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Commissioner Continues to Get Input on Medical Cannabis and Intractable Pain
By year's end, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, MD, is required by statute to decide whether to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition to the state's medical cannabis program. An eight-member panel, which includes three physicians, opposed it in its recommendations. Ehlinger will host a public forum on the topic on Nov. 10 in West St. Paul. Read more here
International Medical Grad Advisory Group Begins Work
The legislatively mandated International Medical Graduates (IMG) Assistance Program's Stakeholder Advisory Group met for the first time on Oct. 29 in St. Paul. The advisory group, which includes one MMA representative, Amrit B. Singh, MBBS, was created to guide and advise the IMG Assistance Program. Read more here
Three BMP Vacancies, Other State Board Openings for Physicians
The state has several openings for physicians interested on serving on health care boards including the Board of Medical Practice. The application deadline is Nov. 24, 2015. Read more here
Working Group Studies No-Fault Automobile Insurance Issues
No-fault auto insurance reform receives regular attention at the Legislature and has been the subject of ongoing meetings among stakeholders, including the MMA. A Task Force on No-Fault Insurance Issues, formed by legislators earlier this year, has been tasked with reviewing and recommending changes to the state's no-fault insurance law. Its report is due to the Legislature by Feb. 1, 2015. Read more here
Special MMA Event Addresses Difficult Practice Issues - Last Chance to Register!
Physician dissatisfaction and burnout along with ways to succeed in today's challenging health care marketplace will be addressed at a special event on Nov. 11 featuring AMA practice redesign expert Bruce Bagley, MD, MAAFP. Read more here
MMA Joins Group to Express Frustration with Stage 3 Meaningful Use Program
The MMA added its name to a letter intended to highlight frustration with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' decision to move ahead with Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use (MU) Program. The effort was spearheaded by the AMA.  
Consider the MMA Foundation When You Give to the Max
Give to the Max Day is Nov. 12. It's a great opportunity to make a gift to the MMA Foundation and have it matched dollar-for-dollar. If you schedule your gift for Give to the Max Day, you have a chance to trigger an additional $1,000 gift, or even the golden ticket worth an additional $10,000 for the MMAF.
Make Your Voice Heard - Renew Your Membership
Make sure that your voice is heard by renewing your MMA membership for 2016. It's through MMA membership that physicians gain the power to have a voice in the legislative, regulatory and legal decisions that affect their patients and their practices. You will receive your dues notice next week. Go to for more information.
CMS Extends Info Deadline on MACRA
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended to Nov. 17 the comment period for its Request for Information (RFI) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Earlier this year, Congress passed MACRA, which replaced the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula. Now, CMS is looking for information regarding implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, promotion of alternative payment models, and incentive payments for participation in eligible alternative payment models. 
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