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MMA Continues Advocating for Prior Auth Reform
The MMA continues its push for medication prior authorization reform with meetings and fundraisers with state legislative leaders. Read more here.   
Member Receives Maternal, Child Advocacy Award from State
On Dec. 4, MMA member Marilyn Peitso, MD, received the 2015 Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Award for her statewide leadership and advocacy on behalf of mothers, children and youth in Minnesota. Read more here.  
MMA Makes Electronic Prior Auth Materials Available
Effective Jan. 1, 2016, all Minnesota prescribers are required to submit, and payers are required to accept, electronic prior authorization (ePA) requests for prescription drugs. The MMA has created resources to help members get ready for ePA including a fact sheet, FAQs, and a recording of a webinar that took place Dec. 3. The MMA learned Dec. 7 that the state's Department of Human Services will not be able to accept ePA until April 1, 2016, at the earliest. 
Save the Date: MACRA Webinar Scheduled for Jan. 26
The MMA will host a webinar on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. The webinar, "Making Sense of MACRA: Preparing for Medicare's New Physician Payment Policies," will provide information on the law that replaces the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR). Watch future editions of MMA News Now for registration details. 
MMA Member Sought to Update Blood Lead Guidelines
The Minnesota Department of Health's Lead and Healthy Homes Program is looking to the MMA for volunteers to participate on a committee that will work to update the Childhood Blood Lead Case Management Guidelines for Minnesota. Read more here.  
Listening Session on Cancer Plan Minnesota Set for Jan. 19
Physicians are encouraged to take part in a one-hour listening session on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at the MMA to gather input for the Minnesota Cancer Alliance Steering Committee, which is updating its Cancer Plan Minnesota 2011-2016. Read more here
Medical Students Elect 2016 Leaders
The MMA Medical Student Section elected its new leaders on Dec. 5, installing Augustin Joseph, Mayo Medical School, as chair; Erica Sanders, the University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities campus, as vice chair; Stephen Palmquist, the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus, as delegate; Annabelle Soares, Mayo Medical School, as alternate delegate; and Gretchen Hoff, the University of Minnesota Medical School, Twin Cities campus, as secretary. 
Membership Makes Your Voice Count -- Renew/Join Online!
It's easier than ever to make your voice count with MMA membership. Now, you can renew your membership or join online with a credit card. It's simple, green and secure. Just go to www.mnmed.org/join to join, renew or for more information. Or call 612-362-3728 to speak with the membership team.  
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 - will target three initial 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.  
Deadline Extended for Funds to Support PMP/EMR Integration
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has extended the deadline for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for qualified Minnesota health care systems and Minnesota licensed pharmacies interested in integrating direct access to the PMP into their EMR or pharmacy operations software. This is part of an effort to increase the use of the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). Proposals are now due by 4 p.m. (Central Time) on Dec. 28. The total amount of funding available is $100,000. 
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Events
  • Jan. 19 - Cancer Plan Minnesota 2011-2016 Listening Session (Minneapolis)
  • Jan. 26: Save the Date - Making Sense of MACRA: Preparing for Medicare's New Physician Payment Policies (Webinar)
  • March 23: Save the Date - MMA Day at the Capitol (St. Paul)
     
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