August 5, 2013

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

Jay Want, M.D., an Innovation Adviser for CMS and a highly sought after speaker following his successful work in Colorado, will present a program for physicians at the offices of MMA in Manchester on Tuesday evening, August 13.  There is no cost to attend either in-person or by WebEx and the two-hour CME program is generously funded by the Maine Health Access Foundation as part of a payment reform grant.  

The program is co-sponsored by the Hanley Center for Health Leadership and Quality Counts.

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

Maine Medical Association, Manchester, Maine

Join us in person or attend remotely via WebEx

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 by August 9 and indicate if you will attend in person or online. 

New Laws Impacting Your Practice: LD 990, Price list

Each week MMA will be 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 have recently released a summary of laws and explanatory slide presentation to the MMA website. 

In an attempt to address issues of price transparency and patient access to pricing information, the legislature passed LD 990, An Act To Require Public Disclosure of Health Care Prices.  

The new law requires that: 

  • Each health care practitioner maintain a price list of the his/her most frequently provided health care services and procedures.  This means any health care service or procedure that was provided by the health care practitioner at least 50 times in the preceding calendar year.
  • The prices stated must be the prices that the health care practitioner charges clients directly, when there is no insurance coverage for the services or procedures or when reimbursement by an insurance company is denied. 
  • The prices stated must be accompanied by the applicable standard medical codes listed by diagnosis.
  • Health care practitioners must inform clients about the availability of the price list and provide copies of the price list upon request. 
  • Health care practitioners must make available written information on health claims data that may be obtained through the publicly accessible website of the Maine Health Data Organization (see

This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.  You can find the full text of the law here[return to top]

Legislative Council Sets Early Cloture Date for Second Session

The ten-member Legislative Council met in July and established Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 as the cloture day for filing legislation to be considered during the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature which will convene in January, 2014.  Based on recent history, the September date is the earliest cloture date in recent years.

The Second Session is limited to bills allowed in by the Council along with carry-over legislation, agency bills and proposals introduced by the Governor.  A large number of bills were held-over from the first session.

After preparing nearly a dozen bills for the first Session, MMA does not anticipate introducing any new legislation in January although we will continue to support the acceptance of federal funds to cover for the 70,000 individuals eligible for MaineCare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.   [return to top]

U.S. House Likely to Take Up Medicare Payment Reform (SGR Fix) this Fall

The House Energy and Commerce Committee this past week approved, by a vote of 51-0, bipartisan draft legislation (H.R. 2810) that would repeal the current Medicare physician payment system and replace it with one based on quality of care measures and new care models.  A version of the bill is expected to go before a full-House vote this fall. 

The legislation would repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula in Medicare's current system and create a fee-for-service system in which providers report quality measures. Providers also would have the ability to leave fee for service and opt for new ways of delivering care, such as medical homes.

During the phase-in period, physician groups—in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and medical standards-setting organizations—would work on a set of quality measures that would be implemented in 2019, according to the proposal.

Physicians would receive a 0.5 percent annual increase per year for the first five years of the new payment system. Beginning in 2019, physician Medicare payments would include adjustments up or down, depending on how well their services met the new quality guidelines.

Physicians receiving the highest quality scores would receive a 1 percent payment increase over standard Medicare rates; physicians with quality scores in the midrange would receive no increase; and physicians in the lower range would receive a 1 percent payment reduction.

Providers also could opt to participate in demonstration programs featuring alternative payment models aimed at coordinating care and improving quality of care for patients.

Although the policy in the draft received bipartisan support, lawmakers have yet to identify ways to pay for the legislation, which could make the process of crafting a final bill more contentious.  House Republicans have acknowledged that funding the physician pay fix in part by taking money from the Affordable Care Act will be opposed by Democrats, as will changes to the medical malpractice system.

Meanwhile, the Senate is also working on a bipartisan version of a Medicare payment reform bill.  MMA will be working closely with both the Maine Congressional delegation and the AMA to help a reform bill get across the finish line.

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MMA Board of DIrectors to Meet Wednesday, August 8 in Rumford

The twenty-five member MMA Board of Directors will hold its summer meeting this coming Wednesday, August 8, at the home of President Dieter Kreckel, M.D. and his wife, Jennifer Kreckel, J.D. in Rumford.  For several years, the Board has honored the tradition of having at least one meeting at the President's home.

The following items have been identified as priority topics at the two-hour meeting, along with making final preparations for the 160th Annual Session to be held Oct. 4-6, 2013 in downtown Portland.

  1. Review of a proposed 2014 budget to be presented to the Association's membership at the Annual Meeting in October.
  2. Consideration of renewal of the contract the Executive Vice President.
  3. Review of the top five priorities of the Choosing Wisely initiative.
  4. Consideration of how to implement the two member, two meeting Board exchange with the Maine Hospital Association.

The Board is chaired by Lisa Ryan, D.O., a pediatrician practicing at Bridgton Hospital. [return to top]

Update on State Innovation Models (SIM) Grant For Provider Organizations

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was awarded a $33 million State Innovation Model (SIM) grant from the federal government.  The steering committee met on July 24 and again on July 29.  The highlights are described below:

July 24, 2013

  • The operational plan for SIM is nearly complete and will be submitted to the Steering Committee for approval on 7/29.  This plan must be submitted by DHHS to CMS. 
  • The Steering Committee heard presentations from the leaders of each of the 3 work groups (Transparency/Consumer Engagement, Payment Reform, and Delivery Model Reform).  Each reviewed the general outlines that will guide their group’s work. 
  • During the presentation on consumer engagement there was discussion of how best to educate consumers about reviewing their own medical record and make it meaningful to them.  
  • During the payment reform conversation there was a discussion of the use of evidence based, clinically impactful metrics and the need to align provider, payor and patient in this regard.
  • There was also significant discussion of one of the preliminary goals of the work group:  to lower Maine’s commercial insurance premiums over three years to the national average.  There was not agreement on whether this is realistically achievable or whether it is proper to state this explicitly.  There will be more discussion on this topic.

July 29, 2013

  • The SIM Operation plan is 95% completed.  The Steering Committee agreed that commercial insurance premiums should be monitored and measured as one of the contributors to cost of care but that there would not be an explicit aim of getting them down to the national average in 3 years.
  • As part of the effort to improve care there will be focused initiatives for DM, mental health, obesity and tobacco use.
  • There is an aim to improve patient satisfaction statewide (as measured by the CG CAHPS survey) by 2% and to increase the use of the survery from 50% to 66%.

 If you are interested in more detailed information you can go to the SIM Steering Committeewebsite by clicking here:

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Health Insurance Marketplace Training: Becoming a Certified Application Counselor Organization

If your organization is a community health center or other health care provider, hospital, a non-federal governmental or non-profit social service agency, and your organization would like to help by training your staff to assist people applying for coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace opening October 1, you can apply to be a Certified application counselor (CAC) organization.  

What does a CAC organization do?

As a CAC organization, your staff and volunteers will help people understand, apply, and enroll  for health coverage through the Marketplace. Your organization must agree to make sure that designated individuals complete required training, and that they comply with privacy and security laws, and other program standards.

Your organization must: 

  1. have processes in place to screen your staff to make sure that they protect consumer information

  2. engage in services that position you to help those you serve with health coverage issues

  3. have experience providing social services to the community

What do we need to know about your organization?

If your organization is a health care provider, be sure to tell us what kind of health care you provide and any specific populations you serve. For example when you apply, let us know if you’re:

  • Indian Health Service, Indian tribe, or urban Indian organization

  • Ryan White HIV/AIDS provider

  • Behavioral health or mental health provider

  • City, county, or municipal health department

If your organization provides social services, let us know if you’re a non-federal governmental entity or a nonprofit organization, and what type of services you provide. For example, tell us if you provide:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach 

  • Energy assistance to your community 

  • Tax assistance to your community

To learn more about becoming a CAC organization, please visit or consider attending one of the upcoming training webinars listed below. Webinar topics include:

-          Requirements for a CAC organization

-          How to apply to be a CAC organization

-          Overview of training requirements

-          Marketplace eligibility and enrollment

-          Medicaid expansion

-          The streamlined application process

August 5, 2013, 1:30 – 3:00 pm ET,

August 7, 2013, 1:30 – 3:00 pm ET, [return to top]

athenahealth webinar: Improving Patient Collections: Creating a Self-Pay Policy at Your Practice

Webinar: Improving Patient Collections: Creating a Self-Pay Policy at Your Practice.

When: Wednesday, August 14th, 12:15 p.m. ET

Higher premiums. Larger co-payments. Bigger deductibles. It all adds up to a heavier payment responsibility for patients—and a potentially difficult medical billing scenario for you. Considering the percentage of patient billing that ends up as bad debt, a patient payment policy is absolutely critical for every practice’s financial health. Not only has it become the crux of a successful self-pay solution, it’s also a vital element of sound overall practice management. Register today and see how a patient payment policy can give your practice a financial boost.

Registration Link:

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Preparing for Health Reform in Maine

As we approach the October 1st beginning of open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace, it is important that Maine physicians know how the changes coming will impact you and your patients.  To learn more, consider attending one or more of the following trainings.  Please contact Jessa Barnard at with questions.  

8/19 Muskie School Colloquium, "The Affordable Care Act: What's Next for Maine?" 4-5:30 p.m. at Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, University of Southern Maine. To register click here. 

8/22  "Health Care Reform Forum" sponsored by Mainebiz, HarvardPilgrim HealthCare, Maine Community Health Options and PierceAtwood LLP. 8:00-11:00 a.m. at Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland.  For more info contact Donna Brassard at 761.8379 x327 or click here. 

9/13  "What's Up with Health Care Reform?"  Free seminar for employers on the ACA by  Healey & Associates.  8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. at The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. Topics covered will include: information on the HIM, employer penalties, and the benefits the ACA provides employers with over 50 employees that partially self-fund their employee health care programs.  For more information or to register, contact Peggy Williams at Healey & Associates.

9/17  "Successfully Implementing the ACA in Maine," Augusta Civic Center, organized by Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care and other leaders of Maine's consumer health advocacy community.  The half-day program will focus on the Marketplace opening, new insurance options, and MaineCare changes.  Breakout sessions will spotlight changes and new benefits for: people with low income, patients and families with behavioral health needs, and women.  For more information, or to register, click here.

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Watch the Mail this Week for Maine Medicine

MMA continues to publish its 8 page newsletter, Maine Medicine, every quarter.  This third issue of 2013 has been printed and will be mailed this week.  Watch for it as it contains a summary of the legislative session activity of interest to physicians and articles on the new Choosing Wisely initiative, the upcoming Annual Session in Oct. in Portland and the latest from Dr. Stephen Sears of the Maine CDC on Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Photos are included from the July 24 Annual Practice Education Seminar.

MMA always welcomes feedback on our publications.  Comments can be directed to the EVP Gordon Smith or at or to Shirley Goggin at [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 or visit our website at  KVHC is an equal opportunity employer.


Department of Psychiatry Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Department of Psychiatry, is seeking an academic geriatric psychiatrist to join its faculty as Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry.

This position, Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry, will develop and lead a geriatric psychiatry clinical neuroscience research program and oversee clinical care and teaching in geriatric psychiatry. The successful applicant will provide clinical consultations and supervise geriatric specialty care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and affiliated sites. He/she will oversee geriatric psychiatry training for medical students, residents, and fellows. In addition, he/she will spearhead a geriatric psychiatry clinical neuroscience research program.

The ideal candidate will be a skilled clinician and enthusiastic teacher, with strong interest and experience in neuroscience research in geriatric psychiatry. Candidates should be board certified or board eligible in Geriatric Psychiatry. Academic rank and salary will be consistent with experience.  A letter of interest, curriculum vitae and three letters of reference should be addressed to Alan I. Green, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and sent to  Please reference Search Number PS1411D.

Dartmouth College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and encourages applications from women and members of minority groups.


Full-Time PA-C or FNP Position Available

We are searching for an experienced healthcare provider to join our supportive team-based Family Medicine Practice.  Full Circle Family Medicine is a physician owned private practice in Mid Coast Maine.

We are a full spectrum, well established practice with a focus on preventative, wellness and mindfulness based care.

Please forward CV and references to:  Full Circle Family Medicine, Attn:  Wendy Williams, 68 Chapman Street, Damariscotta, ME  04543 or via email to: Questions: please call 207-563-6623 option 7 to speak with Wendy.

We look forward to hearing from you.


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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


Or call: (207) 622-0851 x22

Presented by the Maine Women's Lobby, 


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

FREE CME Credit Available

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


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


12th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium

Presented by the Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

September 20-22, 2013

Harborside Hotel & Marina - Bar Harbor, ME

This Symposium offering 15 hours of CME is open to ophthalmologists across the country!

For more information, visit

Additional Questions?  Call  Shirley Goggin at 207-445-2260 or


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


Maine Public Health Association 29th Annual Meeting 

October 22, 2013 

8:30 am - 4 pm 

Augusta Civic Center 

For more information, click here


2013 Maine Primary Care Association Annual Conference

October 23 - October 24, 2013

Bar Harbor Club, Bar Harbor, Maine

This year's conference, "Health Care Reform: Putting the Promise into Practice" will highlight emerging trends and opportunities in the face of health reform—with specific emphasis on how Maine’s health centers can play a pivotal role in delivering on the promise of health care reform. 

For more information, or to register, 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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