Top Stories
House, Senate Health Budgets Differ Greatly
Health care committees in the House and Senate have submitted substantially different supplemental budget proposals in the past week. Most importantly, the Senate's version contains funding for prior authorization reform, the MMA's top legislative priority this session. Read more here
MMA Provides Input on Advanced Practice Estheticians
Expressing concern over inappropriate regulation of physician practice and scope-of-practice issues, the MMA has submitted comments to the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners regarding its proposed rules for Advanced Practice Estheticians. Read more here.
First Two Immigrant Physicians Earn Residencies Through New Program
Two immigrant physicians have secured positions in the University of Minnesota Pediatrics Residency Program through the new International Medical Graduate Assistance Program, established by the Legislature in 2015. Read more here
State Seeks Physician for Board of Medical Practice
Minnesota's Secretary of State is looking for a physician to fill an open seat on the Board of Medical Practice. The position is an at-large seat, meaning all Minnesota physicians in good standing are eligible for appointment. The board is responsible for licensing and registering medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, traditional midwives, respiratory therapists, acupuncturists, athletic trainers and naturopaths; as well as enforcement of relevant practice acts. The expected time commitment is one business day and one Saturday per month, plus preparation time. Members are paid $75 per diem plus expenses. The MMA has authority in statute to recommend candidates for appointment to Gov. Dayton. MMA members interested in serving on the BMP should contact Teresa Knoedler for details on obtaining MMA endorsement. Applications are due April 26. For more information or to apply, visit the Secretary of State website.
Legislators Break for Passover
Lawmakers will head home for the Passover holiday this Friday. Many will offer meetings with their constituents back in their districts. Both bodies are in the midst of moving their major omnibus bills, and it is often at this point that legislators are most sensitive to concerns of the people back home. It is an ideal opportunity for physicians to attend town hall meetings or open office hours to share their thoughts on the current session. If you would like help in setting up a meeting with a legislator, contact the MMA today, or go online to read briefs on the major issues this year.
Health Department Provides Zika Background Online
Although the risk of the Zika virus spreading in Minnesota is low, the Minnesota Department of Health has launched a webpage dedicated to providing information on the disease. The virus was first discovered in the Zika Forest region of Uganda in 1947. It has received increased attention over the past few months as a growing number of babies have been born with microcephaly in countries where the disease is more prominent. 
Call for Nominations for the MMA Foundation Awards
Nominations are now open for the annual MMA Foundation Awards, which recognize outstanding service, leadership and accomplishments by physicians and physicians-in-training. Nominations are due June 30. Read more here.
Webinars Available on Opioids, MACRA, PMP and ePA
The MMA has several recorded webinars (some are free and offer CME and MOC credit) online for physicians on topics such as prescription opioids, MACRA, the state's Prescription Monitoring Program and electronic prior authorization.
Input Sought for Transgender Health Care Survey
Abel Knochel, PhD, from the University of Minnesota Duluth and Dylan Flunker of the Rainbow Health Initiative are conducting a study that seeks to understand how older transgender adults access medical and aging services, and how health care providers can better serve them. The researchers are conducting a short (five-minute) survey of providers in the Twin Cities and Arrowhead regions. You can access the survey here. Feel free to email Knochel or call 218-726-7845 with questions.
National Expert to Address Payment Reform - Registration Open
Registration is now open for the MMA's payment reform discussion featuring Harold Miller on June 1 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the University of Minnesota's Continuing Education and Conference Center in St. Paul. Miller, president and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, works at the local, state and national levels on initiatives to improve the quality of health care services and to change the fundamental structure of health care payment systems in order to support improved value. He is also an adjunct professor of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.  
RSVP Now for Social Events in Twin Cities and Rochester
The MMA will hold free networking events in Minneapolis and Rochester for physicians and physicians-in-training this spring. The metro event will take place May 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Surly Brewery, 520 Malcolm Ave. SE in Minneapolis. The Rochester event will take place June 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cambria Gallery on 400 S. Broadway in Rochester. The events are a celebration of medicine, a thank you to members, and a welcome to new and prospective members. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. 
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