Top Stories
Bloomington, St. Cloud City Councils Pass T21 Ordinances, Latter in Jeopardy
Both Bloomington and St. Cloud's City Councils passed ordinances on Nov. 6 that prohibit sales of tobacco in the city limits to those under age 21. However, St. Cloud's mayor said he would not sign it into law. Read more here
MDH Investigating Rise in Tuberculosis Cases in Ramsey County
The Minnesota Department of Health, in collaboration with St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, is investigating an increase in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases among the elderly Hmong community. Read more here.
Fingerprinting of New Physician Licensure Applicants to Begin
Minnesota law now requires that all new applicants for licensure, including physicians, must complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Read more here
Rules for 2018 Medicare Quality Payment Program Released
On Nov. 2, CMS published a final rule for year two of Medicare's Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Medicare Part B physician payment program adopted in 2015 as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Read more here
Opioid Lecture Series Continues to Draw Large Crowds
Approximately 70 students attended the third session of this fall's Pain, Opioids and Addiction Lecture Series on Nov. 2 at the University of Minnesota. Read more here.
Volunteer Opportunities Available on State Task Forces, Work Groups
Physicians have several volunteer opportunities to serve on health care-related state task forces and work groups including the Board of Medical Practice, and others. Applications should be submitted to the Secretary of State by Nov. 27 to ensure full consideration. Read more here
MMA to Host Health Equity Forum on Jan. 24
In January, the MMA, along with the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity and other partner organizations, will kick off a campaign to raise awareness of health disparities in the state. On Jan. 24, we will host a health equity forum featuring Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, and Brooke A. Cunningham, MD, PhD, assistant professor with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. Watch MMA News Now for future details. 
Webinar Set for Physicians Who Order Home Health Services
Physicians who order and certify home health services should plan to attend a webinar on Dec. 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. It will focus on the role physicians play in documenting the eligibility requirements for home health and sharing that documentation with home health agencies. CMS regulations require documentation from the physician and/or acute/post-acute facility to support payment of the home health claim. Register here for the webinar.
Policy Council Positions Available for MMA Members
The MMA is looking to fill several vacancies on the MMA Policy Council effective Jan. 1, 2018. The 40-member group, which was created in 2013, provides a representative mechanism for obtaining broad member input, feedback, and ideas on critical health policy issues facing Minnesota physicians. More information can be found here. Members who are interested should email Janet Silversmith or call 612-362-3763.
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  • Jan. 24, 2018: Health Equity Forum (TBD) 
  • March 14, 2018: Save the Date - MMA Day at the Capitol (St. Paul)
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