(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages S6502-S6503]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I rise today to commend Martin's Point 
Health Care in Portland, ME, for its outstanding accomplishment of 
scoring two five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid 
Services, CMS, for its Medicare Advantage health plans.
  This is truly an accomplishment as a five-star designation is quite a 
rarity. With fewer than ten plans nationwide receiving this top rating, 
Martin's Point Medicare Advantage plans are among a very select group. 
They are also the only Maine health care organization to receive this 
distinction for 2012.
  The CMS five-star rating system was developed to help demonstrate the 
value of Medicare plans and to help ensure that they meet specific 
quality standards. It provides the nation's nearly 48 million Medicare 
beneficiaries with a tool to compare the quality of care and customer 
service that Medicare health and drug plans offer. The rating system 
considers several quality measures, such as success in providing 
preventive services like screenings and vaccines; chronic illness 
management; and ratings of plan responsiveness, care, and customer 
  Martin's Point is a not-for-profit health care organization committed 
to providing the best possible health care experience to its patients 
and members. The organization is comprised of a multispecialty medical 
group with nine primary care health centers in Maine and New Hampshire. 
Martin's Point also administers three health plans: a Medicare 
Advantage plan in Maine, the U.S. Family Health Plan for military 
families and retirees throughout New England, and a new innovative 
program called MaineSense for small to medium employers in Maine. Its 
Medicare Advantage plans cover more than 12,500 Medicare beneficiaries 
across the State of Maine.
  Martin's Point began in the early 1960s in the Camden/Rockport, ME, 
area when Dr. Niles Perkins obtained federal funding under the Great 
Society Act of Congress to provide health care services to uninsured or 
underinsured indigent individuals. These individuals, many of them 
fisherman and employees of a local fish processing plant, didn't 
qualify for Medicare, but also couldn't afford health insurance on 
their own. With the Federal funding obtained, Dr. Niles formed 
Penobscot Bay Medical Association.
  Meanwhile in 1982, Dr. Johann Brower, a colleague of Dr. Perkins at 
Penobscot Bay Medical Associates, wrote a proposal to purchase some of 
the land and facilities at Martin's Point from the U.S. Government. 
Despite the fact that several other organizations, including Mercy, 
applied for the grant, Dr. Brower's application was the only one 
submitted on time and was accepted. The purchase price was $1.00, under 
the conditions that Penobscot Bay Medical Associates would operate the 
facility as a not-for-profit for 30 years.

[[Page S6503]]

  Penobscot Bay Medical Associates, doing business as Martin's Point, 
became a designated uniform service treatment facility. Maine military 
retirees were able to come from all over the State to the facility and 
have their care paid for by CHAMPUS. Access to primary care--family 
medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics--along with on-site 
laboratory, dental, optometry, pharmacy and radiology was made 
available to all patients utilizing the facility.
  In 1996, under the U.S. Family Health Plan, Martin's Point was 
authorized as a TRICARE prime provider and awarded their first 
multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract with the Department of Defense. 
This all happened under the direction of Dr. David Howes, who became 
the president and CEO of Martin's Point in 1996.
  In the 2000s, Martin's Point expanded their USHFP membership--they 
now have over 35,000 members in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New 
York, and the northern tier of Pennsylvania
  Then, in 2006, they launched their Generations Advantage plans. These 
are Medicare Advantage options for seniors and persons with 
disabilities in six Maine counties. They have since expanded so that in 
2010, their Medicare Advantage plans are offered in all 16 counties in 
Maine. They serve over 12,500 members.
  In 2008, Martin's Point became one of the first 40 organizations to 
become a prototyping organization in the Institute for Healthcare 
Improvements Triple Aim initiative. In 2009, they affiliated with 
Bowdoin Medical Group, a large group of physicians with five health 
centers in southern and coastal Maine communities. This acquisition 
essentially doubled Martin's Point provider base and patient count--
bringing their total number of health centers up to 9.
  In November 2010, Martin's Point opened the doors of their new, 
state-of-the-art primary care facility on the Veranda St. peninsula at 
Martin's Point. This flagship facility, designed with input from 
providers, patients and other clinical employees, is a fitting tribute 
to the patient-focused philosophy of Martin's Point and helps them to 
realize their unending commitment to providing a better health care 
experience for their patients.
  Today, Martin's Point's Medicare Advantage plans are in the top 3 
percent nationally based on quality. I am delighted to recognize 
Martin's Point for this accomplishment, and I wish them all the best in 
the coming years.