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 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Provides Regulatory Relief for Physicians

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule on the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).  

The final rule includes the following changes for 2018:

  • The update to payments under the PFS in 2018 will be +0.31 percent.

  • CMS retroactively modified 2016 PQRS and MU reporting requirements to align with the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). These changes will reduce penalties for physicians in 2018. CMS estimates that 23,625 eligible clinicians will avoid a total of $22 million in 2018 PQRS penalties as a result of the change to PQRS requirements.

  • CMS finalized valuation for individual services in 2018 consistent with recommendations of the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC). To date, the RUC's efforts to address misvaluations have resulted in $5 billion in annual redistributions.

  • CMS is moving forward with the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) by finalizing a maximum payment per beneficiary of $670 over three years for the set of MDPP core and maintenance services.

  • CMS finalized a number of proposed expansions of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services coverage. The AMA strongly supported expanded coverage of both, and the expanded coverage of remote patient monitoring is not subject to the same geographic and originating site restrictions as Medicare telehealth services. This represents a seminal decision by CMS to expand coverage of remote patient monitoring services in the Medicare program.

  • In response to advocacy from the AMA and other members of the Federation, CMS finalized an additional delay in implementing the requirement that physicians consult appropriate use criteria (AUC) before ordering advanced diagnostic images, until Jan. 1, 2020.

Read the AMA's summary for additional details.