Health

Medical marijuana
5:54 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Caribou Doctor Reprimanded Over Dispensing of Medical Marijuana Certificates

ORONO, Maine - A doctor who operated a medical marijuana clinic out of an Orono inn last year has been reprimanded and fined by the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. The doctor saw nearly 60 patients over the course of two days to issue medical marijuana certificates, regulators say. State officials say that as Maine's young medical marijuana program evolves, the challenge is to ensure that physicians don't use it solely as a revenue-generating opportunity.  

 

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Doctor reprimanded
12:32 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Marijuana Doc Reprimanded in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine - A doctor who held a marijuana clinic at a hotel and failed to adequately document examinations has been reprimanded by the board that licenses physicians in Maine.

The board announced Monday that Dr. William Ortiz accepted a consent agreement in which he's paying a $2,000 fine and reimbursing the Board of Licensure in Medicine $1,412 for its investigation.

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Your Vote 2014
11:50 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Democrat Michaud Outlines Ideas Around Health Care

Mike Michaud unveils his health plan at a Portland news conference.
Credit A.J. Higgins / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Gubernatorial hopeful Mike Michaud says Maine must take advantage of telemedicine and support preventative care services that can reduce health care costs down the road.

The Democrat's 10-part health care plan released on Monday also includes expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which he has pledged to put forward on his first day in office, if elected.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage opposes the expansion because he says it will be too costly for Maine.

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Health
6:08 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Maine Health Groups Get $600K to Help Consumers

AUGUSTA, Maine — Two Maine health organizations are getting $600,000 to help consumers sign up for insurance under the federal health care overhaul law.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Fishing Partnership Health Plan and Western Maine Community Action will receive navigator grant funding. The grants are part of $60 million given to 90 organizations nationwide.

The money will be used to pay for workers to help Mainers navigate the exchange website and their options under the law. Maine is one of 36 states using the federal website, www.healthcare.gov .

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Caregivers
5:08 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Desire to 'Age in Place' Presents Challenges for Maine Caregivers

Erica Magnus helps her mother, Jane Magnus, down the stairs.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

Momentum is building in Maine toward addressing the state's aging problem. Maine has the highest median age in the nation, and the second-highest proportion of seniors, after Florida. For seniors who seek to grow old at home - or "age in place," as it's called - the pressures are increasing on caregivers. We have the first of a three-part series looking at the challenges faced by those Mainers who find themselves acting as unpaid caregivers for elderly, or ailing, family members.

 

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Health
1:37 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

HHS Providing $3M for Maine Health Centers

AUGUSTA, Maine — The federal government says $3 million in Affordable Care Act funding will be used to help 14 health center centers expand service in Maine.

Officials say the funding will help the centers hire an estimated 48 new staff, stay open for longer hours and expand their services. The government believes the funding will help the centers reach an estimated 10,367 additional patients.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says health centers are a key part of how the Affordable Care Act aims to improve access to care for millions of Americans.

Health
5:54 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Maine Insurers Take Different Approach to Paying Doctors, in Effort to Cut Costs

Dr. Jeff Holmstrom, a practicing family physician who is also the medical director at Anthem.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Insurance companies are starting to pay primary care physicians in Maine a little differently, in an effort to improve care, and reduce expensive hospitalizations. They're giving doctors reimbursements upfront, to cover the cost of outreach and forms of care that come outside a patient visit. Some health policy experts say these programs are another step in the right direction.

Years ago, Portland internist Dr. Tom Claffey says he noticed a problem with the way patients with chronic conditions were being treated. Their care was sporadic and reactionary.

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USDA Snack Standards
12:08 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

School Kids Bid Farewell to Unhealthy Snacks

Kids heading back to public schools for the new academic year are going to get healthier snacks with new USDA standards that are now in effect.

Known as the "Smart Snacks in School" standards, they're aimed at limiting the amount of fat, sugar, salt and calories consumed by students in between meals. So it's goodbye to snacks like chips, doughnuts and soda, and hello to healthier treats like raisins, carrots and granola bars.

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Health
9:43 am
Tue September 9, 2014

DHHS Backtracks on No-Resuscitate Order

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine agency that won the right to make medical decisions on behalf of a brain-injured infant is backtracking, saying it'll defer to the wishes of the child's mother.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a statement that the agency will not exercise its authority in the event Maine's supreme court upholds a no-resuscitate order. The agency had asked for the order and a judge granted it.

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Health
9:34 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Concerns Spur Review of Riverview

AUGUSTA, Maine — The court master who oversees a consent decree governing how the state treats people with mental illness says he plans an inspection of the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

Court Master Daniel Wathen, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, laid out plans for the visit in his latest progress report on how the state is complying with requirements of that decree.

Wathen said in the report made public Monday that operations at the 92-bed hospital "can only be characterized as troubling."

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