Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 04/08/2019  (Plain Text Version)

Return to Graphical Version


In this issue:
•  MMA Committee Releases Updated Policy Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide Before Legislature's Debate of Issue
•  Maine School Immunization Rates Continue Downward Trend, Pertussis Rises
•  Federal Judge to Hold Hearing on CVS-Aetna Merger in May
•  Kentucky Physicians Pass Bill to Fix Prior Authorization. Will Maine Do the Same?
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service 2019 Presentations
•  2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Service as a Medical Volunteer
•  MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, April 9th
•  State House Highlights of the Week: Tobacco, Tanning, and Public Health in HHS; Short-Term Health Plans and Consumer Assistance in HCIFS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  NAMI Maine’s Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention Conference - Friday, April 12, 2019
•  22nd Maine Pain Symposium on May 1 8am-4:30pm at University of New England
•  April 24 - Meeting Medicare's Quality Payment Program Requirements: Overview & Assistance
•  BC/BE Family Medicine Physician or Experienced Family Nurse Practitioner
•  Gastroenterology Lead Physician - Bangor, Maine
•  Physician for Maine Maritime Academy Summer Training Cruise
•  Internal Medicine Outpatient Physician
•  Mid Coast Maine - Adult Psychiatrist and/ Psychiatric NP/PA Opportunity
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  PCHC in need of Pediatrician for Brand New Pediatric Center!
•  Medical Director - Maine Mobile Health Program
•  Board Certified Family Physician - Newport, RI
•  Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, April 9th

The Maine Legislature is in full swing, with over 1470 bills printed. All committees are holding public hearings and work sessions and voting on bills. That means there's lots of work to do on the MMA Legislative Calls. The next call will be Tuesday, April 9th, at 8 p.m.


MMA Legislative Committee Chairs Jay Mullen, M.D. and Lindsey Tweed, M.D. welcome you to participate in the weekly conference calls of the MMA Legislative Committee.

The last MMA Legislative Committee weekly conference call for the First Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature will take place Tuesday, April 9th, at 8:00 p.m.

Legislative Committee members and specialty society legislative liaisons are strongly encouraged to participate. Any physician, practice manager, or other staff member who is interested in the MMA's legislative advocacy also is welcome to participate. It is not necessary to RSVP for the calls.

Please use the following conference call number and passcode. These will remain the same for every weekly call during the session.

Conference call number: 1-603-766-5646

Participant ID - 699139#

The purpose of the weekly conference calls is to discuss the MMA's position on bills printed the previous week, to hear the views of specialty societies on the new bills or their concerns about any current health policy issues, and to discuss the highlights of legislative action of the week. The calls rarely last longer than an hour.

The following are bills of interest to the physician community printed last week. (For those not familiar with the term, a "concept draft" is a bill that contains only a title and a brief description of what it is intended to do. It does not contain the actual bill text.) We will discuss the priority bills marked with an asterisk (*) first. This will be important when the list grows in the next few weeks.

Following are the bills of the week: 

April 9, 2019

LD 1479,  An Act To Clarify Guardianship over Detainees under 18 Years of Age Regarding Mental Health Care. Clarifies that DHHS guardianship for health care includes mental health.

*LD 1485,  An Act To Create an At-risk Persons Program in Maine. Database for law enforcement of persons who have communication difficulty due to a physical or mental condition or “who may benefit from LEO being aware of specific information.”

LD 1486,  An Act To Strengthen Supports for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism in Crisis. Requires DHHS to develop crisis planning, assessment, intake, and regional and residential services for persons with intellectual disabilities or autism.

LD 1492,  An Act To Reform Drug Sentencing Laws. Relaxes or eliminates provisions concerning trafficking, possession of drugs and paraphernalia.

*LD 1499,  An Act To Establish the Maine Prescription Drug Affordability Board. To determine reasonableness of certain drug prices; requires manufacturer notice of prices and price increases; sets prices for certain covered entities.

*LD 1501,  An Act To Change the Law Governing Occupational Disease Claims under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992. Changes definitions relating to cumulative trauma or exposure; determines liability among sequential employers; establishes injury date for such injuries.

*LD 1504,  An Act To Protect Consumers from Unfair Practices Related to Pharmacy Benefits Management. Replaces current PBM statutes. Imposes duties on carriers to monitor PBM activity; requires consumer option to pay cash price without filing claim; prohibits “excessive payment”; requires adequate retail network; prescribes method of determining average wholesale price; requires rebates be applied to lower premiums; formulary requirements; prescribes method of using PBM compensation in calculating loss ratio.

LD 1510,  Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 101: MaineCare Benefits Manual, Chapter III, Section 97: Private Non-Medical Institution Services and Appendices B, C, D, E and F, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Health and Human Services. As stated.

LD 1512,  An Act Regarding Persons Who Are Found Not Criminally Responsible and Are Sent out of State for Treatment. Requires court to determine least restrictive placement and lack of equivalent placement within state, quarterly status reports to DHHS; requires DHHS to have oversight committee for such placements.

*LD 1523,  An Act To Ensure the Quality of and Increase Access to Recovery Residences. Adds “person recovering from SUD” and “recovery residence” to SUD program statutes; creates pilot program for brief rental subsidies for recovery residences with MAT.

LD 1529,  An Act Concerning Nondisclosure Agreements in Employment. Prohibits employment contracts containing agreements not to disclose claims of discrimination or harassment, but allows them in settlement agreements (except for judicial disclosures).

LD 1530,  An Act To Expand Incentives To Live and Work in Maine through a Tax Credit for Certain Student Loans. Income tax credits up to $1000 for student loan payments.

*LD 1532,  An Act To Eliminate Single-use Plastic Carry-out Bags. Prohibits retail establishments from using plastic or paper single use carry-out bags, with certain exceptions.