Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 07/22/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
•  Court Upholds non-ACA-Compliant Short-term Health Plan Rules
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Opponents of New Vaccine Bill Seek Repeal; Petitions Circulated
•  Governor's Opioid Summit Draws over 1,150 to Augusta Civic Center
•  CMS Expands Scope of Approved Ambulatory BP Monitoring
•  MMA Hosts 16th Annual Golf Tournament to Benefit Maine Medical Education Trust Scholarships
•  MICIS Individual Academic Detailing Sessions on Opioid Topics
•  2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award - Final Week to Submit a Nomination
129th MAINE LEGISLATURE
•  MMA Legislative Calls Finished for the Session
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Quality Counts: Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training, ECHO Program
•  ACU Annual Conference is taking place in Washington, DC from July 28th-31st
•  MICIS Opioid Education Presentations Available
•  Complex Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of Maine Youth - August 16
•  Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) Training Program - October 9
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  Physician
•  Physician Director of Primary Care
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

 

CMS Expands Scope of Approved Ambulatory BP Monitoring

Responding to a joint request from the AMA and the American Heart Association (AHA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination expanding covered indications for the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) in diagnosing hypertension to include suspected masked hypertension, where in-office blood pressure readings may be lower than those taken elsewhere.

 

[from AMA Advocacy Update]

Responding to a joint request from the AMA and the American Heart Association (AHA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination expanding covered indications for the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) in diagnosing hypertension to include suspected masked hypertension, where in-office blood pressure readings may be lower than those taken elsewhere. Previously, Medicare covered ABPM for suspected white coat hypertension, when in-office blood pressure is higher than when measured at home, but not for masked hypertension, such as for patients whose blood pressure is normal in the clinic but above normal out of the clinic or at night.

As the AMA and AHA urged in a joint comment letter on the proposed coverage decision, CMS made important modifications to the final ABPM policy:

  • Updated systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings that qualify for ABPM coverage to reflect the 2017 AHA/American College of Cardiology guidelines
  • Removed the requirement for lifestyle interventions prior to ABPM use
  • Specified detection of nocturnal hypertension as a covered indication for ABPM use

Expanded Medicare coverage of ABPM is consistent with recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and represents a major advance in physicians' ability to appropriately diagnose hypertension, which can have serious consequences for patients' health without appropriate diagnosis and management.

More information on AMA and AHA tools for controlling hypertension is available here.