Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 11/20/2017  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Current News Moves MMA to Remind Physicians of Guidance on Boundaries in Physician-Patient Relationships
•  Webinars on Improving Opioid Prescribing and Patient Safety: 12/5 & 12/13
•  Health Insurance Marketplace 2018: 3 weeks left for Open Enrollment
•  MMA Leadership Listening Session in Portland on Tuesday, December 5
•  Improving Opioid Prescribing and Patient Safety: Wednesday, 12/6 in Portland
•  House Passes CHIP Reauthorization
•  2018 Another Transition Year for Quality Payment Program
•  News from the 2017 AMA Interim Meeting
•  2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Provides Regulatory Relief for Physicians
•  Legislative Calls to Resume When Legislature Returns
•  SAVE THE DATE: MMA Legislative Committee Meets December 11th to Prepare for Next Legislative Session
•  Highlights of Recently Enacted Legislation: L.D. 479 Requiring a Opioid Prescribing Policy
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Chief Executive Officer
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Family Medicine Physician/Clinician Leader
•  BC/BE Physician - C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital
•  VA Psychiatrist
•  BE/BC Family Practitioner - Lewiston, ME
•  Primary Care Physician - Eastern Maine Medical Center
•  Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
•  Outstanding full-time opportunity for an experienced Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner with Central Maine Heart Associates in Auburn, Maine
•  Palliative Care Provider
•  Gastroenterologist - Brunswick, ME
•  Hospitalist - Brunswick, ME
•  DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Pittsfield, ME
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Anesthesiologist - Augusta/Waterville
•  Physiatrist - Brunswick, Maine
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians


2018 Another Transition Year for Quality Payment Program

As Medicare moves to the second year of its Quality Payment Program (QPP), 2018 will largely serve as another transition period. Most physicians and other health professionals who bill Medicare won't have to participate in 2018 and hardly any are projected to receive a penalty that will affect their payment in 2020. 

In the 2018 QPP final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tripled the low-volume threshold for participation to the point where the agency estimates that only 37 percent of clinicians who bill Medicare will be required to participate in the QPP's Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The increase to the low-volume threshold means that physicians would be required to take part in MIPS if they treat 200 or more Medicare beneficiaries in a year or bill Medicare $90,000 or more in allowed charges. Because of this and other measures CMS is taking, the agency estimates that 90 percent of clinicians in practices of one to 15 and 97 percent of clinicians in all practice sizes will receive either a neutral or positive adjustment in 2020.

The initiation of virtual groups, the low-volume threshold, reduced requirements and bonus points for small practices are among the regulatory wins that would help small practices. Bonus points for treating complex patients and making 2018 another transition year were other regulatory wins, but CMS warned that requirements will get tougher in 2019 due to requirements in law.

Read more at AMA Wire®.