May 29, 2018

In This Issue
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Community Health Options to Continue Participation in ACA Marketplace
Wording Proposed by Secretary of State for Home Health Referendum
MMA Past President Dr. Charles Pattavina Testifies to U.S. Senate Committee
CMS Releases SIM Report
Shaun Alfreds Appointed as Head of HealthInfoNet
Update Will Change Buprenorphine MME Display in Most State PMPs
Int’l Mediterranean Diet Month: Making the Case for a Healthy Diet as a Tool for Diabetes Prevention
New Interactive Online Course Ups Physicians’ Nutrition Knowledge, Supports Patients in Diabetes Prevention
Legislative Report: Appropriations Committee Meets May 30th
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
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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MMA Past President Dr. Charles Pattavina Testifies to U.S. Senate Committee

Dr. Charles Pattavina, MD, FACEP, discussed his experience treating this population, which is often overlooked in the current opioid crisis.

“While the effects of the opioid epidemic on seniors are in large part similar to the effects on the population as a whole, the epidemic does present some unique challenges for older Americans,” said Dr. Pattavina.

Dr. Pattavina explained how increased incidences of comorbidities and acute illnesses and injuries among older Americans make them more susceptible to opioid misuse.  Health care providers play a critical role in ensuring older adults’ pain is managed while reducing the risk for addiction.  Dr. Pattavina noted that education and outreach efforts as well as Maine’s prescription monitoring program help reduce the number of overprescribing outliers. 

To assist those facing addiction, Dr. Pattavina called for removing barriers to inpatient residential treatment and medication assisted therapy, as well as addressing the shortage of psychiatric services.  He also observed that seniors are affected by the opioid epidemic in other ways beyond prescription drug abuse.

“In addition to being at risk for crime such as having their medications stolen and diverted by caretakers, family members, and others, we are seeing many cases in which people who have become dependent on these medications seem to be tapered off them too quickly with little offered in the way of alternative pain management,” Dr. Pattavina continued.

“Many perceive the face of opioid addiction as young.  The epidemic, however, intersects just as much with older adults,” said Senator Collins. “While there is no silver bullet to ending this scourge, Congress and this Committee are fighting back on multiple fronts.  We are making progress, but we must continue to reexamine this issue from every angle, as the opioid crisis continues to tighten its grip not only on older adults, but also on the future generations of America.” 

In 2016, one in three people with Medicare Part D—14.4 million beneficiaries—received an opioid prescription, 500,000 received high amounts of opioids, and 90,000 were at “serious risk” of misuse or overdose according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also reported that opioid misuse doubled between 2002 and 2014 among Americans ages 50 and older.  Last year, the CDC reported that the amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.

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