Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 05/01/2017  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
•  MMA Board Withdraws Opposition to Death with Dignity Legislation
•  Appeals Court Upholds Rejection of Proposed Anthem-Cigna Merger
•  MMA, Lown Institute and Colleagues Present Challenges to Professionalism in a Time of Change, in Portsmouth, June 17
•  Watch for the Upcoming Issue of Maine Medicine Arriving this Week
•  MIPS Web-interface and CAHPS for MIPS Registration Open Until June 30
•  May is Lyme Disease Month
•  Maine DHHS Now Accepting Applcations for Opioid Health Homes
•  Physician-focused Payment Models Recommended to Secretary Price
128TH MAINE LEGISLATURE
•  Weekly MMA Legislative Committee Conference Call Information
•  Legislative Highlights of the Week
•  Save the Date! Physicians' Day at the Legislature, May 31st
•  L.D. 46 Eliminating Physician Exemption from Jury Duty Poses Threat to Physician Practices
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  MPHP Medical Professionals Conference - May 5
•  Maine Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Spring Meeting May 6-7
•  Learn How You Can Be Ready for the E-Prescribing Mandate: Free Webinars on May 10, May 24, and June 7
•  Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons Spring Educational Program & Business Meeting - May 12
•  Maine Chapter, American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting - May 19-21
•  How Can I Choose Wisely? A Community Conversation on Healthcare Changes and Rising Costs June 8
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Ship's Physician for Transatlantic Cruise
•  Physician Assistant - Newcastle
•  Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner Hospitalist - Full Time or Per Diem, Bridgton Hospital
•  Family Medicine Physician - Maine Medical Partners Primary Care - Standish, ME
•  Primary Care Physician - Eastern Maine Medical Center
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Part-time Clinical & Part-time Research Position in Central Maine
•  SALES - Regional Representative for Maine Rx Card
•  Family Medicine Physician - Winthrop, ME
•  DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Waterville, ME

 

L.D. 46 Eliminating Physician Exemption from Jury Duty Poses Threat to Physician Practices

In an ironic but dangerous twist, legislation to add nurse practitioners to the list of individuals exempt from jury duty has resulted in a near unanimous recommendation from the Judiciary Committee to eliminate all the current exemptions, including the exemption for physicians and dentists in active practice.

L.D. 46, An Act to Provide Consistency Among Medical Professionals with Regard to Jury Duty Exemption, was introduced at the request of the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association. MMA took no position on the bill, following discussion during one of the weekly calls of the Legislative Committee. But when the bill was heard before the Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary, the lobbyist for the Judicial branch presented an amendment which eliminated all of the current exemptions. When MMA representatives were advised of the amendment, we attended the work session but none of the outside interests were provided an opportunity to present the arguments against the amendment at the work session. The bill, now with the amendment, has strong support from the Judiciary Committee but strong opposition from the sponsor of the original bill, Senator Nate Libby (D., Lewiston). As a member of leadership (Assistant Democratic Leader in the Senate) Senator Libby will seek to kill the bill in the Senate.

 
A recent survey by MMA of membership on the question of whether physicians should remain exempt from jury duty showed strong support for retaining the exemption (68% in favor, 20% opposed and 12% with no opinion). Along with Senator Libby, MMA will seek to defeat the bill on the Senate floor in the coming days. For MMA members regularly in contact with their State Senators, it would be helpful if you would mention this bill and both the process issue (no hearing on the amendment, despite it being directly contrary to the bill's intent) and the difficulty it would pose to the efficient operation of medical and dental practices.   

 A vote in the Senate is expected on Tuesday or Thursday of this week.