POLITICAL PULSE: Calls Needed on Important Health Care and Public Health Legislation
Please read the article below to get up to speed on what is going on today at the State House. Issues of critical importance to healthcare in Maine, including payment of the huge hospital debt owed by MaineCare, expansion of MaineCare with ACA dollars, informed consent in treatment of Lyme disease and childhood vaccinations are all being dealt with presently as the First Regular Session heads for its scheduled adjournment date of June 19th.
ACTION HEATS UP IN HOUSE AND SENATE
The bulk of the action at the state house has now moved from committees to the floor of the House and Senate. Several bills of importance to the MMA were up for debate this week and continue to be in play. This is the time when it is extremely important for legislators to hear from physicians on these issues.
EXPANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE AND PAYING THE HOSPITAL MAINECARE DEBT
As expected, last week, the legislature sustained the Governor's veto of L.D. 1546, An Act to Strengthen Maine's Hospitals, Increase Access to Health Care and Provide for a new Spirits Contract, a bill combining payment of the hospital MaineCare debt and the MaineCare expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act. Following this action, the Health and Human Services Committee held a brief work session on LD 1066, the original bill introduced to provide health care through the MaineCare program, and voted 10-4 to pass the bill out of Committee. The original language of the bill has been updated to reflect changes that were made in the Veteran's and Legal Affairs committee to LD 1546, such as creating study groups to review the fiscal impact of the coverage and making the coverage contingent on the federal government paying Maine the match rate stated in the ACA (100% for three years going down to 90% over time). Passage of the MaineCare expansion will clear the way for payment of the substantial hospital debt, a critical issue for Maine's hospitals and physicians alike. After a lengthy debate this morning, the House voted 89-51 in favor of LD 1066. The majority vote included five Republicans: Rep. Carol McElwee (R-Caribou), Rep. Jarrod Crockett (R-Bethel), Rep. Thomas Tyler (R-Windham), Rep. Windol Weaver (R-York), and Rep. Sharri MacDonald (R-Old Orchard Beach).
The time has come to communicate with your legislators about the importance of getting these priority items passed. You can leave a message for your Senator at 287-1540 or toll free at 1-800-423-6900 and for your State Representative at 287-1400 or toll free at 1-800-423-2900. The priority for Monday is to reach members of the House but the bill will soon be moving to the Senate.
If you do not know who your Senator or Representative is, contact Maureen Elwell at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 219 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. While calls are encouraged to all legislators, if you have questions about the key targets for calls on this bill or the items listed below, contact Jessa Barnard at email@example.com.
LYME DISEASE "SCRIPTING" AND ANTI-SCIENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR MECDC
LD 597, An Act To Inform Persons of the Options for the Treatment of Lyme Disease, hit the Senate floor this week. It passed out of Committee with a 12-1 vote and passed the House 122-18 two weeks ago. However, the bill is very problematic for several reasons. It would require physicians to inform patients every time they order a laboratory test for the presence of Lyme disease that a negative result for a Lyme disease test does not necessarily mean that Lyme disease is not present. Further, it requires the Maine CDC to link from their website to the websites of several advocacy organizations that promote long-term antibiotic use for treating "chronic Lyme disease." Many Senators opposed the requirement that physicians use a scripted disclosure for every Lyme disease test and the MMA and MCLU worked very hard to oppose the bill in the Senate. Last Thursday night, the Senate approved the bill with a 19-17 vote. The bill moves back to the House where several legislators are working on amendments to remove the scripting and address the website links. MMA members are encouraged to reach out to both their Representatives and Senators to urge them to oppose LD 597.
ANTIVACCINE BILL HEADED FOR FURTHER VOTES
LD 754 is an anti-vaccine bill that would require physicians to disclose the ingredients in vaccines every time they provide a vaccine, as well as require clinicians to inform parents of their right to opt out of school vaccination requirements. While a majority of the HHS Committee had voted that the bill ought not to pass, in a surprise vote last week, the House voted 81-62 in favor of the bill. MMA, AAP, MaineHealth and others worked to educate Senators about the issue and the Senate voted 25-9 against the bill. However, the bill still faces further votes in the House and the Senate next week. MMA members are encouraged to reach out to their legislators to urge them to oppose LD 754.
MMA Legislative Committee Conference Call, Tuesday, June 4th, 8 p.m.
**PLEASE TAKE NOTICE - THE CALL IN NUMBER HAS CHANGED (due to technical difficulties)**
The MMA Legislative Committee weekly phone calls will continue tomorrow, Tuesday, June 4th 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: 1-877-668-4493 NOTE THAT THIS IS A NEW CALL IN NUMBER
[return to top]
No new bills of interest to MMA were printed last week, but we will update participants on the latest action at the State House.
In particular, we will continue a discussion from last week on issues regarding L.D. 171, An Act To Facilitate the Licensing of International Mail Order Prescription Pharmacies by the Maine Board of Pharmacy. Look for additional information on this bill attached to the reminder email from Maureen Elwell tomorrow.
Last Chance to Register for CME Progran on Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse, June 8 in Wells
MMA is presenting a three hour CME program on prescription drug abuse on Saturday morning, June 8, 2013 in Wells. The program begins at 9:00am and is being held at The Coastal House on Rt. 1 in Wells. Faculty includes Cyrus Jordan, M.D., Noel Genova, PA-C, MaineCare Medical Director Kevin Flanigan, M.D., Enriko Farmsworth of the Prescription Monitoring Program and Gordon Smith, Esq.
The cost of the program is just $20 and registration is available on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com or by calling 622-3374. You may also e-mail your intention to attend to Ashley Bernier at firstname.lastname@example.org and simply pay at the door.
Breakfast refreshments will be available prior to the program beginning at 8:30 am.
[return to top]
Important Announcement from MaineCare on ACA's Enhanced Reimbursement for Primary Care - New Attestation form Required
Included below are important updates related to the 2013/2014 Primary Care payment increase, which was effective January 1, 2013.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has informed the Office of MaineCare Services (OMS) that the enhanced rates OMS had set are too high, and OMS will need to decrease the rates.
Effective Wednesday, May 29, 2013, claims will pay at these lower, corrected rates. Claims paid from January 1, 2013 through Tuesday, May 28, 2013 will be reprocessed. This reprocessing will begin the first week in June.
Next, CMS has also asked OMS to update the self-attestation form. Providers who have already attested must re-attest using the new form, which is available online at www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/pdfs_doc/news/2013-14_PCP_Increase.doc, along with instructions. Please complete and submit the revised form by June 30, 2013.
Please note that, although our previous attestation process permitted PAs and APRNs practicing under the supervision of a qualifying physician to attest on their own behalf, CMS has said that the supervising physician must do the attestation on behalf of any PAs and APRNs that they supervise and are responsible for.
Lastly, CMS has informed OMS that hospitals – specifically provider specialty 062 (Hospital Based Professionals) – are NOT eligible for the increase (due to the fact that MaineCare cost-settles hospital-based physicians), so there is no need for hospital-based providers to attest. The Department will send a separate communication to hospitals informing them of the timing to reprocess claims that were inappropriately paid at the enhanced rate.
Thank you for your patience and OMS apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused. If you have any questions, please contact Provider Services at: 1-866-690-5585. [return to top]
Coming this Friday - Let MMA Train Your Staff on NEW HIPAA/HITECH Provisions
The June 7 First Friday educational session, offered both on site and through webex features the Annual HIPAA Update. This year's Update is particularly important as the final HITECH rules are enforceable as of Sept. 23, 2013. Registration is available at www.mainemed.com. THE WEBEX SITES ARE NOW FULL (25) BUT SPOTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE TO ATTEND AT THE OFFICE IN MANCHESTER.
The program runs from 9:00 am to noon and the faculty includes Stacey Mondshein Katz, Esq. and MMA attorneys Gordon Smith, Andrew MacLean, and Jessa Barnard.
MMA's updated model forms, including the Notice of Privacy Practices and the Business Associate Agreement will be distributed at the program. [return to top]
Last Day to Register for June 10 ACO Forum for Primary Care Providers
Accountable Care Organizations Educational Forum
June 10, 2013
Guest speaker: John Freedman, MD, MBA
Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport
6:00 buffet dinner, 6:30-8:30 presentation and discussion
With generous support from the Maine Health Access Foundation, the Maine Medical Association is pleased to offer an educational forum with John Freedman, MD, MBA. He will be discussing the emerging role of accountable care organizations (ACOs). This event will be targeted toward primary care providers, particularly those in independent practice seeking to better understand the potential impacts of payment reform models such as ACOs.
John Freedman is Principal at Freedman HealthCare in Newton, MA and has 20 years' experience in systems management, managed care, health care quality measurement and quality improvement, clinical laboratory development, health economics, and medical informatics. His experience comes from leadership roles at nationally recognized organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente, Tufts Health Plan, MA Health Quality Partners, Focused Medical Analytics, and the MA Quality and Cost Council.
If you are a physician and would like to participate in this event, please reply to Jennifer Reck at email@example.com, including notice of any dietary restrictions, by today, June 3. There is no cost to attend. [return to top]
Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Draft Legislation to Repeal SGR
The Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans unveiled draft legislation on May 28 that would repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replace it with a new system for determining Medicare physician payments. The release of this draft, which is still missing important details, represents the most recent step to ensure a transparent process and seek stakeholder input on how to reform and improve the current Medicare payment system.
Building off a framework released this spring, the legislation would eliminate the SGR and replace it with a modified fee-for-service system with an emphasis on improving quality and outcomes through performance measures, while also providing means for physicians to participate in alternative payment models. The Committee requested feedback on its legislative draft by June 10. In addition, the committee’s Subcommittee on Health is holding a June 5th hearing on the draft. [return to top]
BDN on Hospital Consolidations, Costs and Access to Care in Maine
The Bangor Daily News (BDN) recently examined hospital consolidations, health care costs and access to care in Maine. The BDN’s Jackie Farwell reported that a string of mergers has left 18 of the state’s 38 acute-care and psychiatric hospitals affiliated with the two largest hospital systems, EMHS and MaineHealth. 80% of primary care doctors in Maine are currently affiliated with a hospital system or a federally supported community health centers. Independent providers find themselves at a relative financial disadvantage because Medicare reimbursement rates are higher, sometimes even double, for care performed in hospitals. Some experts fear consolidation will bring higher costs, while others emphasize large hospital system’s ability to control costs by redesigning how care is delivered and reimbursed.
Click here to read the full text of the article. [return to top]
Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills Warns of Imposter "Life Alert" Scam Targeting Elders
Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills is warning Maine elders to be wary of a phone scam in which the callers lead you to believe they are eligible for a free life alert or medical alert device product and then ask for sensitive, personal financial information. Life Alert is well-known for their tag line of "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up."
"Seniors should always be wary of anyone calling them to tell them that they are eligible for free products in exchange for their personal information," said Attorney General Mills. "Legitimate companies do not operate like this. This scam is particularly insidious because it trades on the well-known brand of Life Alert which is intended for very vulnerable senior citizens."
The company that produces the real Life Alert product has filed a lawsuit against those who have been impersonating Life Alert through scam phone calls, and lying and manipulating seniors into providing personal and financial information. The named defendants include LifeWatch Inc. and Connect America. com, LLC (aka Medical Alert), two companies that purport to be legitimate providers of personal emergency response systems.
Attorney General Mills said that the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office has received numerous complaints from Maine seniors about the Life Alert product scam. If any Maine Seniors believe they have been a target of this scam, they should call the Consumer Protection Division: 1-800-436-2131 or email: consumer.mediation@Maine.gov. [return to top]
AMA Health IT Webinar: Advancing Interoperability through Meaningful Use: A Refresher Course
Thursday, June 6
You can register here.
Also, the AMA has a website devoted to Meaningful Use which can be found at www.ama-assn.org/go/meaningfuluse.
Maine Concussion Management Initiative Concussion Training
Friday, June 14
7:30 a.m. - noon
Covers two levels of training: An Introduction to Concussions and Concussion Management or Interpreting Neurocognitive Testing
For more information or to register, click here
Maine Center for Cancer Medicine Presents Educational Lecture Series: Screening & Treatment
[return to top]
4th Wednesday of Each Month (with exceptions), 6 pm – 7 pm
100 Campus Drive, Conference Room, Scarborough, Maine
Note: To attend the live presentation or join a lecture via Webex, contact Betsy Chase
at 207-396-7634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE CME Credit Available
June 26, 2013: Lung, Screening & Treatment Update Dr. Thomas
July 24, 2013: Breast, Screening Update Dr. Weisberg
August 28, 2013: Breast, Treatment Update Dr. Weisberg
September 18, 2013: GI, Screening Update Dr. Benton
October 23, 2013: GI, Treatment Update Dr. Dugan
November 13, 2013: Melanoma Review and Update for the PCP Dr. Aronson
December 18, 2013: Palliative Care Review Dr. Keating
January 22, 2014: Brain, Screening and Treatment Dr. Evans
February 26, 2014: Clinical Research Overview Dr. Thomas
March 26, 2014: Hematologic, Treatment Update Dr. Ryan
What Health Care Providers Can Do to Address the Needs of Returning Veterans and Their Families
July 16th, 2013
8:00 am—12:00 pm
Hannaford Lecture Hall, College of Pharmacy. University of New England
This training, part of a national educational campaign aimed at civilian healthcare professionals, will enable these community providers to use their current clinical skills to provide culturally appropriate treatment to service members and their families.
Save the Date:
Maine Public Health Association 29th Annual Meeting
October 22, 2013
8:30 am - 4 pm
Augusta Civic Center
For more information, click here.
[return to top]
Facilitator/Professional Development Trainer
The Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership is seeking a half-time facilitator/professional development trainer to begin work this summer in Portland. Please see below for more details on the position.
Overview: Facilitation & Training Professional is a half-time position, reporting to the Associate Executive Director, responsible for provision of facilitation, professional development training programs in Hanley programs and other activities, and participating in evaluation of existing and potential programs.
- Physician Executive Leadership Institute Foundational Program On-Site Facilitation - Serve as site facilitator, including planning and preparation, on site facilitation, debriefs, executive coaching during the on-site day, project oversight with On-site physician leader, and follow up.
- Training of other PELI Foundational Program On-Site Facilitators- Advise and support for other designated Site Facilitators as they work with their respective sites.
- Design, revise, update curriculum, and participate in evaluation of PELI Program Foundational Curricula to ensure that course content continues to supports overall learning objectives, in conjunction with the Executive Director and Associate Executive Director and other identified stakeholders.
- Health Leadership Development Program Facilitation – Collaborate in the facilitation, including planning, preparation, and follow up, for Health Leadership Development program.
- Serve as a facilitation resource for Hanley Stakeholder Engagement activities as needed.
- Plan, design, and develop new programs and curriculum to meet emerging health leadership needs, in conjunction with the Executive Director and Associate Executive Director.Design, develop curricula, and provide professional development skills training as needed for various Hanley programs.
- Provide consulting services as requested for healthcare organizations and providers.
- Advanced degree in organizational development, human relations, organizational psychology, professional development education/training, business, or related field
- At least five years of extensive experience in facilitation and curriculum development of professional development programming required; experience with physician and/or health care providers and business preferred
- Proficient spoken and written English, outstanding verbal, written, and presentation skills
- Highly adaptable and flexible
- Punctual, meticulous, and reliable
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Proven ability to lead by example and foster productive, effective professional relationships
- Certified or willing to become certified to deliver Myers Briggs Type Instrument required, proficiency & certification as appropriate in delivery of other personality/type/ assessment tools
- Experience in executive coaching required; Certification in executive coaching preferred
- Strong Professional references (at least two)
Position is half-time with the potential to become full time. Overnight travel is required up to 3 times monthly. Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings and periodic weekends is required. Brief cover letter, resume and contact information for 2-3 references should be emailed no later than 5 p.m. Monday, June 3, 2013 to email@example.com.
Sacopee Valley Health Center is seeking a full time LCSW to join our Medical Team
as the Behavioral Health Consultant.
This position involves working with patients in a busy integrated
primary care setting to more effectively manage the behavioral aspects of their
physical/mental illnesses and/or chronic medical conditions.
Applicant must possess valid State of Maine license or be license eligible. Experience in a health care setting
preferred. Anticipated start date for
this position: June 3, 2013.
Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail
to: Human Resources Coordinator, Sacopee Valley Health Center, P.O. Box 777, Parsonsfield, ME 04047. Sacopee Valley Health Center is an equal
opportunity provider and employer.
Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and/or Physician Assistant
Assistance Plus is seeking two (2) full time psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants for the Medication Management Program in Benton and Wilton. The professional team is overseen by Robert Gordon, medical director. Our primary focus is to assist those with behavioral health disorders.
Applicant must be a graduate of an accredited degree program and licensed to practice in the State-of-Maine. A minimum of three years experience required.
We offer a generous benefit package of full coverage for health, dental, and 401K along with a sign on bonus of $5,000. This position is Monday through Friday and no on call coverage is required.
Please submit resume and cover letter to Jillian Jolicoeur 453-4708 ext 408 or email email@example.com.
Physician Needed – Portland, Maine
Do you want to work in a fun office? Do
you want to help people positively change their lives? Would you like to
treat only grateful patients? Tired of the hassles of running a practice?
Dealing with insurance? Non-compliant patients?
We are an active, growing practice of Obesity
Medicine in Portland. Since 2009, we have had tremendous success in helping
people regain control over their health, getting off of anti-hypertensives and
reigning in their metabolic problems. We practice according to the
guidelines of the American Society of Bariatric Medicine, using scientifically
validated principles. Our team is seeking a physician with a positive
personality and attitude to ideally work full time (though part time is an
option), starting immediately. We work cooperatively with the patients'
primary cares. We will train you in Obesity Medicine practice. We
have a star team to support you. If this sounds like you, please email us
Include your contact information, and we will call you.
Practice Opportunity for Psychiatrist – Augusta, Maine
Liberty Healthcare anticipates an opening for a full-time attending Psychiatrist at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine. This position offers a small case load, competitive compensation package, regular 40-hour workweeks, minimal on-call, 7+ weeks off annually, liability insurance, onsite CME, relocation assistance and a collegial work environment. Psychiatrists who have an interest in providing inpatient services to adults who have serious and persistent mental illness and/or forensic patients are encouraged to apply. Details available online at www.libertyhealthcare.com/upload/303.pdf. Contact Ian Castronuovo at (610) 389-7430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Practice Physicians
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
To learn more about KVHC and Practitioner Opportunities, please contact Michelle LeFay at email@example.com or visit our website at www.kvhc.org. KVHC is an equal opportunity employer.