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December 9, 2020

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Advisory Committee Approves Pfizer Vaccine; FDA: Final EUA Decision Could Come Friday or Saturday.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee met publicly Thursday and approved emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s well-publicized COVID-19 vaccine for people over age 16.

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Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Wants Focus on Independent Physicians

Prior to the Thursday, December 10, FDA vaccine advisory committee recommendation to approve emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, another federal advisory panel recommended that healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is authorized for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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State Legislative Committees Announced

Hot of the presses and maybe scoop worthy! Maine Legislative leaders released committee assignments late Friday afternoon. The announcement comes somewhat earlier than previous legislative sessions.

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Maine CDC Friday Update: Gov Doubles Down on Mask Order; Quarantine Clarified, Etc…

Governor Mills and Dr. Shah conducted the regularly scheduled Friday Maine CDC briefing.

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Maine CDC Physicians To Host Regular Clinician COVID Vaccine Info Sessions

CDC physicians, and MMA members, Stephen Sears, M.D, MPH, and Lisa Letourneau M.D., MPH will be hosting a series of 30-minute Clinician Info Sessions twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) for the next couple of months to provide key information on the emerging COVID-19 vaccines & offer an opportunity for Q&A with clinicians statewide.

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Committee on Race, Ethnicity, and Health Disparities Meets

MMA’s Committee on Race, Ethnicity, and Health Disparities met Thursday, December 10, for introductions and discussion on the short-term and long-term focus and expected goals for the committee.

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US CDC Webinar (Dec 14) - What Every Clinician Should Know about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

During this COCA call, clinicians will learn how they can educate their patients about what to expect after COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, they will learn how they can play an important role in monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

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Maine ER Physician on WMTW-8 Warns of ‘Breaking Point,’ Urges Mainers to Wear Masks

Maine physician, Dr. Brandon Giberson urged Mainers to wear masks on WMTW-8, Tuesday, after Maine CDC announced major changes to contact tracing Monday.

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Is the Legacy PMP System (Appriss) Still Working? What About Rx.Gov?

The state’s launch of its new Rx.Gov PMP system continues to be delayed. The official migration delays are due to the technical considerations enabling interstate data queries for Rx.Gov. The goal is to ensure the new system contains the best data, that it displays correctly, and that Maine’s prescription drug data is complete and accurate for the ongoing battle against the opioid crisis.

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PPE Available Through the MMA & ActionPPE

The Maine Medical Association is teaming with ActionPPE.org for access to PPE SUPPLIES for the safety of your patients, your staff, and communities!!

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Maine CDC Message on Updated Quarantine Information

On December 2, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released a Scientific Brief on Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing, based on a review of new epidemiological and modeling data.

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Strategies for Addressing Disparate Impacts of COVID-19

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) presents the next webinar in the series focused on sharing insights, creative approaches, and best practices for working with Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian people to promote health equity in the time of COVID 19.  Please join us for the next webinar on Wed, Dec 16 to talk with vaccine experts and community leaders to explore issues related to building trust related to the COVID-19 vaccines.

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Recent COVID-19 Media Updates

 Links to recent COVID-19 media updates.

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Direct Payments, State & Local Funding and Liability Holding Up Federal COVID Relief

The three issues of direct payments to constituents, state and local budget funding relief and COVID business liability have stalled attempts to craft another COVID-19 relief package from Congress in the $900 billion dollar range.

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President-elect Biden Names HHS, CDC Nominees

— Both a surprise to Beltway pundits.

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Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Summary

Special thanks to the American Medical Association staff for this excellent summary of the final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

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Attention All Providers: Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) Audit

The State of Maine is currently in the process of a federally mandated PERM audit for Reporting Year (RY) 2021. This audit covers randomly selected paid claims with a payment date from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. If a provider’s claims have been selected for the audit, they will receive a request for medical records from NCI, Inc., who has contracted with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct the audit.

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New Physician Assistant Laws & Rules Compliance

The MMA is now turning its attention from the two-year long legislative debate resulting in the law (PL 2019 Ch. 627) to the finalizing of joint rules by the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine and Maine Board of Osteopathic Licensure.

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Hanley's PELI Advanced Course Enrollment is OPEN!

Enrollment is now under way for the Daniel Hanley Center’s sixth annual Physician Executive Leadership Institute—Advanced Course. Be sure to save your seat in the next cohort as we can only accept the first 35 physician enrollments!

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Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings. Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

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MOA VIRTUAL Midwinter Symposium - Feb 12-14, 2021

The Maine Osteopathic Association has opened Early Bird Registration for its VIRTUAL Midwinter Symposium, being held February 12-14, 2021.

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Maine CDC Annual Prevention Professionals Conference - March 2-3, 2021

The health and safety of Maine prevention professionals is our first priority, for this reason the Prevention Professionals Conference planned for October 2020 has been rescheduled to March 2 & 3, 2021. The conference will be held virtually over two days.

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Behavioral Health Clinician

Sacopee Valley Health Center is seeking a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the passion and skills to deliver high-quality healthcare. Sacopee Valley Health Center has been providing care to our communities since 1976.
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Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Nasson Health Care is seeking a qualified Nurse Practitioner to work collaboratively with a team of health and administrative professionals to provide comprehensive primary care to patients while utilizing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care delivery. 
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Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine)

Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine) seeks a Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services.
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