September 16, 2013

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Substance Abuse Services Commission Begins Work on PMP Resolve, Chapter 25

The Substance Abuse Services Commission met last week to continue its work described in L.D. 388, Resolve, To Improve the Participation Rate of Prescribers in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).  The goal is to develop an enrollment system for the PMP which would automatically enroll prescribers in the program when a practitioner is first licensed or a license is renewed.

The language of the Resolve states that the Commission shall 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 licensing or renewal of a license. The Commission shall also develop strategies to promote the use of the program by prescribers.

At Tuesday's meeting, Commission members heard from MMA EVP Gordon Smith regarding the intent of the Resolve and from licensing board staff and John Lipovsky, Coordinator of the PMP Program.  Mr. Lipovsky briefed members on a prior meeting of OSAMHS staff and licensing board staff.  As a result of this earlier meeting, a technical working group was established that will work on technical/IT issues and report to the SASC at its regular meetings in October, November and December.  The Commission always meets of the 2nd Wednesday of each month in Augusta.

If legislation is not prepared as a result of the recommendations of the Commission, existing law enacted by the Legislature in 2012 mandating participation in the PMP on March 1, 2014 unless 90% of providers, by class, are registered will be implemented.   As of June, 2013, registration by all prescribers is at 57.2%.  This is up from 21.4% in October of 2011. Physician assistants lead the percent of licensee type registered with 75% participation; 63% of allopathic physicians and 60% of osteopathic physicians are registered, followed by 58% of nurse practitioners, 42% of dentists, 34% of certified nurse midwives, 24% of podiatrists, and 21% of pharmacists.  

The Commission meets again on Oct. 9.

Maine Health Exchange Advisory Committee Appointments Announced; First Meeting Sept. 23

The first meeting of the Health Exchange Advisory Committee will be held on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Room 228 of the State House. The Committee is charged with advising the Legislature regarding the interests of individuals and employers with respect to the federally-facilitated health benefit exchange which becomes operational on Oct. 1.  Further meetings have been set for Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec. 2.

In addition to five legislators (Sen. Craven, Sen. Rodney Whittemore, Rep. Treat, Rep. Linda Sanborn and Rep. Michael McClellan), the following individuals have been appointed representing the interests noted:

  • Bob Dawbe, Advocate for enrolling hard-to-reach populations
  • Kristine Ossenfort, Representing health insurance carriers
  • John Benoit, Representing insurance producers
  • Mitchell Stein, Representing navigators or entities likely to be navigators
  • John Costin,  Representing individuals expected to purchase coverage through exchange
  • Doug Gardner, Employee or an employer expected to purchase coverage via exchange
  • Kevin Lewis, Representing health insurance carriers
  • Sara-Gagne-Holmes, Representing Medicaid recipients
  • Chirstine Alibrandi, Representing dental insurance carriers
  • Laurie Kane-Lewis, Representing federally-qualified health centers
  • Gordon Smith, Representing health care providers

Both Commissioner Mayhew and Insurance Superintendent Erick Cioppa have declined to participate, presumably a decision made or influenced by the Governor who has opposed the exchange and other elements of the Affordable Care Act.  Governor LePage also expressed disappointment with the Legislature's end-run of the Executive Branch by establishing the Committee through a Legislative Resolve. [return to top]

WINXNET Offers Free HIPAA Security Audits to 20 MMA Members

Compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule can be daunting. It can be even more difficult when you don’t have a firm grasp on the underlying technology. When you dig deep and try to understand the tasks and procedures you need to protect electronic data, you are likely to encounter technical terms and IT buzzwords that are confusing.

Winxnet, a HIPAA compliant IT consulting and outsourcing firm, has worked with hundreds of healthcare organizations to help them understand and cost-effectively address their technology needs.  The Winxnet Security & Compliance Health Check is designed to help healthcare organizations quickly cut through the confusion by providing answers to the question, “Do I have the correct administrative, physical and technical controls in place to pass an audit?”

How does it work? It’s simple and can be completed in one day.  

A team of Winxnet Certified HIPAA Security and Compliance Professionals will conduct a health check which includes the following steps:

  1. Review a short list of questions with you.  
  2. With your permission, run a secure software program to gather information about the state of your information security.
  3. Conduct a vulnerability scan of your internal network (Internal test). 
  4. Conduct a vulnerability scan of your firewall (External test). 
  5. Review the documented findings with you.  

After gathering the needed information the team will analyze the data, document findings and recommendations, and review them with you with a clear path forward. 

The results of the findings may include steps you need to take towards full compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule.  If you need outside support to address some or all of the recommendation towards full compliance, Winxnet has a team of Certified HIPAA Security and Compliance Professionals ready to assist.

Through the MMA and our strategic partnership, this Health Check valued at $949 is being offered at no cost for the first 20 MMA members.  If interested, send an email to or call 207.780.0497 and reference the MMA.  [return to top]

Author Annette Vance Dorey Added to Annual Session CME Program, Oct. 4-6

MMA is pleased to announce that Maine author Annette Vance Dorey has been added to the CME program for the upcoming Annual Session.  Ms. Dory recently completed and had published, "Miss Dr. Lucy" and Maine's Pioneering Female Physicians, 1850's-1920.  She will join Richard Kahn, M.D. on Sunday morning, Oct. 6 in the morning program on the History of Medicine in Maine.  The program will be held from 8:30am to 10:30 am.  Copies of her book will be available for sale both Saturday in the exhibit area and on Sunday morning at the program.

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.  The room block expired on, Sept. 3 so make your reservations asap.  There are still rooms available but the room rate has increased.  Seven and one-half hours of category one CME are available and the theme of the Session is The Changing Face of Medical Education.  If you have any difficulty getting at room, contact Diane McMahon at 622-3374 ext. 216 or via e-mail to

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. Individual tickets are available for the Saturday night event for those individuals who would like to attend but are no able to participate in the other events over the weekend.  For tickets for just the Gala/Dinner, call Ashley Bernier at 622-3374 ext. 213 or e-mail her at

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.  

Potential exhibitors and sponsors should contact Lisa Martin at MMA ( or call 622-3374 ext. 221) [return to top]

New Laws Impacting Your Practice: LD 1062, Medical Marijuana Conditions Expanded

Each week MMA is 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. 

LD 1062, An Act To Add Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use, has added to the list of conditions for which a patient may qualify for the medical marijuana program: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms

As initially proposed, the bill would also have expanded current law to allow medical marijuana use for "opiate or pharmaceutical drug addiction" and "any other medical condition or its treatment as determined by a physician."   
The full list of conditions now includes those above plus:
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Intractable pain
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following symptoms:
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
    • Severe nausea; 
    • Seizures including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or
    • Severe and persistent muscle spasms including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
  • Any other medical condition or its treatment that is approved by the commissioner, pursuant to petition
Physicians can learn more about the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program here and MMA attorneys are happy to speak with your practice or provide further training.   

The law goes into effect on October 9th; the full text can be found here.

With questions or for more information contact the MMA at or[return to top]

Pharmacy and Drug Manufacturing Groups Challenge Drug Importation Law

This past legislative session, lawmakers passed LD 171.  The law, slated to go into effect on October 9th, would allow licensed retail pharmacies in Australia, Canada, Northern Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom to export prescription medicines by mail or carrier through an unlicensed middleman to Maine residents for their personal use.  

The Maine Pharmacy Association, Retail Association of Maine, Maine Society of Health System Pharmacists, several individual Maine pharmacists, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America filed suit last Tuesday in U.S. District Court challenging the law. 

The law has the “potential to jeopardize the safe and secure prescription medicine distribution system in the United States,” the groups said in a press release Wednesday.

The law would have allowed CanaRX - a mail-order pharmacy service that operated in Maine from 2003 to 2012 when halted by former Attorney General William Schneider - and also other international companies - to provide medications to Mainers. 

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction to prevent it from going into effect on the 9th as well as to ultimately rule that the law is invalid. 

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MMA Webinars: The Affordable Care Act Marketplace Update, Sept 25

The Affordable Care Act: Marketplace Update (and more)

September 25th, 12-1:30 pm 

(Note, this is a repeat of a September 11th Webinar) 

Presented by CarePartners - MaineHealth, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine Medical Association/Maine Medical Education Trust, and the Maine Primary Care Association.  

Topics will include: 

  • The ACA Overview: What has happened so far
  • Details on coverage, enrollment and subsidies for the new health insurance marketplace opening Oct 1 
  • Where to send patients for assistance in enrollment and how practices and health systems can help with enrolling the uninsured
  • Implications for practices and health care systems

Free and open to any hospital or medical practice staff, administrators or clinicians. To register, contact Jill Barkley at   Log in information will be emailed after registration.   

Supported with funding from the Maine Health Access Foundation.  

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Choosing Wisely in Maine Survey & Provider Pilot Opportunity

Maine Quality Counts (QC) is asking individuals and health care providers across the state to share their thoughts and opinions through a brief web-based survey as we launch “Choosing Wisely in Maine," an important effort to help patients, consumers, doctors, and other health care providers make wise choices about their use of health care. 

As we get started, we’re asking for help to complete this brief web-based survey to gather information that will be used to guide our efforts here in Maine. The survey consists of 20 questions, and is expected to take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Individuals who complete the full survey by Friday, September 20 have an opportunity to enter a drawing to receive a free iPad

We need to hear from as many Maine individuals and providers as possible so that we can make Choosing Wisely in Maine a success, and encourage you to share the survey link with your friends, family and coworkers! We appreciate your help, and thank you in advance for your participation. 

Click here to complete the survey now 

For questions about the survey, please contact Andrea Gerstenberger at; for more questions about the Choosing Wisely in Maine initiative, please contact Kellie Slate Vitcavage (formerly Kellie Slate Miller) at Thank you! (and best of luck in the iPad drawing!)

Maine Quality Counts is also inviting interested provider groups and organizations to apply for participation as a “Choosing Wisely Provider Pilot”.

 Choosing Wisely® is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation to help physicians, other health care providers, and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures, and support physician/health care provider efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices.  Recognizing the importance of physicians/health care providers and patients working together, leading medical specialty societies, along with Consumer Reports, have joined Choosing Wisely to help improve the quality and safety of health care in America.    As part of Choosing Wisely,  participating medical specialty societies have created lists of “Five Things Physicians/Health Care Providers and Patients Should Question” that provide specific, evidence-based recommendations providers and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about the most appropriate care based on their individual situation.

 Maine Quality Counts (QC) is leading a multi-stakeholder “Choosing Wisely in Maine” initiative by building general public awareness, and engaging providers and consumers.  As part of that effort, QC will select and sponsor up to three Choosing Wisely “Provider Pilots" that will receive technical support and mini-grants to implement Choosing Wisely (CW) in a more in-depth, multi-faceted manner.  These provider Pilot Sites may represent health systems, hospitals, or larger multi-site physician group practices across the state that have the capacity to implement a broader set of strategies to support and incent providers to use CW tools.  The QC project team will work with each pilot site to identify current strengths, opportunities and potential barriers to implementing CW through a range of interventions that reflect and leverage multiple drivers of change.

 For more information about the Choosing Wisely Provider Pilot opportunity, please see the QC website at  Interested and eligible applicant organizations should complete the online application at Choosing Wisely in Maine Pilot Site application by 5PM on Friday, September 27, 2013. 

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Dirigo-Maine Geriatrics Society Hosts Forums on Care for Older Adults

The Dirigo-Maine Geriatric Society (DGS), which intends to be affiliated with the American Geriatric Society(AGS),  is hosting two sessions in mid-October for people of all disciplines interested in the care of older adults. A major goal of DGS is to provide education and support to health care providers around the care of the older Adult while working closely with other organizations committed to the care of older adults

On October 16 we will hold a meeting in the Hickory Room at the Crow’s Nest Restaurant and Event Center in Presque Isle. This will begin at 6 PM and will be an informal opportunity to meet with us and discuss issues around the care of the Older Adult. This informational meeting is supported in part by the UNE-GEC (Geriatric Education Center).  This will include networking, open discussion about geriatric issues and light refreshments. It follows a full day Symposium on Dementia Care in Maine also at the Crow’s Nest.

On October 17 we will hold an educational meeting at Maple Hill Farm in Augusta from 5:30 to 8:30. This will include an opportunity to discuss DGS, a presentation on the Choosing Wisely Campaign in Maine with a subsequent Panel and Open Discussion on the issues brought forth for the campaign from the AGS. There will be plenty of time for discussion. This will include dinner and you may register through the following link

Please join interested colleagues to discuss ways to improve the care of our older patients. This is an exciting time to be engaged in this work.

Roger Renfrew, MD,FACP,  President Dirigo-Maine Geriatric Society

Judy Metcalf, APRN,BC, MS, Vice President Dirigo-Maine Geriatric Society

Heidi Wierman, MD, Secretary-Treasurer Dirigo-Maine Geriatric Society 

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Call for Abstracts - 2013 Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference

Call for Abstracts

For Poster Presentation

Deadline for Submitting Abstracts September 17, 2013

 We’re delighted to invite you to submit an abstract for the poster presentation at the 2013 Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Poster presentations will be displayed for the full duration of the conference with a poster session from 2:45 pm - 3:15pm.

This year’s conference includes presentations from the Division of Infectious Disease’s Epidemiology, Immunization, HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Programs. The event will offer engaging plenary sessions with breakout sessions highlighting emerging and existing issues in the field of infectious diseases. It is expected that approximately 550 healthcare providers and medical office staff will join the program and exposition. 

Visit the event website for more information. [return to top]

Job Openings

Physician Assistant or Family Nurse Practitioner (Walk-In Care)

Health Access Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is seeking a full time Physician Assistant or Family Nurse Practitioner to join our community health center team.  Successful candidate will provide walk-in care in our new state of the art facility in Lincoln, Maine.

Experience is preferred.  Providers utilize a fully integrated electronic medical records system and are supported by a medical assistant / nursing assistant.

  • Sign-on bonus
  • Moving allowance
  • Possible NHSC loan repayment
  • 100% paid health insurance
  • 401K
  • Generous paid time off
  • $2,500 annual CME allowance
  • Federal malpractice insurance

We are a multi-disciplinary community health center with sites in Lee, Lincoln, Medway, Millinocket, and W. Enfield serving patients in Northern Penobscot Maine.  Interested candidates may forward a resume and cover letter to Sonia Maxwell, HR Director/Compliance Officer, P.O. Box 99, Lincoln, Maine 04457, 207-794-6700, smaxwell@hanfqhc.orgEqual opportunity employer & program.


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.


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Upcoming Events

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


 Attend Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training

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

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.


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 l ©2003, Maine Medical Association