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Advocacy Efforts Increase In Anticipation of Legislative Session
Should the state stiffen its vaccination requirements which are some of the weakest in the nation? Can we reform prescription drug prior authorization language to ensure patients get the medications they need in a timely manner? And will physicians allow politicians to again divert the 2 percent provider tax for other purposes, and extend it beyond its statutory repeal in 2019? These are the questions the MMA is addressing in the 2016 legislative session, which kicks off March 8. With a deadline to finish by May 23, this session promises to be fast-paced. Read more here
Medical Student Society Grows Future Leaders 
The MMA's Medical Student Society (MSS) met on Jan. 30 with MMA leadership to discuss how the two groups can support each other, and build a strong future for medicine in Minnesota. Read more here
Registration Open for Day at the Capitol on March 23
Physicians, residents and medical students can now register for the MMA's annual Day at the Capitol on March 23. During the upcoming legislative session, which begins March 8, the MMA will continue its quest to fix medication prior authorization and to maintain the repeal of the provider tax. In addition, the MMA will advocate for stronger childhood immunization laws, recommending the removal of the conscientiously held belief exemption that allows parents to opt-out of immunizing their children. To register, visit the MMA website
MMA Makes ePA Materials Available; Some Payers Behind Schedule
As of 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, frequently asked questions, and a recording of a webinar that took place Dec. 3. Although the change took effect in January, several payers are not yet ready. The Department of Human Services has indicated it will not be able to accept ePA until April 1 at the earliest, and HealthPartners has not announced when it will be ready. Stay tuned to MMA News Now for further developments on ePA. 
Rescheduled: Listening Session on Cancer Plan Minnesota Set for Feb. 11
Physicians are encouraged to take part in a one-hour listening session on Feb.11 at 6 p.m. at the MMA offices to help the Minnesota Cancer Alliance gather information for the update of its Cancer Plan Minnesota 2011-2016. Register here
Deadline Extended for Funds to Support PMP/EMR Integration
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has once again extended the deadline for Requests for Proposals (RFP) for qualified Minnesota health care systems and Minnesota licensed pharmacies interested in making the PMP directly accessible from their EMR or pharmacy operations software. This is part of an effort to increase the use of the PMP. Proposals are now due Feb. 12 by 4 p.m. (CST). The total amount of funding available is $100,000. 
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