July 15, 2013

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Seven and One-half Hours of CME Granted for July 24 Annual Practice Education Seminar

MMA will present its annual Practice Education Seminar at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, July 24 with seven and one-half hours of category one CME credit granted for the program through the Maine Medical Education Trust.  In addition to the previously announced presenters, including keynote speakers Jack Lewin, M.D., HHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Social Media guru Rich Brooks, Laurie Desjardins will handle the breakout session on preparing for ICD 10, Jeff Parsons, Esq will present the session on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act and Clare Desrosier, MSW and James Berry, M.D. will join the presentation on preventing prescription drug abuse.  Edward Kane of Harvard Pilgrim will present as part of the payment reform panel as well Jeffrey Holstrom, D.O. from Anthem.

The Augusta Civic Center will again be the site of the Seminar.  Being offered for the 22nd year, this program is designed to offer physicians and practice managers the information and tools they need to be successful in their practice setting, whether the physician is in private practice or employed and regardless of specialty.  As the program runs from 8:30am to 4:30pm with three keynote talks and a dozen breakout sessions, there is sufficient time to cover many of the topics that are in front of practices currently, such as:

  • Preparing for ICD 10
  • Using social media to market your practice
  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • State Innovation Model grant (SIM)
  • Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse
  • Board of Licensure in Medicine Update
  • Physician Payments Sunshine Act
  • Legislation Impacting on Medical Practice Enacted by the 126th Legislature
  • Affordable Care Act, including Exchanges, Essential Benefits and Mandated Coverage

The keynote presenter is Jack Lewin, M.D., Chairman of the National Coalition on Health Care.  Dr. Lewin is a former CEO of the American College of Cardiology and the California Medical Association.

Registration materials have been mailed to each MMA member and practice managers or you may register on-line at www.mainemed.com.  Questions can be directed to Lisa Martin at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 221 or via e-mail to lmartin@mainemed.com.  Lisa will also handle any questions from potential exhibitors.

MMA Staff Transitions

MMA has two important announcements today regarding staffing.

Andrew MacLean, Deputy EVP and General Counsel, will be on sabbatical until Oct. 1, 2013, returning to the office just prior to the Association's 160th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oct. 4-6, 2013.  Andy has been with MMA fifteen years and association policy permits professional level employees to have one three-month sabbatical over this period of time.  During his absence, Assistant General Counsel Jessa Barnard, J.D., will serve as interim General Counsel, reporting to Gordon Smith, EVP.  If members or their staffs have inquiries that would normally be directed to Andy, these should be directed to Jessa or Gordon.

We are also sorry to report on the transition of Maureen Elwell from MMA full-time employment.  Maureen has been a very valuable member of our team the last several years and has been responsible for supporting the advocacy team, the Maine Physician Action Fund, the Doctor of the Day program at the Legislature and recently has staffed the Downeast Association of Physician Assistants, the Maine Radiological Society and the Maine Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. She will retain the position with Maine ACEP but all of her other responsibilities have been assumed by other MMA staff.  We wish Maureen and her family all the best as she begins a position in a family-related business.  She has graciously agreed to assist on a part-time basis with our webex product and to be available as-needed to cover other employees.

If members, practice staff or corporate affiliates have any questions about these announcement, they should contact EVP Gordon Smith at gsmith@mainemed.com or call him at 622-3374 ext. 212.

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POLITICAL PULSE: Legislature Holds "Veto Day," Adjourns Until January

The legislature returned to Augusta last Tuesday to complete its work on bills and to consider a number of bills vetoed by Governor Paul LePage since they had last met.   In all, the Governor has issued 83 vetoes this session and the legislature considered nearly 30 on Tuesday alone.  They failed to find the 2/3 vote necessary to override the vast majority of the Governor's vetoes, including of several bills of interest to the Medical Association.  They ultimately upheld the vetoes of: 

  • LD 1046, An Act To Provide Immunity for Prescribing and Dispensing Intranasal Naloxone Kits
  • LD 1181, An Act To Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals and 
  • LD 1232, An Act To Maintain the Integrity of the Fund for a Healthy Maine

The legislature also finalized work last Tuesday creating a study commission on the Transparency, Costs and Accountability of Health Care System Financing (HP 1123).  The Commission will be comprised of 9 legislators and, among other things, make recommendations for changes and modifications to the current data reporting requirements so that hospitals and other health care facilities publicly report charges, negotiated rates for public and private payors, advertising fees, lobbying expenses, administrative costs and other expenses in a transparent manner. 

While some bills are still waiting action by the Governor, the Legislature adjourned Tuesday night and are unlikely to meet again until January, except for several meetings of the Appropriations Committee to consider state finances and potentially a day or more to take action on a bond package. 

The MMA Legislative Committee is also taking a break until a pre-session meeting in the late fall that will be announced in the Update.  MMA staff will continue to include information on summer study committees and bills that will impact medical practice through the Update and presentations at the Practice Education Seminar and specialty society meetings.  We will also be posting a final legislative summary to the MMA website.  [return to top]

Double Check Your Information on the CMS Physician Compare Site
Physician Compare, a CMS website that allows consumers to search and compare information about physicians and other health care professionals, has been redesigned to make the site easier to use and provide new information for consumers.  The redesign includes new information about physicians, such as:

  • Information about specialties offered by doctors and group practices;
  • Whether a physician is using electronic health records;
  • Board certification; and
  • Affiliation with hospitals and other health care professionals.
Physician Compare is also now connected to the most consistently updated database so that consumers will find more accurate and up-to-date information available.  In 2014, quality data will be added to hep consumers choose a medical professional based on performance ratings.  Visit the Physician Compare website at www.medicare.gov/physiciancompare.  Some physicians have reported that their information was outdated or inaccurate.  Review your information at the site and then update any inaccuracies following the instructions.
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Congressional Committees Poised to Act on Medicare Physician Pay Reform

Members of the U.S. House and Senate continue to search for ways to reform Medicare physician pay that would replace the outdated sustainable growth rate formula that is currently used to calculate reimbursement. Lawmakers must pass legislation before the end of the year in order for physicians to avoid a 24.4 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement on Jan. 1.

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced this week that it will consider legislation on July 31 that would create a Medicare physician pay system to replace the SGR formula with a new approach that would be based on quality and efficiency. The American Medical Association joined  the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American College of Surgeons in presenting suggestions to the committee this week to strengthen the legislation. The associations conveyed to the committee that the pay system proposed in the legislation is overly complex and must be simplified in order to be effective. Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., has said he is committed to acting on the bill prior to Congress’ August break. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services participated in a U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing this week to provide its perspectives and advice in replacing the SGR formula. The hearing marks the first time in this Congress in which senators specifically discussed a replacement. Officials from the agency recommend a four-to five-year transition period of stable physician payments with updates set in statute. They said this approach would provide policymakers with more time to develop new payment models, which should be based on differential payment rates that reward physicians on value.

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Health Centers to Help Uninsured Americans Gain Affordable Health Coverage

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced last week $150 million in grant awards to 1,159 health centers across the nation to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.  Speaking at the Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix, Ariz., later in the day the Secretary noted that, with these funds, health centers are expected to hire an additional 2,900 outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist millions of people nationwide with enrollment into affordable health coverage.

Nineteen health centers in Maine received the awards totaling $1,405,623.  Those health centers have 140 sites that served 181,467 patients last year, 14.79 percent of them uninsured. With their Outreach and Enrollment funding, the health centers in Maine expect to hire 25 additional workers, who will assist 18,421 people with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage.

HHS Secretary Sebelius said, “Investing in health centers means that people in neighborhoods and towns across the country have one more resource to help them understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage.”

With these awards, which health centers in all 50 states have received, consumers will get help understanding their coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; determine their eligibility and what financial help they can get; and enroll in new affordable health coverage options.

The awards, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded Navigator program.

Today’s announcement is part of the administration's broader effort to make applying for health coverage as easy as possible. The new, consumer-focused HealthCare.gov website and the 24-hour-a-day consumer call center help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for health coverage.  These new tools will help Americans understand their coverage options and select the plan that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins Oct. 1, 2013. [return to top]

Not Too Late to Register for 10th Annual MMA Benefit Golf Tournament, July 22

Interested golfers may still register for MMA's 10th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament being held on Monday, July 22 at the Augusta Country Club (ACC).  The ACC is in superb shape and will be hosting the Maine Amateur tournament this coming week.  

The format for MMA's tournament will again be a traditional four-person scramble.  Registration and lunch on the deck begin at 11:00am with a shotgun start at noontime.  Prizes will be awarded to men and women for both net and gross prizes as well as for longest drive and closest to the pin on all par three's.  We are fortunate to have Brian Jumper, M.D. again chairing this year's tournament.

Net proceeds from the tournament this year will be to the scholarship fund of the Maine Medical Education Trust. This fund will be utilized exclusively for scholarships for Maine residents in medical school or to help repay loans awarded to same.

MMA is also soliciting hole sponsors ($500 per hole) and donations for the raffle.

To register or to offer a sponsorship or raffle item, e-mail lmartin@mainemed.com or call Lisa at 622-3374 ext. 221.   [return to top]

Transforming Care with Data and Relationships: Jay Want, MD, to Speak at MMA, Aug 13

Save the Date:

August 13, 2013, 6:00-8:30 PM

Maine Medical Association, Manchester, Maine

What happens when 40 PCPs working in 15 practices admitting to two competing hospitals enter into a risk-sharing arrangement? Health care providers, purchasers and other interested stakeholders are invited to hear national speaker Jay Want, MD discuss this case study and more in his presentation:

“Transforming Care with Data and Relationships”

Jay Want, MD, is past chair of Center for Improving Value in Health Care in Colorado, a public-private partnership purposed to catalyze health care reform in the state. Want is a CMS Innovation Advisor for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and recognized for leadership in health policy by the Colorado Health Foundation.

This event is made possible by generous support from the Maine Health Access Foundation and is co-sponsored by the Hanley Center for Health Leadership, the Maine Medical Education Trust/Maine Medical Association and Quality Counts.

Remote participation will be made available via WebEx.  If you plan to attend, please contact Jennifer Reck at jreck@mainemed.com by August 9 and indicate if you will attend in person or online.  [return to top]

Register Now for MMA's 160th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oct. 4-6, 2013

The Maine Medical Association will hold its 160th Annual Meeting in downtown Portland Oct. 4-6, 2013.  In addition to celebrating the 160th Anniversary of the founding of the Association, the meeting will also include educational sessions focused on the theme of The Changing Face of Medical Education. The educational sessions, which will also include tours of the simulation lab at the Brighton Campus of the Maine Medical Center, will focus on three aspects of medical education:  undergraduate, graduate and continuing education for physicians in practice.

Keynote speakers include Edison Liu, M.D., President of Jackson Labs, Peter Bates, M.D., VP at Maine Medical Center and Steve Stack, M.D., immediate past chair of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees.

Registration materials will be mailed these week to all MMA members but you can also find more information and register online at the MMA website. The primary venue for the meeting is the Holiday Inn by the Bay on Spring St. in Portland.

Watch future issues of this Update and your copy of Maine Medicine to learn more of the details of the Annual Session, being held in Portland for the first time in at least a half century. [return to top]

2 Dates/2Locations - Attend Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training

The Maine Academy of Family Physicians is pleased to announce two more opportunities to complete the newly Federally required “Commercial Driver Medical Examiner (ME)” training here in Maine.

Beginning in 2014, the newly passed Federal regulations will require that anyone performing Commercial Driver physicals (including for school bus drivers), will have to:

a) Complete a certified training course every 5 years and

b) Pass a Federal certification exam every 10 years and

c)  Register for an individual ME provider number (required on all physical forms)

There are many Internists, PAs and NPs here in Maine that are doing these exams.  There are only a few training courses being offered nationally, and we are fortunate to be able to partner with the New England College of Occupational & Environmental Health to bring this training twice more here to Maine – Sept. 7th in Portland, and Oct. 26th in Bangor. 

This day-long program will be eligible for AMA Cat I CME credits (as well as AAFP Prescribed credits)

All of the information (complete brochure and registration form) is located on the AAFP website at: http://www.maineafp.org/nrcme-training.

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Job Openings

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 Houlton locations.  KVHC is a fully electronic medical record site and offers a competitive salary ($170,000 to $190,000 annual) and benefit package which includes: a 10% of first year salary sign on bonus, generous amounts of paid time off, $2500 annually toward CME as well as a completely outpatient site.  The call schedule is 1 in 8 with additional coverage from the Open Access Clinic.  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 10 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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Upcoming Events

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.

To register, click here.


Breath Easy Coalition Annual Meeting 

August 15, 2013

10 am - 2:30 pm 

Augusta, Maine 

Join us for for this FREE event! Featuring presentations and discussions around how smoke-free policies are impacted by medical marijuana and electronic cigarettes, celebration of 10 years of addressing smoke-free housing, networking, and roundtable peer-to-peer discussions around addressing tobacco-use and secondhand smoke exposure in Maine.

To register, click here.


4th Annual Patient Safety Academy

Friday, September 13th

9:00am – 4:00pm

University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus, Abromson Center

Cost: $50, with a discounted rate of $25 for students

12 workshops, including the USM School of Nursing Simulation Lab! The Patient Safety Academy is returning for its fourth year! Last year over 150 health care professionals representing Maine hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies, long-term care facilities, agencies, organizations and advocacy groups participated in knowledge and skill building workshops. Any individual interested or engaged in patient safety activity is invited to attend.

To learn more or register, click here


Maine Dental Access Coalition Fall Conference

Friday, October 18, 2013

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Morgan Hill Event Center, Hermon, Maine

 All One Body:  Creating Optimal Health Outcomes A Symposium for Medical and Dental Health Providers

Keynote: Medical Dental Collaboration:  Why it Matters and How It Works by Dr. John R. Luther, DDS, Senior Vice President of Dental Management and Chief Dental Officer at DentaQuest

Registration information to follow.  Visit http://www.mainedentalaccess.org/events.php


Maine Public Health Association 29th Annual Meeting 

October 22, 2013 

8:30 am - 4 pm 

Augusta Civic Center 

For more information, click here


2013 Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference

November 13, 2013 

Augusta Civic Center

 Sponsored by the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention

Since 1983, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Health and Human Services has organized an annual infectious disease conference targeting public health issues of emerging concern to medical practitioners throughout the State. Presentation topics will focus on a range of infectious diseases and immunizations. This year’s conference includes aspects from the Division of Infectious Disease’s Epidemiology, Immunization, HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Programs. 

For more information or to register, click here


Maine Center for Cancer Medicine Presents Educational Lecture Series:  Screening & Treatment

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 chasee@mccm.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

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