Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 07/17/2017  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  The Latest on the Senate Republican Health Care Proposal
•  Maine Quality Counts Taps Larry Clifford as Executive Director
•  DHHS Announces 31 Day Grace Period for Enforcement of E-prescribing Penalties
•  Learn How You Can Be Ready for the E-Prescribing Mandate: Webinar on Wednesday, July 19 12pm
•  PMP Peer Reports Expected Soon
•  Board of Licensure in Medicine Proposes Changes to Chapter 1 Rules
•  Loan and Trust Committee Approves $515,000 in Loans to Medical Students from Maine
•  Nominations for the 2017 Mary F. Cushman Award Due By August 1
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Many Physicians, Still Fuzzy on Details, Feel Unprepared for QPP
•  MMA Annual Golf Tournament
•  Legislative Report
•  State Budget Vote Report
•  Opioid Prescribing Presentation: Wednesday, July 19 from 5-8:30pm in Auburn
•  Call-in Program on MIPS and APM - July 26, August 9 & August 30
•  16th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium - September 15-17
•  Patient Safety Academy - September 29
•  Register Now for the MMA and Maine Health Management Coalition 2017 Symposium on October 11
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Family Medicine Physician - Pittsfield, 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
•  Family Medicine Physician - Winthrop, ME
•  DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Waterville, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician/Clinician Leader - Portland, ME
•  Family Medicine - Windham, ME
•  Nurse Practitioner - Swift River Family Medicine - Rumford, ME
•  Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner - Bridgton, ME
•  Hospitalist - Brunswick, ME
•  Gastroenterologist - Brunswick, ME
•  Ophthalmologist - Brunswick, ME
•  Family Nurse Practitioner - Sacopee Valley Health Center
•  BC/BE Family Medicine Physician Livermore Falls, ME
•  Internal Medicine Physician - Bangor, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Scarborough, ME


The Latest on the Senate Republican Health Care Proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has established Friday, July 21 as a tentative deadline for deciding whether the votes are present to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act. No vote will be held this week because of the absence of Senator John McCain who is at his home in Arizona recovering from a recent craniotomy for removal of a blood clot above his left eye.

But Senator McCain's condition may be more serious than originally thought, and it may delay his return to Washington by one to two weeks, according to a story in the New York Times. If he is out two weeks, there will not be a vote until the first week of August, at the earliest. Many in Washington are waiting for the pathology report before speculating on a timetable. Still, Sen. McCain is one of several Republican senators who are reported as still undecided on the bill, and it is unknown whether it will proceed even after his return. Several wavering senators are waiting for the CBO analysis of the bill before announcing their decisions.

Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have both expressed opposition to the proposal.  If the measure should pass the Senate, it is anticipated that House Republicans would quickly pass the Senate version of the legislation and send it to the President's desk for his signature. But there is no guarantee of that given that the original House bill passed by the narrow margin of 217-213.

On Friday, a joint statement in opposition to the portion of the bill that was added at the request of Sen. Ted Cruz was issued by America's Health Care Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association. The statement described the Cruz proposal as "unworkable in any form" and said it would "undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions." increase premiums and lead many to lose coverage.
The provision objected to would allow insurers to sell low cost policies with skimpy coverage so long as they also sell policies that meet the requirements of the ACA, including covering the essentials benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to score the bill early this week. MMA members are encouraged to communicate with both Senators Collins and King and express their thanks for protecting coverage and Medicaid funding by opposing the bill.