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MNCM Report Shows Total Cost of Care Continuing to Rise
The total cost of medical care in Minnesota increased 3.4 percent from 2015 to 2016 for commercially insured patients, according to a new report released by MN Community Measurement. Read more here.
Medical Cannabis Program Adds Autism and Sleep Apnea to Qualifying Conditions
Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger, MD, announced Nov. 30 his decision to add autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state's medical cannabis program. Patients with these conditions can enroll in the program as of July 1, 2018. Read more here
MMA Board OKs MinnesotaCare Buy-in If Meets Defined Criteria
In order to add stability and provide affordable options in the individual insurance market, the MMA Board of Trustees voted at its Nov. 18 meeting to allow individuals to purchase MinnesotaCare coverage under certain circumstances to be defined in future legislation. Read more here.
New Unauthorized Services Law Effective Jan. 1
During the 2017 legislative session, a new law was passed to address payment for unauthorized services or "surprise billing." A bill is considered a "surprise" if a patient receives care from an out-of-network physician without the patient's awareness or authorization. The new law, effective Jan. 1, limits the out-of-pocket cost for a patient that receives certain unauthorized, non-emergency services. Click here for more information on the law, including what constitutes an unauthorized service and resources available to providers negotiating payment for unauthorized services. 
MMA Provides Input on SQRMS to Health Department
On Nov. 21, the MMA submitted comments to the Minnesota Department of Health on the proposed amendments to the Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System for the 2018 reporting year. Click here to view the letter.
POLST Minnesota Form and Resources Updated
The POLST Minnesota Steering Committee recently updated the POLST MN form and created new educational resources to support the Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program in Minnesota. The MMA launched the POLST Minnesota program in 2008 and currently serves as the program administrator. Read more here.
Preview New Medicaid Encounter Alert Service Dec. 12
The MMA will host a webinar on Dec. 12 at 7 a.m. to preview the Minnesota Department of Human Services' new Medicaid Encounter Alert Service. Read more here
Get Involved: Upcoming Opportunities for Medical Students
Students in Minnesota medical schools have a couple of opportunities to get involved in the MMA. First, there are the Medical Student Section (MSS) Executive Committee Elections, which will be held on Dec. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the MMA.  If you are interested in receiving information about elections, please contact Juliana Milhofer.  Second, MSS has one representative and one alternate appointed to each MMA policy committee: Ethics and Medical-Legal Affairs; Finance and Audit; Medical Practice and Quality; Membership and Communications; and Public Health. For more information on each committee, click here. To apply for committee consideration, please fill out this form. Representatives for 2018 will be appointed by the MSS Executive Committee in December - so apply today! 
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. 
Volunteer Openings Available on MMA Policy Committees   
Volunteer positions are available on each of the following MMA policy committees of the Board of Trustees: Ethics and Medical-Legal Affairs; Finance and Audit; Medical Practice & Quality; and Membership and Communications. Read more here.  
Minnesota Wild Salutes Health Care Professionals Dec. 14
The Minnesota Wild will hold its first annual "Salute 2 Scrubs" Appreciation Game on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center. The event is to honor and recognize all health care professionals in Minnesota. With each ticket purchased, attendees will receive a special t-shirt. The home team faces off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Click here for details.
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