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October 23, 2017

In This Issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Patients Pay for Ending Cost-sharing Reduction Payments
Less Wealth Means Greater Disability, Shorter Life
Congress Continues CHIP Negotiations
Free Personalized Assistance to Help You Prepare for Quality Payment Program
MMA Senior Section Meets Wednesday, Topic is Mental Health Services with AMHI Consent Decree Court Master
AMA Outlines Next Steps for Health Reform
128TH MAINE LEGISLATURE
Legislative Calls to Resume When Legislature Returns
Hamilton Confirmed as DHHS Commissioner
Rep. Stanley Proposes Bill on Closure of Hospital Services
SAVE THE DATE: MMA Legislative Committee Meets December 11th to Prepare for Next Legislative Session
UPCOMING EVENTS
University of New England Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment Workshop October 28th
York County Drug Takeback Day October 28th
Improving Opioid Prescribing and Patient Safety: 3-hour presentation in Wells on November 1
9th Canadian Conference on Dementia - November 2-4, 2017
Turquoise & Tapas With the Lung Association November 9th
Emerging Technologies - Advances in Diagnosis & Laboratory Testing: Annual Conference November 15 in Augusta
Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
Improving Opioid Prescribing and Patient Safety: October 25 & November 18 at EMMC
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
BC/BE Physician - C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital
VA Psychiatrist
Chief Executive Officer
BE/BC Family Practitioner - Lewiston, ME
Primary Care Physician - Eastern Maine Medical Center
Chief Executive Officer
Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
Outstanding full-time opportunity for an experienced Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner with Central Maine Heart Associates in Auburn, Maine
Palliative Care Provider
Gastroenterologist - Brunswick, ME
Hospitalist - Brunswick, ME
Family Medicine Physician - Winthrop, ME
DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
Outpatient Opportunities Loan Repayment, Sign-On & Relocation
Family Medicine Physician - Pittsfield, ME
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Family Medicine Physician/Clinician Leader
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

 
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Patients Pay for Ending Cost-sharing Reduction Payments

[from the AMA Advocacy Update]

The move followed the White House's statement that referred to CSRs as "unlawful payments" and a "bailout of insurance companies" that were being funded without a Congressional appropriation. AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, said the AMA "is deeply discouraged" by the president's decision because it "creates more uncertainty" in the individual insurance marketplace and threatens "access to meaningful health insurance coverage for millions of Americans" just as an abbreviated open-enrollment period is about to begin.

"Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed concern about the affordability of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and bipartisan efforts have been underway in Congress to provide the specific authorization and funding for CSR payments to address the legal issues involved," Dr. Barbe (@DBarbe_MD) said. "Our patients will ultimately pay the price. We urge Congress to accelerate its efforts to reinstate these payments before further damage is done."

It is estimated that at least 6 million people had their costs of care lowered by a CSR, at an annual cost to the federal government of around $7 billion.

The AMA joined a coalition of organizations representing family physicians, hospitals, health insurers and employers in urging Congressional leaders to "take action now to fund" CSR benefits. The joint letter notes the Congressional Budget Office's determination that ending the funding that supports CSR benefits will:

  • Drive up premiums, increasing average premiums for benchmark silver plans—the most popular plans on the exchanges—by 20 percent in 2018, and by 25 percent in 2020.
  • Deny choices for consumers and greatly increase the risk that some places will have no coverage options at all.
  • Increase the federal budget deficit by $194 billion over the next 10 years.
Bipartisan efforts in the Senate, led by Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., have produced an agreement to restore the CSRs. The legislative pathway for Congressional approval, however, remains uncertain.

 

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