April 21, 2014

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POLITICAL PULSE: 126th Legislature's Second Session Work Nearly Complete

The 126th Maine Legislature finished most of the work of its Second Regular Session early on Good Friday morning.  Legislators will return to the State House for a veto session on Thursday, May 1st.  MMA Legislative Committee Chair, Amy Madden, M.D., and the MMA staff thank all physicians and their staffs who assisted with our advocacy activities this session by joining our weekly conference calls, serving as Doctor of the Day, or providing testimony or grassroots communications with members.  We encourage you to get to know the candidates for the 127th Legislature in your House and Senate districts.

One of the final bills debated during the evening of Thursday, April 17th was Speaker Mark Eves' proposal (L.D. 1578) to accept the federal funds available under the ACA to expand MaineCare coverage to nearly 70,000 needy Mainers.  In contrast to the previous so-called "expansion bill" (L.D. 1487), this bill is not focused on a managed care approach to the MaineCare program, but suggests a "private option" for most new enrollees through the marketplace.  The approach of L.D. 1578 is similar to the legislation recently passed in New Hampshire.  Unfortunately, this bill also failed to achieve a veto-proof majority vote.  The vote was 94-51 in the House and 19-14 in the Senate.  You can find the roll call votes here.  

The MMA and other members of the Cover Maine Now coalition, www.covermainenow.com, will continue to press for sufficient votes to override the anticipated veto by Governor LePage between now and May 1st.  

The MMA was pleased with action on several bills during the final week of the session.  

  • Following two years of hard work, the MMA and Spectrum Medical Group's lobbyist Ann Robinson succeeded in restoring MaineCare coverage of services provided in ambulatory surgical facilities (L.D. 390).  
  • Also, the coalition seeking an expansion of access to the anti-overdose drug, naloxone, finally passed a bill (L.D. 1686) to expand access by family members and law enforcement.  This bill passed unanimously in both chambers, so it would appear to be able to survive a gubernatorial veto, though supporters believe the final Senate amendment addressed the Governor's primary concerns.  
  • The legislature also enacted a bill (L.D. 1840) to implement the recommendations of the Substance Abuse Services Commission and the Health & Human Services Committee on electronic enrollment of prescribers in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).  
  • LD 1719, a bill directing one-time Fund for a Healthy Maine revenue to prevention activities, passed in a veto-proof majority in the House (25-6) and Senate (110-34) and will face an override vote on May 1 after the Governor quickly vetoed the bill. 
  • LD 1699, supporting HIV prevention education, was also funded as part of an omnibus bill crafted by the Appropriations Committee.  

The 127th Maine Legislature will be seated in December and will begin work in January 2015.  The MMA staff welcomes input from individual members, practices, or specialty societies on the MMA's legislative agenda for the next legislature.  Now is a great time to get to know the candidates or the 2014 campaign season.  You can find the "List of Primary Candidates" for the June 10, 2014 primary election on the web here.

Physician Identity Theft Through Fraudulent Tax Returns Surfaces in Maine

Following our announcement last week concerning this scam, we have learned of over 30 Maine physicians and over 100 New Hampshire physicians who have been impacted..  Most of the physicians in Maine are from the Portland area although there have also been reports from physicians in Bangor, Lewiston, Brunswick and Farmington.  The MMA would like to understand the scope of the problem in Maine, so if you have been victimized in this way, please contact Gordon Smith, EVP, at gsmith@mainemed.com or 622-3374, ext. 212. 

Many of the physicians were not aware that elements of their identity had been stolen for the purpose of filing a tax return and seeking a tax refund in the name of physician.  Most did not know anything was amiss until filing a return and receiving information from the IRS that a return had already been filed.  In some cases, refund checks were received before a return had been filed.  An investigation is underway by the IRS, the Secret Service and other agencies but to date there have been no arrests or charges filed.

Also, the MMA encourages all Maine physicians to be alert to this problem during this tax-filing season.  You’ll find more information about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) recommendations to address this threat here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft.  We will be continuing to gather information and making suggestions as the investigations continue.  The consumer protection division of the Maine Attorney General's Office will be weighing in on the matter this week.  That division is responsible for crimes involving identity theft. [return to top]

Applications for Rural Medical Access Program Funds Due by May 2

For over twenty years, eligible obstetricians and family physicians doing OB have received reimbursement for a significant portion of their professional liability premiums through the Maine Rural Medical Access Program that MMA established through the legislature in the early 1990s.  The Program is jointly administered by the Maine CDC Rural Health and Primary Care Office and the Bureau of Insurance.  It is intended to promote obstetrical and prenatal care in federally Medically Underserved Area/Populations and Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas of Maine through assistance with insurance premiums.  To be considered eligible, physicians must be practicing in Maine, have performed deliveries and/or provided prenatal care and have malpractice insurance for prenatal care and/or OB services for the period of July 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013.


1.  Physicians whose practices are located in federally designated Medically Underserved Area/Populations or Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas, who practice at least 50% of the time in underserved areas, and whose practice includes at least 10% MaineCare patient visits.

2.  Physicians whose practices are not located in federally designated Medically Underserved Area/Populations or Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas but are located in Primary Care Analysis Areas of under 20,000 population and at least 50% of the visits are patients from federally designated areas and/or MaineCare.

To find out if your site qualifies, you may refer to a map on the following website:


Applications for 2014 can be obtained from Cari Balbo, Rural Health Manager at 287-5524.  Applications must be completed and returned to the Maine CDC Office of Rural Health and Primary Care by Friday, May 2.  Late applications can not be accepted. Cari is also available to answer any questions about the program. [return to top]

Announcing Single Sign-On Access from HealthInfoNet (HIN) to the PMP

To promote use of the Maine PMP and HIN, effective Thursday, April 10th, the PMP is accessible directly from the HIN clinical portal through a single sign-on process. This will provide health care providers throughout Maine easier access to comprehensive patient data and assist them in providing effective patient treatment.
This single sign-on process will allow HIN users to bypass the whole PMP login process and launch directly from the HIN clinical portal to the PMP Practitioner/Pharmacist query portal patient look up site. All prescribers, dispensers and their delegates who are interested in using this feature must be registered to use both the PMP and HIN.

Important: If you want this service, you must request it.
You can sign up for single sign-on one of two ways.

  1. Request access through the HIN portal using the “Request PMP Access” link on the Links Menu.
  2. Contact HealthInfoNet at customercare@hinfonet.org or 207-541-9250. Please include your PMP user name, first name, last name and date of birth in your message.

Need to register with the PMP?
If you are not registered with the PMP, please submit a completed and signed registration request form to the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS), Prescription Monitoring Program. Registrations forms can be found on www.maine.gov/pmp. For any PMP technical issues, contact the Help Desk at mepmp-info@hidinc.com or 1-866-792-3149.
Need a HIN user account?

If you do not have a HealthInfoNet user account and your organization is connected, contact your organization’s IT Help Desk. If your organization is not connected to HealthInfoNet, please visit the website at www.hinfonet.org or call 207-541-9250 to learn more.

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New Laws Impacting Medical Practice the Subject of May 2 First Friday Presentation

 With the 126th Maine Legislature scheduled to adjourn its Second Regular Session this coming week, MMA will present an educational session on the laws passed by the 126th Legislature on Friday morning, May 2 from 9:00am to noon as part of the First Friday educational programming.

New laws from both sessions will be discussed by a distinguished group of faculty including:

Ann Robinson, J.D., of Preti-Flaherty

Dan Morin,  Government Relations staff at MaineHealth

Charles Soltan, Esq. of the Law Offices of Charles Soltan

MMA Attorneys Gordon Smith, Andrew MacLean and Jessa Barnard.

Among the subject matters discussed will be the new price disclosure laws, the truth in advertising laws enacted in 2013 and the laws enacted amending the Medical Practice Act.

Registration is available on the MMA's website or by calling Ashley Bernier at MMA at 622-3374 ext. 213. [return to top]

Save the Date: MMA's 23rd Annual Practice Education Seminar June 18 in Augusta

The Augusta Civic Center will once again be the site of the Association's 23rd Annual Practice Education Seminar which is intended to present physicians and practice managers with the information and trends in medical practice in Maine and across the country.  The program will be held on Wednesday, June 18 from 8:15am to 4:00pm.

The theme of this year's program is "Preparing Your Practice for the Rough Road Ahead."  The focus will be on payment reform and best practices.  Carol Vargo from the American Medical Association will present data from the Rand survey conducted for the AMA which asked physicians questions about their level of satisfaction with their work and also elicited opinion about practice sustainability.  Kevin Flanigan, M.D., Medical Director for MaineCare will present a keynote luncheon talk on the State Innovation Model grant and its role in reforming the payment and delivery system in the state.  Other speakers will be announced shortly and the complete program will be included with the April-May-June issue of Maine Medicine. Registration will also be available on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com after May 1.

This year's program is supported by the Payment Reform grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF). [return to top]

Maine Takes Part in National Drug Return Day April 26

Maine is participating in another national drug return day on Saturday, April 26.  In previous years, Maine has led the nation in the number of pills collected on a per capita basis  These twice a year events have made it possible for seniors and others to return unused medication to a central secure site in their community and thus ensure their proper disposal.  Many community police departments maintain secure drop sites throughout the year.

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ACA Enrollment Hits 8 Million - Special Enrollment Still Available for Some

Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Information

The White House released new numbers on Affordable Care Act enrollments April 17, saying 8 million people have signed up for private insurance in the insurance marketplaces, 500,000 more than reported April 10.  In a fact sheet released by the White House, the administration said that for states that have federally facilitated marketplaces, “35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.”


As of late February, Maine had surpassed goals for ACA enrollment with the highest number of people enrolled per capita for any federally-facilitated state.  The next open enrollment period to sign up for insurance coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace for 2015 is November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015.


Coverage Options Outside Open Enrollment

The following information is from www.healthcare.gov:

In order to buy a Marketplace health insurance plan outside the open enrollment period, you must have a qualifying life event or a complicated situation related to using the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

  • If you have a qualifying life event, you get a special enrollment period.  Most special enrollment periods last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event. 
  • Some examples of qualifying life events are getting married, permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options, and having, adopting or placement of a child.
  • Information about qualifying life events, complex situations and special enrollment periods is available at www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-coverage-outside-of-open-enrollment/ (tabs for seven enrollment topic areas are in the left column).

Find out more about health insurance coverage through the Marketplace:

For providers and practice managers:

For additional information about the healthcare marketplace and enrollment, resources for patients or providers, or to schedule a presentation or meeting with staff:  contact Susan Kring, MMA ACA Outreach Coordinator at 662-2364 skring@mainemed.com

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New Funding Opportunity: Improving Access to Quality Care for Uninsured Individuals

The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announces the availability of grants under round two of the Improving Access to Quality Care for Uninsured Individuals (A2QC) program.  Grants under this program will support the advancement of a sustainable system of care that delivers comprehensive, high-quality health care services to improve the health of uninsured, low-income individuals, and reduces the time spent in poorly-coordinated, inefficient and costly care.

The A2QC program is an effort to support and work with health systems, health care and social services providers to minimize disruptions in established provider relationships as patients cycle on and off public or private coverage, and advance collaborative, community-based systems of care.

This second round of A2QC planning grants will provide an opportunity for communities in areas of the state where no round one A2QC award was made to apply. Eligible areas: Northern, Eastern, Western, and Central Public Health Districts, Piscataquis County and Northern Penobscot County. Each project's service area may vary from County-wide to individual communities.

Up to three one-year planning grants of up to $50,000 will be available. In 2015, A2QC planning grantees will be eligible to compete for three-year implementation grants.

For more information on the A2QC program, informational sessions and application schedule, go to the A2QC New Funding Opportunity page on the MeHAF website, or contact Program Officer Charles Dwyer.
Deadline for online applications is May 21, 2014 by 4:00 p.m. (EDT).

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Upcoming Events

Webinar - E-cigarettes: Challenges for Clinicians

April 23, 2014

1:00 - 2:30 pm 

This free webinar is hosted by the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD).  The webinar will: describe the various types and components of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes); describe the current evidence for the clinical use of e-cigarettes among tobacco users; explain the potential clinical and health risks and benefits of e-cigarette use and respond to clinical inquiries regarding e-cigarettes from patients and colleagues. 

Click here to register.

Participants who join the live session on April 23, 2014 can claim CME/CEU credit for $35 per certificate


Prescription Assistance Information and Networking Meeting

April 25, 2014

9 a.m. - 12 p.m

Maine Medical Association, Manchester

To register contact MedHelp Maine medhelpmaine@gwi.net or (207) 793-4462

Meeting attendees from organizations with existing medication access programs will learn best practices from their medication access colleagues, and individuals from communities not yet offering such resources will learn how they might do so. 


The Maine Public Health Association (MPHA) Tobacco Webinar Series  

The Answers Are Out There: Best Practice Strategies to Reduce Tobacco Use

May 1, 2014, 2:00 pm 

Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/198693440

Sex Sells: the Wild, Wild East—Emerging Tobacco Trends

May 15, 2014, 2:00 pm 

Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/910761344

Consider the Source: The Intersection Between the Fund for a Healthy Maine and Tobacco Prevention and Control

June 3, 2014, 2:00 pm 

Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/553284137

For more information, visit: http://www.mainepublichealth.org/events/event/


Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons Spring Educational Program and Business Meeting

Friday, May 2, 2014

12:00pm - 4:45pm

Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, ME

For more information, please contact Shirley Goggin at sgoggin@mainemed.com or 207-445-2260.


AAP Maine Chapter Annual Spring Education Conference

May 9-10, 2014

Harborside Hotel, Bar Harbor

This year we will focus on "The Main Things for Pediatric Practice in Maine," featuring a keynote address by Ross Greene, PhD, author of The Explosive Child. 

Please visit www.maineaap.org/conferences for more information and to register.  Please register and book your hotel room by April 28th. 


Nominations for 16th Annual Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award

Due May 9, 2014

This prestigious award recognizes healthcare providers in New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) who display extraordinary compassion in caring for patients. The recipient will receive $5,000, and four finalists will receive $1,000 each. Nominations are due May 9, 2014. The Schwartz Center will honor the award recipient and four finalists at its annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Center Compassionate Healthcare Dinner on November 20, 2014, at the Boston Convention Center. For more information, visit http://www.theschwartzcenter.org/supporting-caregivers/cca.aspx or call (617)724-4746.


Maine Harm Reduction Conference

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

9 am - 4:30 pm 

Kaplan University, Augusta, ME

Keynote Speaker, Jon Zibbell, Medical Anthropologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will explore the intersection of culture, stigma, drug use behaviors and infectious diseases such as HI and hepatitis C. Jon's anthropologcial fieldwork immersed him in the subculture and lives of persons who inject drugs.

For more information, visit: http://www.downeastaidsnetwork.org/mehra-sec/


Inter Professional Collaborative Practice Summit 

May 28, 2014

University of New England Harold Alfond Forum, Biddeford, Maine

Funded by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation and the Maine AHEC network, the summit will host national experts to address the relationship between health professions education, clinical practice, and national healthcare reform. 4.25 hours CME credit expected.

Click here for more information.


Maine Concussion Management Initiative Trainings 

June 13, 2014 in Waterville at Colby College (Date tentative)
October 21, 2014 in Portland in conjunction with the Maine Brain Injury Conference

All sessions 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Includes An Introduction to Concussions and Concussion Management & Interpreting Neurocognitive Testing (including using ImPACT)

$100 for Health Care Professionals  (CEUs/CME available); $40 for school personnel and all other attendees

For more information or to register, contact Jan Salis, jsalis@aol.com, (207) 577-2018



The Maine Public Health Association’s (MPHA) 30th annual 2014 Fall Conference

October 7, 2014

Augusta Civic Center

MPHA Call for Abstracts for breakout sessions: Abstracts from all areas of public health are welcome.  We encourage abstracts focusing on the theme of building on 30 years of public health progress. All abstracts must be submitted via e-mail no later than Wednesday, May 21 at 5:00 p.m. to MPHAabstracts@gmail.com.

 The Call for Abstract form is available at: http://www.mainepublichealth.org/category/pressroom/


Free On Demand CME: Motivational Interviewing 

Basic Skills and Clinical Applications of Motivational Interviewing

This online activity consists of two-30 minute modules on using motivational interviewing techniques to help patients change health behaviors. Specifically, the program addresses four different problems that negatively affect health: non-adherence to treatment guidelines, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and smoking. The activity also provides scenarios that demonstrate how MI is used in clinical settings.

Faculty: Michael Bierer, MD, MPH

Provided by Lunder Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine - In Collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital

Click here for more information or to take the course.

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Job Openings

Medical Director - Scarborough, ME

We are seeking an experienced Medical Director with interest in occupational medicine for our clinic in Scarborough, ME. The Medical Director will be able to practice medicine in a supportive environment while providing oversight to mid-level practitioners.

The successful candidate must be board certified or board eligible MDs or DOs in Maine. Previous experience in Occupational, Emergency, Internal or General Practice Medicine is preferred.

About U.S. HealthWorks:

U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group is a leading national provider of occupational medicine and urgent care services. Operating close to 200 medical centers in 19 states with nearly 2,000 employees, including approximately 350 affiliated physicians; U.S. HealthWorks serves thousands of patients each day. At U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, we offer programs and services that can help prevent illness, maintain health and provide early intervention and rehabilitation whenever injuries or health problems occur.

In addition to competitive salaries we offer: 

Occupational Medicine Focus

Incentive plans

Opportunity to grow and learn with an industry-leading healthcare organization

Flexible hours and excellent work environment

Benefits including, health, dental, vision, 401(k)

Apply Today!

Email: providerrecruitment@ushworks.com - Online: www.ushealthworks.com - Call: 1.888.770.8749 ext. 2659



Department of Psychiatry Faculty Position

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Department of Psychiatry, in a productive collaboration with the State of Maine, is seeking psychiatrists to join our faculty for inpatient responsibilities at the Riverview Psychiatric Center.

Riverview Psychiatric Center is a 92-bed acute psychiatric facility located in Augusta, ME and is the flagship inpatient treatment center for Maine’s public mental health system.  Psychiatrists with expertise in general inpatient psychiatry or forensic psychiatry are encouraged to apply.

Academic duties can include teaching and supervision of medical students and residents. Research opportunities available and encouraged.

Candidates should be board certified or eligible in Psychiatry. This position will include a faculty appointment at The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth at a rank and salary commensurate with experience. Curriculum vitae and three letters of reference, addressed to Dr. William Torrey, Search Chair, should be e-mailed to psychiatry.jobs@dartmouth.edu.  Please reference search number PS0314D.

Dartmouth College/Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic/Geisel School of Medicine is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to diversity. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people, including women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, veterans or any other legally protected group.


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