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Once the Senate's Health and Human Services Finance Committee announced plans to take up the APRN bill earlier this week, negotiations to find a compromise accelerated.
Budget Bills Recommend Increases to Health Care
Both the House and Senate's Health and Human Services (HHS) budget committees passed supplemental budget bills this week that will include approximately $115 million of new spending on HHS programs.
Following the March 17 closure of Riverwood Centers Behavioral Health's five offices in east central Minnesota, mental health advocates, including MMA members, have been working to raise awareness and provide services to the reported 3,000 patients left without care. MMA board members and other leaders attended a meeting in Cambridge on March 31 to assess the situation.

Congress Passes SGR Patch, Delays Two Midnight Rule

On March 31, the U.S. Senate passed a measure that postpones the 24 percent physician payment cut until April 1, 2015, and delays implementation of the "two midnight" rule. The House passed an identical version of the bill on March 27.

ICD-10 Delayed Until 2015

Along with voting for a temporary patch for SGR, the U.S. Senate and House have both voted to delay implementation of ICD-10 until October 2015.

Budding Filmmakers: Contest Launched to Promote Choosing Wisely

On April 1, the MMA launched a video contest for its members to create short videos to promote the Choosing Wisely campaign. Members are asked to submit videos (five minutes or shorter) by July 1. Participants must simply promote the Choosing Wisely campaign to a physician audience.

Survey: How is the MMA Doing?

Help the MMA better understand what's on physicians' minds by completing the annual value/satisfaction survey. You should have received an email with a link to the survey on April 1. You will receive a final email reminder on April 9. Thanks to the hundreds of members and nonmembers who have already taken the survey. Your opinion helps guide MMA program development and tells us how we are doing. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Physicians' Opinions Sought on HIPAA Security Tools

Physicians have the opportunity to provide feedback on new tools that assess their practice's security measures regarding HIPAA. Recent reports say that the Office of the Inspector General has taken a close look at HIPAA safeguards and has found that many medical practices are falling short in keeping critical information secure. Because of this, federal officials have created a self-assessment tool and educational videos. The comment period is open until June 2.

Advance Care Planning Training Available

Learn how to lead effective, in-depth advance care planning (ACP) conversations by taking part in training being offered by Honoring Choices Minnesota on May 9 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Broadway Ridge in Minneapolis. The course will focus on interviewing skills for basic ACP; planning for adults with chronic, progressive illness and those living in long-term care facilities; identifying key strategies for community engagement; and identifying key principles and strategies for developing effective ACP programs. Registration and additional details are available online. Space is limited.

Minnesota Peds Chapter Wins Honor

The Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics was recently named "Outstanding Chapter of the Year" by the national organization. Award winners were selected through a competitive application and interview process in which they described how the chapter has effectively advocated on behalf of families and pediatricians over the past year.

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. 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, visit 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 health care 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 health care providers to ensure every adult knows how to manage this process.
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.

Minnesota Medicine

April 2014 Minnesota Medicine     

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