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Prior Authorization Bill Scheduled for HHS Finance Discussion

With just five weeks left in the session, legislation to fix medication prior authorization reaches a critical juncture on April 17. Read more here.

SGR Finally Fixed!  

After 17 annual fixes, Congress has finally voted on a permanent solution to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula. Read more here.  

MMA Teaches 100 to Work Effectively with Medical Interpreters

The MMA hosted two training sessions on working effectively with medical interpreters for physicians and physicians in training in Duluth on April 14. Read more here.

How Should the MMA Protect the Physician-Patient Relationship?

MMA leaders and legal experts will examine the physician-patient relationship at the MMA's first-ever health policy conference, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington. CME is available. Read more here.

Medical Cannabis Got You Confused?

Patients will be requesting medical cannabis from your clinic, whether you are certifying them or not. Is your clinic ready? Clinic administrators can join the MMA in person or via webinar for two, free lunchtime programs, "What you don't know about medical cannabis," on either May 7 or May 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will help administrators understand the new medical cannabis law, how it will affect clinic operations and offer clarifications for many of the misunderstandings that have arisen. For more information and to register, click here.

Member is Named Family Physician of the Year 

Member Thomas Bracken, MD, of Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, has been named the 2015 Family Physician of the Year by the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. The award is given to a family physician who represents the highest ideals of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical services, community involvement, and service as a role model.

Come Visit MMA at the MAFP Spring Refresher

Stop by the MMA booth (#41) to discuss emerging trends, treatments and tactics in medical cannabis, prescription opioids and e-cigarettes with your fellow physicians and staff at the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians 2015 Spring Refresher on April 17 at The Depot Minneapolis. When you visit the MMA booth and answer a brief survey, MMA staff will give you a free thank you gift. See you there.

Please Take the MMA Value/Satisfaction Survey

How is the MMA doing? Help the MMA better understand what's on physicians' minds by completing the annual value/satisfaction survey. It only takes a few minutes. You should have received an email with a link to the survey in early April. You will be receiving reminder notices in the coming weeks. Thanks to the hundreds of members and nonmembers who have already taken the survey. Your opinion helps guide MMA program development and tells us if we're heading in the right direction.

Social Event Planned for Rochester-area Physicians, Students

The MMA and the Zumbro Valley Medical Society (ZVMS) will hold a free networking event for Rochester-area physicians and physicians-in-training from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 7 at the Cambria Gallery on 400 S. Broadway in Rochester. Hosts include the MMA, ZVMS, MMA Foundation, US Air Force, US Army, Cambria, Home Federal, Limb Lab, Clements, the MMA's Young Physician Section, Resident and Fellow Section, and Medical Student Section. The event is a celebration of medicine, a thank you to members, and a welcome to new and prospective MMA and ZVMS members. Free hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. For more information, click here.

Annual Conference Adds Speaker on Patient and Team Communication

Robert S. Thompson, RT, JD, LLM, AIC, ARM, ARE, RPLU, CPCU, director of education at MMIC, will speak on patient and team communication at the MMA's 2015 Annual Conference on Sept. 25 and 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in St. Louis Park. The program will focus on improving communication with patients and among care teams. Methods shared in the session can lead to better patient understanding, engagement and clinical outcomes. Registration will open mid-summer.

Free Webinars on Health Equity April 23 and May 21

In collaboration with MN Community Measurement (MNCM), the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement is offering two webinars to help physicians and medical groups get up to speed on the 2014 MNCM Health Equity of Care Report. The April 23 webinar features Tina Frontera, MNCM COO; Brooke Cunningham, MD, PhD, assistant professor, University of Minnesota Medical School; and representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Registration closes April 20. In the May 21 webinar, Cunningham will discuss methods that health systems are using to promote equity, and three Minnesota health care organizations will share how they are using race, ethnicity, preferred language and country of origin data to develop interventions to improve health care quality. Registration closes May 15.  

Cultivate 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 4. Or enter the best photo you've taken in the annual photography contest by May 11. Winners will be featured in the July issue of the magazine. For more information and to enter, visit the Minnesota Medicine contest website.

Inspiring Physicians

Being a physician is a noble profession. Few would argue with that. But then there are those physicians who go above and beyond their regular work of treating patients, researching disease or educating physicians in training. Our latest group of inspiring physicians includes: a doctor who integrates new perspectives, new questions and new insights from East and West, medicine and psychology, and science and spirituality; another who has been providing care to Guatemalans in her free time for the past 10 years; and a third who is helping address the rise in heroin use, emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, potential pandemics like Influenza and the threat of chemical warfare.

New or Returning Members

We are happy to announce 42 more new and returning members to MMA. This week, physicians from Ramsey, Minneapolis, Faribault, Rochester, Moorhead, Jackson, Luverne, Thief River Falls, Wheaton, Worthington, Red Wing and Montgomery have joined the ranks of MMA. Each week we are recognizing new and returning members who are helping MMA stand up for physicians on issues that affect their practices and their patients. 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.

Minnesota Medicine


The game changer

Deborah Powell, MD, wants to make the transition between medical school and residency seamless.


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