March 9, 2015

 
Subscribe to Maine Medicine eNewsletters
Manage Your Subscriptions
Email our Editor...
Maine Medical Association Home Page
. Search back issues
. Plain Text Version
Printer Friendly

Not too Late to Join Colleagues Thursday at Physicians Day at the Legislature

Thursday, March 12th marks this year's Physicians Day at the Legislature.  In additional to visiting the State House and observing the sessions of the House and Senate, physicians and physician assistants will meet with Governor LePage and leaders of the House and Senate.  The day also features presentations by the four physician members of the Legislature.

Nearly one hundred legislative proposals impacting on some aspect of medicine or public health have already been printed and there are still nearly 1000 bills left to be printed!  Physicians Day at the Legislature is held every other year following the election.  In 2013, the Day was snowed out so it has been four years since a large group of physicians has arrived at the Legislature to both learn about the legislative process and to provide input on the many bills impacting on medical practice.  Physicians Day at the Legislature is sponsored by MMA and the Maine Osteopathic Association.  The Maine Association of Physician Assistants (MEAPA) also participates.

In addition to MMA, MOA, and MEAPA, other associations and organizations having tables in the Hall of Flags include the Maine Academy of Family Physicians, the Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Quality Counts, the Maine Society of Anesthesiologists, the Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, Maine AllCare, the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Medical Professionals Health Program, the University of New England, the Maine Gastroenterology Society, the Maine Association for Infant Mental Health, and MMA's Academic Detailing program.

The day begins at 8:00 a.m. with the opportunity to have coffee and informal discussion with legislators in the Hall of Flags on the second floor of the State House.  If you are interested in attending and have not yet registered, contact Ashley Bernier at MMA at abernier@mainemed.com or Dianna Poulin at dpoulin@mainemed.com.

Hanley Center Names Judiann Smith New Executive Director

This afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership announced that Judiann Ferretti Smith has been named Executive Director.

A resident of Yarmouth, Smith is a highly experienced healthcare executive and attorney who has held key leadership roles at Spurwink for the past 18 years.  She succeeds James Harnar, who was a key figure in the founding of the Hanley Center in 2002 and who has served as its Executive Director since 2005.  Harnar will retire in May following a 30-year career in Maine's health sector.


Judiann Ferretti Smith 

Smith currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Government Relations at Spurwink, a large behavioral health organization with more than 800 employees serving children, families & adults from most of Maine's counties.  She previously held senior management positions as Director of Human Resources and Director of Regulatory and Legislative Analysis. Smith's key focus over much of the past decade has involved building trusting collaborative relationships aimed at positive changes in healthcare across organizations, governmental entities and industry silos, important work that will transfer well into the Hanley Center's mission and future.

A graduate of the Hanley Center's statewide Health Leadership Development program, Smith currently serves on the boards of the Maine Health Management Coalition and the Southern Maine Midcoast Chamber. She also serves on the MaineCare Advisory Committee, as the Vice President of the Child & Family Provider Network, and co-chairs the Children's Coalition of the Maine Association of Community Service Providers. 

Smith's experience also includes six years on the Yarmouth School Committee as well as participation on various advisory groups and committees impacting healthcare, education and non-profits including the Maine Quality Counts Behavioral Health Committee and the Portland Regional Chamber Advocacy Committee.  A native of New Jersey, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Bonaventure University and a law degree from Suffolk University School of Law.  Smith resides in Yarmouth with her husband and three children.

"Judiann Smith is a highly respected leader who is known throughout Maine for her intelligence, integrity, energy and passion," said the chair of the Hanley Center Board of Directors, Dr. Sean Hanley.  "We believe Judiann is the right person to lead our organization toward further growth and greater impact in the years ahead."

The Hanley Center is named for the late Dr. Daniel Hanley, a nationally-known leader who headed the Maine Medical Association for a quarter century and served as Bowdoin College's physician for 34 years.  Over the past dozen years, the Hanley Center has established a presence as Maine's leading health leadership organization.  It is believed to be one of the nation's only independent, statewide organizations focused on the goal of building a culture of greater trust and collaboration as the health sector undergoes a period of unprecedented transformation.  For more information visit www.hanleyleadership.org and www.healthleadershipmaine.org

The Center's retiring Executive Director, James Harnar of Portland, was Vice President of Public Affairs at the Maine Hospital Association beginning in the mid-1980's, later served as President of the Maine Health Information Center and was a key member of the team that built HealthInfoNet, Maine's statewide electronic health information exchange.  A retired U.S. Navy officer, Harnar was transferred to Maine in 1982 and has led many statewide initiatives.  He plans to serve as a consultant to the Hanley Center, focused primarily on efforts that are now under way to build similar health leadership programs in other states.  

 




  [return to top]

MMA Board of Directors Meets Wednesday, March 11th

MMA's Board of Directors will meet for a regularly scheduled meeting this coming Wednesday, March 11th at 4:00 p.m. at the Association offices in the Frank O. Stred Building in Manchester.  Priority topics include:

  • Update on Digital Marking Plan;

  • Current state legislative issues, including items in the Governor's proposed budget;

  • Locations and strategies for 2015 "Listening Sessions."

Following three successful "Listening Sessions" with members in 2014, the Board is interested in holding similar sessions in several locations including Augusta, Rockland, and York.  These sessions are informal opportunities for the leaders and staff of the Association to meet with members and hear what their concerns are about their profession and the environment for medical practice in the state.  Watch future issues of the Maine Medicine Weekly Update for dates and locations.

The Board of Directors is chaired by Charles Pattavina, M.D.   Dr. Pattavina directs the emergency department at St. Joseph's Hospital in Bangor.

 
 
[return to top]

POLITICAL PULSE: Physicians Turn Out in Numbers for Budget Hearings Last Week

HHS COMMITTEE TO HOLD BIENNIAL BUDGET WORK SESSIONS THIS WEEK

The Appropriations and HHS Committees spent many long days last week on the DHHS parts of the Governor's FY 2016-2017 biennial budget proposal.  A record turnout of physicians and physician office staff presented testimony during several days of the hearings, including those speaking in opposition to cuts in public health programs and the Fund for a Healthy Maine, in support of the continuation of the ACA primary care fee increase and health homes initiatives, in opposition to cuts in hospital reimbursement, and, finally, in opposition to the elimination of MaineCare coverage for methadone treatment and reductions in reimbursement for adult and children's mental health programs.  Among the physicians or physician representatives presenting testimony last week were:

  • Daniel K. Onion, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Rod Prior, M.D.
  • N. Burgess Record, M.D. and Sandra Record, R.N.
  • Lani Graham, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Gordon Smith, MMA EVP
  • Patrick Killoran, M.D.
  • Thomas Sneed, M.D.
  • Vijay Amarendran, M.D.
  • Alicia Brown, M.D.
  • Meredith Norris, D.O.
  • Jeffrey Barkin, M.D. and Janis Petzel, M.D.
  • David Moltz, M.D.
  • Eileen Fingerman, M.D.
  • Melanie Thompson, M.D.
  • Steve DiGiovanni, M.D.
  • Victoria Rogers, M.D.
  • Sandra Fritsch, M.D.
  • Girard Robinson, M.D.
  • Marc Kaplan, M.D.
  • Janine Taylor, M.D.
  • Melissa Bowker-Kinley, M.D.
  • Dan Hett, Practice Manager, Pediatric Associates of Lewiston
  • David Brenerman, government affairs consultant for Martins Point

The MMA thanks each of you for your efforts!

The HHS Committee will hold work sessions on the biennial budget proposal throughout this week and will make recommendations to the Appropriations Committee in the near future.  The biennial budget negotiations likely will occupy much of the rest of the session, some time in June. 

 You can find the documents on the Governor's proposed biennial budget on the Bureau of the Budget web site.

The following are high points from the “Medical Care - Payments to Providers” or “MAP” account, the primary account dealing with physician & hospital reimbursement:

  • Provider-base reimbursement, p. A-336.  Total cut in each year is $7.3 M state & federal.  Description says, “Reduces funding by eliminating the separate facility fee payments that are billed on a UB-04 claim form and paid to hospitals for the services of hospital-compensated physicians, and provides funding to equalize reimbursement rates of hospital-compensated physicians and non-hospital-compensated physicians and eliminates the cost settlement component of hospital-compensated physician reimbursement.  This would eliminate the two separate fee schedules of reimbursement and ensure all physicians billing under Section 90 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual would be reimbursed on the non-facility fee schedule.” There is no separate language in Part C, the language section of the budget.
  • Health Homes, p. A-336. Replaces lost federal funding, so GF amount is $5.6 M/$7.8 M in the first & second years of biennium respectively.  Description says, “Provides funding for Health Homes for adults with serious and persistent mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance (Stage B) and Health Homes for individuals with one or more chronic conditions (Stage A) due to the elimination of the enhanced federal match of 90/10 under the ACA.”
  • Primary care fee increase, p. A-336.  The amount is $7.4 M GF, $12.5 state & federal funds in each year of biennium.  Description says, “Provides funding for the reimbursement of primary care physicians at an enhanced rate which replaces expiring funds provided through the ACA.”
  • Community-based behavioral health services provided by hospital-affiliated entities, p. A-337.  Reduces funding by $1.3 M in each year of biennium.  Description says, “Reduces funding by requiring all community-based behavioral health services, including those that are operating as part of a hospital or in an administrative unit of a hospitality to bill and receive rates of reimbursement under Section 65 of the MaineCare Benefits Manual.”
  • Critical Access Hospital (CAH) reimbursement, p. A-337.  Saves $4.2 M in each year of biennium by reducing reimbursement from 109% to 101% of costs.
  • Methadone treatment coverage eliminated, p. A-339. Savings is $1.2 M/$1.5 M state & federal.
  • ER rates, p. A-339. Savings is $1.9 M/$2.6 M state & federal.  Description says, “Reduces by changing reimbursement on non-emergent use of emergency services to be paid at an office visit rate.”
  • Medicare Shared Savings Program cuts, p. A-339.  Savings is $29 M/$34 M state & federal.  Description says, “Reduces funding by reducing the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) to the federal minimum.”
  • Section 65 BH services 10% reimbursement cut, p. A-337. Savings in this line is $10.4 M in each year of biennium state & federal.  There's also at least one line on this cut in the BDS part of the DHHS budget.  FYI, despite the merger in the Baldacci years, the BOB still breaks the DHHS budget down into 2 parts, “DHHS, formerly BDS” (behavioral & developmental services) & “DHHS, formerly DHS” (human services).

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE VOTES OUT SEAT BELT AND CELL PHONE BILLS

The bill to eliminate the auto seat belt requirement, LD 112, died a quick death on Friday in the Transportation Committee. After a brief comment period in which legislators expressed the reasons for their votes, the bill received a unanimous “Ought Not To Pass” recommendation from the Committee. Even those legislators who may have favored making the offense secondary rather than primary (i.e., a driver couldn’t be stopped merely for this offense without another offense) expressed an unwillingness to jeopardize the federal funds that come with our current law.

Things were not as smooth for LD 185, which would have outlawed the use of hand held cell phones and electronic devices (except in hands-free mode). An “Ought Not To Pass” motion passed by a vote of 7-6. Several legislators stated they were “not ready to go there yet,” and much was made of the evidence showing that the distraction effect of using a cell phone in the normal way is no more distracting than using one hands-free.

IFS COMMITTEE WORKS BILLS ON TOBACCO SURCHARGES, CREDENTIALING ISSUES, AND REIMBURSEMENT OF "OUT-OF-NETWORK" CLINICIANS IN "IN-NETWORK" FACILITIES

LD 135:  This was the bill to prohibit tobacco surcharges in health insurance.  The Committee voted unanimously on a compromise to limit any tobacco surcharge to 20% and this would be effective for the 2017 plan year.

LD 124:  This was the bill to require the carriers to reimburse clinicians during the pendency of the credentialing process.  Assuming the clinician is ultimately credentialed, the carrier would have to reimburse back to the date the application was submitted.  The vote was 9-2 "ought to pass as amended."

LD 251:  This was the bill aimed at holding the patient harmless from increased costs in the situation where services are provided by an "out-of-network" clinician in an "in-network" facility.  After considerable discussion and wrestling with the complexities of our current health care system, the Committee voted to table the bill until March 19th.  MMA and Maine Hospital Association representatives expect to get together prior to the next work session to discuss a possible compromise position.

The Committee also considered draft legislation to continue the Exchange Advisory Committee and to move the Maine Quality Forum (MQF) to the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO).  The Committee tabled the first, but voted to proceed with a committee initiated bill on the second.

 

[return to top]

Overview of SIM Annual Meeting March 4th

After one of our many snowstorms forced a postponement, the Maine State Innovation Model (SIM) annual meeting was held on March 4th at the Augusta Civic Center. SIM is a statewide program working on alternative payment models for providing health care to Medicare and MaineCare beneficiaries.

Dr. Kevin Flanagan began the program by introducing CommissionerMary Mayhew of the Department of Health and Human Services. Commissioner Mayhew gave an overview of the program, pointing out that Maine is the only SIM grantee in the country using a public-private partnership model. The primary strategic pillar in the Maine SIM, she said, is the maintenance of the primary care payment for MaineCare patients at Medicare rates. 540 providers have benefitted from this “bump” so far, and the Commissioner anticipates its extension to 3200 primary care providers in Maine.

Other speakers included Dr. Fran Jensen of CMS, Deputy Director of the State Innovation Group; David Hanig of the Lewin Group, evaluators of the Maine SIM program; and Neva Kaye, managing director of health system performance at the National Academy for State Health Policy. Cindy Bustin of the Disability Rights Center spoke of the need for consumer involvement from the very beginning of the process. Ellen Schneiter of Maine Healthcare Management Coalition, Dr. Lisa Letourneau from Maine Quality Counts, Katie Sendze of Health InfoNet, Deb Wigand from Maine CDC, Dr. Sheila Pinette, newly appointed Chief Health Officer at DHHS, and Jim Leonard, Deputy Director of MaineCare all discussed the roles of their respective programs in working to make the SIM project a success and spoke of their plans for the future of Maine SIM.

The presentations can be found at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/sim/resources/annual-meeting.shtml. You may also be interested in reading the 2014 SIM Annual Report.

The general opinion among the speakers was that Maine is doing an excellent job in moving forward to achieve the goals of SIM: improving the health of Maine’s population, improving the experience Maine patients have with their care, and reducing the total costs of care.

  [return to top]

MMA Among 100 Organizations to Express ICD-10 Concerns to CMS and Provide Recommendations

With the October 1, 2015 implementation date less than seven months away, 100 state and national medical organizations, including the Maine Medical Association, expressed concerns about ICD-10 in a March 4th letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  These concerns related to testing, quality measurement, risk mitigation, software upgrades, specificity of codes, and audit plans.  

The groups outlined several concerns and recommendations in the letter.  The recommendations strongly urged CMS to:

  • Release more detailed end-to-end testing results broken out by the type and size of providers who tested, number of claims tested by each submitter, percentage of claims successfully processed, and specific details about problems encountered.

  • Provide details on how it plans to ensure that the measure calculations for these programs are not adversely impacted by the transition to ICD-10.

  • Ensure crosswalks do not attribute increased costs to a physician's value-based modifier score when switching to ICD-10. Any changes in measure specifications from ICD -9 to ICD-10 should demonstrate stability and be budget neutral during the transition.

  • Along with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, study the issue of software upgrades and make information about vendor readiness available to providers.

  • Confirm and broadly educate stakeholders and contractors that claims will not be audited simply for code specificity.

  • Instruct contractors that they are prohibited from engaging in audits that are only predicated on code specificity.

"By itself, the implementation of ICD-10 is a massive undertaking," concluded the organizations in the letter to CMS.  "The undersigned organizations remain gravely concerned that many aspects of this undertaking have not been fully assessed and that contingency plans may be inadequate if serious disruptions occur on or after Oct. 1.

Furthermore, physicians are being asked to assume this significant change at the same time they are being required to adopt new technology, re-engineer workflow, and reform the way they deliver care - all of which are challenging their ability to care for patients and make investments to improve quality.  We appreciate the opportunity to offer this perspective and these recommendations and look forward to further dialogue on this issue".

See other article in this Update regarding MMA educational and training sessions on transitioning your practice to ICD-10.  

 
[return to top]

HHS Announces Extended Open Enrollment for Individuals Impacted by Tax Penalty

In an announcement that had been widely anticipated, CMS announced recently that there will be a special enrollment period from March 15th to April 30th for those individuals who learn during the tax preparation period that they will be paying a penalty for not purchasing insurance in 2014.  While they will still be penalized, they will be given the opportunity to purchase a plan in the exchange during this period so that they won't be subject to the higher penalty in 2016 (up to 2% of income or $325, whichever if higher).

When the previous open enrollment period closed on February 15th, Maine, once again, had higher than expected enrollment with nearly 75,000 individuals enrolling in the marketplace exchange.  Eighty-nine percent of these individuals are entitled to a subsidy lowering there monthly premium by an average of more than $300 a month. Last year, ninety percent of individuals received a subsidy.  MMA offers its congratulations and appreciation to the many navigators and certified assistors who worked incredibly hard during the enrollment period to get individuals insured.  We also want to acknowledge the continuing efforts of the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) in providing financial support for Enroll 207 and other initiatives aimed at outreach and education.

In another rule announced recently, CMS established the next open enrollment period.  It will run from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.  This is a change from what was previously announced. [return to top]

ICD-10 Not Likely to be Delayed; MMA Announces Training Sessions May 8th and 9th

At a Congressional hearing earlier this month, it was once again emphasized by CMS that no future delays are contemplated for the effective date of implementation of ICD-10.  It has already been delayed for two years at the request of the AMA and other physician organizations.  At this point, the October 1, 2015 implementation date is supported strongly by the health plans and CMS and Congress is unlikely to delay further the implementation date.

Following up on successful educational training sessions offered in 2014, the Maine Medical Association will again sponsor a two-day training session for coders and others involved in the transition to ICD-10 in a medical practice. Taught by experienced trainer Laurie Desjardins, CPC and offered through her firm, CDI Coding Strategies, the two-day course will be held at the MMA offices in Manchester on May 8th (Friday) and May 9th (Saturday).  Pricing will be similar to last year and the promotional materials for the course are being developed this week.  Watch your e-mail or next week's Update for further details.  This two-day training is to be distinguished from the Annual Coding Seminar April 3rd which is one of the regular First Friday education programs and is available both live in Manchester and via Webex.  The two-day training is only available on site.

For details on the two-day course, call Gail Begin at 207-485-1341.

[return to top]

MMA Legislative Committee Weekly Conference Call, Tuesday, March 10th at 8 p.m.

The next MMA Legislative Committee weekly conference call for the First Regular Session of the 127th Maine Legislature will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10th at 8:00 p.m.

Legislative Committee members and specialty society legislative liaisons are strongly encouraged to participate.  Any physician, practice manager, or other staff member who is interested in the MMA's legislative advocacy also is welcome to participate.  It is not necessary to RSVP for the calls.

Please use the following conference call number and passcode.  These will remain the same for every weekly call during the session.

Conference call number:  1-619-326-2772

Passcode:  729-7185

The purpose of the weekly conference calls is to review and finalize the MMA's position on bills printed the previous week, to hear the views of specialty societies on the new bills or their concerns about any current health policy issues, and to discuss the highlights of legislative action of the week.  The calls rarely last longer than an hour.  The MMA staff lists a suggested position for each bill and any medical specialty particularly affected by the bill.  

If you have an opinion about any of these bills, but cannot participate in the call, please contact Andrew MacLean, Deputy EVP & General Counsel at amaclean@mainemed.com or 622-3374, ext. 214.

The following are bills of interest to the physician community printed last week.  We will discuss the priority bills marked with an asterisk (*) first.  This will be important when the list grows in the next few weeks.

LD 600, An Act To Conform Maine Law Regarding Persons Prohibited from Possessing Firearms with Federal Law (monitor or support; Public Health Committee)

LD 604,  An Act To Encourage Communication Regarding Persons with Mental Illness (support; psychiatrists)*

LD 605,  Resolve, To Provide Certain Dental Services to Pregnant Women Enrolled in the MaineCare Program (monitor or support)

LD 606,  An Act To Remove the Philosophical Exemption from the Immunization Requirements for School Students and Employees of Nursery Schools and Health Care Facilities (monitor; pediatricians, Public Health Committee)*

LD 611, An Act To Improve the Transparency of Decision-making Bodies of Publicly Funded Hospitals (monitor)

LD 621,  An Act To Improve Access to Insurance Coverage for Persons for Whom English Is a Second Language (monitor)

LD 622,  An Act To Require Training of Mandated Reporters under the Child Abuse Laws (oppose; pediatricians)*

LD 623,  An Act To Expand Maine's Carbon Monoxide Detectors Law (monitor; Public Health Committee)

LD 624,  An Act To Make a Technical Correction to the Law Establishing the State Trauma Prevention and Control Advisory Committee within the Field of Public Safety (monitor; Public Health Committee)

LD 629,  An Act Regarding Community Paramedicine Pilot Projects (support; emergency physicians, Public Health Committee)*

LD 633,  An Act To Improve the Health of Maine Citizens and the Economy of Maine by Providing Affordable Market-based Coverage Options to Low-income Uninsured Citizens (support)*

LD 636, An Act To Provide Consumers of Health Care with Information Regarding Health Care Costs (monitor or support)*

LD 647,  An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Annually Update Its Rules Governing Services for Children with Cognitive Impairments and Functional Limitations (monitor or support; pediatricians)

LD 649, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Modify Coverage for Eyeglasses for Children under the Provisions of the MaineCare Program and Review Certain Reimbursement Rates (monitor or support; pediatricians)

LD 652,  An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a Permit (oppose; Public Health Committee)*

LD 657,  An Act To Provide Enhanced Mental Health Services to the County Prison Population (monitor; psychiatrists)

LD 661,  An Act To Fund HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Viral Hepatitis Screening, Prevention, Diagnostic and Treatment Services (monitor; Public Health Committee)

LD 662,  An Act To Increase Access to Health Care through Telemedicine (monitor)

LD 663,  Resolve, To Require That the Department of Health and Human Services Determine Whether Testing for Krabbe Disease Should Be Required for Newborns (support; pediatricians)*

LD 664,  Resolve, To Direct the Department of Health and Human Services To Submit a State Plan Amendment To Allow Community-based and Other Health Care Providers To Be Reimbursed by MaineCare (monitor or support)

LD 666,  An Act To Allow a Patient To Designate a Caregiver in the Patient's Medical Record (support)*

LD 667, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Educate the Public and Department Clients about How To Protect One's Family from Bisphenol A (support; Public Health Committee)

LD 671,  An Act To Allow Independent Practice Dental Hygienists To Take X-rays (monitor)

LD 690, An Act To Ensure the Safety of Home Birth (support; OB-GYNs, pediatricians)* 

LD 697,  An Act To Restore Public Safety Programs in the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (monitor)

LD 699, An Act To Update Maine Law To Conform to New Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations (monitor)

LD 704,  An Act Regarding Notice Provided by Insurance Carriers to Health Care Providers (monitor or support)

LD 705,  An Act Relating to Insurance Licensing (monitor)

LD 708,  An Act To Limit the Use of Pesticides on School Grounds (monitor or support; pediatricians, Public Health Committee)

LD 710,  An Act Providing a Good Samaritan Defense to Individuals Reporting a Drug Overdose (support; psychiatrists, addiction specialists)*

LD 714, Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Study Providing Medical Assistance to Maine's Inhabited Islands (monitor or support)*

LD 717,  An Act To Establish the Maine Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (monitor)

LD 725,  An Act To Increase Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools (monitor or support; pediatricians)*

LD 726,  An Act To Increase Patient Safety in Maine's Medical Marijuana Program (monitor)

LD 729,  An Act To Add Acetylfentanyl to the List of Schedule W Drugs (monitor)*

LD 734,  An Act To Repeal the Certificate of Need Requirement for Hospitals (monitor)*

LD 736,  An Act To Require Destruction of Certain Medical Records and Allow Access to Certain Death Records (oppose)*

LD 740,  An Act To Sustain Maine's Primary Care Professional Workforce (support)*

LD 751,  An Act To Provide Consideration of the Need for Nursing Facility Beds in the Area Where They Are Located before Those Beds Are Lost (monitor)

LD 752,  An Act To Permit Medical Marijuana Cultivation by Incapacitated Adults (monitor)

LD 766,  An Act To Require a Medical Marijuana Primary Caregiver Cultivating in a Residential Building To Obtain an Electrical Permit (monitor)
[return to top]

MMA Joins Maine Health Management Coalition

The Maine Health Management Coalition (MHMC), a non-profit organization working to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of clinical services, is pleased to announce the addition of the Maine Medical Association as a new member of its multi-stakeholder group.  The Maine Medical Association is the state’s largest physician organization with over 3,700 members.

As a convener between health plans, purchasers, providers, consumer groups, associations and affiliate members, the MHMC combines the efforts of all parties involved in Maine’s healthcare system to reach its vision to lead the country in health status, patient experience and low per capita healthcare expenditures. The MHMC drives and achieves improvements in the Maine healthcare system by working with its members to foster innovative health plan approaches, provide ratings on clinician’s performance and educate members on how their individual healthcare spend compares to state benchmarks.

The Maine Medical Association supports Maine physicians to advance the quality of medicine in Maine and promote the health of all Maine citizens.

 “We are very pleased to have the Maine Medical Association join the Coalition. Their initiatives align with the critical component of our mission to attain optimum healthcare quality," said MHMC CEO, Andrew Webber. 

"After following the work of the Coalition for many years, we were pleased when the Coalition amended its bylaws to broaden participation and create an opportunity for associations to be members," stated Gordon H. Smith, Esq., Executive Vice President of MMA.

As membership grows, the MHMC is able to achieve change faster to support the state’s citizens with a continually improving healthcare system. “Our rapid member growth is vitally important for achieving improvements in our state’s healthcare and we can best do so working with engaged members, committed to this cause,” stated Marie Stuckey, MHMC’s Member Relations Specialist. 

The MHMC currently supports over 60 members representing thousands of Maine healthcare beneficiaries. For further information on the MHMC, visit www.mehmc.org or contact Marie Stuckey at 207-844-8106 or through email at mstuckey@mehmc.org.

About the Maine Health Management Coalition: The Maine Health Management Coalition (MHMC) is a non-profit organization whose over 60 members include public and private employers, hospitals, health plans, and doctors working together to measure and report health care value. MHMC helps employers and their employees use this information to make informed decisions. For more information on MHMC, please visit www.mehmc.org. [return to top]

Upcoming Events

***

Free Webinar: Choosing the EHR That's Right for You

When: Wednesday, March 11th at 12:00 p.m. ET

Description: If you find your current EHR unsatisfactory and are considering switching, you're not alone. Switching EHRs can seem risky-but if you're with a vendor that isn't meeting your needs, the benefits of switching far outweigh the barriers. 

Registration link

***

Dementia Care in Primary Care

Friday, March 13, 2015 

Join us to learn about, and work with colleagues, on the implementation of best practices for Dementia Care in Primary Care.  This symposium will be offered on Friday, March 13.  The focus of this symposium is on implementation of a standardized approach to memory related problems in Primary Care.  The symposium will be useful to all providers working in Primary Care.  It will be an all-day event, offering CME as well as an opportunity to engage in an office based Quality Improvement process.

The symposium is sponsored by the Office of Aging and Disability Services and is free to participants.  We encourage bringing a member of your support staff who might be integral to implementation of process improvement.

The primary site will be at MaineGeneral in Augusta, but it also will be transmited to EMMC in Bangor.

Cliff Singer, MD                                                                    Roger Renfrew, MD, FACP

Geriatric Mental Health and Neuropsychiatry                           Facilitator Clinical Geriatrics

Acadia Hospital and EMMC                                                   MaineGeneral Medical Center

207-973-7026                                                                        207-621-3699

 

***

Maine Concussion Management Initiative Training Programs – Level 1 and Level 2

General Information for 2015

When and where held:

              March 13, 2015 in Bangor at St. Joseph’s Hospital  

              May 1, 2015 in Machias at DownEast Community Hospital                       

              June 12, 2015 in Waterville at Colby College

              October 20, 2015 in Portland in conjunction with the Maine Brain Injury Conference

(Registration and fees will be through the Maine Brain Injury Conference for October 20)

Training Program: Training programs in 2015 will be updated.

              Level 1 - An Introduction to Concussions and Concussion Management

              Level 2 – Interpreting Neurocognitive Testing (Level 1 is a prerequisite for taking Level 2)

              8:00am – 8:15   Registration and Continental Breakfast (Level 1 and Level 2 are run simultaneously)

              8:15am-12:00pm            Level 1 – An Introduction to Concussions and Concussion Management

          • The Diagnostic and Return to Play Dilemma
          • Sport Related Concussion: Short and Long Term Sequelae
          • Concussion Sideline Assessment
          • Concussion Risk Factors, Treatment and Return to Function
          • Tools in Concussion Management
          • Concussion Case Studies
          • Review and Wrap-up

   8:15am-12:00pm            Level 2 – Interpreting Neurocognitive Testing             

          • Using ImPACT Testing in Concussion Management
          • Interpreting ImPACT Test Results
          • Case Reviews
          • Review and Wrap-up

              Registration Fee:

              $100 for Health Care Professionals (MD, DO, NP, PA, Neuropsychologist, ATC, RN, PT, OT, SLP)

              $40 for school personnel and all other attendees

                             (School nurses, coaches, school athletic directors, administrators, parents, etc.)

              $20 for students – currently enrolled in a college program

Registration Fee Includes:

  1. Handouts
  2. Continental Breakfast and mid-morning break
  3. CEU/CME credits for Health Care Professionals

Registration Confirmation will be sent by email and will include:

  1. Directions to training location.            
  2. Training agenda.

For more information contact:

              Jan Salis, PT, ATC

              MCMI - Membership Committee Chair

              jsalis@aol.com

              (207) 577-2018

***

14th Annual Employment Law Update

Date and location:  March 17, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport

Credits: 6.50, including 1.0 ethics

Online registration for live program

Brochure and registration form for live program.

Information and registration for live webcast

Sponsored by the MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section

Topics to include:

  • Understanding Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace
  • Hot Topics: Ethical Pickles and Predicaments
  • Parenting and the Workplace: Employment Rights and Responsibilities from Conception to Adulthood
  • Settlement Agreements: Post-Settlement Disputes
  • New Developments You Need to Know
MMA members can register at the MSBA member rate.  Questions should be addressed to Linda Morin-Pasco at 207-622-7554 or lmorinpasco@mainebar.org .

***

Coding Updates and ICD-10-CM Training Workshop

Boston, MA

March 20, 2015 for Staff

March 21, 2015 for Doctors

of Ophthalmology

March 20th Session for Staff

Morning Session

Hot reimbursement topics and what's new

New coding emphasis within EMR

Crucial coding concepts

  • How to use Corcoran's Office Visit Matrix

Afternoon Session

  • What is ICD-10?
  • How is it different?
  • How to find a code in ICD-10
  • Hands-on workshop with practical examples

March 21st Half Day Session for Doctors

A 4 hour "after hours" training course designed specifically for doctors. This will allow the doctor to have their full day work schedule and get the ICD-10 training they need. 

Morning Session

  • What is ICD-10?
  • How is it different?
  • How to find a code in ICD-10
  • Hands-on workshop with practical examples

Each Attendee Will Receive:

  • 2015 ICD-10-CM Comprehensive Manual ($99 value)
  • USB flash drive with critical reference files
  • General Equivalency Mapping (GEM)conversion

Register Here

***

SAVE THE DATE:  Maine Academy of Family Physicians Spring Events

23rd Annual MAFP Family Medicine Update – April 8-10, 2015, at the Atlantic Oceanside in Bar Harbor

April 11th (tentative) Certified Medical Examiner Training (for DOT Exams) – dependent on registration minimum met

For more information check our website:  http://www.maineafp.org/cme/mafp-cme-meeting

Complete schedule and registration available after January 15th.

***

Please join us for the Northern Maine Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) Summit

The University of New England (UNE) invites you to participate in the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Summit, taking place on April 14, 2015 on the campus of Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.

Funded by UNE’s Maine AHEC Network (Area Health Education Center) and the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, the Summit will host national and local experts to address the relationship between health professions education, clinical practice, and national healthcare reform.

During the course of the day healthcare providers will have an opportunity to learn more about:

  • Trends in and principles of interprofessional team-based practice 
  • Tools to implement interprofessional practice
  • How to develop interprofessional student clinical experiences that prepare the future workforce and help address healthcare shortages 

We encourage you to attend as individuals or as interprofessional teams!

THERE IS NO COST TO ATTEND THOUGH AN RSVP IS REQUIRED OF ALL ATTENDEES

Register online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CYLZD32 and/or visit www.une.edu/ahec for more information

For assistance, please contact: Dawn Lovelace at 207-221-4561 or dlovelace1@une.edu or Dora Anne Mills at dmills2@une.edu or 207-221-4621

 

[return to top]

Job Openings: Note Posting of State Epidemiologist Position

Gastroenterologist Job in Central Maine

Challenging, Lucrative, Gastroenterologist job in central Maine - honoring and serving Veterans.  An experienced Gastroenterologist is needed in Augusta.  Develop your skills of diagnosing, treating, and managing patients, while living in an all-season recreational getaway!

Must-haves: Fellowship-trained and B/C specializing in Gastroenterology, fellowship-trained in Transplant Hepatology, and fellowship-trained in Advanced Endoscopy; experience in Upper Endoscopy (including EGD, Barrett's Esophagus diagnosis and treatment, vatical bleeding, bleeding ulcers, dilation, stent placement for esophageal strictures, and treating food impactions); experience in  Colonoscopy (diagnostic and therapeutic), ERCP, EUS with FNA (for both solid and cystic lesions), Push enteroscopy, Deep small bowel enteroscopy, Capsule endoscopy, and Combined Interventional and Endoscopic interventions (Rendezvous procedures); experience in hepatology and liver diseases; lastly, an unrestricted medical license and current BLS certification.

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.

Salary will be commensurate experience, using VA’s market-based physician pay system. 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.  Relocation expenses are not authorized.  Equal Opportunity Employer.  Disabled persons and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

For more information contact John Poulin: john.poulin@va.gov

3/16/15

State Epidemiologist Sought

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.

Requirements

Graduation from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy with board certification in an appropriate medical specialty. A twelve year combination of training and experience in medicine and public health, to include a minimum of four years experience as an epidemiologist, OR a Masters Degree in Public Health or a related field and six years experience in the field of medicine and public health, to include a minimum of four years of experience as an epidemiologist. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Applicants must be eligible for a license to practice medicine in the State of Maine and must have a valid license prior to the start of employment. 

APPLICATION INFORMATION:  For additional information about this position please contact Jeremy Wilson, Human Resources Assistant at (207) 287-1873 or by e-mail @ jeremy.p.wilson@maine.gov. To apply, please forward a completed State of Maine application form and cover letter to: 

Department of Health and Human Services 
J. Wilson, Human Resources Asst. 
#11 State House Station 
Augusta, ME 04333-0011 

Direct hire applications are available at www.maine.gov/dhhs/jobs 
Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2015.

3/30/15

FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN Sought In Augusta Maine!

Inland Hospital is a dynamic healthcare organization that believes in putting the patient first in every way. We are a 48-bed community hospital in Waterville; Lakewood, a 105-bed continuing care center on the hospital campus; 18 primary and specialty care physician offices in Waterville and five surrounding communities. Inland has been a proud member of EMHS since 1998. Inland patients have seamless access to a higher level of care when needed.

Come to Waterville, Maine - home of Colby College! This dynamic community offers quality schools, safe neighborhoods, and affordable real estate - plus plenty of shopping, dining and other activities.  Waterville is situated near many lakes and rivers, and is centrally located between excellent skiing and the seacoast, 15 minutes from Augusta (Maine’s capital), an hour from Bangor, and 75 minutes from Portland.

Enjoy living in a scenic area with four-season activities including hiking, skiing, camping, kayaking, sailing, hunting and fishing, golfing, snowmobiling, whitewater rafting, snowshoeing, and much more!

For Further Information, please contact:

Sherry Tardy, Director Business Development/Provider Recruitment, Inland Hospital by email at:stardy@emh.org or by phone at: 207-487-4085.

3/9/15

BC/BE Family Practice Physician Sought

Sheepscot Valley Health Center (Coopers Mills, near Augusta) seeks a BC/BE Family Practice Physician to provide primary care and preventive services in a practice that includes integrated behavioral health services. The selected candidate will join a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and a physician assistant who offer medical care to community members from birth through retirement and beyond. Coopers Mills is ideally located between the state capital and the coast. The practice has been a vital part of the community since 1980 when a group of local residents recognized the need for high quality medical care closer to home. Over 4,000 people receive primary care and behavioral health services each year. We offer competitive compensation and malpractice coverage. The site is eligible for loan repayment. EOE. 

Contact: Recruiter, HRCHC, 10 Water Street, Suite 305, Waterville, ME 04901 | Phone: (207) 660-9913 | Fax: (207) 660-9901 | Communications@HealthReach.org |www.SheepscotCHC.org.

3/16/15

Augusta, Maine – Adult Psychiatrist

Kennebec Behavioral Health seeks a BC/BE adult psychiatrist with a Maine Medical License or immediate eligibility for licensure, for our Augusta location. Join our thriving, successful outpatient Medication Management Team and the chance to work for a multi-site health provider that has been serving our communities for more than 50 years. Located a short distance from the coast, ski resorts, golf courses, lakes, rivers and hiking trails, KBH operates central Maine’s largest Medication Clinic. Our Med Management team provides assessments, medication management and education.

Generous Sign-On Bonus!

KBH offers flexible, competitive compensation and benefits:

  • Health, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Relocation assistance
  • Travel reimbursement
  • 20 vacation days yearly
  • 11 holidays
  • 8 sick days
  • No on-call responsibilities or mandatory overtime.
  • Day time schedule (Monday – Friday)
  • Flexible schedule

Please forward CV and confidential inquiries to:

Amanda Fitts, Assistant Practice Manager

Kennebec Behavioral Health

67 Eustis Parkway

Waterville, ME 04901

(207) 873-2136  afitts@kbhmaine.org

03/23/15

MaineRockport, Maine  – Hospitalist

Located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean in Rockport, Maine, Pen Bay Medical Center is seeking a BC/BE physician to join our Hospitalist team. Enjoy a dynamic practice opportunity featuring:

  • 7 on/7 off scheduling
  • Paid time off
  • Broad subspecialty support
  • Competitive salary with incentives 
  • 148 shifts per year - Additional pay for additional shifts
  • Comprehensive benefits including medical, life & disability insurance
  • Relocation & CME reimbursement
  • Generous medical school loan repayment program

Join us, where the quality of the work and quality of your life are exceptional!

Send CV and confidential inquiries to John Bragg, Director, Physician Recruitment at jbragg@penbayhealthcare.org or call (207) 921-5894.

04/06/15

Family Medicine and Outpatient Internal Medicine Physicians

Katahdin Valley Health Center is recruiting dedicated Family Medicine and Outpatient Internal Medicine 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 Brownville outpatient only practices.  KVHC is a fully electronic medical record site and offers a Four day work week with 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 and $2500 annually toward CME.  The call schedule is 1 in 9 with additional coverage from the Open Access Clinic.  Physicians who join KVHC are eligible to apply for NHSC Loan Repayment.  HPSA scores at the KVHC sites increased in 2015.

To learn more about KVHC and Practitioner Opportunities, please contact Michelle LeFay at mlefay@kvhc.org or visit our website at www.kvhc.org.  KVHC is an equal opportunity employer.

06/01/15

Lincoln, ME:  Family Medicine Opportunity with Leadership Option

  • Federally Qualified Community Health Center with 6 Locations
  • Medical Director opportunity if desired
  • Serves 19 small, rural towns in North Central Maine with over 14,000 active patients
  • Focused mission to serve/support underserved populations
  • Service area:  +/- 24,000
  • 4-day work week
  • Phone call 1:8
  • Excellent salary and benefit package, including FTCA malpractice insurance
  • Superb team of 25 multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, with collegial professional environment
  • On-site lab and radiology services
  • Work collaboratively with two local Critical Access Hospitals
  • National Health Service Corps, and/or other student loan repayment programs
  • J1 visa candidates welcome

Home of 13 Lakes. Thousands of miles of accessible recreational woodland and waterways appeal to those seeking nature, but this region is also within 45 minutes of Bangor, Maine’s third largest city, and UMaine’s flagship campus in Orono.

Contact:  Jamie Lynn Grant at JGrant@NEHS.net or (207)745-7059

3/30/15

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.

6/01/15

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   [return to top]

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