MMA Files Comments on Licensing Board Rules on Use of Controlled Substances for Treatment of Pain

MMA Files Comments on Licensing Board Rules on Use of Controlled Substances for Treatment of Pain

Created on: Monday, June 12, 2017
Author: Maine Medical Association

On June 1, MMA filed comments with the Board of Licensure in Medicine on proposed Rule, Chapter 21, Use of Controlled Substances for Treatment of Pain. The proposal was prepared jointly by five licensing boards representing prescribers including Physicians, PAs, Nurse Practitioners, Podiatrists and Dentists.

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US District Court Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger

US District Court Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger

Created on: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Author: Peter MIchaud

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on January 23, 2017, that the proposed $37 billion merger between health insurers Aetna and Humana will not happen. Citing the anti-competitive effects of such a merger, Judge John Bates found the insurers' arguments in favor of the merger "unpersuasive."

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MMA Summary of New Opioid Prescribing PMP Rule from Maine DHHS

MMA Summary of New Opioid Prescribing PMP Rule from Maine DHHS

Created on: Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Author: Peter MIchaud

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has released the new, statutorily required rule concerning opioid prescribing and use of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) on an emergency basis. This blog post provides a summary of its provisions.

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Dr. Tom Price: A Good or Bad Choice for Secretary of US DHHS?

Dr. Tom Price: A Good or Bad Choice for Secretary of US DHHS?

Created on: Thursday, December 08, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

On November 29, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump named Rep. Tom Price, MD (D-GA) as his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. There have been varied reactions to this news from the medical community, from the public, and from organized medicine. This blog post is an opportunity for MMA members and others to discuss this appointment.

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Planned Parenthood Announces New Informational Assistance Under MaineCare

Created on: Thursday, November 17, 2016

On October 1st, a new MaineCare benefit became available for thousands of adults and teens. The benefit provides comprehensive coverage for reproductive and sexual health care for those who meet the income guidelines. Planned Parenthood has informational resources available in English, French and Arabic to explain the new benefits.

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MACRA Update from the AMA

MACRA Update from the AMA

Created on: Monday, October 17, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

The AMA has provided this update for physicians on CMS's final rule on MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act). It includes resources to help with practice management and understanding payment models.

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AAP Recommends Elimination of Nonmedical Vaccine Exemptions

AAP Recommends Elimination of Nonmedical Vaccine Exemptions

Created on: Monday, August 29, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a new policy statement, “Medical Versus Nonmedical Immunization Exemptions for Child Care and School Attendance,” which recommends that only medical exemptions be allowed for vaccine requirements for child care and school attendance.

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New Q & A Document on Opioid Law

New Q & A Document on Opioid Law

Created on: Monday, August 08, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

The MMA Website now features a new Frequently Asked Questions document about PL 2015, chapter 488--the new Maine opioid law.

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Maine Left Out of CPC+ Program

Maine Left Out of CPC+ Program

Created on: Friday, August 05, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud

Maine has not been chosen as one of fourteen states to partcipate in Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+), an initiative from CMS designed to give primary care practices greater financial resources and flexibility to improve the quality and efficiency of care and reduce unnecessary health care utilization.

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New Physician Non-discrimination Rules Now in Effect

New Physician Non-discrimination Rules Now in Effect

Created on: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud

On July 18, 2016 new regulations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act went into effect that prohibit physicians and other health care providers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of various factors and require notice of those rights. The regulation went into effect after nearly 25,000 comments were received and reviewed. This article reviews the notice requirements of the regulations.

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MMA & Quality Counts Join Forces to Assist Prescribers with Compliance with Chapter 488

Created on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Last Thursday, MMA and Quality Counts hosted an educational session to assist prescribers in compliance with the new Maine law limiting opioid scripts prescribed for pain. More than 75 people attended and heard from a variety of experts on the law and the medicine. The first part of the new law takes effect on July 29, 2016. The educational program was part of the Caring for ME initiative sponsored by MMA and Quality Counts.

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Hector Tarraza, MD and Gordon Smith, JD Recognized as Maine Leaders

Hector Tarraza, MD and Gordon Smith, JD Recognized as Maine Leaders

Created on: Thursday, July 07, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

MMA member Hector Tarraza, MD, and MMA Executive Vice President Gordon Smith, JD, were named in Maine Magazine as two of 50 Mainers charting the State's future. Each was cited for his unique contributions to public health.

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MMA and Maine Quality Counts Present Educational Session on New Opioid Law, c. 488

Created on: Monday, June 27, 2016

Please join the Maine Medical Association and Maine Quality Counts on July 14th for an educational Learning Session designed for providers to gain practical information on key issues related to implementing Maine's new law limiting opioid prescribing. The session is designed to provide training for clinician leaders in your organization and prepare them to train and support practice teams in complying with the new law.

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Code of Medical Ethics Modernized for First Time in 50 Years

Created on: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Physicians have just affirmed a comprehensive update of the nearly 170-year-old AMA Code of Medical Ethics, the conclusion of a meticulous project started eight years ago to ensure that this ethical guidance keeps pace with the demands of the changing world of medical practice. [from the AMA Wire, by Editor Amy Farouk]

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Notes from the American Medical Association 2016 Annual Meeting

Notes from the American Medical Association 2016 Annual Meeting

Created on: Monday, June 13, 2016
Author: Andrew MacLean

The AMA Annual Meeting is currently under way in Chicago and AMA delegates from Maine, Richard Evans, M.D. and Maroulla Gleaton, M.D. are in attendance along with MMA President Brian Pierce, M.D. and Deputy Executive Vice President Andrew MacLean, J.D. Here are some notes on the early proceedings.rn

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New Antibiotic-resistant E. coli Reaches US

New Antibiotic-resistant E. coli Reaches US

Created on: Friday, May 27, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud

A new, antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli has been found in the USA for the first time. It is spread through mcr-1, a plasmid borne, colistin resistant gene. This presents a significant threat to public health.

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Opioid Prescriptions Decline Steadily, But a New Drug Appears

Opioid Prescriptions Decline Steadily, But a New Drug Appears

Created on: Thursday, May 26, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud

Opioid prescriptions in the US have declined steadily since 2012--the first such decline seen since the introduction of oxycodone in 1996. The largest decrease has been in the prescription of hydrocodone. We expect an accelerated decline in 2016, with new political awareness of and emphasis on opioid addiction. Unfortunately, a new drug of abuse is appearing on the horizon.

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FDA releases long-awaited final rule regulating e-cigarettes and cigars

FDA releases long-awaited final rule regulating e-cigarettes and cigars

Created on: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week released its final rule regulating e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and other previously unregulated tobacco products. The new rules are sweeping in scope, and for the first time, extend federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, banning their sale to minors under the age of 18 and requiring health warnings. (from AMA Advocacy Update)

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Maine Opiate Collaborative Presents Task Force Recomendations

Maine Opiate Collaborative Presents Task Force Recomendations

Created on: Monday, May 09, 2016
Author: Gordon Smith

On Friday, May 6, the leadership of the Maine Opiate Collaborative announced to a standing room only audience at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell the recommendations of its three Task Forces organized around the topics of Treatment, Prevention/Harm Reduction and Law Enforcement.

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Maine Medicine Fares Well on Veto Day

Maine Medicine Fares Well on Veto Day

Created on: Monday, May 02, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

Friday, April 29th, was “Veto Day” at the State House—the day the Legislature reconvened for the last day of the session to vote on the 33 vetoes submitted by Governor LePage. All in all, it was a good day for medicine in Maine. The Legislature sustained 12 vetoes and overrode 20, with one tax bill being allowed to die at adjournment after being sent back to committee. Ten of the 20 veto overrides had at least passing reference to medical issues.

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