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May 21, 2018

In This Issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Maine Chapter, American College of Surgeons Conclude Successful Meeting in Kennebunkport
Trump Administration Releases Drug Pricing Blueprint
Maine's is Named One of the Best Medical Examiner Offices in the Country
Urge Patients to Confirm Mailing Address for New Medicare Card
Pain Specialists Report Significant Barriers to Care
Medicaid Waivers: Work Requirement OK'd in N.H.; Lifetime Limits Denied in Kansas
Nominations Sought for Mary Cushman, MD Award
Int’l Mediterranean Diet Month: Making the Case for a Healthy Diet as a Tool for Diabetes Prevention
Update Will Change Buprenorphine MME Display in Most State PMPs
New Interactive Online Course Ups Physicians’ Nutrition Knowledge, Supports Patients in Diabetes Prevention
128th MAINE LEGISLATURE
Legislative Report: Primary Elections June 12th
UPCOMING EVENTS
Monday, May 21 in Brewer: Next Steps in Addressing Maine's Opioid Crisis
Inspiring Hope: How to Support Recovery Ready Communities - May 24 Conference
One River, One Ocean: June 2-14, 2018
HPV Summit in Brewer June 7th
Wednesday, June 13 in Augusta: Next Steps in Addressing Maine's Opioid Crisis
X Waiver Course in Waterville June 16th
MCMI Training Programs - Level 1 and Level 2 - June 22
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
Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine 2018 Annual Conference & Meeting - Nov 2-3
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Behavioral Health Consultant
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician Opportunity
Ob/Gyn Physician Opportunity
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Family Practice Physician - Bucksport Regional Health Center
Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
Psychiatry Faculty, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Psychiatric Medical Director
Maine's Largest FQHC in need of Physician for Geriatric Program
Multiple Family Med Opportunities in Beloved Community Health Centers
Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

 
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Pain Specialists Report Significant Barriers to Care

A new survey of pain medicine specialists found that policies enacted by states, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and worker compensation programs are causing patients to go into withdrawal, experience anxiety, depression and increased pain.

The survey was conducted by the American Board of Pain Medicine (ABPM) to help identify how the nation's opioid epidemic is affecting patients with pain and the pain medicine specialists who treat them.
The survey found:

  • 83 percent of pain medicine specialists said that they—or their patients—have been required to reduce the quantity or dose of medication they have prescribed;
  • 93 percent of pain medicine specialists said that they have been required to submit a prior authorization for non-opioid pain care—with the physicians and their staff spending hours per day on such requests.
  • 68 percent of pain medicine specialists said that they have had to hire additional staff to handle the prior authorization requirements.

"Prior authorization in some cases may be understandable to help ensure coverage benefits or coordinate complex care, but when it is used almost universally like this, it seems that the real purpose is to discourage physicians and patients from seeking non-opioid pain care," said ABPM President Mitchell J. Cohen, MD.

Respondents to the survey listed a wide range of non-opioid therapies that have been subject to prior authorization, including:

  • Physical therapy limits, psychiatric services, occupational therapy.
  • Pain creams and patches (e.g., lidocaine, Lidoderm, Voltaren, topical NSAIDs).
  • Non-opioid prescription medications (e.g., Cymbalta, Lyrica, Celebrex).
  • Non-opioid pain treatments (e.g., TENS, facet blocks, spinal cord stimulators, epidural injections).

For more information about the survey, contact Mike Slawny, executive director of ABPM at mike.slawny@abpm.org.

 

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