July 14, 2014

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MMA Board of Directors to Meet Friday, August 18th, in Wallagrass

The MMA Board of Directors will hold its summer meeting this coming Friday at the home of President Guy Raymond, M.D. and Nancy Raymond in Wallagrass.  Board members will review a proposed budget for 2015, review the schedule for the Annual Session September 5-7 in Bar Harbor and continue a discussion of the most significant issues that need to be addressed by the Association.

The Board will also review the work of the Nominating Committee which is seeking volunteers for various board and committee appointments.  Any members wishing to volunteer some time for such service should communicate with EVP Gordon Smith, Esq. at gsmith@mainemed.com.

MMA membership as of June 30th stands at 4240 members with 2575 of those members being active members.  $553,734 has been collected in 2014 dues, against a goal of $605,000. Members who have not paid their 2014 dues are encouraged to do so as soon as possible as billing for 2015 dues begins in October.

Brian Pierce, M.D. is the current chair of the Board.  Dr. Pierce is a practicing family physician in Rockport.

MMA Loan and Trust Committee Approves $298,500 in Medical Student Loans

The Association's Loan and Trust Committee met on July 1st and approved medical student loans to 52 applicants totaling $283,500.  An additional $15,000 was set aside for late applicants.  These low interest loans are available for students from Maine who are in medical school.  The majority of funds this year were loaned to students at the Maine Medical Center - Tufts University School of Medicine with the second largest segment going to students at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

These funds are available through the Maine Medical Education Foundation, established in 1962 by the Maine Medical Association and funded by contributions from Maine's physicians.  Information on the loans is available on the Association's website at www.mainemed.com.

The Loan and Trust Committee is chaired by Mark Bolduc, M.D., a general surgeon practicing in Augusta and Waterville.

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Ethical Issues in Contemporary Medicine is next First Friday Program on August 1st

MMA's popular First Friday educational series continues on Friday morning, August 1st with a program entitled, "Ethical Issues in Contemporary Medicine."   The program will be held from 9:00 am to noon at the offices of the Association in Manchester, Maine although it can also be accessed through webex.  The faculty will include Frank Chessa, Ph.D., Director, Clinical Ethics at Maine Medical Center and Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine, Steve Johnson, Esq. with Kozak & Gayer, P.A., and MMA attorneys Gordon Smith and Andrew MacLean.  You may register at any time at www.mainemed.com.  The registration fee is $70 per person.

Specific topics to be covered include medical futility in end of life care, POLST, family communications, the state's Uniform Health Care Decisions Act and an innovative presentation on the ethical implications of quality metrics.  

Members of clinical ethics committees are welcome to attend and may find the presentations of particular interest.

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Health Affairs Blog on MMA Payment Reform Survey Results

Results of the payment reform survey of Maine physicians conducted by the MMA earlier this year were shared at the national level last week through a post in the Health Affairs GrantWatch blog which reaches 73,000 people through Twitter.  The blog post, titled “Watchful Waiting by Physicians on Payment Reform: Results of a Foundation-Funded Survey,” was also re-tweeted by a national thought leader from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Many thanks to the Maine Health Access Foundation for supporting the MMA’s work on payment reform to help educate and engage physicians on this important topic.  Full results of the survey can be accessed on the MMA’s payment reform resources webpage. [return to top]

New Resources Available on MMA Payment Reform Webpage

Please visit the MMA's payment reform webpage where you will find several new additions including the latest report from the AMA Innovators Committee “Where Do I Fit In? Dividing the Pie in New Payment Models.”   This resource provides guidance to practicing physicians about how payments might flow to individual providers under new models, as well as the organizational and governing structures and the negotiating strategies that are likely to ensure payments are disbursed fairly among model participants.  Under the webpage’s “Webinars and Presentations” section, you will also find an archived collection of eight webinars on payment and delivery reform offered by the AMA between November 2012 and April 2014.  Please visit the payment reform webpage to view these and many other resources for physicians.

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AMA Offers New Physician Legal Issues Webcasts

New Physician Legal Issues Webcasts
Target audience and scope of professional practice: This CME and CLE activity is targeted towards all physicians and lawyers who work with health care related cases. Whether you are an experienced health care lawyer, a physician in any practice setting or simply entering the field of health care, this activity will provide valuable insight and strategies that can improve your practice.

Physician wellness: The medical and legal shift towards a culture of safety

Faculty: Daniel Angres, MD, medical director, Presence Behavioral Health; Carlo Coppo, senior partner, Dicaro, Coppo & Popcke; and Luis Sanchez, MD, director (emeritus), Physician Health Services.

Upon completion of the program, participants should be able to: clarify the infrastructure and resources available today to assist physicians in need, and increase their knowledge of what is involved with the identification, assessment, intervention, treatment and monitoring of affected physicians to avoid legal consequences.

The Chicago Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Price: American Medical Association member – $29 • Chicago Medical Society member – $29 • Nonmember/general public – $79

Principles for physician employment

Moderator: Jay A. Gregory, MD, chief medical officer, Eastor Health System, immediate past chair, AMA-OMSS Governing Council
Panelists: Kathleen L. DeBruhl, owner, Kathleen L. DeBruhl & Associates LLC; Norman P. Jeddeloh, partner, litigation group, Arnstein & Lehr LLP; and Sidney S. Welch, partner and co-chair, healthcare, life sciences and technology practice, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP

Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to: identify and describe potential areas of conflict between employed physicians and their employers, and use the AMA Principles for PhysicianEmployment as a resource to guide collaboration between physician, counsel and employer in the provision of safe, high-quality and cost-effective patient care.

The Chicago Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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HIPAA Audits to Resume Shortly; Physicians Need to be Compliant

For physicians who haven't conducted a privacy and security risk assessment recently, now's the time to do so. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) plans to implement random Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) audits to monitor compliance, beginning as soon as later this summer.

Building on a HIPAA auditing program piloted in 2012, the agency expects to launch random HIPAA audits focused on ferretting out major threats to patient health information confidentiality and network security.

Failure to comply with HIPAA's privacy, security and breach notification requirements likely will result in financial penalties that could be significant.  Recent OCR data shows that 60 percent of security breaches come from theft and loss of technology containing protected health information.  However, issues related to hospital and practice staff using their own mobile devices and unsecure Wi-Fi networks are on the rise. 

The AMA offers a number of free resources to help physicians' practices comply with the HIPAA requirements. Read more at AMA Wire™.  MMA attorneys Gordon Smith and Andrew MacLean also are available to assist you with your health information privacy questions.  MMA has developed model forms, including Authorizations and Notice of Privacy Practices, that comply with the state and federal privacy laws to assist you with your compliance efforts.
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Court Squelches Challenge to Customary Practice of Medicine

An appeals court decision delivered June 27th defeated a move that would have brought government intrusion into the regular scope of medical practice.

In Kentucky Board of Chiropractic Examiners v. Barlow, an appeals court upheld the ability of physicians to provide expert review and testimony in keeping with their full scope of practice and training. 

"Providing expert opinions and testimony is a facet of the practice of medicine for many physicians, and it is an important service to their patients and the community at large," the AMA stated in afriend-of-the-court brief (AMA login required) filed by the Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies in support of the physicians involved in the case.

In its suit, the Kentucky Board of Chiropractic Examiners claimed that physicians could not provide expert review of medical records involving chiropractic services, citing a state statute that limits peer review to other chiropractors.  The argument sought to conflate peer review, which assesses the actions or competence of a licensed practitioner, with the broader concept of expert opinions.

"Blurring the lines between expert review and peer review would be a disservice both to litigants and to health care professionals," the brief stated.  "Each type of review serves different purposes and involves different processes, procedures and results."

Read more at AMA Wire™.
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CMS Issues 2015 Medicare Physician Payment Proposed Rule

Major changes in the Medicare physician payment policy were proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with the release of its annual notice of proposed rulemaking July 3rd.  Public comments on the proposed rule are due September 2nd.  The final rule is expected to be issued by November 1st, and implementation is scheduled for January 1st. 

Some of the key issues addressed in the CMS proposal include:

  • Unbundling of the 10- and 90-day global surgical services;
  • Changes to the process and timelines for revising relative values;
  • New payment policies and rates for chronic care management services;
  • Changes to the Sunshine Act regulations; and
  • Modifications to the Medicare performance-based payment programs, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System and Value-Based Modifier.

These proposals and others are outlined in several fact sheets available on the CMS website. The AMA will submit extensive comments on the proposed regulation.

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CMS Proposes Scrapping Home Health Face-to-Face Narrative

Following concerns expressed by the AMA and other medical societies, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposed rule for the 2015 Medicare home health prospective payment system that would change the face-to-face encounter rules by eliminating the narrative requirement. 

As part of certification of eligibility, physicians still would be required to certify that a face-to-face encounter occurred and document the date of the encounter. Physicians and other stakeholders have expressed concern that auditors have been overly aggressive in reviewing the face-to-face narrative requirement.  The AMA will comment on the proposed rule and continue to engage CMS on this issue.
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Upcoming Events

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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Job Openings

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