March 25, 2019

In This Issue
MMA Extends its Appreciation to Maine Physicians in Observance of Doctors' Day, March 30th
Insurers' Progress on Fixing Prior Authorization is Disappointingly Slow
New Resource Shows How to Counsel Patients About Firearm Safety
Stopping the Scourge of Social Media Misinformation on Vaccines
MIPS Deadline: Submit 2018 Data by April 2nd
Photos from Physicians' Day at the Legislature 2019
Boards Seek Comments on Proposed Rule for Office-based Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, March 26th
State House Highlights of the Week: Prior Authorization is Among Issues Before HCIFS Committee, HHS Takes Testimony on Extended Opioid Prescriptions
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
Identifying Substance Use Early Saves Lives! - SBIRT with Motivational Interviewing Training - 1-day Sessions Offered on April 6 and June 8
NAMI Maine’s Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention Conference - Friday, April 12, 2019
Mid Coast Maine - Adult Psychiatrist and/ Psychiatric NP/PA Opportunity
Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
PCHC in need of Pediatrician for Brand New Pediatric Center!
Medical Director - Maine Mobile Health Program
Board Certified Family Physician - Newport, RI
Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
BC/BE Family Medicine Physician
Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

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MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, March 26th

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, March 26th, 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: 

March 26, 2019

*LD 1337,  An Act To Save Lives by Establishing a Homeless Opioid Users Service Engagement Program within the Department of Health and Human Services. Establishes program for rapid accerss to low-barrier treatment, with stable housing, for 50 homeless opioid users.

LD 1343,  An Act To Improve Health Education and Physical Education in Schools. Requires ½ hour per day of health  ed and 1 hour per day of physical ed, at all levels.

LD 1344,  An Act To Improve Nutrition in Maine Schools. Concept draft, to codify federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

*LD 1349,  An Act To Create a Licensing Board and Licensure Requirements for Intentional Peer Support Specialists. Creates new license category and requires licensure for “intentional peer support” for persons with mental health or SUD issues.

LD 1350,  An Act To Improve Rural Health Care. State tax deductions to employee for hospital-paid student loan payments; MaineCare rate increase for physician costs in at least 6 named rural hospitals & clinics.

*LD 1351,  An Act To Allow for the Recovery and Redistribution of Food in Public Schools. Requires variance of food safety rules to allow uneaten food taken by students to be placed on share table and redistributed during same meal or later.

*LD 1352,  An Act To Provide for Consistency Regarding Persons Authorized To Conduct Examinations for Involuntary Hospitalization and Guardianship. Adds PAs, NPs, CPCNs, to physicians and psychologists as persons authorized.

LD 1353,  An Act To Establish Transparency in Primary Health Care Spending. Defines primary care and requires insurers to report primary care expenditures to MHDO; requires other studies.

LD 1356,  Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapters II and III, Section 40: Home Health Services, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Health and Human Services. As stated.

LD 1360,  Resolve, To Expand Eligibility for Presumptive Eligibility Determinations by Hospitals. Rule amendment for expanded eligibility, including care by Home health agency, long-term home care program, hospice or residential health care facility. Hospitals must assist with MaineCare application forms.

*LD 1361,  An Act Regarding Health Care Providers and Patient Trust. Prohibits state from requiring licensed persons to provide information not medically accurate or appropriate for patient, not evidence based, and from prohibiting dissemination of such information. Does not alter standard of care or licensee’s duty to patient. Applies to licensees of MD, DO, and nursing boards.

LD 1362,  An Act To Fund Opioid Treatment by Establishing an Excise Tax on Manufacturers of Opioids. Establishes Opioid Stewardship Fund, taxes opioids distributed in State at $0.001 per MME. Exempts tax exempt persons and opioids used for MAT. Prohibits manufacturers from passing tax on to consumers.

LD 1373,  Resolve, To Reduce MaineCare Spending through Targeted Nutrition Interventions. Requires application for demonstration waiver for medically tailored food & nutrition on order of health care provider.

LD 1374,  An Act To Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Prohibits delivery of medical MJ except from registered dispensary or registered caregiver retail store, or from caregiver’s plants within legal 30-plant limit.

LD 1376,  An Act To Direct the Department of Education To Amend Its Rules To Ensure That Physical Restraint and Seclusion Policies Are Followed for Special Education Students and Make Biennial Reports on the Use of Physical Restraint and Seclusion. As stated, birth to age 20, reports of all uses.

LD 1377,  An Act To Enhance and Improve the Maine Developmental Services Oversight and Advisory Board and To Establish an Independent Oversight Panel To Review Deaths of and Serious Injuries to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism. Establishes 14-member panel reporting to DHHS Commissioner and Developmental Services Oversight Board. Also requires disclosures of Adult Protective Services reports to board and to person’s guardian, shifts administration of Board’s budget to DAFS.

*LD 1378,  An Act To Ensure the Provision of Medical Assessments for Youth in Foster Care. Requires DHHS to provide medical overview to foster homes and requires appointment for medical exam within 3 working days of DHHS custody (reduced from current 10).

*LD 1384,  An Act Relating to Complementary and Alternative Medicine Licensure. Establishes new license category for “holistic health practitioner”, with licensing criteria.

*LD 1385,  An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Corrections Officers Who Suffer Certain Injuries, Impairments or Medical Conditions. Establishes rebuttable presumption of compensability for disabling infectious diseases, heart disease, and hypertension, and provides supplemental benefits.

*LD 1387,  An Act To Increase Access to Safe and Affordable Prescription Drugs. Allows individual importation of prescription drugs from Canada, with exceptions.

*LD 1389,  An Act To Address Transparency, Accountability and Oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Allows DHHS to revoke PBM registration for fraud or to protect consumer safety or “interest.” Defines certain PBM prohibited practices and requires annual reports. (See LD 1409.)

LD 1399,  An Act To Improve Oral Health and Access to Dental Care for Maine Children. $1.6 million over 2 years for oral health employees, expanded preventive services, and reporting.

LD 1402,  An Act To Allow State-chartered Credit Unions To Service Medical and Adult Use Marijuana Business Accounts. Allows state-chartered CUs to procure private insurance rather than NCUA coverage to service these businesses and employees.

LD 1406,  An Act To Require Certification of Radiologic Technologists Who Are Licensed Chiropractic Assistants. As stated, lists criteria.

*LD 1409,  An Act To Improve Price Transparency of Prescription Drugs Sold in Maine. New definitions and reporting requirements for pharmacy benefits managers, including requirement to pass on to consumers at least half of prescription drug savings and rebates negotiated by PBM, with annual transparency report. Must report certain drug costs and price increases.

*LD 1410,  An Act To Create Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits. Maximum benefit 100% of state average weekly wage, rate is 90% or 67% depending on wage rate. Covers any employee who has worked 26 or more weeks for employer during prior 12 months, or self-employed person who elects coverage. All employments covered regardless of size. State insurance fund established, funded by wage tax (not ton wages below $12K per year).

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