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February 26, 2021

In This Issue
BREAKING: Washington Post Reports, “FDA advisers recommend authorization of Johnson & Johnson single-dose coronavirus vaccine”
BREAKING: Maine Adopts Age-based Approach to Expanding Vaccine Eligibility
Committee Delays Debate on Bill to Eliminate Nurse Practitioner Training
“Community Based Collaboration Form” Vaccine Request Available from Maine DHHS/CDC
Maine PMP to Stay with Appriss System
CMS Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage 2021
Sue Woods, MD, MPH-- Internet connectivity that just works will help Maine thrive
Incoming MMA President, Jeffrey Barkin, MD, DFAPA on WGAN Radio
Next MMA Legislative Call Will Be Wednesday, March 3rd
Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership’s Renowned Physician Executive Leadership Institute – The Advanced Course Enrollment is OPEN
PPE Available Through the MMA & ActionPPE
A Message from Maine Responds: Volunteer Opportunity
MAINE LEGISLATURE
Maine Legislature Week 7 Update
Maine Legislature: Public Hearings & Work Sessions
UPCOMING EVENTS
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
Maine CDC Physicians To Host Regular Clinician COVID Vaccine Info Sessions
Suicide Prevention and Management in Healthcare Practice Settings: A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Approach
Maine CDC Annual Prevention Professionals Conference - March 2nd-3rd
AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Nursing Director
Medical Director - Bucksport Regional Health Center
Rangeley Family Medicine seeks Physician
Nurse Practitioner
Physician
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

 
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Committee Delays Debate on Bill to Eliminate Nurse Practitioner Training

The Maine Legislature’s Joint Committee On Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services held a public hearing last week on a bill that would remove from law any post-graduate supervision and training requirements for newly licensed advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) and would leave the development of scope and standards of practice entirely under the purview of the Maine State Board of Nursing and decision makers outside of Maine. 

If the bill becomes law there will be no requirement for newly graduated advanced practice registered nurses to have any post graduate training upon graduating from an accredited nurse practice educational program, while keeping in place residency requirements for physicians. 

If LD 295 passes, the only legal requirements for licensure in Maine for nurse practitioners will be: 

Advanced practice registered nurse's scope of practice will be specified by the Board of Nursing by rulemaking, “taking into consideration any national standards that exist;” and 

Standards of practice for advanced practice registered nurses would also be overseen by the Nursing Board, “taking into consideration any national standards that may exist.” 

A certified nurse practitioner or a certified nurse midwife who qualifies as an advanced practice registered nurse may prescribe and dispense drugs or devices, or both, in accordance with rules adopted by the board. 

The following section of law will be removed by passing LD 295: 

A certified nurse practitioner who qualifies as an advanced practice registered nurse must practice, for at least 24 months, under the supervision of a licensed physician or a supervising nurse practitioner or must be employed by a clinic or hospital that has a medical director who is a licensed physician.  The certified nurse practitioner shall submit written evidence to the board upon completion of the required clinical experience. 

If LD 295 becomes law, physicians will still be required to complete residency, PAs will still need 4,000 hours of training and collaboration under a law passed last year, but nurse practitioners will be allowed by state law to practice independently from day one after graduation. 

We are asking legislators to not be fooled by the argument that the NP is practicing "nursing" and not "medicine." It is a distinction without a difference under longstanding Maine law. The scope of practice for advanced practice nursing, by law only, is the functional equivalent to that of a physician in the field despite the training and educational differences. 

The Committee has not yet rescheduled discussion, debate, and a potential vote on LD 295. It is critically important for patient safety that as many MMA members as possible reach out to legislators on the committee to express your opposition to the bill. 

Our testimony in opposition to the bill can be found here, as well as testimony against the bill from the Maine Osteopathic Association and Spectrum Healthcare Partners. 

You can watch/listen to the full February 18 hearing on the bill by clicking here

Retired neurologist, and state Representative, Patty Hymanson, M.D., provided testimony in opposition. It can be found here.

MMA Director of Communications & Government Affairs, Dan Morin’s verbal testimony - written testimony 

Maine Osteopathic Association verbal testimonywritten testimony 

Committee Members and the communities they represent are listed below. Click on their names for contact Information: 

Senator Heather Sanborn Westbrook and part of Portland – Chair 

Senator Stacy Brenner Scarborough/Gorham 

Senator Trey Stewart Numerous towns in Aroostook County 

Representative Denise Tepler Topsham – Chair 

Representative Poppy Arford Brunswick 

Representative Mark Blier Limington / Standish (Part) / Buxton (Part) / Limerick (Part) 

Representative Heidi Brooks Lewiston 

Representative Jon Connor Lewiston 

Representative Richard Evans Atkinson/ Brownville/ Dover-Foxcroft/ Lake View/ Medford/ Milo/ Orneville Township 

Representative Kristi Mathieson Kittery 

Representative Gina Melaragno Auburn 

Representative Joshua Morris Leeds/ Turner/ Livermore (Part) 

Representative Tracy Quint Amity/ Bancroft/ Benedicta Township/ Cary/ Glenwood/ Haynesville/ Hodgdon/ Houlton/ Macwahoc/ Orient/ Reed/ Weston/ Molunkus Township/ Silver Ridge Township/ South Aroostook 

Please contact MMA Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Dan Morin at dmorin@mainemed.com or by phone at 207-480-4199 for more information or background on the bill or questions about contacting committee legislators in opposition of the bill. 

Regular legislative updates on MMA issues of importance can also be found Facebook and Twitter

 

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