Music –Power to Mend

TD donation to music program 02 07 17 (4)C

PHOTO left to right: Philip Madore with daughter Susan Dionne, Arlene Pinette with daughter Brenda Pelletier, Patricia Berube, TD Bank, Catherine St. Pierre, Music Coordinator, Leonard Dube & sister Bernadette Dube, Charlene Taggett, Activities Coordinator

Fort Kent ~ For nearly a year now, Forest Hill residents have experienced a life changing program in their environment, in the form of music therapy. Through grant money and local donations, thirteen iPods and music for playlists have been purchased. A Music Certified facility, Forest Hill initially kicked off the program with ten residents who fully participate in the formal music therapy program.

According to Music and Memory, a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, “Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry are able to reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.” Information that may be obtained from the Program’s website at musicandmemory.org also states that favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.

Catherine St. Pierre, Forest Hill’s Music Coordinator explained that when a person experiences their favorite music, memories are evoked that perhaps would not be accessed any other way. She said, “People who aren’t typically verbal begin telling stories of their younger years in great detail after having listened to their personalized music playlists.” She also said that each time a person listens to music whether it is to relax or boost energy levels, the therapeutic nature of music nurtures the whole person on all levels of mind, body and spirit.

Most recently, Forest Hill residents received a gift from the Fort Kent TD Bank. Patricia Berube, Bank Teller at TD Bank for the past nine years, began volunteering on her own by bringing newspapers and cookies to residents at Forest Hill and chatting with residents. In doing so, she learned about the Music Therapy Program and saw firsthand the positive impact, and sometimes transformational changes, the music had on the residents. She was so moved by the benefits she observed that she decided to speak with a supervisor at her place of employment. She got the idea to ask for iTunes gift cards to support the program and asked about the possibility of making a donation for purchasing iTunes gift cards. She said, “Home office supports and encourages employee volunteerism at the local community level and they supported this request without any hesitation.” More partnerships are being sought within the community to acquire funds and supplies so that more residents may participate in the program to enhance their quality of life.

Anyone interested in learning ways in which to support the program are urged to contact Catherine St. Pierre at catherine.stpierre@nmmc.org. St. Pierre will be the guest speaker at the NMMC Guild business meeting on March 15 and she is available for public speaking engagements by appointment. Individuals may support the program by donating equipment such as new or gently used iPods, headphones, iTunes gift cards or music compact discs, preferably of the genre of classic and country, as well as music relating to the forties, fifties, sixties and seventies.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

Teaming Up for Health

Fort Kent ~ Last summer, the local Senior College invited Ben Paradis to offer an introduction to Tai Chi which started a dialogue about bringing a full course to the Valley. Enough interest was generated by the demonstration to pursue the idea which led to the current partnership; and making the free course available to seniors in the St. John Valley. Dottie Sines, Nutrition and Health Consultant with the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging (AAAA) coordinated the training for two local volunteers to prepare them to teach Tai Chi for Arthritis. AAAA has partnered with Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) to make the course available to benefit health and wellness of St. John Valley residents.

Paradis, along with Bill Loder, will be teaching the ten week class in mid February. Loder said he first became interested in Tai Chi ten years ago when living in Virginia. With a background in computer programming, he saw Tai Chi as an opportunity to break away from his sedentary work at a computer work station. Loder said, “I looked forward to Saturday mornings in the park. The class gave me peacefulness and the flow of the movements gave me a sense of wellbeing.” He saw the AAAA program as an opportunity to renew his interest by receiving formal training and helping others learn and benefit from the art of Tai Chi.

In 1997, Dr. Paul Lam at the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) collaborated with the Arthritis Foundation of America to produce an instructional program to assist people dealing with chronic pain brought on by various forms of arthritis. According to medical experts, Tai Chi is an effective exercise program which increases flexibility, strengthens muscles and improves cardiorespiratory fitness. Tai Chi gently moves all joints, muscles and tendons resulting in increased flexibility. Tai Chi for Arthritis targets the body’s core, arms, legs, glutes and back muscles.

A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, September 2003, showed that regular practice of Tai Chi for Arthritis improved physical function and balance by thirty percent and was effective in strengthening muscles by fifteen to twenty percent. The largest study of Tai Chi for Arthritis, by Professor Leigh Callahan from the University of North Carolina, shows significant health benefits for people with all types of arthritis. The landmark study, presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting in 2010, documented improvement in pain, fatigue, stiffness and sense of well-being. Dr. Callahan, the study’s lead author, reported at the end of the eight week program that the individuals who had received the intervention showed moderate improvements in pain, fatigue and stiffness. They also had an increased sense of well being, as measured by the psychosocial variables, and they had improved reach or balance. Tai Chi for Arthritis is also supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for meeting the highest level criteria for the Administration on Aging evidence based disease prevention and health promotion programs.

The ancient art of Tai Chi is a unique program requiring no special equipment and can be practiced almost anywhere, either alone or in a group. Loder and Paradis are both TCHI Board certified instructors. To learn more about the class, contact Joanne Fortin at 207-834-1353 or email at j.fortin@nmmc.org.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

NMMC Best Practices Highlighted

Abx stewardship team 02 02 17 (1)C

PHOTO: back –Dustin Butler, Pharmacy Supervisor; Nathan Charette, Environmental Services; Erik St. Pierre, MD

Front: Sue Devoe, Director of Quality; Albertine Soucy, Infection Preventionist; Cindy Jandreau, Clinical Informatics Specialist; Carmen Bouchard, MT, Microbiology; Scott Warner, Laboratory Supervisor

Fort Kent ~ Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) was recently highlighted by Healthcare Business Insights (HBI) for its success in launching a clinical quality improvement initiative. In a recent email to Sue Devoe, NMMC Director of Quality, HBI Executive Research Director Enrique Bakemeyer said, “I am excited to share your story with fellow HBI members.” HBI is a company which provides healthcare leaders with resources such as performance analytics and educational tools to assist them in developing and implementing strategic performance improvement plans. HBI makes these resources available through research and sharing of best practices from the nation’s leading hospitals and healthcare systems.

In its efforts to continually improve the quality of services provided, while reducing the cost of healthcare, NMMC is accessing all available clinical resources, including those offered by HBI, in studying best practices as they relate to patient outcomes. The latest in its work is that of adopting best practices for the elimination of healthcare-associated infection known as C. difficile colitis, caused by the bacteria, Clostridium difficile or C. difficile.

When people receive medical care in a hospital, they are at risk of exposure to serious infections called healthcare-associated infections (HAI). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the type of HAI caused by the bacteria C. difficile  was estimated to cause almost half a million infections in the United States in 2011, and 29,000 died within thirty days of the initial diagnosis. CDC reports that those most at risk are people, especially older adults, who take antibiotics and also get medical care.

With its connection to antibiotic usage, it was appropriate for the NMMC team working on antibiotic stewardship to be included in the initiative to reduce and eliminate the incidence of C. difficile by launching organization wide education and protocols for the judicious use of antibiotics. Other factors which were implemented in support of program success were: proper specimen handling, appropriate cleaning practices, the practice of proper and early isolation as well as inclusion and education of patient and family. Devoe said, “I truly believe we have changed practice and we have seen benefit from the bundle we used as a model for our changes.” NMMC has had zero C. difficile HAI’s since July of 2015.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

The Benefits

Ottinger D-Dumond D-Babin T 01 25 17 DSC_0173 (1)C

PHOTO left to right: Deborah Ottinger, Volunteer Instructor; Dolores Dumond, Theresa Babin

Missing from photo: Danielle Leblanc, Volunteer Instructor; Diane Ayoob, Carol Belanger, Marilyn Plourde

Fort Kent ~ Twice a week, a group of smiling individuals is seen in the halls of Forest Hill warming up before starting a class which supports health and wellness. Last May, Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) partnered with the RSVP Volunteer Program to train volunteer instructors to offer the free Bone Builder class for seniors.

Bone Builders is a fitness program for people age fifty and older that focuses on balance, strength training and has an educational component that includes such topics as fall prevention, osteoporosis and nutrition. One in two women and one in five men will suffer a debilitating fracture due to osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weak, brittle and more likely to fracture. Bone density peaks at about age thirty and then begins a slow and gradual decline as a normal part of the aging process.
The exercises used in the program were developed at Tufts University and are the same at every Bone Builders site around the country. The evidence-based program is an osteoporosis prevention program which can help the body to increase bone density and reverse the effects of osteoporosis. The classes are intended to help seniors make changes that will truly help keep them safe and healthy while also ensuring that the program itself does not increase stress or cause pain. The program starts off very gently and builds gradually as the participant’s strength increases. The gentle and slow Bone Builder exercise program stresses bones; stimulated by this stress, bone density has been shown to increase over time. In addition, the sessions provide socialization and camaraderie. Dolores Dumond said, “I find that I have so much more energy since I started the class last Spring.” Dumond also said she finds it easier to participate in the aerobic exercise class that she is also taking on a weekly basis. Instructor Deb Ottinger said she has seen benefits in increased flexibility in her joints, particularly her knees.

The class currently has open slots and is accepting new participants. A medical release and liability waiver are required to participate in the program. For more information on eligibility, contact Joanne Fortin at 207-834-1353.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

Impact of ACA Repeal

Fort Kent ~ The United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, yet when the quality of care is compared to other developed nations, the U.S. ranks near last.  The U.S. has some of the latest and greatest innovations; however, the infant mortality rate, for example, is one of the worst, reported by the World Health Organization to be as high as 30% when compared with other countries. Over the years, numerous entities have articulated the best of intentions to propose changes to the US healthcare system. It was not until the launch of legislation by the Obama administration that Americans began to benefit both in the improved access to healthcare coverage and improvements in the quality of care they received.

As part of the movement at the national level to raise the quality of healthcare and arrest spiraling healthcare costs, President Barack Obama enacted legislation to begin to address access, quality and reimbursement. The legislation signed into law in 2010, called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), outlines comprehensive health insurance reforms including the prohibition of denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, preventing insurance companies from rescinding coverage and several other provisions addressing health insurance reform. The law also addresses improving quality, lowering the cost of healthcare, providing free preventive care and increasing access to affordable care.

Dr. Kristin Hartt, NMMC physician and President of the Medical Staff, spoke on the value of the ACA at the Fort Kent Women’s March on January 21. Dr. Hartt said, “No one argues that the ACA is perfect.  No massive piece of legislation ever is.  I have patients and I know small business owners and farmers, who would not have any healthcare coverage without the ACA.  Some have skipped care or minimized their care for years but are now able to come and see me or get much needed tests, and purchase their medications.  I have patients that would have gone bankrupt due to the expense of a catastrophic illness if they did not have health insurance coverage made possible by the ACA. Though admittedly not a perfect law, the ACA has helped many people obtain access to healthcare coverage, previously outside their reach.”  She emphasized that the development of the ACA was not just about lowering health care costs or providing more access to care; it was about improving quality and trying to fix a broken healthcare system.

Traditionally, the healthcare industry received compensation based on what is called fee-for-service. The more services were provided, the more payments they received. The ACA has moved away from fee for service payment to hospitals and physicians, looking to base pay on quality of services delivered –quality, not quantity. The ACA is also focused on team based care for the chronically ill.  Dr. Hartt explained that this provision has afforded the addition of more support services in her office for her patients such as: case management and diabetes education. The law also requires hospitals to reach outside of their walls and become more invested in the populations they serve by periodically assessing  the community’s needs for health and wellness, and with input from communities, to develop plans to prevent illness – not just treat it once it occurs.

At the state level, the Maine Hospital Association is working to inform legislators on the impact of ACA repeal without identifying adequate replacement. In a recent letter to Senator Susan Collins, Steven Michaud, President of the Maine Hospital Association (MHA) said, “Maine hospitals are the backbone of our healthcare system. If Maine’s private, non-profit hospitals struggle, the entire safety net is at risk.” Michaud noted that hospitals in Maine employ over 30,000 workers and are the largest employer in half of Maine’s counties.

Repealing the ACA overnight, something that hospitals and providers around the country fear strongly, may also seriously impact individuals who purchased health insurance on the marketplace and may now suddenly find themselves without coverage. In Maine, according to MHA, approximately 75,000 individuals receive subsidies made possible by ACA to purchase commercial insurance on the health insurance exchanges. If these subsidies are repealed without adequate replacement, there is a high likelihood, as previously stated, that these individuals will become uninsured.  Hospitals will have to increase the amount of care they write off with fewer people able to pay their bills. For example, last year alone, Northern Maine Medical Center wrote off over $2 million in charity care and bad debt expenses for care provided but not covered.

If the ACA is repealed without a viable alternative in place, millions of Americans will be at risk of suddenly losing their health coverage.  Hospitals across the country will be at risk to close, and many will be forced to do so. Employers still providing coverage will have to absorb the cost of taking care of those without insurance, the economic implications of which are still unforeseen.  So much effort and money has been spent over the last six years to create insurance reform for the millions that previously could not afford it that the notion of repeal without a plan is counterproductive. Contact your legislators to inform them of your views.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

Making a Difference—One Patient at a Time

12 07 16 Saucier-Michael-Gendreau Robert-Williams Graham DSC_0170 (5)C

PHOTO left to right: Michael Saucier, CRNA, Manager; Robert Gendreau, CRNA; Graham Williams, CRNA

Fort Kent ~ In recognition of their profession’s commitment to exceptional patient care, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Fort Kent, and across the country, are celebrating the eighteenth annual National CRNA Week, January 22-28, 2017. Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer approximately forty three million anesthetics in the United States each year.

Established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), National CRNA Week was created to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity to educate the public about anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery, and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from nurse anesthetists.

This year’s theme, Making a Difference, One Patient at a Time, reflects how CRNAs dedicate themselves to each of their patients before, during and after surgery. Founded in 1931, the AANA is the professional organization representing more than 50,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States.

CRNA’s are an integral part of the surgical team and provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. Robert Gendreau who has been on the anesthesia staff at NMMC for ten years said, “One of the many rewards of being a nurse anesthetist is providing patients with the comfort of knowing that I will be by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics to manage their pain and provide a safe anesthesia experience.”  Practicing in every setting where anesthesia is available, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in the vast majority of rural hospitals and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. service men and women on the front lines since World War I.

Every day, CRNAs deliver essential healthcare in thousands of communities and are able to prevent gaps in access to anesthesia services. “Our patients and their safe journey through surgery is our priority. We care for them at a very vulnerable time in their life, and it is an honor to provide safe, quality anesthesia for all of our patients, one at a time” said Michael Saucier, CRNA and Operating Room Manager. According to the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia care is nearly fifty times safer than it was in the early1980s. Saucier will be the guest speaker at the NMMC Guild meeting on February 15, 2017. The NMMC Guild welcomes guests to attend. To learn more, call Joanne Fortin at 207-834-1353.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

New Opioid Law Now in Effect

Smith Gordon 08 17 16 Opiods in ME (5)

PHOTO: Gordon Smith, Executive Vice President, Maine Medical Association, speaks with NMMC Medical Providers on the Opioid Law changes which went into effect 1/1/17

Fort Kent ~ According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ninety one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled since 1999. Closer to home, here in Maine, there has been a 265% increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdose in men, and a 400% increase in deaths in women since 1999. Maine has the distinction of leading the nation in the highest rate of prescriptions for long acting opioids.

In 1996, the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the American Pain Society issued a joint statement stating that chronic pain should be treated with opioids, and that the risk of addiction was deemed low at 1%. Knowing that opiate pain medications, such as morphine, Vicodin and oxycodone, could be effective in the management of acute pain, physicians across the country began prescribing long acting forms of these medications, in increasing amounts, to treat a variety of chronic pain such as low back pain and other chronic conditions.  Unfortunately, it took several years before it was definitively realized that these medications were not effective for most chronic pain conditions. In fact, it is now known that the risk of addiction to opiates is extremely high, at 30-40%, and that they carry a high risk of complications including: risk of medication side effects, dependence, addiction and diversion. According to the National Institute of Health, up to 70% of people with chronic pain are receiving improper treatment.

In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, the state of Maine has taken steps to combat the problem. On April 16, 2016, with the input and support of the Maine Medical Association, Maine Nurse Practitioner Association, Maine Osteopathic Association and others, Governor Paul LePage signed Public Law Chapter 488, An Act to Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program. Several provisions of the law went into effect on January 1, 2017.

Public Law Chapter 488 requires that the following parameters are followed when prescribing opioids: a maximum of a seven day supply of opiate pain medication may be prescribed for acute pain, a maximum of a thirty day supply of opiate pain medication may be prescribed for chronic pain and a daily dose of prescribed opiate pain medication may not exceed 100mg of morphine equivalents per day. The latter excludes patients in treatment for cancer, palliative care and Hospice or end of life care. The law also requires all prescribers to check the Prescription Monitoring Program prior to writing a new opiate or benzodiazepine prescription and every ninety days thereafter.

NMMC administration reports that providers have been educated regarding the necessary provisions in Public Law Chapter 488. Internal education was provided along with a program developed by the Maine Medical Association. Dr. Michael Sullivan, NMMC spokesperson for the initiative said, “NMMC has closely followed the development of legislation and is committed to ensuring that all of our patients that are affected by Public Law Chapter 488 receive the safest and best possible care. All NMMC providers have been educated regarding the most recent literature regarding the potentially negative long term effects of benzodiazepine and opiate medications.” He also said that all providers have received education regarding the best and safest methods of weaning patients off of benzodiazepine and opiate medications.

To learn more about Public Law Chapter 488 and how it pertains to the treatment that you are receiving, please make an appointment with your provider to discuss concerns. To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

NMMC Employee Honored by Peers

Theriault Stacey 01 10 17 (1)C

Fort Kent ~ Robin Damboise, Northern Maine Medical Center’s (NMMC) Director of Human Resources, announced the nomination for the fourth quarter of 2016 for NMMC’s Employee of the Quarter honoree. Candidates who are nominated for the Employee of the Quarter award must meet rigorous performance requirements to be considered by the selection committee. Stacy Theriault was selected by her peers for the award based on her record of going above and beyond in her care for patients and their families where she works on the Swing Rehabilitation Unit at NMMC. Courtney Deprey, NMMC’s Director of Patient Experience said, “We continuously get positive feedback from patients about Stacy’s care. She is a hard worker, never complains and she is also so appreciative of others.” The nomination described Theriault as excellent and truly caring for her patients in her daily advocacy of promoting a great experience.

Theriault obtained her Certification as a Nursing Assistant in 1991, and began her career at Forest Hill that same year where she remained until just under a year ago when she accepted a position on the newly opened Swing Rehabilitation Unit at NMMC. Her valued years of experience as Forest Hill as a Restorative Aide transferred smoothly to her new role of supporting the Therapy Department in providing rehabilitation for patients admitted to the program. She indicated she had been looking to expand her knowledge in health care when she made the change. She saw the opportunity as a win-win, sharing her years of rehabilitation experience and expanding her own knowledge in the acute rehab setting.

Stacy recently coordinated an activity to support the Hope and Justice Project where she involved patients in a creative manner as part of their rehabilitation plan while providing much needed assistance for victims of domestic violence. She utilizes many unique methods to engage patients and enhance their quality of life. She acknowledges that she experiences fulfillment from her “happy patients.” Theriault says in the coming year she is planning an activity around raising breast cancer awareness.

Theriault resides in Fort Kent with her husband, Jeff. The honoree will receive a monetary gift from NMMC and the Medical Staff for her performance excellence and her photo will be displayed on a plaque in a public place of recognition.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!

NMMC Raises the Bar

01 06 17 newly cerified PFC DSC_0170 (3)C

PHOTO left to right: Michelle Kelly, Patient Financial Counselors, Danielle Levesque, Patient Account Representative, Shawna Larrabee, Patient Account Representative, and Brooke Saucier, Patient Financial Specialist

Fort Kent ~ Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) has focused on improving clinical care and consistent use of best practices, however, it has not stopped there. The organization’s emphasis on raising the bar has transcended across all aspects of the organization’s functions. A recent example is demonstrated in the Finance Department’s new training requirement. Not only has complexity expanded in the clinical setting, but the world of healthcare finance has a complexity and a language all its own.

In order for personnel at NMMC to be in a position to assist patients to navigate through the maze of insurance plans and benefits options, they must be well versed in accessing a multitude of insurance providers and have resources to assist patients in understanding their healthcare coverage. In recognizing the increasing demands of the financial counselor and account representatives, Cindy Daigle, NMMC’s Chief Financial Officer has implemented new requirements that must be met by all Patient Financial Counselors and Account Representatives to provide them with the necessary tools to perform their duties when they join the organization. Daigle said, “Gone are the days when all training for these positions could be done on the job.” She also said, “We know how confusing health insurance plans can be to the consumer. We believe this additional training will be a great asset for our patients.” What this means is that all personnel with finance counseling or account representative responsibilities must attain certification in their role within a specified period of time. Personnel who were hired prior to the new requirement will also be required to complete the certification program.

Through a contract with a company called Healthcare Business Insights (HBI), NMMC has access to the most up to date, high quality online courses through what is called HBI’s Revenue Cycle Academy. HBI’s E-Learning and custom instructional design services is an effective way to train staff on the skills needed to enhance performance and encourage continued development. The courses address the knowledge and skill gaps that are most common among frontline revenue cycle employees, touching on topics that span the entire revenue cycle. The course work for this particular program included a total of twenty six classes followed by a certification exam successfully completed by each participant.

At the close of 2016, Daigle reported that four more individuals had earned Certification as Patient Financial Services Specialists. The goal is for one hundred percent of employees to complete the training. Michelle Kelly, one of the recently certified employees said, “The added knowledge helped me understand all areas of the billing department as well as gain a better understanding of the documents that are needed in the billing process.” She said the course also helped her gain an understanding of the finance language used, such as deductibles and co-insurances. The classes also offered tools on how to explain billing statements to patients in a language that they could understand.

Whether a patient is in the hospital, or is seeking assistance in understanding a bill, the financial counselors at NMMC are able to advise patients of their financial obligation and assist them with insurance matters and activation of coverage.

They can also assist with completion of required paperwork and program applications, such as for Medicaid, applying for coverage under the Health Care Exchange, and NMMC’s charity program. To learn about the different options available to pay a bill or to set up a payment plan, call 207-834-1442.

NMMC Offers Online Bill Payment Option

Online Bill Pay promo Saucier Brooke-Landry Adam 01 12 17 (5)C-R

Fort Kent ~ Online bill pay is now available at Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) effective January 10, 2017. As part of improving the overall patient experience, NMMC is making the service available for individuals who prefer an electronic option to pay bills.

The technology for online bill pay first became available in the 1990’s. Interest in the service did not become popular until the turn of the twenty first century when internet access became more standard in the American household. The benefits of online bill paying services have become very popular and can save individuals and businesses time and resources in the bill paying process. The option provides a safe and secure option and can create efficiency and cost savings in the reduced need for postage as well as paper, which has a positive impact on the environment. The electronic process can also assist individuals in avoiding late fees and taking advantage of available discounts for early payment. Cindy Daigle, NMMC Chief Financial Officer said, “It’s faster, easier and can provide a central area for patients to manage and track healthcare expenses. “ Once a person selects online bill pay, they can specify if they would like to get their statements via email versus a paper statement received in the mail. Paying a bill in person will continue to be available as before.

The process is simple says Sandy Collin, Revenue Cycle Coordinator and lead person for the online bill pay initiative at NMMC. She said individuals may access online bill pay with a click of a button at www.nmmc.org and must have a statement in hand when first signing up for the online bill pay account.

Individuals will be guided to create an account using a user name and password. Patients will continue to receive statements in the mail until they select the option to receive online statements. To learn more, contact Sandy Collin, Revenue Cycle Coordinator, at 207-834-1817 or email at sandy.collin@nmmc.org.

To learn more about NMMC’s many services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.nmmc.org and Like us on Facebook!