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May 29, 2017

In This Issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
American Health Care Act Leaves 23 Million without Coverage including 117,000 in Maine
HHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew Resigns Effective May 26; Deputy Commissioner Ricker Hamilton Named Interim Commissioner
MMA Salutes Physicians of Washington County at May 22 Listening Session
MMA, Lown Institute and Colleagues Present "Challenges to Professionalism in a Time of Change" in Portsmouth, June 17
Physician-focused Payment Models Recommended to Secretary Price
AMA Reaffirms Principles on Health-System Reform Legislation to Senate Leaders
Updates on Opioid Health Homes, Pharmacist-Provider Meetings & Opioid Task Force
128TH MAINE LEGISLATURE
Weekly MMA Legislative Committee Conference Call Information
Legislative Highlights of the Week
Physicians' Day at the Legislature, May 31st
Call Your Legislators: L.D. 46 Eliminating Physician Exemption from Jury Duty Poses Threat to Physician Practices
UPCOMING EVENTS
Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
Learn How You Can Be Ready for the E-Prescribing Mandate: Free Webinar on June 7
How Can I Choose Wisely? A Community Conversation on Healthcare Changes and Rising Costs June 8
National Medicare Education Program June 28
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Family Medicine Physician - Pittsfield, ME
Family Medicine Physician - Maine Medical Partners Primary Care - Standish, ME
Primary Care Physician - Eastern Maine Medical Center
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Part-time Clinical & Part-time Research Position in Central Maine
Family Medicine Physician - Winthrop, ME
DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
Family Medicine Physician - Waterville, ME

 
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Call Your Legislators: L.D. 46 Eliminating Physician Exemption from Jury Duty Poses Threat to Physician Practices

L.D. 46, An Act to Provide Consistency Among Medical Professionals with Regard to Jury Duty Exemption, was introduced at the request of the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association. MMA took no position on the bill, following discussion during one of the weekly calls of the Legislative Committee. But when the bill was heard before the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary, the lobbyist for the Judicial branch presented an amendment which eliminated all of the current exemptions. When MMA representatives were advised of the amendment, we attended the work session but none of the outside interests were provided an opportunity to present the arguments against the amendment at the work session. The bill, now with the amendment, has strong support from the Judiciary Committee but strong opposition from the sponsor of the original bill, Senator Nate Libby (D., Lewiston). As a member of leadership (Assistant Democratic Leader in the Senate) Senator Libby will seek to kill the bill in the Senate.
 
A recent survey by MMA of membership on the question of whether physicians should remain exempt from jury duty showed strong support for retaining the exemption (68% in favor, 20% opposed and 12% with no opinion). Along with Senator Libby, MMA will seek to defeat the bill on the Senate floor in the coming days. For MMA members regularly in contact with their State Senators, it would be helpful if you would mention this bill and both the process issue (no hearing on the amendment, despite it being directly contrary to the bill's intent), the difficulty it would pose to the efficient operation of medical and dental practices, and the difficulty, inconvenience and expense for patients.   

The bill remains tabled in the Senate, while MMA staff continue to argue our case with every Senator we can contact. They have been listening to our explanations about how much physicians already participate in the judicial process, from serving as witnesses in far more cases than other professionals to providing psychiatric evaluation and testimony in criminal cases to serving without pay or even expense reimbursement on prelitigation screening panels in medical malpractice cases. It is essential that MMA contact our legislators so that they hear the message: physicians are doing their share.

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