The Mission of the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association is to:
Unite and advocate for nurse practitioners in political, professional and policy arenas.
Develop and coordinate educational and networking opportunities.
Advocate for the health of all the people of Maine.

BREAKING NEWS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of Senator Angus S. King, Jr.
July 13, 2016
Contact: Kathleen Connery Dawe/Scott Ogden (202) 224-5344

Senate Passes Important Legislation to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The bill, which includes several King-backed provisions, heads to President’s desk to become law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the support of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), the U.S. Senate today passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), legislation that will help fight back against the opioid and heroin crisis raging across Maine and the nation. The legislation, which passed the House last week and includes several provisions backed by Senator King, now heads to the President’s desk for his signature to become law.

In a statement following the vote, Senator King applauded the Senate for its work but said that more must be done because CARA does not actually appropriate any new funding to stem the epidemic. Earlier today, Senator King called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on legislation he offered with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that would immediately provide $600 million to states across the country to battle the crisis.

“There’s no question that this legislation and the policy changes it enacts are a significant and important step forward – but it can’t be our last,” Senator King said. “What is happening across Maine – the overdoses, the deaths, the broken families, the struggling communities – demands more from us. It demands real funding right now. Without it, we’re failing to meet our obligation to stand by our friends and neighbors in fighting this epidemic. I am pleased the Senate passed this bill, but I hope we will back it up with actual money – not just talk – because this is about saving peoples’ lives.”

Today, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which Senator King cosponsored, by an overwhelming vote of 92-2. The legislation provides for a community-based response to heroin and opioid addiction that incorporates law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the public health system, and the recovery support community. It includes several provisions backed by Senator King including:

Elements of the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are trained and who meet other criteria to obtain a federal license for providing buprenorphine therapy (also called suboxone). Senator King is a cosponsor of the TREAT Act, which would expand access to this potentially life-saving therapy.

Elements of the Nurturing and Supporting (NAS) Healthy Babies Act, legislation Senator King introduced with Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) that directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the rising rate and treatment costs of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, a withdrawal condition in newborns often caused by the prenatal use of opioids in pregnant women.

More generally the legislation would also:

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
  • Expand the availability of opioid overdose reversal medicine like naloxone to first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program.  While we have medications that can help treat addiction, there is a critical need to get the training and resources necessary to expand treatment best practices throughout the country.
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.


The legislation passed today is the final version of CARA that was the product of negotiations between House and Senate leaders to reconcile differences in the bills passed by both chambers earlier this year.


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Are you interested in Integrative/Functional Medicine in Maine?
Long standing member of the MNPA, Kathy Coleman, ANP, is a council member of the Integrative Wellness Council of Maine. She would like to extend participation of membership to the nurse practitioners of Maine. Please check out the website and feel free to contactTisha Bremner; council chair, tisha@integrativewellnessme.com or Meneah Haworth; meneah.haworth@gmail.com for more information.
The Integrative Wellness Council of Maine is a group of like-minded medical providers and holistic health practitioners who are joining together in an opportunity to network and create a platform for continued community support and education of the ways in which complementary and alternative therapies may help our patients, clients, and students lead healthy, well, and whole live.

We would love to see more APRN's involved with the Integrative Wellness Council of Maine!


 
The 50th anniversary of the AANP was celebrated in New Orleans this past week. Our own Miki McDonald was celebrated for her State Award for Excellence nomination!
 

L to R:  Valerie Fuller, Miki McDonald, Penny Deraps, Susan Doughty

Susan Doughty and Cindy Leiffer presented 6-minute lectures podium-style at the conference, as well.  Congratulations on a great Maine turn out at the annual AANP conference!
 

Home Health ICD-10 Handbook 2015

With the healthcare industry on edge over preparations for the ICD-10 transition, now is the critical time for home health coders to master the new code set. Don’t wait until the last minute to update your agency about the code structure differences and the changes to commonly-used home care diagnosis codes.         

To help guide you along the way, TCI has launched the Home Health ICD-10 Handbook 2015. This handbook will help you make the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM. Beginning with a brief history of the ICD code set, you’ll move on to learning about the way ICD-10-CM codes are composed and how the structure differs from ICD-9-CM. Next, you’ll find out how to use an ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM general equivalent mapping system to see how codes in the old code set match up to the new codes.

And we’ll take you through major diagnosis coding categories in-depth to explore what will change and what will remain the same in ICD-10-CM. You’ll be happy to find that ICD-10-CM actually makes improvements to the way you’ll code for surgical wounds, pressure ulcers, and hypertension.

Here’s a sample of the key areas covered in Home Health ICD-10 Handbook 2015:

  • Brief history of ICD.
  • Acquaint yourself with the ICD-10-CM codes.
  • Get to know the GEMs.
  • Make certain you’re transition-ready.
  • Debunk these ICD-10-CM myths and mysteries.
  • Take a closer look at aftercare coding in ICD-10-CM.
  • Read the notes before coding COPD in ICD-10.
  • Brush up on coding for diseases of the circulatory system.
  • Will your circulatory system coding pass the test?
  • Try your hand at this ICD-10-CM CVA sequelae coding scenario.
  • Prepare for ICD-10 pressure ulcer changes.
  • Streamline your pressure ulcer coding in ICD-10.
  • Look for familiar guidelines for ICD-10 hypertension coding.
  • Seven digit ICD-10-CM codes mirror ICD-9-CM for infected surgical wounds.
  • Take another look at burn coding.
  • Put external cause coding on pause.
  • Watch for more open wound options in ICD-10-CM.
  • Pave the way for ICD-10-CM fracture coding changes.
  • See how Parkinson’s disease coding will change in ICD-10.
  • Know where to find psych diagnoses in ICD-10.
  • And much more …

The Home Health ICD-10 Handbook 2015 will help you make sure you’re on track for the changes ahead as well as give you practical information about how to code common diagnoses in the new code set.

We've made it super easy to order. Please use the link below to purchase this handbook:

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS HANDBOOK

Please apply discount code ‘‘SAVE20’’ at checkout to get an additional $20 discount on your purchase. (Note: This discount coupon is valid only until June 17, 2015.) 

Thanks,
Jane Adams


 

Home Health Care Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Susan Collins
On Thursday, February 26, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S. 578, the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act of 2015. This legislation, once enacted, will have an immediate impact on the quality of life and timeliness of care for Medicare patients by allowing NPs to certify home health care orders.
Currently, NPs are recognized under state laws and regulations that allow them to complete and sign physical examination forms and other medical certification documents. However, under current Medicare law, NPs with patients who need home health care services must locate a physician who will document the NP's assessment for this care.  Enactment of the Home Health Care Planning and Improvement Act of 2015 will make it possible for NPs to provide the required certification for Medicare patients under their care.  Passage of this legislation will reduce Medicare spending by eliminating duplicative services while also improving the quality and timeliness of care for beneficiaries who need home health care services.
AANP thanks Senators Collins and Schumer for taking this important first legislative step toward improving patients' lives, and the organization pledges its continued support for swift action this year.  We ask that you contact your Senators and ask them to support this important legislation.
 

Congratulations to Miki MacDonald for her 2015 State Award for Excellence

and Kevin Lewis for his 2015 Maine State Nurse Practitioner Advocate Award

 

MaineCare Reimbursement Update

Back in April, we received an email from a MNPA member regarding what looked like a reduction in MaineCare rates paid to certain categories of NPs.  Since then we have had discussions with the Director of MaineCare Services, Stefanie Nadeau and her staff, leading to a face-to-face meeting to help Bob Howe and Pam Cahill better understand MaineCare reimbursement issues as they relate to NPs. 

Read more...