Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 12/02/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  5 things Doctors Need to Know About 2020 Medicare Fee Schedule
•  AMA Comments to CMS 2020 Physician Fee Schedule and QPP Proposed Rule
•  15 Physicians Fired From Chicago-area Health System, Replaced by APRNs
•  MaineCare "Provider" Application Fees to Rise
•  US Life Expectancy Continues to Decline; Maine has 4th Greatest Rate
•  Maine Native, Med Student, Featured in NPR Story on Opioids
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  IMD Exclusion for SUD and SMI/SED 1115 Waiver Application
•  Safe Sleep Research Project - Provider Survey to improve recommendations for parents
• 2020 Open Enrollment Ends on December 15
•  From The Alzheimer's Association: Making a Plan of Care for Patients with Cognitive Decline and Dementia
•  MMA Legislative Calls Will Start Again in January; Organizational Meeting 12/10 at 6 p.m., MMA HQ
•  Maine Legislature's List of Bill Titles for 2020 Session: Initial Approval List
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program and the Maine CDC/Sweetser to offer training for clinicians.
•  10th Annual Maine Patient Safety Academy - March 30, 2020
•  Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon
•  Family Medicine Physician
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Physician Director of Primary Care
•  Full-time, Part-time and Leadership Opportunities for Physicians
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


US Life Expectancy Continues to Decline; Maine has 4th Greatest Rate

Life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for three consecutive years, in contrast to other industrialized nations. Maine's midlife (25-64) mortality increase rate of 20.7% was fourth highest among the states. New Hampshire had the highest increase of 23.3%


[from the AMA Morning Rounds]

The Washington Post (11/26, A1, Achenbach) reports a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in the U.S., “death rates from suicide, drug overdoses, liver disease and dozens of other causes have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults, driving down overall life expectancy in the United States for three consecutive years.” The researchers examined “the past six decades of mortality data” and found that in recent years, the U.S. has experienced “increasing mortality and falling life expectancy for people ages 25 to 64...while other wealthy nations have generally experienced continued progress in extending longevity.” The article says that previous studies “emphasized rising mortality among non-Hispanic whites,” but “the broad trend detailed in this study cuts across gender, racial and ethnic lines. By age group, the highest relative jump in death rates from 2010 to 2017 — 29 percent – has been among people ages 25 to 34.”

USA Today (11/26, Ortiz) reports “the study paints a bleak picture of a workforce plagued by drug overdoses, suicides and organ-system diseases while grappling with economic stresses.” According to the study, the U.S. “has the worst midlife mortality rate among 17 high-income countries despite leading the world in per-capita spending on health care.” While life expectancy continued to increase in many other industrialized countries, in the U.S., it decreased “from a peak of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 in 2017, the last year covered by the report.”

The Los Angeles Times (11/26, Healy) reports the study’s authors “suggest that the nation’s lifespan reversal is being driven by diseases linked to social and economic privation, a healthcare system with glaring gaps and blind spots, and profound psychological distress.”

Reuters (11/26, Carroll) reports the researchers also found that midlife mortality rates varied widely across the U.S. While life expectancy “increased or plateaued in some” states in the West, “the largest relative increases in midlife mortality rates occurred in New Hampshire, 23.3%, West Virginia, 23.0%, Ohio, 21.6%, Maine, 20.7%, Vermont, 19.9%, Indiana, 14,8% and Kentucky, 14.7%.”