Maine Medicine Weekly Update - December 2, 2019
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5 things Doctors Need to Know About 2020 Medicare Fee Schedule

The 2020 Medicare physician payment schedule contains news about coding revisions for outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services that promise to reduce administrative burdens for physicians in 2021. But the 2,475-page document  also contains information on a multitude of tweaks to the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) and a plethora of other details affecting how physicians will be paid by Medicare starting Jan. 1.


[from AMA Advocacy Update]

The 2020 Medicare physician payment schedule contains news about coding revisions for outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services that promise to greatly reduce administrative burdens for physicians in 2021. But the 2,475-page document  also contains information on a multitude of tweaks to the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) and a plethora of other details affecting how physicians will be paid by Medicare starting Jan. 1.

The AMA's experts have prepared a summary of the 2020 changes to QPP and Medicare physician payment. Here are five things physicians need to know.

A heavier lift will be required to avoid a MIPS penalty. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raised the minimum score needed to avoid a penalty for physicians participating in the QPP's Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to 45 points from 30. The maximum penalty, which would affect 2022 payment, will be raised to 9% from 7%. In addition, CMS set the minimum score for 2021 at 60.

Raising the performance threshold is expected to lead to corresponding growth in the cost of MIPS compliance, but statistics also show that more clinicians are scoring at the high end of the scale than at the low end. For calendar year 2018, which will determine payment levels for 2020, CMS said the average score was 86.9 and 99.6 was the median. This far exceeded CMS projections of 80.3 and 90.9.

MIPS high-performer threshold goes up. Clinicians deemed "high performers" are eligible to split an additional $500 million in available bonus money. CMS proposed setting the 2020 high-performer threshold at 80 points but raised it in the final rule to 85.

"We believe it is important to incentivize exceptional performance in MIPS," the final rule states. "This adjustment would raise the bar on exceptional performance and provide an appropriate financial incentive for high performers."

CMS estimates 92.5% of the 880,000 MIPS-eligible clinicians will avoid a penalty or earn an incentive payment, with 45% eligible for the exceptional performance bonus.

No change to MIPS cost and quality weights. CMS had proposed lowering the weight of quality measures in MIPS scoring from 45% to 40% while raising the weight of cost measures from 15% to 20%. The final rule states that those weights will remain the same.

In the final rule, CMS said it agreed with the AMA concern about the lack of detailed, timely and actionable feedback on cost measures.

"We are committed to improving the feedback experience, including aiming to provide more granular and real-time data, for clinicians to better understand how they can improve their performance on these measures and in turn reduce the cost of care for Medicare beneficiaries," the rule states. "Once clinicians better understand and are more accustomed to reviewing the performance feedback reports on these episode-based and global cost measures, we would then expect to increase the cost performance category weight."

The AMA also remains concerned about Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary and Total Per Capita Cost measures as they hold physicians responsible for costs that they have little control over. CMS said this approach "helps to align incentives across care settings through the patient care continuum, which encourages care coordination."
Bonus points for are still available for small practices and for those serving "complex patients," defined as those with high medical risk or with dual Medicare-Medicaid eligibility.

Framework to cut MIPS burdens. CMS is moving ahead with MIPS Value Pathways, which—starting in 2021—will create a framework to reduce the complexity and administrative burdens associated with MIPS.

CMS is looking to eliminate the reality that the four MIPS reporting categories seem like four different programs and replace it with a pathway that:

  • Is more aligned with a physician's specialty.
  • Includes fewer reporting measures.
  • Facilitates movement toward advanced alternative payment models (APMs).
The AMA is committed to working with CMS and specialty societies to shape the pathways with the goal of making MIPS less complex and burdensome and more clinically relevant.

APM 2022 payments estimated, 2019 payments paid. CMS estimates that between 210,000 and 270,000 clinicians will be eligible Qualifying APM Participants in 2020 and exempt from MIPS reporting requirements. It also estimates that APM incentive payments will total between $535 million and $685 million.

Five percent APM incentive payments earned in 2017 have only recently been paid. The AMA joined eight other organizations in a September letter to CMS protesting the delay in payment.

(The rule is at CY 2020 Revisions to Payment Policies under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies final rule.)

AMA Comments to CMS 2020 Physician Fee Schedule and QPP Proposed Rule

The AMA has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2020 physician fee schedule and quality payment program (QPP) proposed rule.

 

[from the AMA Advocacy Update]

The AMA has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2020 physician fee schedule and quality payment program (QPP) proposed rule. AMA comments focus primarily on two issues. First, while the AMA greatly appreciates CMS' proposal to align the previously finalized office visit coding changes with the framework adopted by the Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT) Editorial Panel, the AMA urges CMS to finalize the CPT codes and guidelines and AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) recommendations exactly as implemented by the CPT Editorial Panel and submitted bythe RUC. Second, the AMA commends CMS for responding to the AMA's recommendations in crafting its Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) value pathways (MVP) proposal. Modifications will be needed to ensure that the MVP is voluntary, is a more holistic track for physicians than the current MIPS program, and provides a minimum point floor for those who report via this track.

In addition to the above, principal recommendations on the 2020 proposed rule are as follows:

  • CMS should implement the proposed increases to office visits to the visits included within the surgical global payment packages.
  • The AMA fully supports and endorses the recommendations and comments of the RUC regarding potentially mis-valued services, as well as the RUC's recommendations for valuation of specific codes.
  • The AMA generally supports the proposed coverage changes for new codes relating to substance use disorder, remote patient monitoring, e-visits and self-measured blood pressure monitoring. It recommends that CMS work with the CPT Editorial Panel to further promote the use of digital medicine in Medicare.
  • The AMA supports CMS' attempts to improve data collection efforts for the determination of Professional Liability Insurance Relative Value Units (PLI RVUs), and encourages CMS to work with the RUC to make the PLI RVUs as accurate as possible for all specialties.
  • Several aspects of the proposed payment policies for management of opioid use disorder treatment are consistent with previous AMA policy recommendations, but these policies should better account for patients who need a more resource-intensive bundle of services.
  • The AMA is supportive of efforts to increase the use of care management services; however, CMS should inform Congress that positive updates to the Medicare conversion factor are needed to expand these services. CMS should also work with the CPT Editorial Panel to expand or redefine care management services.
  • The AMA urges CMS not to finalize its proposal that would place the burden on physicians to notify beneficiaries of coinsurance. Instead, CMS should eliminate any out-of-pocket costs associated with screening colonoscopies

15 Physicians Fired From Chicago-area Health System, Replaced by APRNs

At least 15 physicians were fired from suburban Chicago's Edward-Elmhurst Health to cut costs. They were replaced with APRNs in select Immediate Care locations.  

 

At least 15 physicians were fired from suburban Chicago's Edward-Elmhurst Health to cut costs. They were replaced with APRNs in select Immediate Care locations.  Hospital system CEO Mary Lou Mastro, MS, RN, and Chief Medical Officers Robert Payton, MD, and Daniel Sullivan, MD, in an Email to their medical staff, identified patient cost concerns as the reason for the move. "Patients have made it very clear that they want less costly care and convenient access for lower-acuity issues (sore throats, rashes, earaches), which are the vast majority of cases we treat in our Immediate Cares."

According to the Email, the action is part of the system's "vision of transforming the healthcare experience - safe, seamless and personal." 

The story in MedPage Today may be found here.

 

MaineCare "Provider" Application Fees to Rise

Effective January 1, 2020 in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) application fee requirements, MaineCare will increase its provider enrollment application fee.

 

[from the Office of MaineCare Services]

Effective January 1, 2020 in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) application fee requirements, MaineCare’s provider enrollment application fee will increase to $595 per enrollment application for new, reactivating, or revalidating providers, or when adding new service locations to an existing enrollment. You can pay the application fee by credit or debit card at the time of application submission.

You will not be required to pay the application fee to MaineCare if you have already paid the fee to another state Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or to Medicare (if you are enrolling with MaineCare in the same manner as you have with Medicare) within the past 12 months.

See the updated Application Fee Spreadsheet for more detail about provider types that will be required to pay an application fee for each service location.


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%.”

 

Maine Native, Med Student, Featured in NPR Story on Opioids

Maine Native Matthew Braun, a first-year medical student at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, WA, was featured in a recent NPR story about opioid prescribing.

 

Cape Elizabeth native Matthew Braun, a first-year medical student at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, WA, was featured in a recent NPR story about opioid prescribing. The unusual part of that situation is that, ten years ago, he was addicted to opioids.

Braun is well known to those who have been working on the opioid addiction and pain management problems in Maine in recent years through his work with Young People in Recovery and his appearances before the Health and Human Services Committee of the Maine Legislature. He has also lectured throughout the State about the opioid situation and his own experiences.

This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA

Click through for a brief update on recent public health issues, provided by the American Medical Association's electronic publication, Morning Rounds. [This article is updated weekly.]

 

Americans weigh more this decade, but fewer adults say they want to lose weight, poll data reveal

CNN (11/28, Andrew) reported, “Americans weigh more this decade than they did last decade, but fewer adults say they want to lose weight.” A new poll found that “28% of Americans said they weighed 200 pounds or more between 2010 and 2019 – a four-point jump from...2001 to 2009.” Even so, “fewer Americans now consider themselves overweight or obese.”

Newsweek (11/27, Moyler) reported, “The data came from Gallup’s Health and Healthcare survey, which the organization said was conducted in November of each year.” The 2019 survey responses “were collected between November 1 and November 14 from a random selection of 1,015 adults living in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.” These findings “appeared to directly contradict those of a study” recently published in JAMA Network Open. That particular “study, which involved 48,026 people between the ages of 40 and 64, indicated that the number of Americans trying to lose weight was on the rise.”

MRI screening may benefit women with dense breasts, study suggests

The New York Times (11/27, Rabin) reported a study of over 40,000 women with extremely dense breasts “found that MRIs detected tumors missed by mammograms, cutting interval cancers by half or more.” The research “provides strong evidence that getting supplemental MRIs are more effective in finding tumors in” women with dense breasts “than mammograms alone.” The study also “found that those who had MRIs were less likely to find a cancerous lump in between routine screenings.” The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study: Gabapentin and baclofen may be linked to increased suicide attempts

Newsweek (12/2, Gander) reports “suicide attempts linked to some non-opioid medications replacing [opioid prescriptions] have risen,” in the face of falling opioid prescriptions, research indicates. In a study examining gabapentin and baclofen, “over the period the drugs were studied, suicides attempts after people took just gabapentin rose by 80.5 percent, and by 43 percent for baclofen.” The study was published in Clinical Toxicology.

U.S. deaths from alcohol-related liver disease at highest levels since 1999, study indicates

According to Reuters (11/29, Mathias), CDC data revealed that “U.S. deaths from alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) are at their highest levels since 1999 and have risen every year since 2006 in nearly every racial, ethnic and age group.” After analyzing “causes of death for people aged 25 and older in the two decades since 1997,” investigators “found that 2017 had the highest rates of death from ALD, at 13.1 per 100,000 deaths in men and 5.6 per 100,000 in women,” which “compares to 1999 ALD mortality rates of 10.6 per 100,000 in men and 3.3 per 100,000 in women.” In particular, “mortality rates and recent increases in ALD diagnoses were...pronounced among middle-aged adults, Native Americans and non-Hispanic whites,” the study found. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Research indicates one in ten cancer patients die from cardiovascular disease, not cancer

CNBC (11/26, Mitra) reports research suggests patients with cancer “have a higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke with 10% of all cancer patients dying from cardiovascular problems, not cancer.” The risk may be even higher for certain cancers, including thyroid, breast, prostate, and endometrial cancer. The research indicates “roughly half of those patients die from cardiovascular disease.” For uterine, prostate, and breast cancer, “cardiovascular disease deaths have actually surpassed the deaths from the cancer that the patients have,” according to the study author. Moreover, “in 2012, 61% of all the cancer patients who died from cardiovascular diseases had been diagnosed with breast, prostate or bladder cancer.” The findings were published in the European Heart Journal.

Medscape (11/26, Castellino, Subscription Publication) reports the researchers “compared the U.S. general population to 3,234,256 U.S. cancer survivors from the SEER database for the period 1973 to 2012.” Meanwhile, “the period covered in the analysis does not reflect key developments that have occurred regarding immunotherapies, the authors note.” The study also revealed “increased age at cancer diagnosis is associated with increased risk for death from CVD,” while “the younger a cancer survivor is diagnosed, the higher is the risk for heart disease.”

Drug-resistant MRSA may be spread through household items, study suggests

Newsweek (11/26, Gander) reports drug-resistant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) “can be spread via household items such as refrigerator door handles, the TV remote, toothbrushes and towels,” a new study warns. The research involved home visits of 150 children treated for MRSA infections, and “bedsheets of the child with the initial infection were found to be most often contaminated with MRSA.” The study was published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Reuters (11/27) reports, “People who transmitted MRSA to other individuals or animals were 25% more likely to share bath towels than people who didn’t spread staph, the study found.” The research also found that “pets were often transmission recipients, but rarely the sole transmission source of MRSA.” Additionally, “new strains of MRSA were 14% less likely to show up in households where people frequently washed their hands,” the study suggested.

Study: Number of deaths during mass shootings may be lower if large-capacity gun magazines are banned

Reuters (11/26, Crist) reports that “a ban on gun magazines that hold a large number of bullets could lower the number of deaths during mass shootings in the U.S.,” according to a recent study. The study found “the average number of deaths was 12 in shootings involving large-capacity magazines, compared to an average of 7 deaths per shooting without large-capacity magazines.” The research also indicated that “high-fatality mass shootings were twice as likely to happen in states where high-capacity magazines weren’t banned.” The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers find vitamin E acetate in newer vaping products and those used by people with vaping-related lung injuries but not in older products

USA Today (11/26, Alltucker) reports researchers at the Minnesota Department of Health analyzed vaping products containing THC that were seized by law enforcement and found that all of those that were seized this year contained vitamin E acetate, while none of those seized last year contained the chemical. The researchers also analyzed products “from people with vaping-related lung injuries,” and found vitamin E acetate “in samples provided by 11 of 12” patients with vaping-related lung injuries.

The AP (11/26, Stobbe) reports the findings offer “more evidence” that vitamin E acetate “is a culprit in a national outbreak of vaping illnesses.” Dr. Ruth Lynfield, a Minnesota state health official, said, “The findings further support a potential role for vitamin E acetate in causing lung injury associated with vaping products.”

STAT (11/26, Thielking) reports the study was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the results might offer an explanation of why the vaping-related illnesses “appeared seemingly suddenly this year.”

Fertility rate continued four-year decline, reaching record low in 2018, CDC data show

The New York Times (11/27, Tavernise) reports that the rate of births dropped again in 2018 for the fourth consecutive year, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics, “extending a lengthy decline as women wait until they are older to have children.” In addition, “there were 59.1 births for every 1,000 women of childbearing age in the country last year, a record low.” The rate was down 2% from 2017, and “has fallen by about 15 percent since 2007.”

NBC News (11/27, Edwards) reports that the data also indicated a downward trend for babies being born to smoking mothers, with 6.5% of the women who gave birth in 2018 reporting having used “a tobacco product, a 6 percent decline from 2017.”

U.S. News & World Report (11/27, Galvin) reports the “data also indicates that, among other measures, a greater share of women started prenatal care early in pregnancy and gave birth vaginally in 2018 – even as disparities persisted for many birth-related outcomes.”

 

IMD Exclusion for SUD and SMI/SED 1115 Waiver Application

On November 26, 2019, MaineCare submitted a 1115 demonstration waiver application to CMS with the goal of improving the SUD service delivery system. If approved, this waiver would allow for additional federal funding for residential or inpatient SUD treatment for MaineCare-enrolled adults and would provide state flexibility to pilot four services focused on MaineCare-enrolled parents with SUD who are involved with or at-risk of involvement with Child Protective Services.

 

On November 26, 2019, MaineCare submitted a 1115 demonstration waiver application to CMS with the goal of improving the SUD service delivery system. If approved, this waiver would allow for additional federal funding for residential or inpatient SUD treatment for MaineCare-enrolled adults and would provide state flexibility to pilot four services focused on MaineCare-enrolled parents with SUD who are involved with or at-risk of involvement with Child Protective Services. The proposed pilots include community-based skill development, parenting interventions, and MaineCare eligibility changes intended to address coverage and service delivery gaps that impact the health and well-being of this target population and their families. For questions about the submitted waiver, please contact Olivia Alford at Olivia.Alford@maine.gov

Please note, the waiver application includes provisions related to SUD treatment and recovery only. Earlier this year, the Department proposed incorporating provisions related to SMI/SED residential and inpatient services as part of this submission; however in response to stakeholder feedback these two proposals have been separated. Delivery system improvements related to SMI/SED remain a priority and will be addressed after further system-wide capacity and needs assessment and informed by further stakeholder engagement.

1115 Waiver Submission Documents

To view documents related to and MaineCare 1115 waivers, including the most recent 1115 waiver submission to improve Maine’s substance use disorder service delivery system, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/demonstration-waivers.shtml.

 

Safe Sleep Research Project - Provider Survey to improve recommendations for parents

To better guide providers in counseling the parents of infants about safe sleep, and share key resources with parents, a short survey was developed to allow an evaluation of what factors influence how pediatricians, family practitioners and advanced-practice providers discuss this topic with their patients’ families.

 

To better guide providers in counseling the parents of infants about safe sleep, and share key resources with parents, a short survey was developed to allow an evaluation of what factors influence how pediatricians, family practitioners and advanced-practice providers discuss this topic with their patients’ families.

Participation is voluntary and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. There are no direct benefits to being in this study. One risk would be loss of confidentiality, but this will be minimized as the investigators will not be able to see the e-mail address of anyone responding. Please do not provide identifying information in your responses. The survey content could be distressing to individuals with personal or professional experience with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).

This study was approved by the Maine Medical Center Institutional Review Board. For questions, contact the MaineHealth Institutional Review Board at (207) 661-4474. Please click on the following link to complete the survey:  https://collaborate.tuftsctsi. org/redcap/surveys/?s= 8TM7X43JC


HealthCare.gov 2020 Open Enrollment Ends on December 15

Open Enrollment for 2020 health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace ends in less than 3 weeks on Sunday, December 15.

 

2020 Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for 2020 health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace ends in less than three weeks on Sunday, December 15.

There are now more free and low-cost health coverage options in Maine  With the expansion of MaineCare eligibility and declining premiums on HealthCare.gov, more Mainers can now get a comprehensive plan that works for their budget.

This year there is a new resource to help Mainers understand their options and connect to local help.  Visit CoverME.gov for information about affordable health coverage for Maine. 

Information about health coverage options and enrollment assistance is also available at enroll207.com.

Healthcare.gov Enrollment Assistance

 

 

From The Alzheimer's Association: Making a Plan of Care for Patients with Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Cognitive decline, including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, can be difficult and time consuming to discuss with patients.

 

Making a Plan of Care for Patients with Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Cognitive decline, including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, can be difficult and time consuming to discuss with patients. Although in-depth care planning is beneficial for all, this type of service has not been covered under Medicare - until recently.  CPT® code 99483 provides reimbursement for a clinical visit that results in a comprehensive care plan, allowing you to deliver services that can contribute to a higher quality of life for your patients.  Clinicians who can be reimbursed under the code include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives.  Care planning for individuals with dementia is an ongoing process and a formal update to a care plan should occur at least once per year or when indicated by disease progression.

Click this link for additional information on care planning and the CPT® code 99483:
https://www.alz.org/professionals/health-systems-clinicians/care-planning

Diagnosis, Treatment an Management of Dementia:
https://www.alzmassnh.org/hospital/physician-cme-course/

For more information, contact:
Peter Baker, LCSW, Program Director
Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter
207-772-0115 x9691  1-800-272-3900   pbaker@alz.org

MMA Legislative Calls Will Start Again in January; Organizational Meeting 12/10 at 6 p.m., MMA HQ

An in-person meeting to prepare for the Second Regular Session (2020) of the 129th Maine Legislature will be held Tuesday, December 10th, at 6:00 p.m. at MMA Headquarters in Manchester, and regular legislative calls will resume the first week of January.

 

An in-person meeting to prepare for the Second Regular Session (2020) of the 129th Maine Legislature will be held Tuesday, December 10th, at 6:00 p.m. at MMA Headquarters in Manchester, and regular legislative calls will resume the first week of January.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/870795232

Meeting ID: 870 795 232

One tap mobile: +16468769923,,870795232#

Dial by your location: +1 646 876 9923 US

Meeting ID: 870 795 232

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ac8R4xMSHV

In the meantime, enjoy your wintry November, and don't forget to cultivate your relationships with your representative and senator. They appreciate hearing from you, not just on health issues but on any matters in which you have an interest.

Maine Legislature's List of Bill Titles for 2020 Session: Initial Approval List

The Maine Legislature has published the list of bill requests for the 2020 session. Click through for lists, by subject and by sponsor, of those bills which have received initial approval. Appeal is still available for those not receiving initial approval.

 

 

The Maine Legislature has published the list of bill requests for the 2020 session. Click through for lists, by subject and by sponsor, of those bills which have received initial approval.

Appeal is still available for those not receiving initial approval, with the Legislative Council to meet on those items December 6 at 10:00 a.m. The list of titles being appealed is here.

Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings.  Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

 

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings.  Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

UPCOMING SPECIALTY SOCIETY MEETINGS

December 11, 2019
Maine Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians Chapter Meeting

Portland Regency Hotel – Portland, ME
Contact: Cathy Stratton at 207-592-5725 or cstratton@mainemed.com

February 1-2, 2020
Maine Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting

Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel & Conference Center – Carrabassett Valley, ME
Contact: Lisa Montagna at 207-620-4015 or mesahq@gmail.com

February 7-9, 2020
Maine Urological Association & Rhode Island Urological Society’s
2020 Winter Program
Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel & Conference Center – Carrabassett Valley, ME
Contact: Dianna Poulin at 207-480-4194 or dpoulin@mainemed.com

March 25, 2020
Richard Engel, MD, FACP 2nd Annual Primary Care Symposium
Maine Chapter, American College of Physicians and MMC Department of Medicine

Maine Medical Center – Portland, ME – 8:00am – 12:00pm
Contact: Warene Eldridge at 207-215-7118 or mainechapteracp@gmail.com

April 1-4, 2020
28th Annual MAFP Family Medicine Update & Annual Meeting

DoubleTree by Hilton Portland, Portland, ME
Full brochure and registration available after January 15, 2020 at www.maineafp.org
Contact Deborah Halbach at 207-938-5005 or maineafp@tdstelme.net

April 16-17, 2020
Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians, 14th Annual Spring Program

Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport, ME
Contact Dianna Poulin at 207-480-4194 or dpoulin@mainemed.com

May 1, 2020
Maine Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons Spring Meeting

Harraseeket Inn – Freeport, ME 11:30am - 5:00pm
Contact:  Shirley Goggin 207-445-2260 or sgoggin@mainemed.com

May 1-3, 2020
American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter Annual Meeting and Spring Conference

Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center – Freeport, ME
Contact:  Dee Kerry 207-480-4185 or dakerry@aapnet

 

 

 

 

  


 

MMA partners with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program and the Maine CDC/Sweetser to offer training for clinicians.

MMA continues to partner with the Maine Suicide Prevention Program to offer training for clinicians.

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program, administered by NAMI-Maine, is excited to announce their Fall schedule.   The following suicide prevention, assessment and management trainings are open for registration.  MMA works closely with NAMI-Maine to provide educational opportunities for Maine physicians and other clinical providers. CMEs and contact hours for licensure are offered as appropriate. 

Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training

Suicide Prevention Training of the Trainers

Suicide Assessment for Clinicians Training

Non-Suicidal Self Injury Training

Suicide Prevention Protocol Development Training

Suicide Prevention Curriculum Training

If you have needs not identified in the above list, please contact Nicole, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, to discuss the possibility of a customized training program. 

The Maine CDC and Sweetser are offering free online Suicide Prevention Training Modules!

Enrolling is easy. There are 12+ courses available at no charge. Download the flyer with enrollment info here.

Sample modules:

· Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)

· Depressive Disorders in Children and Adolescents

· Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM)

· Collaborative Assessment & Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

· Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Prevention

· Suicide Risk Factors, Screening and Assessment

10th Annual Maine Patient Safety Academy - March 30, 2020

This all-day conference will focus on the interprofessional nature of patient safety, with the theme:  Vision 2020 - Looking at the Future of Patient Safety

This all-day conference will focus on the interprofessional nature of patient safety, with the theme:  Vision 2020—Looking at the Future of Patient Safety    

What:  10th annual Maine Patient Safety Academy

When: Monday, March 30, 2020

Where: University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center

Cost:  $60 general | $25 students and faculty

Website FMI and to register: http://mainepatientsafetyacademy.org/

The 10th Annual Patient Safety Academy is accepting abstracts for workshop sessions and/or posters through December 13, 2019.

Our theme is Vision 2020—Looking at the Future of Patient Safety and will focus on the inter-professional nature of patient safety. Anyone interested or engaged in patient safety is invited to submit an abstract to present a workshop or a poster. Posters from previous, related conferences are allowed, and students are strongly encouraged to submit their work. Awards for best student poster will be presented during the conference. Notification of acceptance will be emailed out by mid-January 2020 with guidance for poster format.

FMI: contact Karen Pearson


Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon

Bread and butter surgery, with high volume elective surgery and low volume emergency surgery. Upper and lower endoscopy ability required. Breast surgery preferred, but not required.

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital seeks a BC/BE General Surgeon. Bread and butter surgery, with high volume elective surgery and low volume emergency surgery. Upper and lower endoscopy ability required. Breast surgery preferred, but not required.

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is a progressive, Joint Commission accredited, 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in Pittsfield, Maine that serves an area encompassing 40,000 people throughout the central region. Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is a member of Northern Light Health, an integrated statewide health delivery system that is raising the bar with no-nonsense solutions that are leading the way to a healthier future for our state.

Why Northern Light Health?

  • Robust compensation and benefits package  
  • Student Loan Reimbursement Programs 
  • Relocation Bonus  
  • Sign on Bonus  
  • Flexible schedules and exceptional work/life balance  
  • Generous PTO benefits   

For confidential consideration, please submit CV to: Providerjobs@northernlight.org

01/13/20


Family Medicine Physician

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is seeking a full time Family Medicine physician to join Sebasticook Valley Family Care, a modern practice located just off I-95 in Pittsfield. 

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital is seeking a full time Family Medicine physician to join Sebasticook Valley Family Care, a modern practice located just off I-95 in Pittsfield.  This is an excellent opportunity to come join a team of well-established, quality-driven providers serving the greater Pittsfield community.  Our team of advanced practitioners are committed to providing excellent medical care, exceptional service and a satisfying relationship between patient and provider.  We do this by blending the latest technology with oldfashioned care and customer service.  Our skilled office staff and providers work as integrated care teams to provide our patients with a full spectrum of family care.  Work schedule is 4 days per week, with limited telephone call from home. This position comes with competitive compensation, fringe benefits, assistance with medical education debt, signing/relocation bonus negotiable.
 

Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH) is a 25-bed, regional Critical Access Hospital for the more than 30,000 residents living in our footprint.  Our neighbors count on us as a resource for healthcare and health information.  SVH is part of Northern Light Health, an integrated health system serving the great state of Maine.     For confidential consideration, please contact: Sherry Tardy, physician recruiter: Northern Light Health-Provider Recruitment at PRoviderjobs@northernlight.org or 207.973.5358 (office).

12/16/19

Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine

Western Maine Primary Care, a department of Stephens Memorial Hospital, is currently seeking a BC/BE family medicine physician to join our exceptional team of providers.

Western Maine Primary Care, a department of Stephens Memorial Hospital, is currently seeking a BC/BE family medicine physician to join our exceptional team of providers. Western Maine Primary Care is committed to providing high quality care. Now is a great time to join our team as we recently relocated our practice to our brand new, state-of-the-art medical office building.

Stephens Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital, is a part of the MaineHealth family, the premier healthcare system in Maine, and is nationally renowned for its innovative programs in rural healthcare. This position offers teaching opportunities of medical students, as Stephens Memorial Hospital is one of the teaching sites for the Maine Medical Center – Tufts University Medical School program. Come be a part of our dynamic team of providers and exceptional support staff and experience the warmth of a small town combined with a medical community working closely with colleagues throughout the MaineHealth system.

Competitive salary and benefits, including student loan repayment and relocation assistance. FMI please contact Abbie Graiver, Director of Physician Recruitment at (207) 744-6049 or graiverab@wmhcc.org.

12/30/19

BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has an exciting leadership opportunity for a BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician to lead our primary care network of five well-established, quality-driven, outpatient practices serving the greater Bangor community.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has an exciting leadership opportunity for a BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician to lead our primary care network of five well-established, quality-driven, outpatient practices serving the greater Bangor community.

The Physician Director, Primary Care will collaborate with the Practice Director, Primary Care to form a dyad partnership in leading our primary care team, as well as provide peripheral oversight for our Walk In Care and university health center locations. The Physician Director of Primary Care will have clinical, operational, financial and strategic duties. This role is 80% administrative and 20% clinical practice.

Why Northern Light Health? We offer a robust compensation and benefits package, generous PTO benefits, loan repayment program, and an exceptional work/life balance.

For confidential consideration, please contact:
Amanda Klausing, FASPR, Physician Recruiter
ProviderJobs@NorthernLight.org

207.973.5358

12/2/19

Physician Director of Primary Care

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Health has an exciting physician leadership opportunity for a Board Certified/Board Eligible MD/DO Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician to lead our primary care network of three family medicine practices.

Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Health has an exciting physician leadership opportunity for a Board Certified/Board Eligible MD/DO Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician to lead our primary care network of three family medicine practices. This is an excellent opportunity to lead a group of well established, quality driven, outpatient practices serving the greater Pittsfield community. Our team of physicians and NP/MHNP providers are committed to providing excellent medical care, exceptional service and a satisfying relationship between patient and provider. We do this by blending the latest technology with old-fashioned care and customer service. Our skilled office staff and providers work as integrated care teams to provide our patients with a full spectrum of family care. This role will be 20% administrative and 80% clinical practice.
 
For confidential consideration, please contact: providerjobs@northernlight.org
 
12/2/19

Full-time, Part-time and Leadership Opportunities for Physicians

TeamHealth is now partnering with Northern Light Health to provide integrated emergency medicine and hospital medicine services in Northern Light Health Hospitals throughout Downeast Maine.

TeamHealth is now partnering with Northern Light Health to provide integrated emergency medicine and hospital medicine services in Northern Light Health Hospitals throughout Downeast Maine. We have full-time, part-time and leadership opportunities for physicians to join our teams at Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Inland Hospital, Blue Hill Hospital, AR Gould Hospital and Maine Coast Hospital. TeamHealth offers free CME, a great work-life balance that gives you quality time with family and friends, and the potential to realize your career by growing into local, regional and national leadership positions. Northern Light Health is the most expansive integrated healthcare system in Maine offering care in locations across beautiful Downeast and inland Maine, an area known for its breathtaking vistas and seaside living. TeamHealth will be working with clinical teams at Northern Light Health to optimize operational efficiency and continue providing compassionate, high-quality care in an environment that prioritizes integration between emergency medicine and hospital medicine teams. For more information and to apply, click here.

12/2/19

Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians

Take advantage of this opportunity with the Veterans' Administration to thank our veterans in a concrete way for their service and their sacrifices.

The Physician Ambassador Program was created by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a best practice recruitment and placement initiative seeking fully licensed physicians and clinicians to enhance health care services for Veterans.

The Physician Ambassador Program is a without compensation program that provides civilian physicians and clinicians an opportunity to give back to the Veteran community by serving in a volunteer role to deliver health care services to Veterans. 

If you are interested in participating in this program at VA Maine Healthcare System, please contact Jonathan Barczyk at (207) 621-4886.

Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

Partners for World Health has a great need for advice from certain medical professionals on how to sort and package the vast amount of supplies received, for shipping and use in destination countries.

 Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health - Portland, ME

Partners for World Health (PWH) is a non-profit 501(c)3 based in Portland, Maine committed to reducing medical waste, improving the quality of healthcare in underserved countries, and educating our local community about global healthcare issues.

Our mission is to collect unused/discarded medical supplies from local medical facilities and to distribute those medical supplies to international communities in need. This work limits the negative impact we have on the environment and provides much-needed resources to the developing world. To support our work in improving health conditions around the world, we send local medical personnel on medical missions to developing countries, and we educate our local Maine community about global health issues. 

PWH has a great need for advice from certain medical professionals on how to sort and package the vast amount of supplies received, for shipping and use in destination countries, specifically, in the areas of:

  • Surgery: all aspects of OR medical supplies and equipment
  • Respiratory: any and all aspects
  • Anesthesia
  • Laparoscopic surgery: advice on the proper components of a “tower”
  • Cardiology

Please note: this request is not for ongoing time commitment but rather for a few hours of a professional’s time to help organize certain supplies appropriately.

While PWH receives tens of thousands of pounds of equipment/supplies from hospitals and clinics, there are certain critical items always in short supply.

For more information, contact volunteer Rita Zanichkowsky at rznct@maine.rr.com or 207-232-3264, or contact Partners directly at 774-5555.  Thank you! 

https://www.partnersforworldhealth.org/