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This Week in Health Care Reform: Leaked Plans and President Trump's Health Care Principles
During his speech to Congress Feb. 28, President Donald Trump urged Republicans and Democrats to work together to "save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster." Read more here.
MMA Voices Concern with MinnesotaCare as a Public Option Plan
The MMA testified before the Senate's Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee on Feb. 28 opposing a bill that would allow any Minnesotan that buys insurance on the individual market to buy into MinnesotaCare. Read more here.
Quality Measure Bill Passes through House HHS Committee
MMA-crafted legislation to limit the number of state-mandated quality measures for physician practices passed through the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on March 1. Read more here
Prior Auth Action Alert Urges Legislators to Act Now
If you haven't sent an Action Alert on medication prior authorization legislation to your state representative and senator, please do so as soon as possible. Committee deadlines are fast approaching. If our bills (HF 747/SF 593) on PA are not heard in policy committees in at least one body by March 10, our push this session will be seriously compromised. We've had more than 100 members send one so far. We need more, though. Click here to send your own Action Alert. 
DHS Seeks Input on Post-Acute Pain Prescribing Recommendations
The Minnesota Department of Human Services is seeking comments on its Opioid Prescribing Work Group's Post-Acute Pain Recommendations and Post-Acute Pain Prescribing and Assessment Guide. Both documents are available on the DHS Opioid Prescribing Work Group website. Read more here
Health Care Quality Report Shows Improvement Across Most Measures
The annual Health Care Quality Report published by MN Community Measurement, showed improvements between 2015 and 2016 in 18 of 23 measures. The largest gains occurred in adolescent mental health and/or depression screening; adolescent immunizations; and optimal asthma control for children. Read more here
MMA President Calls on Members to Contact Congress, Legislature
In the latest edition of Insights, President David Agerter, MD, encourages his fellow MMA members to contact their federal and state legislators to urge them to fight for patients during upcoming discussions on health care reform. "Tell them that a replacement to the ACA needs to be formulated before repeal takes place," he writes. Insights is the quarterly email distributed to members offering MMA leaders the opportunity to take a position on issues facing physicians.
Program on Living and Dying Well Scheduled for March 7
The third in a series of six special conversations on living and dying well will take place March 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids. Read more here
New Opioid Lectures Now Available Online
Four more lectures in the Pain, Opioids and Addiction series are now available online. The free lectures include: "What is Addiction?;" "Drugs of Abuse from A to Z;" "Opioid Antagonists;" and "Communicating with Chronic Pain Patients." The series is a collaboration between the MMA, the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Medical School. CME and MOC are available. 
MMA Policy Council Seeks Member Input
The MMA Policy Council is working to finalize its 2017 work plan and welcomes member input on potential topics. The Council is tasked with addressing important policy issues affecting physicians and the practice of medicine in Minnesota and submits recommendations for policy development to the MMA Board of Trustees. Potential topics for the year include issues of health care access, prescription drug re-importation, and core data elements in electronic health records. If you are interested in providing input on these issues or have potential topics for Council consideration, please submit your issue or send your comments to the MMA.
Member Feedback
When we launched our revised website last year, readers lost the ability to comment on stories. We want to keep the lines of communication open, so if you have a comment or opinion on something you read in News Now, please send us an email. We will publish a representative sample in future editions. 
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