Maine Medicine Weekly Update - Maine Medicine Weekly Update: 11/28/2021  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
OMNICRON, DEADLINES, WEBINARS, SURVEYS & RULES
•  WHO Classifies New Variant as 'Highly Transmissible' Virus (Omnicron)
DEADLINE!
•  Provider Relief Fund Reporting Deadline: November 30, 2021
UPCOMING EVENTS
•  Maine Bureau of Insurance: Notice of Public Meeting on Clear Choice Standardized Plan Designs (Dec 1 & Dec 20)
•  SUPPORT For ME Training and Technical Assistance Webinar (Dec 1)
•  AMA: Payor Contracting 101 Virtual Bootcamp (Dec 1)
•  The Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University (Dec 1 deadline)
•  Maine DHHS Clinician Call: COVID-19 Oral Anti-Viral Therapies, Preview & Distribution (Dec 2nd)
•  Governor’s Opioid Response Seminar Webinar Series (Dec 3)
•  Suicide Assessment & Management for Clinical Staff (Dec 6, 13 & 20 3-5pm)
•  AMA: Telehealth Immersion Program Mini-Bootcamp: What’s Next for Telehealth? (Dec 7)
•  AMA: Physician Peer Support: Secret Weapon to Combat Physician Burnout (Dec 9)
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
SURVEY
•  Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
STATE & FEDERAL PROPOSED RULES
•  Maine Board of Licensure of Medicine & Board of Osteopathic Medicine Proposed Rules
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service: MICIS presentations & Academic Detailing
•  CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) & Quality Payment Program (QPP) Final Rule Summary
•  CMS Releases Final 2022 Physician Fee Schedule & Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Final Rules.
AMA CALL TO ACTION
•  Stop Medicare Cuts – Contact Senators Collins & King, Reps Pingree & Golden
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
•  Something to Consider: What About Sharpened Pencils?
HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine)
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) - Bingham Area Health Center

 

WHO Classifies New Variant as 'Highly Transmissible' Virus (Omnicron)

An advisory panel of the World Health Organization classified a new COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa as a highly transmissible virus of concern and named it ``Omicron'' under its naming protocols system.

The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met to review what is known about the COVID19 variant B.1.1.529. They advised WHO that it should be designated a Variant of Concern.

The announcement Friday marks the first time in months that WHO has classified a COVID-19 variant as such. The Delta variant, which has become the world's most prevalent, is in the same category.

However, many medical experts, including the World Health Organization, warned against any overreaction before the variant that originated in southern Africa was better understood.

An advisory panel of the World Health Organization classified a new COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa as a highly transmissible virus of concern and named it ``Omicron'' under its naming protocols system.

The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution met to review what is known about the COVID19 variant B.1.1.529. They advised WHO that it should be designated a Variant of Concern.

The announcement Friday marks the first time in months that WHO has classified a COVID-19 variant as such. The Delta variant, which has become the world's most prevalent, is in the same category.

However, many medical experts, including the World Health Organization, warned against any overreaction before the variant that originated in southern Africa was better understood.

*More Omnicron information below

Also in this Maine Medicine Weekly Update: It's quite the busy week for deadlines, webinars, surveys, and rules review so we've chosen to make this nearly an all Omnicron and 'What's Going on This Week' edition.

So grab your paper calendar, a pencil and a pencil sharpener (remember those little sharpeners) or your smartphone/smartpad/laptop and check out all that is coming.

Our regular and comprehensive Maine Medicine Weekly Update will be sent tomorrow.

Thank you for reading and of course for being a Maine Medical Association member. We hope your holiday weekend was spent with loved ones and provided some rest and relaxation.

Additional Omnicron Resources & Information

World Health Organization: Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (WHO)

New COVID-19 Variant Emerges with Old One Driving Record Cases in Maine (Bangor Daily News)

Explainer: What Is This New COVID Variant In South Africa? (Associated Press)

Explainer: How Worried Should We Be About the Omicron Variant? (Reuters)

COVID Variant Spreads to More Countries As World On Alert (Associated Press)

'Patience Is Crucial': Why We Won't Know for Weeks How Dangerous Omicron Is (Science.org)