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MMA Board Approves Legislative Push on Medication Prior Authorization
The MMA's Board of Trustees voted on Jan. 24 to take an aggressive stance toward fixing the prior authorization process for medications this legislative session. Read more here. 
Health Department Studying Intractable Pain for Medical Cannabis
The Minnesota Health Department is examining the issue of intractable pain and whether it should be added to the list of conditions eligible for medical cannabis, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, MD, told the MMA's Board of Trustees on Jan. 24. Read more here.
MMA Legislative Priorities Highlighted at Committee Meeting
MMA Board Chair Douglas Wood, MD, testified before the House's Health and Human Services Reform Committee on Jan. 28 to highlight the MMA's key legislative priorities for the current session. Read more here.

Loan Forgiveness, Right to Try Bills Move at Capitol

Two bills that the MMA is watching have moved through their first hearings and seem to be gaining traction. They deal with increasing funding for loan forgiveness, which the MMA supports, and "right to try" legislation, which the MMA does not. Read more here.

Task Force Releases Report on Foreign-Trained Physicians in Minnesota

A task force, convened by the Minnesota Department of Health in July 2014, at the request of the Minnesota Legislature, has released a report that recommends the state better utilize foreign-trained physicians. Read more here.

Board Adopts New Policies for Harm Reduction Approaches to Drug Use

The MMA continued its battle against drug abuse by aligning itself with AMA policy and adopting new policies aimed at curbing prescription opioid misuse. Read more here.

MMA Supports Pharmacists Providing Flu Shots for Individuals 6 and Older

With the goal of increasing the amount of children who receive influenza vaccinations each year, the MMA Board of Trustees adopted a policy that supports pharmacists' ability to provide vaccinations for individuals age 6 and older. Read more here.

Save the Date: Medical Cannabis Webinar Set for March 31

The MMA will host an educational event on the new medical cannabis law on March 31 at the University of Minnesota's Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul campus. Check future editions of MMA News Now for details.

Here's "How to be Heard" for MMA Members

A new infographic illustrating how MMA members can get involved with the association is now online. The PDF is interactive so all you need to do is click on a box and it will take you to additional information.

MMA Governance Report Now Available Online

A report on the first year of the three-year pilot program that restructures the MMA's governance model is now available online. The 2012 and 2013 House of Delegates adopted several changes to the MMA's governance structure. This included reducing the size of the Board of Trustees, creating a new Policy Council, suspending the HOD for three years and establishing member-wide leader elections. These changes were designed to address two issues: 1) the MMA was not attracting a representative sample of physician members and 2) the old governance structure made it difficult to act nimbly and strategically in an ever-changing health care environment.

Health Commissioner to Address Medical Students Feb. 2 in Minneapolis

Ed Ehlinger, MD, Minnesota Department of Health commissioner, will lead a discussion with medical students on Feb. 2 on recent efforts in Minnesota to remedy health disparities and other top state health concerns. The event is open to all medical students and will begin at noon in Moos Tower 2-690, at the University of Minnesota Medical School, 515 Delaware Street SE. This program is part of a series of lunch-and-learn programs sponsored by the MMA's Medical Student section and supported by the MMA and Twin Cities Medical Society.

Welcome 10 More New or Returning Members

Please welcome 10 new or returning members to the MMA. This week we welcome physicians from Rochester, Warroad, St. Paul, Woodbury and Edina. Each week we will recognize several new members who are helping the MMA work on such important activities as ensuring physicians have a strong voice at the Legislature, state agencies and in the courts. 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.

Calling Non-members - We Need Your Support

Whether you're a past member or have never been part of the MMA, we need your help to address the critical issues facing physicians today. The MMA is working to improve the frustrating and confusing prior authorization process for medications, and defending physician professionalism from corporate interference. We need your support to meet these challenges. You should have recently received a membership invitation. You can join the MMA by returning the statement with payment, by calling 612-362-3728 or emailing us.

Save the Date: Day-Long Health Policy Conference Set for April 25

The MMA Policy Council will hosts its first-ever, day-long health policy conference on Saturday, April 25, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington - Minneapolis South. Exact times are still to be determined. More details to come.

Take the Choosing Wisely Pledge, Part 4

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 orthopedic surgeons:

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and an estimated 27 million adults live with the disease. Many patients have heard about glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate as a dietary supplement for osteoarthritis. Having a conversation about not using glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is a Choosing Wisely recommendation for orthopedic surgeons. 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.

Members In The News

MMA member and Mayo Clinic neurologist Matt Stead, MD, is featured in a Minnesota Public Radio story on a new brain device that is being used on the toughest epilepsy cases.

Minnesota Medicine

January MN Med 2015 

Single-payer health care
More physicians are considering it, but is it a realistic option?
On the go? Get the latest edition of Minnesota Medicine in one place in its Digital Edition.


Other MMA News
Headlines & Links
  • March 11, 2015 - Day at the Capitol (St. Paul)
  • March 31, 2015 Medical Cannabis Education Event (St. Paul)
  • April 25, 2015 - Health Policy Conference (Bloomington)
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