August 19, 2013

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Make Your Voice Heard. Volunteer for an MMA Leadership Position

The MMA Nominating Committee, chaired by Stephanie Lash, M.D., will soon be finalizing its nominations for Officer, Board and Committee positions to be filled at the Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, Oct. 5 in Portland.  There likely has never been a more important time for members to be engaged with the activities of their professional association, given the uncertainties associated with health system reform and the challenges of both private practice and employment.

Under the MMA Bylaws, nominations are made for the offices of President-elect and Treasurer, AMA Delegate and for members of the 25 member Board of Directors.  In addition, members may volunteer for positions on any of the following committees:

  • Committee on Public Health
  • Committee on Legislation
  • Committee on CME and Accreditation
  • Committee on Bylaws
  • Committee on Membership and Member Benefits
  • Committee on Audit
  • Committee on Finance
  • Committee on Payor Relations
  • Committee on Loan and Trust
  • Committee on Nominations

Three at-large Trustees will also be nominated for the Maine Medical Education Trust.

Members interested in being considered for any of these positions or committees should submit their name and an up to date CV to Diane McMahon at MMA (  For information on the responsibilities associated with each position or committee, go to the MMA website at or contact Gordon Smith, MMA EVP at

Processing of Medicare Claims Transitioning to NGS on Oct. 25

On Feb. 22, 2013, CMS made a contract award to National Government Service (NGS) for Jurisdiction K (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York) for the processing of Medicare claims for both Part A and Part B.  In doing so, CMS consolidated the contracts for what was previously known as Jurisdiction 13 (Ct. and NY) and jurisdiction 14 (remaining New England states).  The effective date of the change from the current NHIC states for Part B claims is Oct. 25, 2013.  NGS will also be responsible for processing Medicare home health and hospice claims in all the New England states.  NGS is a subsidiary of Wellpoint and has extensive experience across the country in administering Medicare claims.  NHIC, which has been the part B carrier in Maine for several years will still have a role in the process, but will provide that service as a contractor to NGS.

This change represents implementation of the plans of CMS to contract with fewer carriers across the country. MMA staff recently met with NGS representatives and discussed this significant change and came away from the meeting believing that NGS is committed to a smooth transition.

National Government Services has been working with NHIC to identify differences between their business practices.

They have identified the following areas where providers may notice a difference in the JK MAC:

  • Local coverage determinations (LCDs) are being standardized throughout the jurisdiction
  • New electronic data interchange (EDI) connectivity front end (M2)
  • New P.O. Box numbers for use with JK MAC
  • New interactive voice response/recognition (IVR) format for use with JK MAC
  • New toll-free customer care telephone numbers for use with JK MAC
  • New business organization telephone numbers for use with JK MAC
  • Fax on demand option (available through IVR)
  • Telephone Reopening Unit (TRU) telephone numbers and process (available for Part B providers)
  • Medical records are not accepted via fax
  • New contractor ID numbers

To learn more, please visit the JK Transition Information Website and click on the link for Part B providers.   NGS also encourages providers to subscribe to their Listserv/Email updates program to receive important information about the JK MAC transition and upcoming training opportunities. Register today on the National Government Services Web site:

  • Go to the start page
  • Select your line of business as applicable
  • Accept the site attestation
  • Select Publications > E-mail Updates from the left navigation
  • Select Subscribe  
  • Enter your e-mail account information
  • Create your profile
  • Select the desired E-mail Update categories and select Submit
  • Once registration is complete you will be notified by e-mail to confirm your account information.
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New Laws Impacting Your Practice: LD 1523 & 1024, Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse or Neglect

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 posted a summary of laws and explanatory slide presentation on the MMA website. 

A number of bills were proposed this session by the Administration in response to several cases in which the Office of Child and Family Services perceived that physicians had not reported cases that indicated child abuse, and a poor outcome occurred.  MMA testified in opposition to the details of these proposals, which ranged from imposing a criminal penalty on physicians who fail to make a report to mandating training for reporters.  MMA explained that physicians take their reporting obligations extremely seriously yet many of the instances are not clear cut and making a report can also have implications for a child remaining under the care of a physician.  In the end, modified versions of LD 1523 and 1024 passed.  They accomplish the following: 

LD 1523, An Act To Strengthen the Laws Governing Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse or Neglect

A mandated reporter must make a report in every instance (regardless of the cause) when a child who is under 6 months of age or otherwise nonambulatory exhibits evidence of the following:

  1. Fracture of a bone;
  2. Substantial bruising or multiple bruises;
  3. Subdural hematoma;
  4. Burns;
  5. Poisoning; or
  6. Injury resulting in substantial bleeding, soft tissue swelling or impairment of an organ.

This law goes into effect on October 9th, 2014.  You can find the full text of the law here

MMA is tracking the impact of the law as it goes into effect and we are concerned that it will result in reports in which there was a legitimate explanation for the injury that was unrelated to abuse or neglect. We are asking physicians to please share with us examples of reports under the new law that you did not think were related to situations where the child was at-risk.  Please send them to Jessa Barnard at

LD 1024, An Act To Enhance Enforcement of the Mandatory Reporting of Abuse and Neglect

LD 1024 states that the Department of Health and Human Services must report to the respective licensing board any mandated reporter who appears from the record or relevant circumstances to have failed to make a required report of child abuse or neglect.  Prior law was permissive (allowed the Department to make such a report) but under the new law it will be mandatory.  The licensing board is not obligated to open an investigation. This law also goes into effect on October 9th and you can find the full text of the law here

MMA legal staff are available to train physicians and your staff about child abuse reporting obligations and the impact of these news laws.  With questions or for more information contact us at or[return to top]

Substance Abuse Services Commission Begins Work on PMP Enrollment Alternatives

The Substance Abuse Services Commission (SASC) met last Wednesday and discussed a process and schedule for completing the work assigned to it in Chapter 25, a Resolve adopted this past legislative session. Chapter 25 or LD 388, An Act to Amend the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program Participation Requirements, was introduced by Rep. Ann Dorney at the request of MMA.

As presented, L.D. 388 provided for an alternative to the current mandatory participation provision for prescribers in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), consisting of automatic enrollment at the time of initial licensure or renewal. Without an alternative being developed, all prescribers must enroll in the PMP by March 1, 2014 unless 90% of their class of prescribers are enrolled voluntarily by Jan. 1, 2014.  

The Health and Human Services Committee amended the legislation into a Resolve, directing the SASC to develop a process to increase prescriber participation in the PMP through professional licensing boards.  The Commission is required to consult with the licensing boards, HHS, the Office of Substance Abuse and any other interested parties to develop a system that automatically enrolls prescribers in the program at the time of licensure or renewal. The Commission is also directed in the Resolve to develop strategies to promote the use of the program by prescribers.  Finally, the Commission is also asked to report its findings and recommendations along with any suggested legislation to the HHS Committee by Jan. 1, 2014. 

At its meeting, the Commission agreed to devote a portion of its monthly meetings beginning in September to work with interested parties as directed by the Resolve.  Invitations will be sent out to several parties that would need to be involved in the project, including the professional licensing boards, Commissioner of PFR Anne Head, professional associations such as MMA and staff of the PMP.  The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 11 and the time of 9:00 to 10:30am has been set aside to work on this project.  The meeting will be held at the Office of Substance Abuse and Adult Mental Health Services on Anthony Ave., in Augusta.

MMA EVP Gordon Smith, Esq., attended the meeting and presented the background on the bill at the invitation of Guy Cousins, Director of the Office of Substance Abuse and Adult Mental Health Services.

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HHS Awards $67 Million in `Navigator' Grants Under ACA, Maine Navigators Announced

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $67 million in grants to 105 “navigator” groups that will help people shop for and enroll in health insurance plans in online marketplaces run by the federal government, the agency announced Aug. 15.

The navigator program was created under the Affordable Care Act to provide unbiased information about health insurance options that will be available in the federally facilitated and state partnership marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.  Any individual will be able to contact a navigator for in-person assistance understanding and enrolling in a plan. 

In Maine, two grants were awarded to: 

Western Maine Community Action

Anticipated grant amount: $475,000

Western Maine Community Action, Inc. is a private non-profit community agency and is the lead for a state-wide consortium of eight community action agencies, collectively referred to as the WMCA Community Action Navigator Consortium. Funds will be used to create a statewide network of education, outreach and enrollment assistance available and accessible to every uninsured and under-insured individual in Maine.

Fishing Partnership Health Plan

Anticipated grant amount: $66,846

Fishing Partnership Health Plan (FPHP) is a health plan developed that provides subsidized coverage to uninsured commercial fisherman, many of whom operate as small business owners or employees. FPHP, in collaboration with the Maine Lobstermen's Association, will undertake a series of community health navigation activities, including: outreach; social marketing; distribution of material describing the program, the Affordable Care Act, and the health insurance enrollment process.

More information will be forthcoming prior to October 1st with how physician practices and other health and community organizations can refer individuals to the navigators for assistance. 

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Practicing Internist Needed for Board of Licensure in Medicine Vacancy

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine (BOLIM) is in need of an internist to fill the vacancy created when Lewiston internist Gary Hatfield,M.D. completed his two six-year terms on the Board.  Dr. Hatfield also served as Chair of the Board for the last few years of his term.

The statutory requirements of an appointment to the board include at least five years of active practice in the state prior to appointment by the Governor.  The term is for six years.

The Board currently consists of six physicians and three public members.  A physician assistant will be added after Oct. 9, the effective date of legislation supported by the Downeast Association of Physician Assistants which added a PA to both the medical board and the osteopathic board.

The BOLIM meets the second Tuesday of each month for a full day meeting and preparation for the meeting is generally considered (by those on the Board) to require a minimum of an additional day.

Anyone interested in this vacancy may call Randal Manning, the Executive Director of the Board to learn more about the responsibilities of a Board member (Randal's direct line is 207-287-3605) or Gordon Smith at MMA at 207-622-3374 ext. 212.  Gordon's e-mail is  The appointment is a personal privilege of the Governor and is not subject to confirmation by the Legislature.

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Maine Academic Detailing Advisory Committee (ADAC) Seeks New Members

Are you interested in learning more about and supporting the Maine Independent Clinical Information Service (MICIS) through serving on its advisory committee?  MICIS is an innovative academic detailing service that offers independent, evidence-based clinical information directly to health care providers at their practice site in one-on-one or group educational sessions. 

MICIS is administered by the Maine Medical Association through a contract with the Office of MaineCare Services and employs two part-time, clinician academic detailers.  MICIS has detailed more than 2,500 modules on topics including antipsychotics, chronic pain and atrial fibrillation, reaching more than 1000 unique prescribers since its launch in 2009.

ADAC committee members serve on a voluntary basis and participate in 3-4 committee meetings a year at the Maine Medical Association in Manchester. The next meeting is scheduled for 3-5pm on October 22.  The ADAC is chaired Dr. Noah Nesin. Primary care providers, our intended audience, are especially encouraged to consider taking part.

If you are interested in learning more or in taking part in the ADAC, please contact MICIS Program Manager, Jennifer Reck, at   [return to top]

First Friday's Educational Programming Resumes on Sept. 6 with the Annual Risk Management Seminar

On Friday morning, Sept. 6, three senior risk managers from Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine will present three current risk management topics at MMA's offices in Manchester (also offered via webex).  

Stacey Doten, Senior Risk Manager for Medical Mutual, will present on the new risk management issues raised by the increased use of electronic medical records systems.  Nancy Brandow, Senior Risk Manager for Medial Mutual will discuss how to improve patient safety through effective medication reconciliation.  And Lou Anne McLeod, Senior Risk Manager at Medical Mutual will give a talk entitled, "Are Your Office Systems Putting Your Practice in Jeopardy." MMA EVP Gordon Smith, Esq., will moderate the morning session.

The last two First Friday programs of 2013 will be held on Friday Nov. 1 (Annual Compliance Seminar) and Friday, Dec. 6 (Accountability, Transparency & Public Reporting).

Registration is available on the MMA website or through calling MMA at 622-3374.

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Maine Center for Cancer Medicine Presents Breast Cancer Screening & Treatment Update, Aug 28

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

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Maine TB Update, Register by Aug 30

Maine TB Update 

September 11, 2013

9:00 AM – 3:45 PM

Online and in-person training  

In-person training held at: 

University of Southern Maine

Lewiston-Auburn College - Room 170, 51 Westminster St. 

Lewiston, Maine 04240 

Jointly Sponsored By Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention  and New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute.

The purpose of this one-day update course is to provide public health nurses and other health care professionals in Maine with enhanced knowledge and skills in the management of tuberculosis (TB). The format includes lectures, panel discussions, and two breakout sessions. 

Please register online at: When you register you will need to indicate if you will participate in-person.      

For additional program information, questions, or if you require special arrangements to attend this conference, please contact DJ McCabe at 973-972-0978 or by email (

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Make Your Reservations NOW for MMA Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-6, in Portland

MMA is excited to be holding its 160th Annual Session in downtown Portland Oct. 4-6.  Most events, including the Saturday evening Anniversary Gala, will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.  Seven and one-half hours of category one CME are available and the theme of the Session is The Changing Face of Medical Education.

The Association has not held its Annual Meeting in Portland in many years and this Anniversary Meeting is shaping up to be one of the most popular meetings in several years.  Being close to many of Maine's medical education facilities made the topic for this year's meeting relatively simple.  We will be looking at the changes in all aspects of medical education, including undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate.  We will also be offering tours of the Hannaford Center for Safety, Innovation and Simulation at the Brighton Campus of the Maine Medical Center. 

The CME portion of the meeting begins at 1:15pm on Friday afternoon, Oct. 4, with a keynote presentation by Edison Liu, M.D., PhD., President and CEO of Jackson Laboratory.

The Saturday evening Anniversary Gala will begin at the Portland Museum of Act and then move to the Holiday Inn for dinner.  Music for dancing after the dinner will be provided by the popular Bob Charest band.

Registration for the meeting and a full schedule of events is available on MMA's website. Registration materials were also mailed to each member in July.  Room reservations at the Holiday Inn by the Bay can be made by calling 1-800-345-5050.  Call soon, as the room block expires on Sept. 3rd.

Potential exhibitors and sponsors should contact Lisa Martin at MMA ( or call 622-3374 ext. 221) [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, Medical Director

The Department of Psychiatry is seeking a full time senior faculty member to serve as Medical Director of Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine.

Riverview Psychiatric Center is the flagship inpatient treatment center for Maine’s public mental health system.  Riverview consists of 92 adult inpatient beds, two outpatient clinics, and a forensic ACT team.  Housed in a beautiful facility built in 2004, Riverview provides tertiary psychiatric care to civil voluntary and involuntary patients as well as forensic care.

The Riverview Medical Director will serve as the chief clinical officer of Riverview Psychiatric Center. The Medical Director works with the superintendent to help lead the facility, overseeing the quality of clinical care, and directly supervising the psychiatrists and psychologists.  The Dartmouth tie adds colleagues who are leading other public sector hospitals, educational opportunities, and access to expert consultation. The role includes promoting excellent clinical care, supporting teaching and training, and facilitating research activities that serve the mission of both Riverview and the Department.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for public sector care, a patient-centered clinical orientation, forensic experience, excellent clinical leadership skills, sound interpersonal skills, administrative experience, a strong academic background and board certified in Psychiatry and license eligible in Maine. Academic rank and salary will be consistent with experience.

A letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference should be addressed to:

Dr. William Torrey, Search Chair, and e-mailed to Please reference search number PS0813D.

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth 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

 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.


Washington and Hancock County Workshops: Safety Net Programs for Maine’s Seniors

September 11, 2013

Machias, The Kay Parker Building, 26 Hadley Lake Road 

9:00 AM—NOON 


Ellsworth, Washington Hancock Community Agency, 248 Bucksport Road

2:00 PM—5:00 PM 

Topics include updates on the Medicare Savings Program, Drugs for the Elderly, MaineCare; the Food Supplement Program – formerly known as Food Stamps; and My Maine Connection.

These workshops are designed for Community Service Providers and provided at no charge.  RSVP to Jennifer Sanborn at Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP) with your name, organization, phone number, and email address:  626-7058 x 200 or


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 Health Management Coalition’s 20th Anniversary Symposium

Getting Health Care Right: Past Successes and Future Imperatives

October 10, 2013

8:30 am – 3:30 pm

 Abromson Center (USM) in Portland

The Coalition’s annual symposium brings together employers, providers, payors and patients from across Maine’s health care market to hear from nationally recognized speakers about current trends in health care payment and delivery.  This year’s keynote is world famous geneticist, author, and professor Dr. William Haseltine.

For more information or to register, click here.  Maine Medical Association members are eligible for discounted tickets.


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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