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Community Measurement Reports Show Great Health Disparities
A new, first-of-its-kind report released by MN Community Measurement on Jan. 12 shows that there are great health disparities across the state in terms of race, Hispanic ethnicity, preferred language and country of origin. Read more here. 
Health Department Updates State Quality System
The Minnesota Department of Health has completed its annual update of the Minnesota Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System including the addition of new pediatric care, spinal surgery and emergency department transfer measures. Read more here.
Physicians Needed for Telehealth Policy Task Force
The MMA is looking for up to 12 members who are interested in shaping the policies and approach the association will take toward telehealth in Minnesota. This includes creating recommendations with respect to telehealth quality, practice, regulations and payment. If interested, contact either Barbara Daiker or Teresa Knoedler by Jan. 30.

BMP Supports Interstate Licensure Legislation

The Board of Medical Practice voted on Jan. 10 to endorse legislation that would expedite licensure for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. The MMA is working to finalize legislative language; it is expected the bill will be introduced shortly. Interstate licensure is a top legislative priority for the MMA.

Physician Sought for Midwifery Advisory Council

The MMA is encouraging ob/gyn members who work with licensed traditional midwives to serve on the state's Advisory Council on Licensed Traditional Midwifery. The council advises the Board of Medical Practice (BMP) "regarding traditional midwifery licensure, practice standards, complaints/discipline, and provides for distribution of information regarding standards." The BMP will make its appointment to the Council in mid-February so please apply via the open application process by Jan. 30. The MMA is required by statute to submit a list of possible candidates to the BMP, from which the BMP will appoint one qualified person. Interested applicants should contact Teresa Knoedler in order to be placed on the MMA list. For more information and to apply, visit the Minnesota State of Secretary website.

TCMS Appoints 2015 Leaders

The Twin Cities Medical Society (TCMS) installed Kenneth Kephart, MD, as its 2015 president at its annual meeting on Jan. 13. Kephart is the medical director of geriatric services at Fairview and is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. Other officers include: Carolyn McLain, MD, president-elect; Lisa Mattson, MD, immediate past-president; Matthew Hunt, MD, FRCS, treasurer; Thomas Kottke, MD, MSPH, secretary; Nicholas Meyer, MD, at-large member; and Stefan Pomrenke, MD, MPH, MATS, at-large member.

MMA Members, Staff Attend Legislative Priority Conference

Members John Abenstein, MD, Maya Babu, MD, MMA CEO Robert Meiches, MD, and Dave Renner, MMA director of state and federal legislation, attended the AMA's ARC (Advocacy Resource Center) State Legislative Strategy Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 8 - 10. The conference, which attracts more than 200 physician leaders and medical society staffers, offers participants an opportunity to share their organizations' state legislative priorities with other state medical societies.

Welcome New and Returning Members

Please welcome eight new or returning members from around the state who have joined the MMA during the 2015 membership campaign. This week we welcome physicians from Crookston, Monticello, Ortonville and the Twin Cities. Each week we will recognize several new members who are helping the MMA be a strong advocate for Minnesota physicians. Thank you for your support. See our new and returning members. If you want to renew your membership or join MMA, call 612-372-3728 or email us.

Take the Choosing Wisely Pledge, Part 2

During the first quarter of 2015, MMA News Now will feature a specialty and one test or procedure that physicians in that area of medicine should consider cutting back. This week's focus is ophthalmology:

A physical exam and comprehensive history will usually reveal if eye disease is present or is getting worse. If patients are without symptoms or signs of significant eye disease, ophthalmologists can have a conversation with patients about the exam results instead of routinely ordering imaging tests. This is one of the Choosing Wisely recommendations for ophthalmologists. See the other four recommendations and join your colleagues in taking the pledge to Choose Wisely.

All physicians are asked to take the Choosing Wisely pledge. Click here to see the pledge, who has taken it and then add your name.

Attention Medical Students, Residents and Fellows

Minnesota Medicine plans to highlight the work of Minnesota medical trainees in its April 2015 issue. The journal will publish select abstracts of original research and clinical vignettes. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 23. Find out more online.

APRN FAQs: The MMA staff has compiled frequently asked questions regarding the changing role of advanced practice registered nurses. Click here to view.

Members In The News

MMA President-elect Dave Thorson, MD, appeared in an article in Hospitals & Health Networks Daily on Jan. 12 on preparing physicians to talk with their patients about medical cannabis.


On Jan. 11, George Schoephoerster, MD, was quoted in a story on the MMA's efforts to improve the prior authorization process for medications in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Member Tom Witt, MD, was featured in the Red Wing Republican Eagle for winning the Goodhue County Editorial Association's 2014 Citizen of the Year award.

Minnesota Medicine

January MN Med 2015 

Hidden costs
High-deductible health insurance policies are causing financial headaches for clinics and hospitals, and doctors say they're hurting patient health.
On the go? Get the latest edition of Minnesota Medicine in one place in its Digital Edition.


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