Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 02/19/2020  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
•  No on 1: Time Is Short, We Need Your Help Now
•  The Maine Millennial: Donít Forget that Vaccines Save Lives
•  Maine CDC Infectious Disease Program Report
•  Maine's Weekly Influenza Report
•  Polio Eradication on UN Secretary Generalís Agenda During Pakistan Visit
•  Four Countries in the African Region License Vaccine in Milestone for Ebola Prevention
•  Physicians are Making Waves for the Purpose of Change
129th MAINE LEGISLATURE, SECOND REGULAR SESSION
•  Next MMA Legislative Call Will Be Tuesday, February 25th
•  State House Highlights of the Week
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Maine Suicide Prevention Program Training for Clinicians
•  10th Annual Maine Patient Safety Academy - March 30, 2020
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Medical Director, Primary Care Physician
•  Physician - Nasson Health Care
•  Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
•  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  Orthopedic Surgeon Opportunity in Beautiful New England
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health - Portland, ME

 

State House Highlights of the Week

On February 11, Legislative Democrats led by Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker Sara Gideon released their Patients First health reform package of four bills.  

 

On February 11, Legislative Democrats led by Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker Sara Gideon released their Patients First health reform package of four bills. Taking advantage of the recently relaxed public hearing notice guidelines, the bills have been scheduled for public hearings next Tuesday, February 25, at 1:00 pm before the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Combined, the bills attempt to address pricing transparency, out-of-network billing, surprise medical bills, facility fees, new patient fees, Medicare observation and/or inpatient status, insulin costs, etc. One of the bills (LD 2110, An Act To Lower Health Care Costs) also establishes the Maine Commission on Affordable Health Care. The Commission would have a very broad and influential charge on reigning in health care costs and spending, including for prescription drugs. The following bills will be up for public hearing:

LD 2096—An Act To Save Lives by Capping the Out-of-pocket Cost of Certain Medications (Speaker Sara Gideon: This bill provides that a health insurance carrier that provides coverage for prescription insulin drugs may not impose a cost-sharing requirement on the enrollee that results in out-of-pocket costs to the enrollee in excess of $100 per 30-day supply of insulin.

LD 2105—An Act To Protect Consumers from Surprise Emergency Medical Bills (Speaker Sara Gideon)

MMA Bill Summary Link (LD 2105)

LD 2110—An An Act To Lower Health Care Costs (President Troy Jackson)

MMA Bill Summary Link (LD 2110)

LD 2111—An Act To Establish Patient Protections in Billing for Health Care (Senator Ned Claxton, MD)

MMA Bill Summary Link (LD 2111)

As always, thank you to all the physicians who provide valuable feedback on policy issues of concern and additional thanks to those who provide written and/or oral testimony on important bills. You make the MMA what it is.

Last Thursday, Committee on Health and Human Services passed an amended version of LD 1937, An Act To Provide Timely Access to Behavioral Health Services for Maine Children and To Address Trauma and the Impacts of the Opioid Crisis. Deb Hagler, M.D., provided written testimony in support of the bill on behalf of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

LD 1096, An Act To Require That Comprehensive Substance Use Disorder Treatment Be Made Available to Maine's Incarcerated Population, was tabled for the second time today by the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Peter Michaud had provided testimony in support from MMA in 2019.

Friday, Feb. 7 was the deadline for Legislative Committees to vote on at least 60% of bills assigned to the Committee. All bills must be voted out of their assigned committees by Friday, March 6, which is less than three weeks away. As a result of the time crunch, legislative leaders have relaxed the rules on publication of hearing notices from a minimum of two weeks to just one week. The Supplemental Budget and bills on the Special Appropriations Table are not subject to these cutoff deadlines.