J. Fazeli, MD & Associates 

Patient Rights

Update: June 10, 2013

​We are happy to report that Gov. Paul LePage signed LD-447 into law today. This law will maintain a level playing field for independent providers and improve access to geriatric care in nursing homes in Maine. 
The
final version of LD-447 An Act to Increase Patient Choice in Health Care Facilities and Health Care Settings can be reviewed by clicking here.

Update: April 05, 2013 

Various stakeholders have held a meeting on LD 447 and agreed to language changes, and the bill was amended to meet everyone's approval.You can click below to see the amended bill  that will be reviewed by the Committee on Health and Human Services at their work session on April 11, 2013. 
   

​Please feel free to submit testimony in support of the amended LD 447 to the Committee on Health and Human Services.  

Health and Human Services Committee Clerk: 
​Ben Frech, benjamin.frech@legislature.maine.gov
Phone: (207) 287-1317
http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/hum.htm 

​Committee on Health and Human Services
c/o Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333  

​March 12, 2013 

​The Maine Joint Committee of Health and Human Services voted on 03/12/2013 to table LD 447 until April 2, 2013 and asked that stakeholders meet to discuss the bill's goals and language. 
 

March 11, 2013

​The State of Maine is considering a bill to improve patient choice and more transparency in hospital regal practices. 
​Please click below for a pdf of the patient choice bill currently under consideration at the State House. 




​LD-447 is supported by the Maine Medical Directors Association (MMDA) as it also improves the healthcare business environment for new physicians interested in Geriatric medicine and nursing home medicine. The bill also strengthens existing Maine regulations regarding the role of medical directors in facilities owned by nursing home corporations.  

​The opponents of the bill, the MHA and MHCA, have opposed the bill based in part on resulting "administrative burden" and the fact that Maine has existing laws on the issue. 

​The MMDA is now conducting a survey of Maine nursing facilities to get their perspective on how big of a problem the hospital referral issue is and how much of a burden the provisions in the bill would cause. The survey was sent to 107 Maine facilities on Thursday afternoon, March 7, 2013, and we are still receiving responses. 


 




​1. "I believe one hospital (hospital name removed) in our area fills their affiliated skilled facility first. I am almost always told when they refer to me that (facility name removed) or (facility name removed) were the patient's first choice. Often when I take a referral from them, the hospital will send the patient to one of these facilities at the last minute even though the referral was already made to and accepted by us. When I follow up for patient arrival, I am told the patient is going to one of the other facilities aforementioned. (facility name removed) is the hospital's affiliated facility and (facility name removed) appears to be the 2nd preferred.

2. "some hospitals have admission staff from area facilities in their hospitals daily which afford them immediate access to who is ready for discharge and also allows them to give first knowledge of whether they can accept this patient or not before any discussion ensues with patient regarding other opportunities!" 

3. "Our Social Worker/Admission Coordinator has established strong, professional relationships with the Hospital Discharge Planners. We're successful filling empty beds within a matter of days. The facility is highly regarded with a stellar reputation for providing quality care." 

4. "With the new EPIC software, we are finding that medical information on referrals/admits to be difficult to pull together, often missing crucial pieces of data. As an example, since the change to EPIC, we are missing social security numbers, orders are difficult to read. Overall, admissions from most area hospitals keep coming later and later in the day impacting the SNF's ability to ascertain meds, therapy minutes, etc.... This does not seem to be fair to the patients, who often arrive at a SNF in the evening, when they are over tired, under medicated, hungry etc..."

5. "Question #9 is difficult to answer. Yes, I'd be willing, No, it isn't a burden."

6. "there is a great need to offer patients a wide variety of choices, not just funnel them into the hospital owned SNF/NF/AL"

​7. “The majority of our local physicians will only take patients who are already established with them prior to hospitalization. We have one who will accept new patients. This is a tremendous challenge for us. The type of patient sent to us is often extremely challenging; when they come from out of our area they do not want to stay away from family and friends, they want to be in their home area. They are often behavioral challenges and sometimes without appropriate information and once they arrive we have no resourcesand hospital will not consider a readmission.”  

Please check back frequently as we will follow this bill and provide updates. 

​For more information on this issue please read Dr. Fazeli's blog: 
www.healthwatchusa.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-maine-law-to-improve.patient.choice.html

​If you would like to share your thoughts about LD 447, you can contact the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services by clicking 
here or contact:

​Committee on Health and Human Services
c/o Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333 

Committee Clerk: Ben Frech
​Phone: (207) 287-1317