Maine Medicine Weekly Update - March 26, 2021  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Committee Holds Vote on Nursing Practice Bill
•  Maine’s Vaccination Supply Increases; Community Practices Wait; CDC Announces ‘Pop-Up Clinics’
•  COVID-19: Federal Updates and News
•  COVID-19: State Data, Updates, & News
•  Maine Attorney General Releases Drug Overdose Data for February 2021
•  California Physicians Produce Pro-COVID Vaccine ‘My Shot’ Video Based on “Hamilton”
•  CNN, Sunday, 3/28, 9pm: "Autopsy of a Pandemic: 6 Doctors at the Center of the US Covid-19 Response"
•  U.S. Senate Votes to Delay Medicare Payment Cuts for Remainder of Year
•  AMA: This Week’s Top Articles from JAMA Network
•  Maine Legislative Calendar In Flux
•  Next MMA Legislative Call Will Be Wednesday, March 31st
•  New Maine AAP Educational Webinar Series
•  PPE Available Through the MMA & ActionPPE
•  A Message from Maine Responds: Volunteer Opportunity
MAINE LEGISLATURE
•  Maine Legislature Week 11 Update
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Maine Lung Cancer Coalition Webinar March 24, 2021
•  Maine CDC Physicians To Host Regular Clinician COVID Vaccine Info Sessions
•  Suicide Prevention and Management in Healthcare Practice Settings: A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Approach
•  AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Nurse Practitioner
•  Medical Director - ME License Required
•  Practice Administrator
•  Physician
•  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
•  Belgrade Regional Health Center Seeks a Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine)

 

Maine’s Vaccination Supply Increases; Community Practices Wait; CDC Announces ‘Pop-Up Clinics’

While the state announced it would be receiving a 28 percent increase in vaccine doses next week, with more than 6,000 of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot, Maine’s smaller independent physician practices continue waiting for doses to vaccinate their most high-risk patients.

 

While the state announced it would be receiving a 28 percent increase in vaccine doses next week, with more than 6,000 of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot, Maine’s smaller independent physician practices continue waiting for doses to vaccinate their most high-risk patients. 

Dr. Nirav Shah, head of Maine's Center for Disease Control and Prevention hopes the increase in one-shot vaccines will open up more flexible options for Mainers looking to get vaccinated. He also said the state may see a steady increase in Johnson & Johnson doses in April. 

This recent announcement on the expected increase in vaccine supply and the expansion of the Maine’s vaccination eligibility schedule is hopefully another positive step for smaller community based independent physicians.  While we appreciate the administration’s efforts on high throughput sites, we continue asking Maine CDC to directly include community physicians in its COVID-19 vaccination plans to ensure high-risk patients at smaller practices are not left behind and provide them the opportunity to be safe from serious illness and death in their familiar clinic. 

The MMA remains committed to working with the Governor’s office, Maine DHHS, and Maine CDC to improve equitable access to vaccines for all member patients as they continue flooding medical practice phone lines asking why their physicians cannot or will not vaccinate them. 

The state did make an announcement this week that they will start ‘health equity pop-up clinics’ which allow community-based organizations to sponsor vaccination clinics at a site of their choosing and receive vaccine and clinical support from Maine CDC Maine Immunization Program (MIP)-approved COVID-19 vaccine providers. The application can be found here

Eligibility: 

Community-based organization, faith-based organization, or employers representing vulnerable groups, including, but not limited to, the following: 

· underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTIQ+, individuals with disabilities, rural and/or homeless populations. 

· communities with low vaccine confidence 

· communities requiring specific transportation, or cultural and linguistic services. 

· communities needing COVID-19 vaccination services at irregular hours. 

All pop-up clinics would agree to register and vaccinate only those eligible under the current phase of the Governor’s vaccination plan.  

Roles and Responsibilities: 

Community sponsors will: 

· Select a physical site location for the pop-up clinic that meets Maine CDC requirements 

· Complete the an application 

· Communicate promptly with the assigned COVID-19 vaccine provider. 

· Pre-register community members for vaccination using the assigned provider’s registration process 

· Staff the site with greeters, cultural brokers, and interpreters, as appropriate 

Maine Immunization Program at the Maine CDC will: 

· Approve applications on a weekly basis dependent upon vaccine availability 

· Identify one or more MIP-approved COVID-19 vaccination providers to serve the approved pop-up clinic(s) 

· Connect the community sponsor to the identified COVID-19 vaccine provider to schedule the pop-up clinics 

· Allocate sufficient vaccine for approved pop-up clinics 

Selected COVID-19 Vaccine Providers will:

Work with identified community sponsors to identify dates/times to schedule one or more pop-up clinics, ideally within 1-3 weeks of being selected for this role

Provide state-supplied COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination clinical and support staff, and other staff as needed to support the pop-up clinic(s)

Ensure appropriate data entry and completion of all other administrative follow-up as required in compliance with MIP policies.

On Thursday, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) placed another order of COVID-19 vaccines for 45,200 people, to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed. This is an increase of 10,010 doses over the order last week.

The following outpatient groups are expected to receive doses next week as part of the current vaccination plan:

Martin's Point Health Care

InterMed PA

VNA Home Health and Hospice d/b/a Northern Light Home Care and Hospice

Greater Portland Health

B-Street Health Center

Sacopee Valley Health Center

Bucksport Regional Health Center

Fish River Rural Health- Fort Kent

Harrington Family Health Center

Hometown Health Center-Newport

Caribou Health Center

York County Community Action Corporation/Nasson Health Care

KVHC-Brownville

Regional Medical Center at Lubec

St. Croix Family Health Center

East Grand Health Center-Danforth

Eastport Health Care Inc.