August 26, 2019

In This Issue
MMA Annual Session in Bar Harbor September 6-8
MaineHealth & Anthem to Form Joint Insurance Venture
Celebrate 65 Years of MMA Executive Leadership on Oct. 26. Tickets Available Now
CDC: Many Adults Skip Diabetes Meds Due to Cost
Home Health Changes in CMS Rules: Implications for Primary Diagnosis
This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
USPSTF Updates Recommendations for Breast, Ovarian Cancer Gene Screening
CDC Videos on Discussing Vaccines With Parents, Patients
AMA Urges CMS to Reduce Administrative Burden on Physicians
MMA Legislative Calls Finished for the Session
Legislature Returns to Augusta for a Day August 26th
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
MICIS Individual Academic Detailing Sessions on Opioid Topics
2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update: September 10th at the Augusta Civic Center
2019 Clinical & Legal Opioid Update: MICIS Fall Presentations
VA Maine Healthcare System to Host Community Mental Health Summit on MAT September 11th
Quality Counts: Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training, ECHO Program
Obesity Medicine: There is no 'one size fits all' - Monthly Lecture Series Beginning September 18th
Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) Training Program - October 9
MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program to offer training for clinicians.
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
Physician Director of Primary Care
Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

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AMA Urges CMS to Reduce Administrative Burden on Physicians

[from AMA Advocacy Update]


The AMA recently submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Request for Information on "Reducing Administrative Burden to Put Patients Over Paperwork." The AMA continues to support this initiative and the agency's goal of alleviating the administrative burden federal programs place on physician practices. The increasing amount of administrative responsibility forced upon physicians adds unnecessary costs to practices and the Medicare program—and also negatively impacts patient care. The AMA argued that by reducing administrative burden, CMS can support the patient-physician relationship and let physicians focus on an individual patient's welfare and, more broadly, on protecting public health.

The AMA made recommendations on a variety of topics including addressing prior authorization, simplifying the Quality Payment Program (QPP), eliminating observation status, reforming open payments, streamlining appropriate use criteria and many more. Specifically, with prior authorization, the AMA urged CMS to take a leadership role and develop a comprehensive strategy to address concerns that includes all areas of the AMA Prior Authorization Consensus Statement:

  • Selective application of prior authorization (CMS should continue the successful Targeted Probe and Educate program; the AMA supports identification of outliers and education as needed.)
  • Review/adjustment of services/drugs that require prior authorization to eliminate low-value prior authorization (Applying prior authorization to services with high approval rates is costly for plans and providers.)
  • Improved communication of prior authorization requirements to patients and health care professionals (including CMS encouraging plans to disclose the clinical basis for their prior authorization requirements)
  • Protections of patient continuity of care, particularly when patients enroll in new plans or plans change prior authorization requirements
  • Automation to improve prior authorization transparency and process efficiency while maintaining physician oversight of payer access to electronic health record (EHR) data


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