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With the legislative session nearly half over, most of the MMA's top priorities are making their way to the full floor of each body. A couple, in particular - advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and e-cigarettes - remain contentious.

MMA members are asked to send an Action Alert to their state representative and senator on the APRN issue today.

U.S. House Votes For Temporary SGR Patch
Despite efforts by the MMA, the AMA and dozens of other state medical associations and specialty groups, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on March 27 that calls for a temporary patch for the flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate formula.
Carver and Olmsted counties ranked first in health outcomes and health factors, respectively, according to County Health Rankings, a report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The project ranks counties by overall health using a formula to measure the health status of the counties' residents and how long they live.

Ehlinger Discusses Public Health with MMA Board

Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, M.D., told the MMA Board of Trustees at its March 15 meeting that the most important public health issue in St. Paul is not directly about medication, clinics or hospitals.

MMA Works to Help Mental Health Patients

On March 17, Riverwood Centers in east-central Minnesota closed its doors, stranding thousands of mental health patients. The MMA is asking all physicians in the area to help in whatever way possible. The MMA has created a website with resources that physicians in east central Minnesota can use to gather information on helping these patients.

Show Your Creative Side

Do you have a story to tell? A photo you'd like to share? Then Minnesota Medicine is looking for you. Enter your essay, poem or short story in Minnesota Medicine's "Medical Musings" writing contest by May 5. Or enter the best photo you've taken in the annual photography contest by May 12. Winners will be featured in the July issue of the magazine. For more information and to enter, visit the Minnesota Medicine contest website.

Meet MMA at the MAFP Spring Refresher

Visit with MMA physician leaders and staff April 10 and 11 at the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians' (MAFP) Spring Refresher conference at the St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 Kellogg Blvd. Get your new MMA luggage tag at booth #26 on either day. The Spring Refresher attracts more than 350 family physicians, family medicine residents, medical students and allied professionals each year. For more details, go to the MAFP website.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day

National Healthcare Decisions Day is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. Held every April 16, it's a time to focus on the conversations and actions people need to ensure their healthcare decisions are documented and followed. In Minnesota, Honoring Choices has been leading a statewide, public health initiative since 2008 to raise public awareness and partner with healthcare providers to ensure every adult knows how to manage this process.

Winners at MMGMA Winter Conference

Four lucky attendees at the recent Minnesota Medical Group Management Association winter conference in Minneapolis were awarded VISA gift cards. The MMA held a drawing from those leaving a card or registering at the MMA booth. Winners included: Diane Z. with Anesthesia Associates of St Cloud, Susan B. with Apple Valley Medical Clinic, Janet W. with Associated Skin Care Specialists in Fridley and Carol L. with Richfield Medical Group.

Register Early for ICSI's Colloquium and Save

Physicians can choose between four tracks at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement's (ICSI) Annual Colloquium May 5-7 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The tracks include: care delivery/quality improvement, affordability/financial alignment, patient engagement/community partnerships and leadership/innovation. Physicians can also attend several preconference workshops: "Unlocking You Organization's Internal Capacities Through Relationally Coordinated Teams," "Orchestrating Care for Better Patient Experience" and "Quality Improvement Basics Plus!" To learn more, visit the ICSI website. Register before April 8 for a discounted rate.

MMA Partners with WMS to Offer ICD-10 Training

Minnesota physicians can learn the fundamentals of the new ICD-10 coding system from two online, on-demand educational programs offered by the MMA in partnership with the Wisconsin Medical Society (WMS). The programs, which were developed by the WMS, provide a general overview for all physicians along with specific information about how ICD-10 will affect 20 different specialties. CME credit is available.
The MMA Podcast

The MMA PodcastA lot has been happening at the state Capitol in terms of health care legislation. Tune into The MMA Podcast to review the latest with Eric Dick, MMA's manager of state legislative affairs.

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