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

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In this issue:
•  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
•  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
•  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
•  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


May is Lyme Disease Month

A message and resource list for physicians from the Maine CDC about Lyme disease: help your patients to protect themselves.

Be Tick Smart

Lyme disease remains the most common tick-borne disease in Maine, with 1,473 cases reported in 2016 (preliminary as of 3/1/17). While ticks can be active at any temperature above freezing, they are most active in warmer months. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine, and we ask you to please help us stress the importance of tick education. Specifically, we ask you to encourage patients to “be tick smart” when spending time outdoors.  This includes daily tick checks, wearing protective clothing, using EPA approved repellents, and using caution in areas where ticks may be.

Important Things to Remember

·       Lyme disease is preventable by avoiding contact with infected ticks and tick infested areas.

·       Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). The tick must be attached to an individual for 24-48 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted.

·       The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans (EM), a “bull’s eye” rash that appears 3-30 days after transmission (seen in about 60 to 80 percent of cases nationwide). Other early symptoms include: fatigue, fever, headaches, arthralgia, and myalgia.

·       Disseminated symptoms include: arthritis including joint swelling, Bell’s palsy and other cranial neuritis, encephalitis, lymphocytic meningitis, radiculoneuropathy, and second- or third-degree atrioventricular block.

·       Antibiotic therapy is effective for the treatment of Lyme disease. Clinical treatment guidelines are available at the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)’s website.

Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by Ixodes scapularis. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan are three other tickborne infections found in Maine. The number of cases of anaplasmosis rose to 372 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) and the number of babesiosis cases rose to 82 (preliminary as of 3/1/17) in 2016. The majority of tickborne illnesses occur during the summer months when ticks and humans are active outdoors. If you see a patient with “summer flu,” especially if their WBC is low - think anaplasmosis and send samples for PCR testing.

Thank you for your invaluable help in preventing tickborne diseases here in Maine.


·       IDSA treatment guidelines available at

·       Lyme disease case report form available on the web at under Resources for Physicians

·       “Tick-Borne Disease in Maine:  A Physicians Reference Manual” is available online at under Tick Resources.  Paper copies can be requested through 

·       University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab submission instructions found at

·       To continue getting updates throughout May please like our Facebook page at

·       For additional questions, please call Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 or email

·       Tickborne videos can be found on our website on the left hand side of the page