Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 08/06/2018  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  MMA Board Votes Opposition to Question One
•  Watch for Next Issue of Maine Medicine
•  CMS Rule Changes Advance Price Transparency & EHR
•  Maine Reinsurance Program Gets 1332 Waiver
•  MaineGeneral Offers X-waiver Training
•  California Insurance Commissioner Opposes CVS-Aetna Merger
•  CMS Releases Proposed 2019 Medicare Payment Rule
•  Licensing Boards Discuss Nursing Home Exception to Opioid Requirements
•  Prescription Monitoring Program User Survey
•  Time to Volunteer for an MMA Committee
•  MMA Presentation on Healthcare Issues Considered by 128th Legislature Now Available
•  Maine Quality Counts Offers Project ECHO Medication Assisted Treatment Course
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MICIS 3-hour Opioid CME Presentations - registration open for August 21 in Brewer
•  17th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium - September 21-23, 2018
•  Hanley Center Offers New PELI Course Beginning in October
•  Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine 2018 Annual Conference & Meeting - Nov 2-3
•  Division of Disease Surveillance Annual Infectious Disease Conference - November 14th
•  Hanley Center Offers Next Level Leadership Seminar Series and Advanced Practice Provider Leadership Institute
•  Advanced Hanley Center Training Available for PELI and HLD Alumni
•  Family Nurse Practitioner - Ellsworth
•  Behavioral Health Consultant
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
•  Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
•  Medical Board Physician
•  Medical Director/Family Practice Physician - Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  Maine's Largest FQHC in need of Physician for Geriatric Program
•  Multiple Family Med Opportunities in Beloved Community Health Centers
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians


MMA Board Votes Opposition to Question One

While acknowledging the importance of Maine seniors having access to home care services, the MMA Board of Directors at its summer meeting on Friday (8/3) voted to oppose Question one on the Maine ballot this fall.


The vote took place at the Board's summer meeting at the Village Inn in Belgrade Lakes at the invitation of President Robert Schlager, M.D. While acknowledging the importance of Maine seniors having access to home care services, the MMA Board of Directors voted to oppose Question one on the Maine ballot this fall. The Board also discussed a potential collaborative effort between the Board and the Medical Professional Health Program to address professional burnout and stress.

The citizen initiated bill would establish a universal home care program "to provide in-home and community support services to individuals and families determined to be no cost to those individuals and families."  The program would include (to the extent funds are available) formal care and informal care and ...access to in-home and community support services for eligible persons" regardless of income or assets. The program would be funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018.

In doing its due diligence on the proposal, MMA staff met with both supporters and opponents of the ballot question and prepared a detailed analysis of the proposal for the Board. Board members were unanimously in favor of seniors having more access to home care but were concerned with the tax targeting only a segment of taxpayers and with the potential impact on recruitment of physicians into the state. There was also concern expressed about the details and structure of the private board that would administer the $300,000,000 raised by the tax annually. Finally, there was concern expressed that this type of proposal provides a piecemeal approach when what is needed is a comprehensive approach to health system reform.
The universal home care proposal will be the first question on the November 6 ballot. A vigorous campaign is expected from both proponents and opponents.