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"Fix PA Now" Bill Continues Despite House Opposition

Although stalled in the House, the bill that would provide more transparency and standardization to the prior authorization process lives on. Read more here.

House Votes to End SGR  

After years of lobbying by the MMA and AMA, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on March 26 to finally repeal the flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. In an overwhelming, bipartisan vote, the House repealed SGR 396-37. The bill now moves to the Senate, which may act on the measure as early as March 27. To help make sure the bill passes into law, the MMA joined a long list of state medical associations and the AMA in signing onto a letter to Congressional leaders  urging them to vote "yes" on H.R. 2, the final Medicare physician payment reform bill. The letter was delivered to all members of the House and Senate on March 26. Call your senators now using the AMA's toll-free Grassroots Hotline: 1-800-833-6354 or visit FixMedicareNow.org to send them an urgent message by email or social media.  

Health Care Dollars Shrink with House Budget Proposal

Despite a nearly $2 billion surplus, House leaders have recommended cutting back on health and human service spending for FY 2016-17. Read more here.

Flurry of Activity Continues Before Legislative Break

This week, the MMA testified on a number of bills dealing with the health care workforce, the all-payer claims database, pharmacist-administered vaccinations, tax rates for premium cigars and end-of-life decisions. Read more here.

Take Advantage of Break to Meet with Legislators

Legislators will be on Easter/Passover break from March 27 until April 7. During those 10 days, your senator or representative will likely be in your district, so be sure you have talking points ready to keep the MMA and physicians' legislative priorities on the top of their minds. Read more here  

Details in Place for Conference on Physician-Patient Relationship

The program for the MMA's first-ever health policy conference, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington, is shaping up with the recent confirmation of session topics and expert speakers. CME is available. Read more here.

Time to Renew Your MMA Membership

There is still time to renew your MMA membership before it expires April 1. We need your support more than ever to continue our efforts to fix prior authorization (PA) for medications. Comprehensive legislation to change current PA practices is making its way through the state Capitol. Read about the progress the MMA is making with PA. To renew, call us at 612-362-3728, fax us at 612-362-2483 or e-mail us. See how the MMA is advocating for physicians and their practices.

Minnesota Physicians Share Their Opinion on E-cigarettes

The Physician Advocacy Network, an initiative of the Twin Cities Medical Society, recently conducted a state-wide survey gauging physicians' awareness, attitudes and behaviors toward e-cigarettes. Click here for the survey results. For more information about the initiative, contact Ellie Parker or call 612-361-3706.

Preserving the Patient-Physician Relationship

The physician-patient relationship is the foundation of the practice of medicine. But that relationship is constantly challenged. MMA Policy Council Chair Ernest Lampe, MD, examines the relationship in the latest edition of Insights. On April 25, we will expand that discussion during an all-day health policy conference in Bloomington.

Register Now to Save on ICSI's Annual Colloquium

Registration costs for the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement's Annual Colloquium, May 4-6, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, will increase after April 3 so it's best to sign up now. Keynote speakers include: David Katz, MD, director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center, and Kevin Kling, Minnesota's renowned storyteller. More than 25 presentations will support the colloquium's theme of "Better Health, Better Care, Better Costs: Are We There Yet?" There is also a half-day pre-colloquium workshop on May 4, discounted prices for qualified "emerging leaders," and a special payers' breakfast. For more information and to register, visit the ICSI website.

Take the Choosing Wisely Pledge, Part 12   

During the first quarter of 2015, MMA News Now has highlighted one test or procedure that physicians in a particular specialty should consider cutting back on. The final focus is on rheumatology:

 

False-positive results are common with Lyme disease tests. Talking with patients about testing who do not have an exposure history or appropriate exam finding is a Choosing Wisely recommendation for rheumatologists. 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 and who has taken it, then add your name.

Welcome to our 37 new, returning members

Please welcome 37 new and returning members to MMA. This week we say hello to physicians from Duluth, Proctor, Superior, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Tenstrike, Perham, Grand Rapids and Bemidji. Each week we will recognize new members who are helping the MMA stand up for physicians on issues that affect their practices and their patients. Thank you for your support. If you want to renew your membership, or join MMA, call 612-372-3728 or email us.

Members in the News

Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio interviewed Dave Thorson, MD, MMA president-elect, on a story about a new nurse-run clinic opening in Minneapolis.

Digital Rounds - The MMA Blog

Digital Rounds MMA's Blog Immediate Past President Cindy Firkins Smith, MD, is fed up with medication prior authorization. If you need to ask why just read her recent account of dealing with the frustrating, inefficient process and how her patient suffers because of it.

Minnesota Medicine

Minnesota Medicine  

When the patient is famous

What it's like for physicians who treat celebrities.
 
  
On the go? Get the latest edition of Minnesota Medicine in one place in its Digital Edition.



 

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