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Maine Medicine Weekly Update: 11/16/2021

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Maine CDC Finalizes Health Care Vaccine Mandate; Independent Physician Practices Left Out

The final rule removes dentists and EMS workers. The latter because the EMS Board adopted own mandate. The final rule does not include independent physician offices.

The Maine CDC has adopted final routine technical rule changes amending 10-144 CMR chapter 264, Immunization Requirements for Healthcare Workers.

It adds COVID-19 vaccinations to the list of vaccine preventable diseases for which Designated Healthcare Facility employees must show proof of immunization or provide appropriate exemption documentation. Read More

Federal Appeals Court Halts Biden Administrationís Vaccine Requirement

The decision blocked the recently released Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule applicable to business with over 100 employees. The OSHA rule WOULD HAVE applied to independent physician offices with more than 100 employees.


Last Friday (Nov 12), the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reaffirmed a prior temporary injunction against implementation or enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard mandating COVID-19 vaccination and testing. Read More


Donít Forget About COVID-19 Booster Shot Availability

For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

For the more than 96,000 Maine people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no charge at sites across the state. Read More

American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Interim Guidance on COVID Testing, Face Masks, MIS-C

The AAP has updated its interim guidance on when children should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 based on whether they have symptoms and whether they are fully vaccinated.

It also updated its guidance on COVID-19 vaccination after multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and aligned its face mask recommendations with its sports guidance. Read More

FDA May Expand Boosters; Pfizer Asks FDA for COVID-19 Pill Authorization

FDA may soon issue broader guidance on boosters for adults

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Friday (meeting information; website link) to discuss expanding booster eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine.

A government official confirmed to ABC News that the FDA may issue guidance on Pfizer and Moderna boosters for adults as soon as this week.

Pfizer asks FDA for COVID-19 pill authorization

Pfizer is asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of its antiviral pill for combatting COVID-19. The company has stated that trials found the pills reduced the risk of hospitalizations and deaths by 90 percent.

Authorization for a Pfizer pill is not expected until early next year.

The Biden administration plans to buy enough of Pfizer's anti-Covid pill to treat 10 million people.

What Else We’re Reading: Read More


Maine Board of Licensure of Medicine & Board of Osteopathic Medicine Proposed Rules

The following draft rules were posted this week on the Maine Secretary of State’s website.

CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 11, Joint Rule Regarding Telehealth Standards of Practice

PUBLIC HEARING: None planned.

COMMENT DEADLINE: Friday, December 10, 2021 by 4:30 p.m.


CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 12, Joint Rule Regarding Office Based Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

PUBLIC HEARING: None planned.

COMMENT DEADLINE: Friday, December 10, 2021 by 4:30 p.m. Read More


Q&A Session-ME Jobs & Recovery Small Business Grant Program

Please join the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) for a Q&A session about the Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program, Friday, November 19, at 1:00pm. Read More


CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) & Quality Payment Program (QPP) Final Rule Summary

On November 3, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Program; CY 2022 Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Provider Enrollment Regulation Updates; and Provider and Supplier Prepayment and Post-payment Medical Review Requirements final rule (scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on November 19, 2021 – Document number 2021-23972).

Read More

CMS Releases Final 2022 Physician Fee Schedule & Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Final Rules.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) last week. It includes changes to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment model (APM) participation options and requirements for 2022.

CMS also released the 2022 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System final rule. This rule finalizes CY 2022 OPPS and ASC payment rates and policies, including updates to improve transparency and quality reporting. Read More

Stop Medicare Cuts Ė Call to Action

***Grassroots Update from the AMA***

As Congress continues to fight over reconciliation, infrastructure and raising the debt ceiling there is a looming Medicare payment crisis that, if not addressed, could have devastating consequences for Medicare patients and our health care system.

On January 1, 2022 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will drastically reduce payments for certain health care providers. If Congress does not act to stop these cuts, it will further strain practices that are still struggling to keep their doors open during the ongoing pandemic. Read More


Highlights from the November 2021 AMA Special Meeting

The AMA website tracked the news and other key moments from the AMA House of Delegates’ virtual meeting which took place November 12th through the 16th.

The meeting covered countless important policy issues of interest and concern, including but not limited to:

  • Maternal Health Care Inequities
  • Teens Need Privacy, Confidentiality During Telehealth Visits
  • Protect Future Doctors’ Access to Abortion Education, Training
  • MDs, DOs Should Decide Who Gets Medical Vaccine Exemptions
  • Stop Payers from Wrongly Charging EFT Fees
  • Pursue Harm-Reduction Approach to Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths
  • Strengthen U.S. Public Health Systems
  • How To Help Cover Over 29 Million Still Uninsured
Read More


MedPage Today: Is ERAS Glitch Impeding Residency Interviews?

Several students have claimed they are missing letters of recommendation along with their applications

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC0 calls reports "unsubstantiated"

One applicant was sure she submitted four letters of recommendation. After she checked she found all of them received just one letter of recommendation.

The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) researched the issue and found that the missing letters of recommendation were not attached to programs when she submitted her application.

At the end of October, other residency candidates took to social media to express concerns about what they believed to be an ERAS glitch.

One applicant found that their United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) transcript, photo, personal statement, and all three letters of recommendation were missing for half of the programs they applied to. Read More


AMA: Your Private Practice Wants to Advance Equity. Start Here.

According to the AMA, “achieving health equity requires structural change, but there are concrete steps that smaller physician practices can take.”

The following AMA news article identifies that as “awareness of the need to advance health equity grows, you and your colleagues may be asking what your private physician practice can do to help in the effort to achieve optimal health for each of your patients.” Read More


Scammers Target Medical Conferences

According to MedPage Today article, medical society meetings are increasingly facing online attacks from fraudsters looking to gain information about their attendees, or even access to their email accounts.

A "fraud alert" published on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) website in late September warned members to watch out for emails from scammers. Many involve phishing scams offering attendee lists to members planning to go to this month's Scientific Congress in Baltimore. Read More


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.

  Read More

SUPPORT For ME Training and Technical Assistance Webinar on December 1

Register now for webinar on Wednesday, December 1st from 12:00-1:00pm. Read More

Suicide Assessment & Management for Clinical Staff Dec 6th, 13th & 20th 3-5pm

NAMI Maine's Suicide Assessment and Management training is a 3-part virtual workshop designed to prepare a new or seasoned healthcare or mental health clinician to understand the risk of suicide, how to approach and complete an effective suicide risk assessment. This 3-part workshop is scheduled on 3 consecutive Mondays, December 6, 13 and 20,  from 3-5pm. Read More

Maine Independent Clinical Information Service: MICIS presentations & Academic Detailing

Schedule a 1-hour presentation at your medical practice or hospital, or request an individual Academic Detailing session. Read More

State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) Webinar: November 19, 11AM

In anticipation of the release of the 2021 State Profile on Substance Use Trends, the State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) will be conducting a webinar addressing the Key Findings of the report. The webinar will highlight the emerging trends and patterns regarding the consumption, consequences, and contributing factors of substance use in Maine. As with all SEOW resources, this webinar was developed to help guide prevention professionals and stakeholders in making data driven decisions.  Read More


Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine)

Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine) seeks aPhysician (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.
Read More

Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Bingham Area Health Center

Bingham Area Health Center 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. Read More

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