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Commissioner Adds Intractable Pain to Medical Cannabis List
Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, MD, added intractable pain to the nine qualifying conditions already allowed in the state's medical cannabis program on Dec. 2. Read more here.  
Opioid Prescribing Work Group Begins Meeting; Includes 5 MMA Members
The Minnesota Department of Human Services' Opioid Prescribing Work Group began meeting on Nov. 23 in its efforts to provide input around prescribing improvement and monitoring in Minnesota. The group plans to meet through 2017. Read more here
Minnesota Congressman to Serve on Ways and Means Health Subcommittee 
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN Third District) has been chosen to serve on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, which influences policies that affect physicians, patients, hospitals and health care providers. Read more here.
Physicians Encouraged to Get Involved on MMA Committees
MMA physicians are encouraged to get active in the MMA by joining one of its standing committees. Several currently have openings including Public Health; Health Care Access, Finance and Delivery; Membership and Communications; Quality; and Ethics and Medical-Legal Affairs. Read more here.  
Act Now to Avoid 2016 Medicare Pay Cut of 2-4 Percent
Practices that want to avoid potentially inaccurate Medicare payment penalties in 2016 should file an informal review request with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) before 11 pm Central time on Dec. 16.  The informal review will trigger a review of 2014 submitted data to confirm whether or not practices successfully reported under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Problems with how CMS has been collecting and analyzing the submitted data could lead to inaccurate penalties of 2-4 percent of Medicare payments for thousands of physicians. For more information, review this fact sheet. The AMA has urged CMS to adopt broader protections for physicians that may be harmed as a result of these errors. 
MMA Launches New Initiative on Reducing Health Care Costs
The MMA is launching a significant new effort focused on health care affordability. The MARCH Campaign - Minnesota Action to Reduce Costs in Healthcare - initially will address three topics: 1) administrative burden and inefficiencies; 2) prescription drug costs; and 3) low-value and unnecessary care. A 15- to 18-member steering committee, which will meet approximately six to eight times in 2016, is being assembled to help guide the campaign's work. Physicians interested in serving on the committee should submit a brief statement of interest to Janet Silversmith, MMA director of health policy.  
Give Back to the Profession; Become a Preceptor
Physicians have a lot on their plates. But the need for preceptors is great. Anne Pereira, MD, MPH, and Jeremy Springer, MD, write in the most recent edition of Insights that more physicians need to help the next generation of doctors by becoming preceptors. The greatest need, they write, is to train medical students in high-functioning ambulatory settings in order to encourage them to pursue careers in primary care.  
Clinics Wanted to Help Integrate Mental Health, Primary Care Services
Stratis Health and the Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network are seeking primary care clinics to participate in a project to improve integration of mental health and primary care services, and improve care coordination for people who have mental health diagnoses. Read more here.  
Minnesota Medicine

Vaccination Rates among Adolescents in Minnesota as Compared with the United States: Not Above Average
 
 
On the go? Get the latest edition of Minnesota Medicine in one place. Read our Digital Edition.
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