Opioid Addiction and Patient Care by Dr. Erik Steele

Published on April 11, 2017 by

Peter was a patient of mine to whom I prescribed opioids intermittently for several years. I remember to this day how shocked I was to finally discover that he was not only pathologically hooked on opioids, but was so hooked he was stealing money to buy them on the street. Even more shocking to me;…


Press Release: Maine Quality Counts Taps Erik Steele, DO, as Interim Executive Director

Published on November 3, 2016 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Paul Santomenna email 207.620.8526, X1013   MAINE QUALITY COUNTS TAPS ERIK STEELE, DO, AS INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dr. Steele brings decades of leadership in Maine health care to interim role Manchester, Maine – (November 3, 2016) – Maine Quality Counts (QC), the independent, multi-stakeholder alliance working to transform health and…


So You Received a Negative Payment Adjustment Notification from CMS

Published on October 5, 2016 by

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) distributed letters to providers indicating that the recipient—you, if you got one! – did not satisfactorily report 2015 PQRS quality measures or satisfactorily participate in a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR).  The letter goes on to explain that you, therefore, are now subject to a 2017…


Succeeding in a Brave New World: the Maine Community ACO

Published on September 30, 2016 by

Along with the changing foliage, school buses, and cool nights, a sure sign of fall (for inveterate policy wonks like me!) is the publication of annual results from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) demonstrations.  CMS recently released results from Medicare ACOs 2015 performance year for ACOs nationwide, noting, “…over…


Ending Opioid Dependence Among Chronic Pain Patients

Published on December 22, 2015 by

“The scourge of heroin and opioid abuse is an extraordinary crisis requiring an all hands on deck approach,” Maine Attorney General Janet Mills wrote to health care providers last week. Her letter noted 21 apparent overdose deaths in Maine from prescription and street drugs in November and urged prescribers to help save lives by “reining…


CompareMaine.org Offers New Healthcare Facility Cost & Quality Info

Published on November 2, 2015 by

The Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) has launched CompareMaine.org, a new healthcare transparency website.   Consumers can use it to compare the average cost of over 200 medical procedures at more than 170 healthcare facilities in the state—including hospitals, surgical centers, diagnostic imaging centers, labs, and clinics—and see quality ratings alongside cost information. “This launch is the…


6 Things Docs Can Do to Combat the Opioid & Heroin Epidemic

Published on September 17, 2015 by

At the Maine Medical Association’s annual meeting in Bar Harbor this weekend, Maine physicians had a first-hand opportunity to hear about the growing heroin/opioid epidemic from Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.  Attorney General Mills offered a sobering perspective on the epidemic, illustrated in both numbers and names: Deaths from heroin and opioid overdoses continue to…


Maine Achieves Highest Toddler Immunization Rate in the Country

Published on August 28, 2015 by

Reflecting years of concerted and sustained effort by Maine’s primary care and pediatric care providers, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention released survey results yesterday indicating Maine had the highest toddler vaccination rate in the nation in 2014. The 2014 immunization rate for children ages 19 to 35 months in Maine was 84.7…


A Report from Sen. King’s Roundtable on Opioid Use

Published on August 25, 2015 by

In his opening remarks at today’s quickly-convened “Roundtable on Opioid Use”, Sen. Angus King noted the stark contrast between the headlines just over a year ago that focused on the fear of an Ebola epidemic in the US, and the reality of the current and growing opioid crisis that has gripped the nation and the…


From Cockpit to Clinic: TeamSTEPPS

Published on August 4, 2015 by

After the National Transportation Safety Board found that poor leadership and communication were major factors in several airline crashes in the late 1970’s, the U.S. government and the airline industry created Crew Resource Management, a training program to improve communication, leadership and decision-making among pilots, copilots and eventually entire airline crews. Within a short time,…