting the goals and objectives of the health center’s mission. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to administrative and on is two days a week administrative and three days providing direct patient care.

Qualifications: Board Certified in family medicine, Maine License, and have at least five years primary care and leadership experience. A practicing physician wishing to transition to a part time medical-administrative/management role is encouraged to apply. Community health center experience a plus. Familiarity with disease registries and electronic medical records is required. Must have exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and possess compassion, innovation, integrity, and excellence which are the health center’s values.

For more information or to forward your curriculum vitae' contact:  Sonia Maxwell, HR Director/Compliance Officer, P.O. Box 99, Lincoln, ME  04455, 207-794-6700, smaxwell@hanfqhc.org.

3/25/13 

FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIANS SOUGHT - Millinocket and Patten 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 Patten 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.

3/25/13 

Orthopedic Surgeon - Maine Air National Guard

The Air National Guard Orthopedic Surgeon examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system by surgical and conservative means. In this role, you’ll perform surgery, manage orthopedic surgery services, oversee the administration of anesthetics, and provide diet recommendations.

Benefits
The Maine Air National Guard gives you the opportunity to serve your community and country with pride, and help people in a whole new way. If you still have student loans, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program, or you can potentially get money for college that transfers to your dependents through the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Besides a monthly paycheck, as a member of the Air Guard you’ll receive low-cost life insurance, a military retirement plan, and eligibility for VA home loans. With more than 140 Air Guard bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands you’ll be able to serve where you live, without interrupting your civilian medical practice. And as an Air Guard member you’ll have access to Base Exchange and Commissary shopping as well as free space-available air travel.

Learn More Today
Go to GoANG.com/ME or call 1-800-TO-GO-ANG to find out how you can become an important member of America’s homeland defense in the Maine Air National Guard.

4/4/13 

Surgeon - Maine Air National Guard

As a General Surgeon in the Maine Air National Guard, you’ll adapt the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in your civilian career to the military environment. You’ll provide urgent treatment to Air Guard personnel sick or wounded during duty, and regular healthcare to personnel training in your unit.

Benefits
The Air National Guard gives you the opportunity to serve your community and country with pride, and help people in a whole new way. If you still have student loans, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program, or you can potentially get money for college that transfers to your dependents through the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Besides a monthly paycheck, as a member of the Air Guard you’ll receive low-cost life insurance, a military retirement plan, and eligibility for VA home loans. With more than 140 Air Guard bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands you’ll be able to serve where you live, without interrupting your civilian medical practice. And as an Air Guard member you’ll have access to Base Exchange and Commissary shopping as well as free space-available air travel.

Learn More Today
Go to GoANG.com/ME or call 1-800-TO-GO-ANG to learn how you can become an important member of America’s homeland defense in the Maine Air National Guard.

4/4/13  [return to top]

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