February 4, 2019

In This Issue
State House Report: MMA Testifies on Gun Violence and Patient Protection Bills
MMA Wants Your Feedback: Physician Wellness Survey
E-cigarettes Better Than Other Nicotine Replacement Therapies
Azar Proposes Shifting Drug Rebates From PBMs to Consumers
AMA State Advocacy Summit: 8 Physician Advocacy Wins that Set the Stage for 2019
Researchers Say Outpatient Use of Benzodiazepines Increasing
MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, February 5th
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
Enrollment Underway for Maine’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute - The Advanced Course - Deadline Extended to February 8, 2019
Webinar Presented by Baystate Financial - Sources of Retirement Income - Tuesday, February 12th
Identifying Substance Use Early Saves Lives! - SBIRT with Motivational Interviewing Training - 1-day Sessions Offered on March 2 and April 6
NAMI Maine’s Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention Conference - Friday, April 12, 2019
Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
Urgent Care Physician - South Portland, ME
PCHC in need of Pediatrician at Multiple Locations!
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Full-time Board Certified/Board Eligible MD/DO
Outpatient Family Medicine - Brunswick, Maine
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

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MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, February 5th

MMA Legislative Committee Chairs Jay Mullen, M.D. and Lindsey Tweed, M.D. welcome you to participate in the weekly conference calls of the MMA Legislative Committee.

The last MMA Legislative Committee weekly conference call for the First Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature will take place Tuesday, February 5th, at 8:00 p.m.

Legislative Committee members and specialty society legislative liaisons are strongly encouraged to participate. Any physician, practice manager, or other staff member who is interested in the MMA's legislative advocacy also is welcome to participate. It is not necessary to RSVP for the calls.

Please use the following conference call number and passcode. These will remain the same for every weekly call during the session.

Conference call number: 1-603-766-5646

Participant ID - 699139#

The purpose of the weekly conference calls is to discuss the MMA's position on bills printed the previous week, to hear the views of specialty societies on the new bills or their concerns about any current health policy issues, and to discuss the highlights of legislative action of the week. The calls rarely last longer than an hour.

The following are bills of interest to the physician community printed last week. (For those not familiar with the term, a "concept draft" is a bill that contains only a title and a brief description of what it is intended to do. It does not contain the actual bill text.) We will discuss the priority bills marked with an asterisk (*) first. This will be important when the list grows in the next few weeks.

Following are the bills of the week: 

February 5, 2019

LD 493: An Act To Provide Lung Cancer Counseling and Screening for MaineCare Recipients. Reimbursement for shared decision making for certain lung cancer screenings.

*LD 494: An Act To Update the Family Planning Statutes. Significant language changes to family planning laws (e.g., “pregnancy” replaces “conception”).

LD 496: An Act To Extend the Availability of Protection from Abuse and Protection from Harassment Orders. Expands definition of family or household member.

LD 498: Resolve, Regarding Reimbursement of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Codes under MaineCare. Rate setting for Sections 68 and 85.

*LD 500: An Act To Extend the Limitation on Prescribing Opioids for Certain Individuals with Chronic Pain. Allows 6 month prescriptions for long term or elderly patients. (Constituent request.)

LD 506: An Act To Provide Architects, Engineers and Certain Other Professionals Immunity from Civil Liability When Volunteering for Evaluating Damage from Disasters. Gives immunity in disaster situations to a variety of professionals…but not health care personnel.

LD 508: Resolve, To Study the Protection of Youth and Young Adults from Addiction and Premature Death by Restricting Marketing of Tobacco Products. Requires AG’s office to study tobacco industry marketing practices and regulatory options to prevent youth and young adult use of addictive tobacco products.

LD 511: An Act To Create an Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Coordinator Position within the Department of Health and Human Services. As stated, to implement US CDC and other recommendations.

LD 516: An Act To Establish a Statewide Voluntary Firearm Collection Day and Ongoing Program. As stated, by Dept. of Public Safety. Free service, collected items to be destroyed unless stolen or used in a crime.

*LD 519: An Act To Expand Adult Dental Health Insurance Coverage. Requires MaineCare and other health insurance to include comprehensive dental coverage.

LD 529: An Act To Provide Property Tax Deferral for Senior Citizens and People with Physical Disabilities. Reinstates property tax deferral program for elders & disabled, raises income limit to $40,000.

LD 530: An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Subrogation Rights for Medical Payments Coverage. Requires insurer to notify insured of intent to subrogate, prohibits insurer from paying medical claims under MedPay coverage if insured entitled to coverage under other health insurance.

LD 531: An Act To Provide Counsel for a Person Who Is the Subject of an Adult Guardianship, Conservatorship or Other Protective Arrangement Proceeding. As stated, without need for a request by person.

*LD 532:  Resolve, Directing Professional Licensing and Certification Boards To Study the Barriers To Obtaining Professional Licensure and Certification. As stated, for all Title 32 licenses (includes physicians). Includes study of reciprocity.

LD 533: An Act To Eliminate the Statutory Duty To Retreat and Affirm the Right of Self-defense. As stated. Applies to use of deadly force.

LD 536: An Act To Direct the Judicial Branch To Establish a Veterans Treatment Court. As stated, for veterans and members.

LD 538: An Act To Ensure Access to Medical Cannabis for Visiting Qualifying Patients. Repeals requirement that visitors designate registered caregiver or dispensary.

LD 539: Resolve, To Ensure Appropriate Personal Needs Allowances for Persons Residing in Long-term Care Facilities. Raises limits from $40 to $70 (nursing) and from $70 to $100 (residential).

*LD 542: An Act To Allow a Person To Enter a Place of Public Accommodation Accompanied by a Medically Necessary Assistance Animal That Is a Dog. Expands service animal rule to include assistance dogs that are not service animals.

LD 544: An Act To Create Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-consumer Waste Generated from the Use of Tobacco Products. Concept draft, makes tobacco producers responsible for waste management.

*LD 545: An Act to Ban Child Marriage. Removes all exceptions to ban on marriage under age 16.

LD 548: An Act To Prohibit a Person under 18 Years of Age from Being Charged with the Crime of Engaging in Prostitution. As stated.

LD 549: An Act To Promote Academic Achievement through Hunger Relief for Maine Children. Provides free lunch for children entitled to reduced price lunch. (Under 185% federal poverty level.)

*LD 551: An Act To Ban Nicotine Liquid Containers. Currently allowed if in child resistant container.

LD 552: An Act Relating to Penalties for an Employer for the Retail Sale of Tobacco Products to a Minor when the Employer Possesses a Driver's License Reader. Seller has no legal exposure if employee does not use the device.

*LD 555: An Act To Reduce Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Updating Screening Coverage. Removes age restrictions on coverage.

*LD 558: An Act To Amend the Continuing Education Requirements for Prescribers of Opioid Medication. Reduces CME requirement from 3 to 1 hour after first 3 hour session.

LD 577: An Act To Increase Access to Nutritious Foods in Schools by Implementing an After-school Food Program for At-risk Students. Participation in federal child and adult care food program.

LD 578: Resolve, To Create a Pilot Program To Assist the Transition to Recovery of Persons Suffering from Opioid Use Disorder. As stated. DHHS to establish details.

LD 583: Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Study the State's Long-term Services and Supports System for Older Adults. As stated.

*LD 593: Resolve, To Stabilize the Behavioral Health Workforce and Avert More Expensive Treatments. Section 65 rate increase and wage increase. $11 million over 2 years, drawing $19.5 million in federal funds.

LD 600: An Act To Achieve Mental Health Parity in Workers' Compensation. Reduces standard of proof for mental stress injuries from clear and convincing to preponderance (more probable than not), and equalizes standard for aggravation of preexisting condition.

LD 605: An Act To Improve Antihunger Programs in Maine Schools. Sets date deadline for DoE to provide application information to schools.

LD 615: An Act To Protect the Integrity of the MaineCare Program. Prohibits changes by department without Legislative approval (MaineCare and CHIP).

LD 616: An Act To Create Uniform Practices for Medicare Beneficiaries in Small Group Plans. Makes small group (<20) coverage primary over Medicare B.

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