News to Use
DOs Making Headlines
MOA Board Member Jodie Hermann, DO discusses the flu and coronavirus on WMTW.
via UNE COM's Facebook Page
According to Dr. Hermann, "Since coronavirus is new, we suspect it is more like SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, that actually jumped from the animal population to the human population."
UNE COM Grad Jonathan Finnoff, DO Joins U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee As Chief Medical Officer
BY UNITED STATES OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE | JAN. 14, 2020, 3:45 P.M. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the hiring of Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, D.O., as its chief medical officer. Reporting to the chief of athlete services, Finnoff will be responsible for setting and implementing the USOPC’s strategic direction for promoting holistic athlete well-being – including physical and mental health – in ways that directly improve Team USA athletes’ day-to-day lives, on and off the field of play.
Finnoff’s hire marks the latest development to the USOPC’s athlete services division. Implemented in 2019, the new division realigned existing departments, including sports medicine, to advance the support and resources available to Team USA athletes – specifically in the areas of athlete safety and wellness, engagement and communication – as a balance to high-performance services.
In his new role, Finnoff’s key areas of responsibility will include oversight of USOPC sports medicine personnel, policies and procedures, and collaborating with various stakeholders – including National Governing Bodies, international partners, external providers and internal departments – to foster the sustained health and wellness of American athletes through excellence in evidence-based medical, technological, preventative and recovery support services.
With more than two decades of experience in medical treatment of sports injuries, Finnoff joins the USOPC after serving as medical director for the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minneapolis, where he has served as a team physician for the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA and Lynx WNBA teams since 2014. A former professional athlete, he has also served as a team physician for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association since 2003, specializing as the head team physician for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team for the last five years during which time he accompanied Team USA to the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 and 2018. He was first introduced to the Olympic and Paralympic movements in 2002, when he served as medical director of the Soldier Hollow athletes’ clinic for the Olympic Games and the venue medical officer at the Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City.
“It is truly an honor to be selected by the USOPC for this position,” said Finnoff. “I’m looking forward to working with Team USA, USOPC leadership, National Governing Bodies, and our Olympic and Paralympic partners to advance the health and well-being of the athletes representing our nation.”
Finnoff earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Colorado, Boulder, and a doctorate of osteopathic medicine from the University of New England. He specializes in and has published original research related to sports and musculoskeletal medicine with an emphasis on diagnostic and interventional ultrasound procedures, regenerative medicine, sport concussions, and injury risk and prevention.
Finnoff will relocate to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and begin his role March 2.
January 31, 2020
Dear Colleagues -
We appreciate your support of medical education and wish to invite you to be directly involved in the process. There are many ways you can help, especially as the need has become critical. Dramatic changes have been sweeping the world of medical education. The pursuit of a residency match has become much more competitive. This spring is the first year of the Single Accreditation System residency match. Over the past several years we have noticed more and more medical students not matching to a program at all. There is also an overall shortage of the availability of clinical rotation sites for all third and fourth - year medical students to complete their training. As you are aware, the nation has a projected shortage of primary care physicians. You may also know that UNECOM graduates are the largest percentage of practicing physicians in the state of Maine - many are in primary care specialties. Your “younger siblings”, the current osteopathic medical students at University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, would greatly benefit from your assistance in their training journey! The more students who have positive training experiences in Maine, the more likely they may choose to continue their careers in the state.
One vital engagement you can engage in is to host osteopathic medical students in your office. Hosting medical students is an excellent injection of optimism and earnestness to your day. UNECOM has 180 osteopathic medical students per class interested in shadowing! Your commitment can be flexible. First and second-year medical students are eager to join you and follow at your elbow for half a day. They have dedicated time in their schedule, and your proximity to the Biddeford campus makes your location ideal. If you wish to pursue a more engaging experience or you really enjoy mentoring, you can accept third or fourth-year students for a month-long rotation. In the office-based rotations, third and fourth year, osteopathic medical students are able to immerse themselves into your routine and can initiate a sick visit, make oral presentations to you and try to propose possible treatment options. Based on student experience, some are able to assist with office procedures and are able to draw blood, perform EKGs, help dress wounds, investigate research articles and assist with performance of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) with physician preceptors.
Have we piqued your curiosity? Would you like to try it once? Would you try it out for a half day once a month? You can adapt your involvement as you get familiar with the process – try it once and see how it goes! If you would enjoy hosting a month-long rotation, UNECOM can work with you to develop the best format for you.
If you are interested in educating our future physicians, visit the link:
Another Chance to Engage: UNE COM Speed Networking Set for March 28th
This spring, the UNE COM Office of Recruitment, Student & Alumni Services (RSAS) will host Speed Networking on Saturday, March 28th to connect our first and second-year COM students with physicians practicing in various specialties across the region. We would love for you to join us, network with our students and answer questions about what working in your particular specialty is like.
The event takes place from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Saturday, March 28th in the Ripich Commons on the UNE Biddeford Campus.
If you are interested in participating in our Speed Networking event, please register by Friday, March 13th at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=IcWYFJq0h02TDFCO83sfxmUbVSqMr95LmY8MncflpSlUNlI3MFZCSDRIMU04Q0ZVSzY2M1AyVU1OMy4u.
If you have any questions about the event, please email Marly Solebello at email@example.com.
Public Health Updates
12 Days Left until the March 3rd Vote.
ICYMI: A Letter from MOA President David Scaccia, DO
February 20, 2020
Dear MOA Members,
On March 3, Maine voters will be asked whether they want to overturn Maine’s vaccine law.
As a second-generation osteopathic family physician with a background in occupational and public health, I believe that all decisions regarding the health of the public should be evidence-based. Scientific evidence for over 200 years has repeatedly proven that vaccines are safe, save lives and improve the health of individuals and communities.
Maine Osteopathic Association is a proud member of the Maine Families for Vaccines Coalition, which is leading the No on Question 1 campaign, to oppose the repeal of Maine’s law.
The American Medical Association, Maine Hospital Association, Maine Medical Association, American Nurses Association of Maine (ANA-Maine), Northern Light Health, MaineGeneral Health, Central Maine Healthcare, and over 50 other health organizations and associations in Maine are also members.
I urge you to discuss this very important referendum with colleagues, patients, family and friends, encouraging a “no” vote.
David Scaccia, D.O., MPH
What can you do to support the No on 1 Effort?
Donate: We need to get our message out to protect Maine's kids. Your donation is critical and there's still time.
Educate: Send letters to the editor to share your experience, post info on social media, engage your professional organizations or other social groups. Even something as simple as sharing MMA Facebook posts and/or retweeting MMA Twitter posts on your respective feeds. There is an excellent education guide at www.protectmainechildren.com/the-facts.
Get the word out: Signs, buttons, and social media tags are available from www.protectmainechildren.com. Click the "get involved" link.
Vote: Get to the polls on March 3rd if you can. If you're not sure you'll be able to make it, you can vote by absentee ballot https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl The deadline to request an absentee ballot is February 27.
Please act now. It's too important to wait.
Maine CDC Infectious Disease Program Report
This report includes investigations initiated during MMWR Year 2019 (December 30, 2018 through December 28, 2019). Only investigations with a case status are included in this report. For all outbreak conditions confirmed, probable, and suspect case statuses are included. For non-outbreak conditions confirmed and probable case statuses are included. If a condition is not listed that means no cases met the case definition during this time.
This report is a graph of selected reportable diseases that displays the preliminary Year-To-Date (YTD) totals for the current year against the median YTD totals for the previous five-year period (2015 – 2019).
For more information about these reports, please contact the Division of Disease Surveillance at 1-800-821-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All STD and HIV related publications are available online at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/hiv-std/index.shtml and all other infectious disease publications are available at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/.
These reports are also available online at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/publications/index.shtml#Quarterlies.
Please reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Have You Received Your Bonus Payment for 2017 APM Participation?
Physicians who participated in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) during 2017 and were entitled to a 5% lump-sum bonus payment in 2019, but have not yet received it, have until Feb. 28, 2020 to contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS recently issued a payment advisory to notify physicians that qualify for an APM incentive payment to contact the agency to provide current contact and banking information. If you believe you are entitled to a payout, even if you are no longer with the group that participated in the APM, you are encouraged to review the list of physicians that CMS is unable to locate and follow the instructions for providing contact and banking information to claim your payment. If you have questions, please contact the CMS Quality Payment Program at 1-866-288-8292 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
News from CMS
CMS Develops New Code for Coronavirus Lab Test
On February 13, CMS took further action to ensure America’s health care facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS developed a new HCPCS code for providers and laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. This code will allow those labs conducting the tests to bill for the specific test instead of using an unspecified code, which means better tracking of the public health response for this particular strain of the coronavirus to help protect people from the spread of this infectious disease.
Health care providers who need to test patients for Coronavirus using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019 Novel Coronavirus Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel may bill for that test using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001). The Medicare claims processing system will be able to accept this code on April 1, 2020, for dates of service on or after February 4, 2020. HCPCS is a standardized coding system that Medicare and other health insurers use to submit claims for services provided to patients.
For More Information:
- Memo: Critical steps for health care facilities to prepare
- Memo: Information for CLIA-certified laboratories on how to test
MOA Medical Economics Update -- Slides Available
During the MOA Business Meeting Friday, February 7th Medical Economics Committee Co-Chair Kiran Mangalam, DO addressed the membership to share an update on the committee's work over the past year. You can view the slide presentation here.
The Committee Supported two educational sessions during the Midwinter Symposium over the weekend from Edward Roche, PhD, JD and Thomas Force, Esq. on all things billing/coding, audits and recoupments.
Roche was kind enough to share a summary of his comments:
Dealing with Audits-- Edward Roche, PhD, JD
A presentation by Edward M. Roche, PhD, JD of Barraclough NY LLC focused on the audit. Roche reviewed different types of “red flags” that automatically trigger audits. (His slides are available for download.) These include excessive use of modifiers that signal exceptions to therapy caps on the basis of medical necessity. He reviewed the four-step appeals process, including the rights providers have to verify the credentials of reviewers. Most appeals are successful only at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level, after going through determination, re-determination, and re-consideration by the QIC.
Roche also reviewed the many problems with faulty statistical methodology being used in extrapolations that balloon up the recoup demand to very high levels based on analysis of only a handful of claims. Auditors frequently use wrong formulas, don’t document their methodology, and present work with exceedingly poor accuracy that would never be acceptable in any scientific journal or court of law. Most of the time, the accuracy does not even meet Federal guidelines.
In addition, Roche reviewed a number of “dirty tricks” played in the auditing process, such as refusal to hand over documentation on the audit, hiding formulas used, unnecessary delays, and even inserting reports into the record after the hearing is passed.
There are a number of defensive measures providers can take including developing compliance plan and learning how to respond to audits. In this connection, Roche provided sample form letters and other materials that are useful in formulating a response.
Thomas Force's presentation on recoupments is available here.
Quick Resource Links:
Maine Osteopathic Association
AOA Physician Services
Phone: (888) 62-MYAOA
AOA Private Payor Advocacy Page:
Sign up for the AOA's Quarterly Newsletter: https://osteopathic.org/private-payer-newsletter-