July 22, 2013

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Maroulla Gleaton, M.D. Elected Chair of Board of Licensure in Medicine, David Jones, M.D., Secretary

At its July meeting, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine elected Augusta ophthalmologist Maroulla Gleaton, M.D., as chair of the Board and David Jones, M.D. as Secretary.  Dr. Jones is a family physician currently practicing in the ER at Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent.

Dr. Gleaton follows Auburn internist Gary Hatfield, M.D. who completed two six year terms on the Board at its June meeting.  Dr. Gleaton previously served as Secretary of the Board.  As a result of Dr. Hatfield leaving the Board, there remains one vacancy which will be filled by appointment of Governor Paul LePage.  In addition, there will be one physician assistant appointed by the Governor to the Board after the effective date (Oct. 9) of the legislation enacted this year authorizing one PA to be appointed to the BOLIM and one PA to be appointed to the Board of Osteopathic Licensure.

The Board of Licensure in Medicine includes six physicians and three public members, all appointed by the Governor.  Members serve six year terms and must have been actively practicing in the state for at least five years prior to their appointment.

Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Draft Legislation to Repeal SGR

Late Thursday afternoon, the Committee on Energy and Commerce released draft legislation to repeal the SGR and implement new Medicare physician payment updates based performance under an expanded PQRS program.  In addition, the draft provides for the development of alternative payment models as an alternative to quality reporting requirements.  The bill provides for an initial five years of positive updates at 0.5% per year.  Beginning in 2019, physicians would have the opportunity to earn an additional 1% for successful participation in an expanded PQRS program.  Physicians who score poorly would be subject to cut of 1% (net -0.5%). 

The legislation will be introduced by Rep. Mike Burgess, MD (R-TX) and is cosponsored by the Chairs and Ranking Members of both the full committee and subcommittee (Reps. Upton (R-MI), Pitts (R-PA), Waxman (D-CA), and Pallone (D-NJ)).  Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) also joined as an original cosponsor.  The Subcommittee on Health has announced that they will mark up the legislation on Tuesday, July 23, with opening statements beginning at 5 PM on Monday.  No amendments are expected at the subcommittee level.

While the draft represents significant progress from previous versions of the legislation, there is still much work that remains.  The committee views the bill as a work in progress and continues to solicit comments and suggestions from the physician community has they have throughout this process.  The AMA is examining several areas of concern and will continue to dialogue with the committee members and staff.

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New Laws Impacting Your Practice: LD 198, Delegation of Medical Care

This week, MMA will begin running weekly articles highlighting new laws passed by the 126th Legislature that impact the practice of medicine in Maine.  We are also happy to present an overview of new laws to your medical staff, practice or specialty society and will be posting a summary of laws shortly to the MMA website. 

In one of the Association's victories of the legislative session, the Association's bill on delegation of medical acts became law without the Governors signature on April 9th.  The change in law will take effect on October 9th. 

The bill modifies the section of state statute dealing with when osteopathic and allopathic physicians can delegate activities.  The current law required that the physician remain remain physically present when a task was delegated and also limited delegation to the physician's "employees."  The change in law accomplishes two things: 

  • eliminates the requirement that the physician must remain on site when a task is delegated, although the activities must still be under the control of the physician and the physician remains liable for the activities; and 
  • allows the physician to delegate to all "support staff" not only employees of the physician, in recognition that more physicians and staff are now employees of the same practice or facility.  

The full text of the new law can be found here.   Thank you to Representative Ann Dorney, MD, for sponsoring the bill, LD 198.  

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Pioneer ACOs Show Mixed Results On Lowering Costs After First Year, CMS Says

All of the 32 participants in the Pioneer accountable care organization program succeeded in improving quality performance, but less than half were successful at lowering costs, according to first-year results reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services July 16.

According to CMS, all of the Pioneers successfully met quality measures for the first performance year, with all earning incentive payments for their reporting accomplishments.

By contrast, only 13 Pioneer ACOs performed well enough against cost benchmarks to share in savings for the program. They generated a gross savings of $87.6 million in 2012 and saved Medicare nearly $33 million. Two Pioneers spent more than their benchmark amount and will owe the government $4 million.

According to CMS, seven of the Pioneer ACOs that did not produce savings said they intend to apply to the “traditional” Medicare Shared Savings Program—another ACO model with more flexibility and lower risk levels. CMS said two of the Pioneers intend to completely leave the program.

ACOs are groups of doctors and hospitals organized to improve coordination of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The health care reform law created the MSSP for such entities. The Pioneer program is administered under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and is designed for health care organizations and providers that have experience coordinating care for patients across care settings. 

CMS could not confirm which of the Pioneers were dropping out entirely and which were negotiating MSSP contracts. The agency did name the nine Pioneers that will not be participating in Round Two of the program. 

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CMS Introduces Mobile Apps to Aid Physicians, Industry in Sunshine Reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services July 17 released two free mobile device applications that will help physicians and industry users track payments and other financial transfers that need to be reported under the OPEN PAYMENTS program (also known as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act).

CMS created one app for industry and one for physicians. The apps are designed to facilitate transparency and reduce the annual reporting burden by making it easier for users to track payments.

CMS said the physicians app will help doctors ensure that industry information reported about them is accurate. Physicians are not required to report any information, although they might want to use the apps to help them validate reports submitted by manufacturers about payments they have received, CMS said. The industry app will help make sure their reporting is accurate and complete.

Both apps are compatible with the iOS (Apple) and Android platforms; they are available free through the iOS Apple Store and Google Play Store, CMS said.

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Last Chance to Register for Wednesday's Practice Education Program in Augusta

MMA will present its 22nd Annual Physician Practice Education Seminar on this coming Wednesday, July 24 at the Augusta Civic Center.  Four plenary sessions and a dozen breakout sessions will serve to inform attendees of the various trends in the healthcare marketplace and of the changes in laws, rules and regulations on both the state and federal level that impact directly on medical practice in the state.  The program has been accredited for seven and one-half hours of category one CME by the Maine Medical Education Trust.

Register now by calling Lisa Martin at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 221 or by registering on the MMA website.

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Maine Center for Cancer Medicine Presents Breast Cancer Screening & Treatment Update, July 24

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 

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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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]

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

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.


Breasts: A Natural& Unnatural History with author Florence Williams

Thursday, August 15

7:00 p.m.

The Strand, Rockland

Book Signing follows

Tickets: $25 (General Admission)

Preferred Seating & Private Reception, 5:30-6:30 pm, 

Tickets: $50

Online: mainewomenevent.bpt.me

Or call: (207) 622-0851 x22

Presented by the Maine Women's Lobby, www.mainewomen.org 


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

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.

Sept. 7th in Portland

Oct. 26th in Bangor. 

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

For more information or 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


Maine Cardiovascular Health Council's 2013 Cardiovascular Summit

Stroke - The First 3 Hours: Bridging the Health System and the Community

   Thursday, November 7, 2013

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine

In this one day event, we are combining scientific sessions with population health.  As we move into a more collaborative healthcare environment, this is the ideal conference to learn about the newest information regarding stroke care, along with resources available through our state and local programs.

For more information or to register, 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

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