May 2017
MaineHealth ACO In Action

Portland Turns Out for Advance Care Planning Event

More than 170 Portland area community members recently joined the MaineHealth ACO and partner organizations for an evening of thinking and talking about end-of-life care and advance care planning. The event, held on the evening of April 19 at USM's Hannaford Hall, featured a screening of Dr. Atul Gawande's PBS Frontline documentary Being Mortal and a panel discussion with local palliative care and end-of-life care experts.

"This event is a direct result of the ACO's ongoing commitment to spreading end-of-life care best practices. It's a new approach, however. It's the first time we've delivered our message beyond health systems and directly to the general public. And considering the positive response, this is probably just the first in a number of public events sponsored or co-sponsored by the ACO," said Dr. Jeff Aalberg, MaineHealth ACO chief medical officer and an organizer of the event.

The Being Mortal event team (L-R): Stephanie Daggett, Peggy Haynes, Isabella Stumpf, Jessica Begley, Julie Carroll, Mallory Pitt, Deb Silberstein & Dr. Jeffrey Aalberg 
N eed To Know: Important Updates

Don't Know Where to Focus? Here Are Three Key Goals for 2017

The current health care environment is rapidly changing and we are seeing an increase in competing demands from payers and other health care entities. The MaineHealth ACO seeks to understand these demands and package them for ACO practices and hospitals to enable focus on the most impactful and meaningful priorities to help us achieve our vision:  to be a nationally recognized network of providers delivering high quality, affordable care.  To help you keep your eye on that vision and simplify your priorities, the ACO's Value Oversight Committee has sifted through the complexities and come up with three key goals that are worthy of your attention in 2017:

Goal 1: Achieve the Quality Top 10
For 2017, the MaineHealth ACO is focused on 10 high-impact quality measures that are foundational to patient care, align with various national quality programs (including the Medicare Shared Savings Program and National Committee for Quality Assurance) and provide focused effort to ensure success in our agreements with payers. 

Goal 2: Reduce Low-Value Care and Enhance Necessary Care
Our efforts this year will continue to focus on reducing low value care and improving patient-centered outcomes in patients with serious conditions.  By effectively managing our most complex patients, with special attention to the desires of patients needing palliative and/or end-of-life care, we can avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits - two of the biggest drivers of health care costs.  

Goal 3: Recognition for the Work You Do
In this data-driven health care climate, accurate coding impacts our ability to coordinate care, understand the health of populations and recognize the work of clinicians.  The Annual Wellness Visit for eligible Medicare beneficiaries is a great opportunity to provide patient-centered care while ensuring proper capture of patients' conditions. Documentation related to these and other patient visits (Hierarchical Condition Category coding) helps Medicare calculate the illness burden of your patient panel - a major factor in receiving appropriate reimbursement and setting realistic quality and cost expectations for the care you provide.

How the ACO Can Help
Our team is ready to help you achieve the Three Key Goals for 2017.  We offer connections to resources such as provider and patient education, data analysis and improvement support.  If you are interested in learning more about how we can assist, please contact
We'll continue to offer information in this newsletter.  Be on the lookout for additional articles about achieving the Three Key Goals for 2017, and announcements of training and educational opportunities to support your efforts in the coming months.  

Need CEUs?  Take advantage of these free trainings:

Check out these Practice Transformation Learning Opportunities offered through MaineHealth ACO's Enhanced Personal Health Care agreement with Anthem.  Provided to you at no cost, these recorded and live online webinars cover various topics and can help you earn CEU and CME credits.  While they are offered by Anthem, the information shared is not specific to Anthem products or members. Here are a few highlights of upcoming trainings (click on the catalog link to view them all):
  • May 18, 2017      The Vital Role of Palliative Care in Patient Outcomes
  • June 15, 2017     Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
  • Recording            Reducing Hospital Readmissions 
  • Recording            Getting Adolescents In for Well Visits & Immunizations
Interested in other CEU and CME learning opportunities?  Check out the  Practice Transformation Learning Opportunities e-catalog ,

New! Monthly Peer-to-Peer Innovation Sharing 
Session 1: Hypertension Control 
Wednesday, May 17th, 12:00 - 1:00 PM Online -  Register Here!  

Often, the most useful ideas and insights come from people who are facing the same challenges you are. That's why we're launching a new peer-to-peer webinar series for practices participating in the MaineHealth ACO. Each month, individuals who've discovered a successful tactic to improve patient care or reduce cost will share what they've learned and participate in an open discussion with webinar attendees. It's a chance to learn what works while building new connections.
On May 17, the first Peer-to-Peer Innovation Sharing session will offer potential solutions to a common challenge: hypertension control. Douglas Smith, MD and Linda Nadeau from St. Mary's Health System will discuss their hypertension control initiative and share promising workflows. Staff from Pen Bay will also contribute to the conversation. Please join us!

Martin's Point Webinar on Medicare Advantage Coding and Documentation

Have you been hearing the buzz about the importance of proper medical record documentation and ICD coding?  It is vitally important, and has many downstream impacts particularly with regard to Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurance plans.  During this webinar, we will provide a brief overview on how outpatient diagnostic coding and documentation impacts risk adjustment, and why this matters for your patients.  We will focus on appropriate diagnostic coding, and share ideas on how to establish a work flow to maximize efficiencies in your practice.  You'll hear from Megan Foley, CPC, CRC, with Martin's Point Health Care, and we'll provide ample time for questions and answers.  We hope you'll join us! 

Who should attend?
  • Providers
  • Population health nurses
  • Clinical Documentation Improvement Staff
  • Billers/Coders
  • Any and all staff who are responsible for medical record       documentation and review, and/or those focused on practice improvement initiatives, quality oversight, or revenue management.
Register for the webinar session that is most convenient for you. 
Deadline to register is May 30th:
Tuesday, June 6:  7 - 8am Register OR  12 - 1pm Register  

Stay on top of policy changes and updates. Sign up for payer newsletters and e-alerts
Be the first to know about payer policy updates and changes to processes or criteria that impact coverage by signing up to receive payer newsletters and email alerts.  Information on how to sign up can be found here.

Diabetes Treatment Update from the MaineHealth Chronic Disease Team: 
The Latest on GLP-1 Receptor Agonists

Are you using glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists for care of your patients with Type 2 diabetes?   If not, here is some important information to consider.   While not always the best choice, GLP-1 receptor agonists can be effective non-insulin alternatives to decrease A1Cs.  

Resource Available to Help Patients Pay for Prescription Medications

If you have patients who need help paying for prescription medications, MedAccess is a program available throughout Maine.  This free program, administered by MaineHealth, helps patients and healthcare providers evaluate options such as pharmaceutical companies' patient assistance programs, low-cost generic programs, and Medicare Part D and state and local prescription programs that can help save on prescription medication costs.  If your staff would like to know more about MedAccess and how to support patients in accessing these services, you can request an in-person or webinar training by emailing  Sarah Jones  or calling 207-662-7954.


In-person, Customized COPD Training for Staff

Are you looking for a way to provide information to staff on COPD national treatment guidelines, common medications and current research and trends?  Would your staff prefer training that utilizes hands-on practice sessions for some of the most common inhaled COPD medications?  MaineHealth Lung Health Clinical Specialist, Martine Eon, is available to offer customized COPD training for all members of the care team. Trainings are offered as requested and are delivered in person.  Length is determined in collaboration with the requesting site.  For more information please email Martine Eon  or call 207-661-7155

Resources from the CDC Can Educate Your Patients on Fall Prevention
Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.  The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. For older persons, the consequences of falls can be devastating, including reduced mobility, functional decline, and loss of independence.

Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors.  Healthcare providers can help cut down a person's risk by reducing the fall risk factors.

Resources from the CDC can help engage and educate your patients on key actions that they can take.
For more information please contact Gloria Neault
FAST FIVE: ACO Spotlight
Joan Boomsma, MD
Chief Medical Officer, MaineHealth 
Member, MaineHealth ACO Board of Directors

Each month, we ask an ACO stakeholder five quick questions about their work and life. This month, we catch up with Dr. Joan Boomsma, Dr. Boomsma became MaineHealth's chief medical officer in September, 2016.