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Prescription Opioids Summit Draws Huge Crowd
More than 1,200 people learned that prescription opioid abuse, addiction and diversion have reached a crisis level in the United States at a day-long seminar on Aug. 25 at the University of Minnesota. The event was co-sponsored by the MMA and included several MMA members as panelists. Read more here.  
Health Care Financing Task Force Continues Table-Setting
The Health Care Financing Task Force met for the second time Aug. 26 at the State Office Building in St. Paul. The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing how to structure the working groups that will prepare recommendations for consideration by the full group. The three working groups will each focus on a specific set of topics. One is set to focus upon delivery, system redesign, and issues related to sustainability, while another group will spend its time tackling consumer issues such as plan affordability, health insurance "churn" as patients move between plans, enrollment rules, etc.  The final working group is tasked with focusing upon efforts to enact seamless and continuous coverage, as well as health care financing. Task force members requested presentations on two specific topics at the next meeting on Sept. 11 - health care disparities in Minnesota and a presentation about 1332 waivers under the ACA.  For background on the group, visit the MMA News Now archives.  
Survey: Patients Pleased with Provided Care
For the most part, Minnesotans are pleased with the health care they are receiving, according to a survey released Aug. 26 by MN Community Measurement and the Minnesota Department of Health. Read more here
Early Discount for Annual Conference Ends Tuesday
If you haven't registered for the 2015 MMA Annual Conference, you better sign up fast - the 10 percent early-bird discount ends Tuesday. For just $89, members can step into the future to see how the new reform environment and the latest technology will affect their practices, network with more than 150 physicians from around the state (the largest turnout in several years), take part in policy discussions and much more. Discounted registration fee for non-members is only $134. Read more here
Save the Date: Independent Physician Education Event Planned for Nov. 11
Physicians can learn new practice strategies to improve efficiency and expand patient access at a special event co-sponsored by the MMA and the AMA. "Transforming Your Practice to Regain the Joy of Medicine" will be Nov. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus. The program will be webcast to reach physicians throughout Minnesota. Read more here
Med Students Encouraged to Save GME This Week
This week, the AMA is spearheading a grassroots effort to protect Graduate Medical Education (GME) by asking medical students across the county to take part in the third annual "Save GME Action Week." AMA is asking students to advocate for GME funding protection and expansion using legislator visits, letters, phone calls and social media. The "Save GME" effort's goal is to increase the number of residency positions and reduce the physician shortage. This year the AMA's ask is twofold: 1) Maintain current funding for GME; and 2) Support legislation that will expand GME funding sources and the number of residency positions. The AMA supports two federal legislative initiatives: the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 2124/S. 1148) and the Creating Access to Residency Education (CARE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 1117). Visit to get involved.
MMA Looking for Candidates for MMIC Board
The MMA is searching for candidates to recommend for a board position on MMIC Insurance, Inc., the largest professional liability company insuring physicians and other health care organizations in Minnesota. A strong candidate will have current knowledge or a desire/capability to quickly learn about professional liability issues, demonstrated understanding regarding service on corporate boards and active involvement in organized medicine especially with the MMA. If you are interested in being considered contact George Lohmer at the MMA or call 612-362-3746 before Sept. 4.  
Duluth is Next Stop for Opioid Seminars
The MMA will host a free REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategy) seminar on opioids for physicians who prescribe extended-release and long-acting opioid medications. The event will take place Oct. 1 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Black Woods Banquet Center in Duluth. The seminar, which will be led by MMA member Charles Reznikoff, MD, an addiction medicine specialist, will feature food and a cash bar. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. To register, click here.
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