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February 19, 2018

In This Issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
AMA Advocacy Conference Highlights High Drug Costs, Regulatory Relief and Coverage Concerns
MMA Board to Address Several Critical Issues at Annual President's Retreat in March
Use EMR System Defaults to Reduce Opioid Prescribing
CMS Projects Health Care Spending to Increase Significantly in Next Decade
Purdue Pharma Announces Cessation of Marketing Oxycontin to Prescribers
Health Access Network Names New Chief Executive Officer
Notes from the American Medical Association
3 Ways to Maximize Employer Diabetes Prevention Tools for Your Patients
128TH MAINE LEGISLATURE
Legislative Call This Tuesday, February 20th
Legislative Report: "Conversion therapy" and More
UPCOMING EVENTS
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
MMA and Jackson Laboratory Seeking Volunteers to Assist with 2018 Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative Forum
New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
Peer Navigation Program from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Associate Director/Director of Compliance, Privacy, Risk and Legal Affairs for Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor, Maine
MD/DO - Lewiston, ME
Chief Executive Officer CEO at Greater Portland Health
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

 
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Notes from the American Medical Association


AMA Viewpoints » Action to address gun violence is long overdue
“Gun violence in America today is a public health crisis, one that requires a comprehensive and far-reaching solution,” AMA President David O. Barbe MD, MHA, writes in the wake of this week’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. “That is not just my own sentiment; that is the determination of the AMA House of Delegates. With more than 30,000 American men, women and children dying from gun violence and firearm-related accidents each year, the time to act is now.” Read more at AMA Wire®.

Nutritional fixes for patients with high BP: What you should know
To help physicians improve their knowledge and understanding of nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for their patients, the AMA partnered with suburban Chicago-based Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology. The institute provides an interactive, self-paced, three-hour online course that begins with a module on the magnitude and rapidity at which dietary changes can impact patient health. Read more at AMA Wire.

·    This story is part of a topic hub that centralizes the AMA’s essential tools, resources and content to help you in Targeting Hypertension. Explore other Medical Topics That Matter.

Inside the case of U.S. personnel in Cuba: “Like a concussion without a concussion”
JAMA study co-author and brain-injury rehabilitation specialist Randel Swanson, DO, PhD, says the government workers’ symptoms were very similar to those of patients who “had a traumatic brain injury from being in a car accident or a blast in the military.” Advanced neuroimaging techniques could help unravel the medical mystery. So far, a “unifying explanation” for what caused the problems found in objective assessments “remains elusive.” Read more at AMA Wire.

This week’s other top articles from The JAMA Network®

·    Screening for ovarian cancer not recommended: Study

·    Is risk of fatal crashes increased on 4/20 counterculture holiday celebrating marijuana? Study

·    ACA dependent coverage provision associated with increased use of prenatal care, reduction in preterm births: Study

·    Examination of postincarceration fatal overdoses after addiction treatment medications in correctional system: Study

US health care spending will hit $5.7 trillion annually by 2026

The Washington Post (2/14, Johnson) reports that according to an analysis conducted by CMS actuaries and published in Health Affairs, prescription drug spending will increase “faster than any other major medical good or service over the next decade.” Data indicate that “by 2026, national health spending will climb to $5.7 trillion, or nearly a fifth of the economy.” Prescription drug spending is expected “to grow at 6.3 percent per year, on average, between 2017 to 2026.”

        The AP (2/14) reports that the actuaries point to “an aging population and an uptick in prices for health care services and goods as factors behind the ongoing growth in costs.” Health care spending is expected “to rise by an average of 5.5 percent annually through 2026, or about 1 percentage point faster than economic growth.” The article says such increases make it more difficult “for government to pay for programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and for employers to keep financing medical coverage for workers and their families.”

       Bloomberg News (2/14, Tozzi) reports that for 2018, “price increases for personal health expenditures are projected to rise 2.2 percent, compared with 1.9 percent for overall inflation.” The article says that recently, “increases in health spending have been driven by volume, as millions more people gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” and “overall price hikes have been historically low, increasing by an average of 1.1 percent annually between 2014 and 2016.” But that trend is expected to reverse.

       Reuters (2/14, Abutaleb) reports that this projected “increase represents a sharp uptick from 2017 spending, which the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now estimates to have been a 4.6 percent climb to nearly $3.5 trillion.” The previous estimate for 2017 had been a 5.4-percent increase. 

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