January 22, 2018

In This Issue
Changing of the Guard at MMA Board Meeting: A New President Takes Over
Senior Section Luncheon January 24 Features Speakers on Precision Medicine
2017-18 Flu Season a Bad One
5 tips to help your patients make their new year a healthy one
US DHHS Proposes New Conscience and Religious Freedom Rules for Health Care
Administration Extends Opioid Emergency Declaration
Lyme Disease Continues to Rise in Maine
Important Update on MaineCare Provider Enrollment Applications: New Application Fee Amount for 2018
Claims-Based Quality Reporting for MIPS: Submitting MIPS Quality Codes on CMS-1500 Claims
Community Health Options Sues Federal Government for $5.7 Million
Legislative Call This Tuesday, January 23rd
Legislative Report: Hospital Program Closures, School-based Health Centers
Healthcare Suicide Prevention Protocol Development Training - half day workshop - March 2
28th Annual Winter Conference - Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics - March 16-18
QC2018: Building Communities of Practice through Innovation - Wednesday, April 4, 2018
New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
Chief Executive Officer CEO at Greater Portland Health
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
Chief Executive Officer - Pines Health Services
Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

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US DHHS Proposes New Conscience and Religious Freedom Rules for Health Care

Conservative groups hailed the initiative as being a recognition of religious objections to abortion, sterilization, physician assisted suicide, and gender surgery and hormone treatments. Critics warned that the change could lead to sex, orientation, and gender identity discrimination.

The introductory information in the proposed regulation refers to abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide, and the ACA’s individual mandate, “and other matters of conscience.” It also refers to “conscience protections” for objections to counseling, advance directives, compulsory health care in areas such as vaccination, occupational illness testing, hearing screening and mental health treatment, and to “protections for religious nonmedical health care.” The rulemaking document also cites, as an example for the need for the rule, the following:

“In 2016, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reaffirmed a prior ethics opinion that recommended, “[i]n an emergency in which referral is not possible or might negatively affect a patient’s physical or mental health, providers have an obligation to provide medically  indicated and requested care regardless of the provider’s personal moral objections.”

The publication date for the proposed rule will be January 26, 2018, which will mark the beginning of the period for public comment.


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