June 23, 2014

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MMA Releases Updated Physician's Guide to Maine Law

MMA's popular Physician's Guide to Maine Law has recently been updated and is available on the MMA website.  The Guide is an important resource to MMA members and their staff as physicians struggle to keep up with the many state and federal laws and regulations that impact on daily practice.  Many thanks to our departing Associate General Counsel Jessa Barnard and legal intern Kimberly Sampson for their diligent work on this latest revision to the Guide.

The Maine Medical Association is pleased to announce that its Physician's Guide to Maine Law has now been updated to reflect additions and changes in statues through the 126th Maine Legislature (2014).  The MMA legal staff continually work to make this resource a useful compendium of state statutes and select federal law impacting the practice of medicine in Maine. This year, the Guide contains several new sections on issues such as record retention and jury duty. Over time, the Guide has changed to include more links to websites, statutes and resources - rather than reprints of full statutes - and so MMA is now making the Guide available largely in electronic forms - on its website or, by request, on CD.  The web version is available at no cost.  A CD is available for $75 and a printed binder with CD for $125.  Contact the MMA at 622-3374 for ordering information. 

Bar Harbor Surgeon Charles Hendricks, M.D. Receives MHA Caregiver of the Year Award

Charles "Charlie" Hendricks, MD, Chief of Surgery at Mt. Desert Island Hospital and a practicing surgeon on the Island for 26 years on Wednesday evening (June 18) received the prestigious Caregiver of the Year Award from the Maine Hospital Association.  The award was presented at a dinner attended by over 300 people at the Samoset Resort in Rockport as part of the MHA Summer Forum.  MMA extends our heartiest congratulations to Dr. Hendricks on this well-deserved honor. Dr. Hendricks is also a long-time member of MMA.

The MHA Caregiver of the Year Award is presented annually by the Maine Hospital Association to recognize a caregiver from a member institution who, on a daily basis, demonstrates extraordinary commitment to the delivery of care to patients and their families.  In addition to extraordinary commitment to patients, the criteria references compassion, empathy and respect and promoting an environment of cooperation and collaboration in which the expertise and experience of all health care professionals are available to patients.

MMA also acknowledges and congratulates additional physicians who were nominated this year for the award, including James VanKirk, M.D., FACP (EMMC), Roger Renfrew, MD (Redington- Fairview) and Donald Krause, MD (St. Joseph Hospital).

In addition to his commitment to the patients on the Island, Dr. Hendricks commitment to service is most evident in his work with the Hancock County Medical Mission, which he helped establish in 1989 to provide surgical services in South America.  For the past 25 years, he has used his personal time to travel to poor areas in South America to provide surgery to disadvantaged and under-served populations.  His humanitarian work has inspired countless area medical professionals to do the same.

Dr. Hendricks obtained his medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed his surgical internship at the University of New Mexico Medical Canter.  He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Hendricks was nominated for the award by Mt. Desert Island Hospital. In remarks made following acceptance of the award, Dr. Hendricks acknowledged a number of mentors In New Mexico and at MDI Hospital who had been important role models for him. He also acknowledged the important role of his wife and family, some of whom were present at the dinner.  [return to top]

New Physician's Guide to Closing a Practice Now Available

The Maine Medical Association is pleased to announce the release of a Physician's Guide to Closing a Practice. MMA staff frequently receive questions regarding the steps physicians should take as they consider retiring or closing their practice for other reasons.  While largely geared to the private practitioner, the Guide contains information that should be useful for all physicians, including sections on:  informing patients of the closure, record transfer, record retention and storage, dealing with equipment and supplies, revising your insurance portfolio and informing your staff.   The MMA attorneys would like to thank our Spring legal intern, Kimberly Sampson, a member of the class of 2015 at Maine Law, for preparing much of the document.  

Please share any questions or feedback with Andrew MacLean at amaclean@mainemed.com.   [return to top]

New Laws Impacting Your Practice: LD 1727, Epinephrine in Schools

Each week MMA will be running 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 slide presentation overview of all health care-related legislation enacted by the 126th Legislature on the MMA website.

Maine law has allowed for the administration of epinephrine in schools by non-licensed personnel only to those students who have previously been identified as having an allergy and have a prescription for epinephrine.  In response to concerns that students with no prior history of allergies may experience anaphylaxis at school or a school activity, the Maine legislature passed LD 1727 this session.  The bill will allow licensed physicians and school health advisors (school physicians and nurse practitioners) to enter into collaborative practice agreements with school nurses.  The collaborative practice agreement can then authorize the school nurse to designate other, non-licensed, school personnel to administer an epinephrine autoinjector if the school nurse is not present when any student experiences anaphylaxis during school or a school-sponsored activity.  Because rulemaking is required prior to implementing these changes, they will not go into effect for schools until September 2016.  The full text of LD 1727 can be found here

With any questions or concerns, please contact MMA Attorneys Gordon Smith, Andrew MacLean or Jessa Barnard via email or at 622-3374.   [return to top]

MMA Needs Your Imput on MaineCare and ACA Primary Care Fee Increase

The Affordable Care Act made available to all states 100% funding for calender years 2013 and 2014 to increase Medicaid fees to Medicare rates for most primary care codes.  Physicians eligible needed to complete an attestation statement and forward it to the Office of MaineCare Services attesting to the fact that they were practicing in family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics.  Physicians employed by an entity receiving provider-based reimbursement or salaried by a federally qualified health center were not eligible as their reimbursement methodologies were already enhanced by facility fees.  

Based on information provided by MaineCare, it appears that nearly seven million dollars annually is being received through this increase.  As MaineCare reviews whether to seek state funds to continue the increase, it has asked MMA to inquire of the practices what the impact of the additional reimbursement has been.  Have any practices re-opened to MaineCare patients if they were previously closed?  What was the financial impact of the increase to your practice? Have practices that were still open to MaineCare patients accepted more because of the increase?  Our ability to furnish this type of information will be essential in our advocacy to retain the increase.

While President Obama included an additional year of the increase in his proposed federal budget for FY 2016, this proposed budget is unlikely to be accepted by the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

Any information that you can provide that would be helpful on this issue should be sent to MMA EVP Gordon Smith, Esq., at gsmith@mainemed.com.  Or give Gordon a call at 622-3374 ext. 212. [return to top]

Maine Center for Cancer Medicine is now New England Cancer Specialists

As of today, June 23rd, the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine is changing its name to New England Cancer Specialists. With a primary office location in Scarborough and additional offices in southern Maine, New England Cancer Specialists is the largest group of oncologists in private practice in the state.   [return to top]

Featured MICIS Module: Obesity Management in Primary Care

The Maine Independent Clinical Information Service (MICIS), the academic detailing program of the Maine Medical Association, has been helping busy physicians keep up with medical literature since 2009.  MICIS provides high-quality, rigorous, independent modules presented to you by trained clinicians at your work site, at no cost. CME is available.  Currently available topics are: Obesity Management, Antibiotic Stewardship and COPD.

The Obesity Management module includes:

  • The definition, causes, prevalence and risks associated with obesity
  • Counseling on lifestyle modification for diet, exercise and behavioral changes as first line approaches
  • The relative risks and benefits of drug therapy including phentermine, orlistat, phentermine/topiramte and lorcaserin
  • Findings from the Look Ahead and POWER-UP clinical trials on multi-component primary care-based interventions
  • The relative risks and benefits of weight loss surgery

Please contact Program Manager Jennifer Reck at jreck@mainemed.com for more information or to schedule a visit at your practice site.

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Health Insurance Marketplace Update: Special Enrollment Periods

Health Insurance Marketplace Update: Open Enrollment, Special Enrollment Periods & a one-time Special Enrollment through July 1 for individuals currently enrolled in COBRA

The next open enrollment period to sign up for insurance coverage through the Marketplace is November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015.

Some people can sign up before the next open enrollment if they have a change in their life that is referred to as a “qualifying life event.” This is called a “special enrollment period.” Changes in someone's life that allow them to buy a Marketplace plan during a special enrollment period include:

  • Marriage, birth, adoption or taking in a foster child
  • Permanently moving to an area with different health plan options
  • Gaining eligible immigration status (i.e. get a Green Card or Work Permit/Social Security Number)
  • Certain changes to your income if you are enrolled already in a Marketplace plan
  • Losing other health coverage (or example, if you lose your health coverage because you lost your job, got a divorce, stopped being eligible for MaineCare, or your COBRA ended) Note: voluntarily cancelling an individual health plan or being terminated for not paying your premiums does not give you a special enrollment period.
  • For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-coverage-outside-of-open-enrollment/

Most special enrollment periods last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event. Be sure to apply during the special enrollment period as soon as possible after the qualifying life event occurs. You can apply at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596.

Now through July 1, 2014 - One-time Special Enrollment Period for individuals currently purchasing COBRA coverage from a previous employer:

There is a Special Enrollment Period between now and July 1, 2014 for individuals currently enrolled in COBRA, allowing them to enroll in a Marketplace plan instead. Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 and ask about COBRA benefits and the Special Enrollment Period.  After July 1: when someone chooses COBRA for health coverage, he/she must wait for the next open enrollment period to consider Marketplace options, unless the COBRA coverage expires which would qualify someone for a special enrollment period.

For more information visit: 
www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-currently-have-cobra-coverage/ or 

For more resources and information for your practice and patients on the ACA, contact MMA ACA Outreach Coordinator, Susan Kring, at skring@mainemed.com[return to top]

Funds Available for 2014 Patient Experience Surveys

The DHA ‐Maine Quality Forum (MQF) is delighted to announce that it will support the administration of another round of CG‐CAHPS surveys to patients served by primary and specialty practices in Maine. As in 2012, MQF will pay subsidies of up to 90 percent of survey costs to practices that contract with a MQF‐qualified vendor, use an allowable version of CAHPS, and agree to have their survey results publicly reported.

There are two new features to the 2014 initiative that provide greater flexibility to practice sites:

  • Multiple versions of CG‐CAHPS will be supported, including the CG‐CAHPS and the PCMH‐ CAHPS.  
  • Practices may choose to conduct a continuous survey throughout the measurement period or a one‐time survey at the end of the measurement period.

DHA‐MQF is currently accepting applications from survey vendors seeking approval as a Qualified Vendor under this initiative. The list of approved Qualified Vendors will be announced in early July, 2014.  Practices wishing to participate will be required to register in advance. Registrations will be accepted between July 15 ‐ August 15, 2014 at: http://www.mainepatientexperiencematters.org/register.php  

Join DHA‐MQF in a webinar to discuss the Patient Experience Matters initiative and how your practice can participate.  

Monday, June 23, 2014
2:00 pm ‐ 3:00 pm
This session will use Adobe Connect and also a phone connection for the best audio.
Here are the login details:

  1. Connect to the webinar by going to:   https://msps.adobeconnect.com/pem/    
  2. Sign in as a guest and when prompted, please use your full name.  
  3. You then will be asked to enter your phone number to have the webinar call you back.  
  4. If that does not work then please call directly into the webinar by dialing 1‐888‐394‐8197; Participant Code: 778510 
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Job Openings

State Epidemiologist Opening 

As State Epidemiologist in the Division of Infectious Disease, you will provide guidance and support to approximately 12-15 epidemiologists in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program for disease investigations and outbreak control, surveillance activities, and planned epidemiologic studies. Additionally, you will provide medical guidance, as needed, to all other programs within the Division; the Maine Immunization Program and the HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program. You will be involved in formulation of statewide public health policy including providing legislative testimony by request for the Department. You will participate in the development of disease investigation protocols and the review of case investigations. You will consult with physicians and other health care professionals on disease prevention and control measures. You will respond to inquiries from the public and will coordinate response to media inquiries as directed by the Director of Maine CDC. You will interact with staff in the Division of Public Health System's, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, and the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, as well as the Division of Environmental Health's Health Inspections Program and other programs as requested. You will be part of the on-call rotation for nights and weekends (for telephone consultation, not on-site work) and provide technical support to other staff as needed when they are on call. As State Epidemiologist, you will supervise the medical epidemiology team which includes the Deputy State Epidemiologist and the Healthcare Associated Infections Coordinator. You will also provide medical guidance and oversight to the Tuberculosis Control Coordinator. You will serve as a liaison between federal CDC and Maine CDC on issues related to infectious disease. The State Epidemiologist will report to the Director, Division of Infectious Disease.

For additional information about this position please contact Jeremy Wilson, Human Resources Assistant at (207) 287-1873 or by e-mail at jeremy.p.wilson@maine.gov or visit http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=dhhs_direct_hire_jobs&id=621392&v=dhhs


Join the Health Team or Professional Space Available

We are a dynamic Bone Health Team in South Portland Maine, looking for providers to join us to help promote and manage overall health, bone strength, nutrition, fitness and related lifestyle enhancement.  We offer high quality DXA testing and comprehensive osteoporosis management skills.  We created and continue to run the Southern Maine Osteoporosis Support and Education Group - since 1996.  If you really want to help patients to improve their health and their lives - this is the place.   Ann Babbitt MD and Staff

We also offer the opportunity for Office Sharing or Rental:   1) ~ 1500- 4800 sq. ft.  -several offices and exam rooms 9 +, open space for meetings/activities, full kitchen and storage area, 3 bathrooms, lots of parking; all is on ground level. The spaces and possibilities are flexible and options are available.  

Call 207-233-4266 or email ababbitt@maine.rr.com.


Full time Emergency Department Position Available

A full time Emergency Department position is available at Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH). Join a hospital employed team of 5 physicians providing 24-hour coverage. ED volume is 13,000 annually. Schedule options include 12 and 24 hr. shifts. SVH is part of the Eastern Maine Healthcare System. Ground transportation and Lifeflight services are available at SVH. The position comes with generous pay rate, vacation, malpractice, relocation expenses, and assistance with medical education debt. Qualifications: Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, or Family Practice with ED/urgent care experience. Contact: Sherry Tardy, 207-487-4085.

Sebasticook Valley Health (SVH) is a progressive 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in Pittsfield, Maine. We are an integral member of the communities it serves. SVH takes a proactive approach in helping people in the Sebasticook Valley region improve the quality of their lives. The hospital works with local businesses, schools, area organizations, and private individuals to make the Valley a healthy place to live. SVH serves an area of approximately 16,500 people and has a wide range of outpatient services, including many specialty services. An expansion and total renovation of the inpatient unit was completed in 2013, offering attractive spacious private patient rooms, state of the art communication’s system.


ED Provider Jobs

Challenging, Lucrative, ED Provider jobs in central Maine - honoring and serving Veterans.  ED Physicians are needed in Augusta. Must-have an unrestricted medical license (from any U.S. state), and current ACLS certification. This is your opportunity to use and develop your skills of diagnosing, treating, and managing patients according to standard, usual, and acceptable methods and techniques.

B/C or B/E specializing in EM, IM, or FP by the appropriate accrediting agencies (EM preferred).

This is the opportunity for you to receive a competitive salary, a generous leave package, excellent health & life insurance benefits, and retirement benefits. You'd be eligible to participate in a pension program as well as a matching Thrift Savings Plan which is similar to a 401K. If you are a veteran, you may be able to combine accrued military retirement credit with VA pension benefits.

Your salary will be determined by local Physician/Dentist Compensation Panel (commensurate with education, experience and qualifications). By law, U.S. Citizens will be given 1st preference but non-citizens will be considered in the absence of qualified citizens. A signing bonus may be available.  Equal Opportunity Employer. Disabled persons and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

FMI, call John Poulin at (877) 421-8263 x6913, or email him at john.poulin@va.gov

To apply, go to https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/328066200


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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Upcoming Events

NAMI Maine Fundraiser: "Our Boy Hubert and the Wolf" Performance

Sunday, June 29, 2014

3:00 pm

Franco Center, Lewiston

Tim Sample’s playful re-imagining of this children’s classic (including three outta-state hunters and a celebrity quacking wolf) is guaranteed to provide laughter and musical fun for your entire family. 

For tickets or more information, click here

5th Annual Patient Safety Academy

Friday, September 5, 2014

 9 am – 4 pm

University of Southern Maine, Portland campus, Abromson Center

Cost: $50, with a discounted rate of $25 for students

Registration is now open. To register, click here or visit the Patient Safety Academy webpage at usm.maine.edu/muskie/psa

The Maine Public Health Association’s (MPHA) 

30th Annual Fall Conference

October 7, 2014

Augusta Civic Center

Keynote speakers include: Erik N. Steele, D.O., FAAFP, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Summa Health System and Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN Team Director for the Bridging Health and Health Care Portfolio, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more information or to register, click here.


Maine Concussion Management Initiative Training

October 21, 2014 in Portland in conjunction with the Maine Brain Injury Conference

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

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