September 21, 2015

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Volunteers Sought for Task Forces on Prevention, Treatment, and Law Enforcement re Opioids

U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Thomas Delahanty, in coordination with Attorney General Janet Mills and Commissioner of Public Safety John Morris, is forming three task forces to address the current epidemic of drug abuse (both prescription drugs and heroin) which has led to a spike in deaths from accidental overdose.  The task forces will be organized around the topics of Treatment, Prevention/Harm Reduction and Law Enforcement.  Volunteers are being sought for all three task forces.

Volunteers from across the State are needed for the three task forces.  If you would like to participate or know of other health professionals that would, please contact Sarah Lepoff at the Maine Medical Association (  MMA has been asked by the U.S. Attorney's office to assist in the formation and operation of the task forces.  

It is not known at this time the extent of the obligation expected of each Task Force member but more will be published in the Update as information becomes available.  There is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Sept. 22) of the group organizing the task forces and more information will be available following that meeting.  It is expected that co-chairs will be named tomorrow for each task force.  At last week's meeting, it was agreed that the meetings of each group would be public and that members of the task force could call in to meetings, although personal presence is preferred.  It is also anticipated that the meetings will be held throughout the state and that public comment periods would be established for each meeting so that all interested voices can be heard.

In addition to healthcare professionals, the Treatment and Prevention/Reduction Task Forces are expected to include family members who have suffered a loss from an overdose, persons in recovery from substance use disorders, public health professionals, harm reduction professionals and health care administrators.  

In related news, Governor LePage has announced a September 30th summit to focus on avoiding drug use during pregnancy.  Mark Publicker, M.D. will keynote the summit which will be held at the Season's event center in Portland.  Physicians and other interested in attending may contact Nikki Busmanis at or by calling 287-2816.

AMA website offers physician resources aimed at curbing nation’s opioid misuse

New Web pages aimed at providing physicians with key education and training resources to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis now are available on the AMA website. The new content was developed as part of the robust work underway by the AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse that was launched last month. The Task Force is a collaborative effort by the AMA, American Osteopathic Association, American Dental Association, and more than 20 state and specialty medical societies.

One of the task force’s main goals is to encourage physician education on effective, evidence-based prescribing.

“Voluntarily enhancing our education is a core function that all physicians should embrace,” said AMA Chair-elect, Patrice A. Harris, MD. “That’s why we are working to ensure physicians have the education, resources and training they need on effective, evidence-based prescribing. As physicians, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on managing pain and promoting safe, responsible opioid prescribing.”

In developing this new online resource, the AMA and the member organizations of the task force identified many key resources that are free or low-cost. These include continuing medical education webinars on preventing opioid abuse, opioid prescribing guidelines, perspectives on the issue and other resources for prescribers. The new section also includes a resource that allows physicians to access state-specific and specialty-specific information from more than 50 state and specialty medical societies.
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Resolutions on Firearms, Prescription Drug Abuse, and Insurance Plan Mergers Passed at Annual Session

Members attending the 162nd Annual Session of the Maine Medical Association passed three resolutions dealing with current issues in the state.  All the Resolutions can be viewed on the MMA website at

Resolution # 1 Re:  Supporting Background Checks for Firearm Purchases, was proposed by the MMA Public Health Committee and supported as well by the Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians  It calls on MMA to support current efforts to require and enforce universal and thorough background checks when firearms are purchased and acquired in the State of Maine.

Resolution #2 Re:  Actions in Response to Opioid Problem, was proposed by the MMA Board of  Directors and proposes a series of actions by MMA including encouraging physicians to become certified buprenorphine prescribers and supporting the work of the U.S. Attorney's office in organizing three work groups focused on prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.  Additional actions would include encouraging the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program, continuing advocacy for MaineCare expansion, and expanding the availability of naloxone.

Resolution #3 Re:  Proposed Merger of Anthem, Inc. and Cigna, was proposed by the MMA Board of Directors.  It asks the Association to urge state regulators to carefully review the proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna and use enforcement tools to preserve competition and to also urge regulators to ensure that interested parties in the state have an opportunity at public hearings to comment on the implications of the proposed merger.

The full text of all the Resolutions will be available on the MMA website.

These Resolutions, now passed, will be the subject of Board review and approval at the next Board meeting on October 14th.



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MMA Meets with Congressional Delegation

MMA’s President-Elect, Charles Pattavina, MD, met last week with both of Maine’s Representatives in Congress and also with key healthcare staffers for both Maine Senators. The meetings occurred in conjunction with a meeting of AMPAC in Washington, DC.

Dr. Pattavina presented the delegates with the three Resolutions adopted at the recent MMA Annual Session: Resolution #1 encouraging background checks for private sales of firearms; Resolution #2 concerning the opioid abuse problem in Maine; and Resolution #3 which encourages federal and state regulators to review carefully the proposed health insurer mergers between Anthem and Cigna and between Aetna and Humana.

Other topics of discussion included the diabetes initiative being promoted by the US DHHS, proposed repeal of the IPAB requirement under Medicare, and the proposed upcoming move to Stage 3 of the “meaningful use” rules for electronic health records. Dr. Pattavina reports that both members and staffers displayed an excellent understanding of the issues and a commitment to improving the provision of health care to Maine people.

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Is Your Practice Ready for ICD-10? Transition is October 1, 2015

It is now clear that further delays in the implementation of ICD-10 are highly unlikely and that the effective date of the conversion will be October 1st.  After two previous delays, policy makers and the Congress, for the most part, believe that the majority of providers are ready following success at end to end testing.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) announced over the summer an ICD-10-CM grace period for the first year.  Officials stated, "For 12 months after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule through either automated medical review or complex medical record review based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as the physician/practitioner used a Code from the right family.  However, a valid ICD-10 Code will be required on all claims starting on October 1, 2015."

Although Medicare is providing this grace period, other payors are not obligated to do so and many are not.  Consult with your provider relations staff to determine if the plan is following Medicare's lead.

As October 1st approaches and in the weeks immediately following, the Weekly Update will contain at least one article on the transition.  There are several good informational resources available on the CMS website.



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MMA Secures Member Discount for Disability Income

In our continued commitment to providing our members with valued benefits we are excited to announce that through Baystate Financial, our preferred provider of Financial Planning and Advisory Services, we have  negotiated an association discount for individual income insurance.

With a consistent flow of income providing the underpinning of their financial well-being, we want to provide our members preferred access to quality and cost effective individual disability coverage.

Please see below the insert that appeared in the most recent Maine Medicine newsletter.  For more information please contact Larry Perry at  Baystate Financial at 207-770-2021.

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Meningitis Reported in Berwick Schools

On Wednesday, SAD 60 officials confirmed that two Berwick students, one at Hussey Primary School and the other at Noble Middle School, have been diagnosed with meningitis. The Middle School case is viral, while the nature of the other was unknown at the time of reporting. The students live in different towns and do not appear to know each other.

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Lowering the Cost of Interacting With Healthcare Payers – Can It Be Done?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @8:00 PM - Thursday, September 24, 2015 @7:30 AM - Tuesday, September 30, 2015 @1:00 PM

Speaker:Nancy Morris, Communications & Member Relations Director, Maine Health Management Coalition

At the request of the very people who spend the most time dealing with the complexity of health plan design and administration…YOU...the Maine Health Management Coalition, with the assistance of Medicaid and every major insurance carrier in the State, has embarked on a ambitious project to to provide clinicians with a thoughtful, standardized benefit platform from which to do their jobs successfully.  Please join us for one or all of the three free webcasts that have been set up to explain the origin of the Coalition’s SIM funded transformative effort, the five major components of the plan, how you can offer your suggestions, and how soon it may be available in your community.

Looking to learn more about standardizing benefit platforms? Webinar attendees will receive a discount code to register for our November 18 annual symposium, where there will be a learning session about value-based insurance design! 

About the Speaker

Nancy Morris has served as Communications Director of the Maine Health Management Coalition since 2009, an organization that works to align the efforts and needs of people who pay for care, provide care and receive care so that Maine can produce better health at a more reasonable cost. This is a role she was destined to play, given her extensive knowledge of Maine’s health care quality improvement efforts, employee benefits and communications. Prior to her role at the Coalition she helped Healthsource Maine become the largest HMO in the State and helped faciliate clinical health improvement efforts in the Maine Health Alliance, leading to some of the country’s highest quality adherence scores in the country.

> Register for 9/22/15

> Register for 9/24/15

> Register for 9/30/15

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Results of Member SurveyMonkey Poll

Thank you to the 233 members who completed the brief SurveyMonkey poll last week on three important issues.   Here are the results:

1.  Would you support removing from state law the ability of parents to refuse immunizations for their children based upon philosophical or religious reasons (leaving only the medical exemption)?

  • Yes     76.62%
  • No       23.81%

2.  Should the MMA take a position supporting expanding mandatory background checks of private sales of firearms, such as at gun shows and through classified advertisements?

  •  Yes    88.79%
  • No     11.21%

 3. Do you prescribe extended release hydrocodone bitartrate (Zohydro)?

  •  Yes    0
  • No     100%

MMA committees and the Board of Directors will take these results into consideration when making policy decisions on these issues.




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New England AMA Delegation to Present Two Resolutions to AMA on EHR Interoperability and GME Funding

The New England Delegation to the American Medical Association met in Waltham, MA on Saturday, Sept. 19 and considered and approved two resolutions for submission to the Interim AMA House of Delegates meeting in November.  Maine AMA delegates from Maine, Richard Evans, M.D. and Maroulla Gleaton, M.D. both attended the meeting along with MMA President Brian Pierce, M.D. who will serve as an alternate delegate to the AMA during his term as AMA President. Maine has two additional alternate delegates, Charles Pattavina, M.D. (President-elect of MMA) and Dieter Kreckel, M.D. 

The first Resolution, entitled, EHR Interoperability and Vendor Accountability is intended to address the serious problem of shortcomings in electronic health records (EHR) interoperability and related issues such as common graphical user interface, data mining and export for quality measures and registries, and lack of appropriate EHR features attributable to vendor factors.  Reference is also made to the reporting and timeline outlined in H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, with special emphasis on requiring vendors to provide systems that comply with interoperability standards as a basic requirement for certification and/or face other barriers to access their potential markets, without significant additional cost to end users.

The second Resolution is entitled, Equity in Graduate Medical Education (GME) Funding and asks the AMA to advocate that:

1.  All residency slots across medical and dental professions should be treated with equity;

2.  There be no decreases in the current GME funding of allopathic and osteopathic medical residencies while there is a concurrent increase in GME funding of residencies in other professions including podiatry;

3.  There be proportional increases to current GME funding of allopathic and osteopathic medical residencies similar to increases in GME funding of residencies in other professional including podiatry.

Both Resolutions were approved but with amendments to the language that will be available soon.

The interim meeting of the AMA House of Delegates will be held Nov. 14-17, 2015 in Atlanta.


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New Online CME: Genetic Testing for Colorectal Cancer Risk

The Jackson Laboratory is pleased to announce a new free CME module in a series on cancer genetic testing: Genetic Testing for Colorectal Cancer Risk.

 Genetic Testing for Colorectal Cancer Risk

If you have determined that a patient has an increased risk for hereditary colon cancer, he or she may be a candidate for genetic testing. There are several hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes with different underlying genetic causes.  The ability to recognize features suggestive of these syndromes can improve risk assessment and testing strategy.  This online education program gives clinicians an opportunity to practice evaluating the fit between a patient’s history and a particular genetic test for colon cancer.

In this CME course, you will practice identifying patients for colorectal cancer genetic testing and selecting the best testing option.  Highlights of the program include:

  • Practice identifying candidates for single gene and multi-gene panel testing for hereditary colorectal cancer.
  • The role of tumor screening in evaluation for Lynch syndrome.
  • Strategies for efficient and cost-effective genetic testing.
  • Downloadable point-of-care tools that can be used in the clinic.

Visit Genetic Testing for Colorectal Cancer Risk to explore the program and access point-of-care tools to use in your clinic!

The University of Connecticut School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of .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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Job Openings

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  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.



DFD Russell Medical Centers (DFDRMC) operates three community health centers in beautiful Central Maine.  We are seeking a full time physician for immediate placement.  A current unencumbered Maine license and proficiency with electronic medical records are required.

Our three health centers serve a multicultural, rural population of about 10,000 patients and have a family practice focus serving pediatrics to geriatrics.  We have integrated behavioral health, care managers, a patient assistance coordinator and an excellent clinical support staff to support the candidate in delivering excellent clinical care.

Excellent benefits, including medical, dental, life insurance, 401K retirement plan, flexible spending accounts, generous paid time off and an incentive plan.  Salary is commensurate with experience.

We are an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.  If you want additional information about this position, which combines making a difference in patients’ lives with a family-friendly work life, please fax (207-524-2459) or e-mail (Laurie.kane-lewis your resume as soon as possible to Laurie Kane-Lewis, CEO.



As a General Surgeon in the Air Guard, you’ll adapt the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in your civilian career to the military environment.  You’ll provide urgent treatment to Air Guard personnel sick or wounded during duty, and regular healthcare to personnel training in your unit.


The Air Guard gives you the opportunity to serve your community and country with pride, and help people in a whole new way. If you still have student loans, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program, or you can potentially get money for college that transfers to your dependents through the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Besides a monthly paycheck, as a member of the Air Guard you’ll receive low-cost life insurance, a military retirement plan, and eligibility for VA home loans. With more than 140 Air Guard bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands you’ll be able to serve where you live, without interrupting your civilian medical practice. And as an Air Guard member you’ll have access to Base Exchange and Commissary shopping as well as free available air travel.

Learn More Today

Go to or call 1-800-To-Go-ANG to find out how you can become an important member of America’s homeland defense in the Air Guard.


Orthopedic Surgeon

The Air Guard Orthopedic Surgeon examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and injuries of musculoskeletal system by surgical and conservative means. In this role, you’ll manage orthopedic surgery services as well as oversee the administration of anesthetics and provide diet recommendations in addition to performing surgical procedures.


The Air Guard gives you the opportunity to serve your community and country with pride, and help people in a whole new way. If you still have student loans, you may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program, or you can potentially get money for college that transfers to your dependents through the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

 Besides a monthly paycheck, as a member of the Air Guard you’ll receive low-cost life insurance, a military retirement plan, and eligibility for VA home loans. With more than 140 Air Guard bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands you’ll be able to serve where you live, without interrupting your civilian medical practice. And as an Air Guard member you’ll have access to Base Exchange and Commissary shopping as well as free available air travel.

Learn More Today

Go to or call 1-800-To-Go-ANG to find out how you can become an important member of America’s homeland defense in the Air Guard.


Medical Director/Psychiatrist - Woodfords Family Services

Woodfords Family Services, a not-for-profit social service agency serving individuals with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses since 1967 has an immediate opening for a Medical Director/Psychiatrist for 2-3 days/week contractual basis to support a program serving children, adolescents and adults.

The Medical Director/Psychiatrist is responsible for clinical oversight, supervision for a full-time Physician Assistant-C and consultation with Agency programs. Opportunities are available to provide assessment and medication management. Hours are flexible. Some on-call hours may be required. Job/Educational Requirements include:

  • Board Certification and a Maine license to practice medicine
  • DEA registration
  • Professional malpractice insurance certificate
  • Graduation from an accredited program
  • Certificate of completion from an accredited psychiatric residency training program or from a child psychiatry fellowship program

Candidates should mail or e-mail ( a letter of interest/resume to: Woodfords Family Services; P.O. Box 1768; Portland, ME  04104-1768; ATTN: Douglas Patrick; Medical Director/ Psychiatrist Search; EOE 


Falmouth Orthopaedic Center - Falmouth, Maine

Seeking a BE/BC general or fellowship trained surgeon to join our expanding group.  Falmouth Orthopaedic Center is a well respected private practice in a vibrant orthopedic community. You will be partnering with 3 experienced surgeons each with an outstanding reputation in the area.

Located in Falmouth Maine (approximately 10 minutes from Portland, 2 hours from Boston) we pride ourselves on our four beautiful seasons, unlimited recreation, and top-ranking schools all within 10 minutes of the magnificent Maine coast. Falmouth is an excellent place to raise a family and offers a great quality of life with easy access to all the cultural amenities of the city of Portland.

This opportunity offers minimal ER call at a Level 2 community hospital with a competitive compensation package.  Our ideal candidate is a well trained general orthopedist or an orthopedist who is fellowship trained in foot and ankle, hand, pediatrics, sports medicine or adult reconstructive surgery.

Please send cover letter, CV, and inquiries to:


Physician (MD/DO) – Brunswick, ME – Full-Time

We are seeking a Physician with interest in occupational medicine to work full-time at our Brunswick, Maine clinic. The Physician will provide medical treatment to work-related illnesses and injuries.

Requirements: Degree of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) from a U.S. accredited institution. Previous experience in Industrial Medicine, Emergency Medicine or General Practice preferred. Current license to practice medicine in the State

About U.S. HealthWorks:  U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group is a leading national provider of occupational medicine and urgent care services. Operating over 200 locations in 20 states with nearly 4,000 employees, including approximately 1,200 medical providers; U.S. HealthWorks serves thousands of patients each day.

In addition to competitive salaries we offer:

  • Occupational Medicine Focus

  • Incentive plans

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

  • Flexible hours and excellent work environment

Benefits for full-time employees to include: health, dental, vision, 401(k)

Apply Today!

If you’re interested in joining a company that is dedicated to your professional growth — look no further than U.S. HealthWorks!


Online:   Requisition Number 8521

Phone:800-992-4442 ext. 2659




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Upcoming Events

 American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter (MAAP) and the Atlantic Pediatric Society (APS) 

Joint Conference

September 25 – 27, 2015,  Friday 5pm through Sunday 12:30 pm

Algonquin Resort, St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick

Agenda and information about the venue:


Key Topics include: Child Death Review, Transitions of Care Adolescent to Adult, Cystic Fibrosis Screening, Child Advocacy, Child Protection, Hot Topics in Pediatric Medicine, and Pediatrics and Population Health


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

General Information for 2015

When and where held:                           

              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


              (207) 577-2018


6th Annual Patient Safety Academy
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9:00am - 3:30pm
USM Abromson Center

At the 6th Annual Patient Safety Academy this year, Dr. Bryan Sexton, Director of the Duke Patient Safety Center, will present a 2-part seminar on the science of enhancing resilience. Dr. Sexton's research on safety culture, teamwork, and resilience have resulted in assessment tools used world wide. He will discuss practical strategies to manage stress in the healthcare workplace, cope with change, and manage fatigue.

For more information, visit


14th Annual Downeast Ophthalmologgy Symposium

October 2-4, 2015

Harborside Hotel & Marina - Bar Harbor, ME 

The Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons will be hosting the 14th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium October 2-4, 2015 at the Harborside Hotel and Marina in Bar Harbor, Maine for ophthalmologists across the country to attend. 

For more information, please visit or contact Shirley Goggin at 207-445-2260 or


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