Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 03/19/2018  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
•  President Proposes Cutting Opioid Rx by 1/3, Death Penalty for Sellers, Other Measures
•  Congress Confronts Another Must-Pass Spending Bill Deadline: March 23rd
•  New AMA Survey: Patient Clinical Outcomes Shortchanged by Prior Authorization
•  RWJ Foundation Releases County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Report
•  Maine Quality Counts Publishes new "Choosing Wisely" Toolkit for Employers
•  Diabetes Alert Day - March 27: 3 Strategies that Change the Conversation You Have with Patients on Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
•  MMA Board Approves Climate Change Resolution
•  Bipartisan Group of Senators Propose Bill to Ban “Gag Clauses” on Prescription Savings
•  Do you hold a DEA X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine?
128TH MAINE LEGISLATURE
•  Legislative Call This Tuesday, March 20th
•  Legislative Report: Female Genital Cutting, Medical Marijuana, and More
•  Med Student/MMA Board Member Knowland Testifies on Student Loan Bill
•  Governor Approves Meningococcal Vaccine Rule
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  QC2018: Building Communities of Practice through Innovation - Wednesday, April 4, 2018
•  MMA and Jackson Laboratory Seeking Volunteers to Assist with 2018 Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative Forum - April 6-8
•  FREE 8-Hr. MAT Waiver Training Being Offered in Dover, NH - Friday, April 27th
•  Introduction to Lean in Healthcare Full-Day Workshop on Tuesday, May 8
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Peer Navigation Program from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Medical Board Physician
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Family Practice Physician - Bucksport Regional Health Center
•  Hospice Physician – Lewiston, ME
•  Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
•  Operations Director
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
•  Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

 

Congress Confronts Another Must-Pass Spending Bill Deadline: March 23rd

Congress must act on a temporary spending bill again this week as the previous funding bill expires on Friday, March 23. Discussions continue about whether and how to stabilize the ACA insurance markets and it is possible that a new Collins/Alexander proposal will be included, but the proposal faces significant hurdles.

 

It has been reported in the media that Senators Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander have developed a new insurance market stabilization package with the following features:

 
1.  Funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments for 3 years.
2.  Ten billion dollars in annual re-insurance funding, also to last three years.
3.  Additional 1332 waiver flexibility for Medicaid.
4.  Expanded eligibility for catastrophic plans.
 
The bill may also include an additional requirement that federal funds could not be used for plans that cover abortion services.  
 
A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that federal reinsurance funds would significantly reduce premiums for 2019 and beyond. It is estimated that the provisions in the new proposal could reduce premiums by 10% in 2019, 20% in 2020 and 2021 for states that receive reinsurance funding. Without some market stabilization, rates in 2019 are expected to increase significantly particularly in those states that are now approving non-ACA plans.
 
The abortion issue as well as the concern of some Republican lawmakers that the reinsurance is a "bailout" to insurance companies threaten to derail the effort to stabilize the markets as the 2019 rates are being worked on.