MMA Legislative Priorities for 2014
The MMA’s legislative team focused on the following topics during the 2014 legislative session, which begins Feb. 25.
Physician-led team-based care
The MMA supports a collaborative practice framework among physicians and other health care providers. Legislators may weigh in on a proposal that could provide Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) with more independence (for example, allow them prescribing authority). Collaboration is crucial to ensure that patients receive the best care possible by the right practitioner. We support physician-led team-based care.
Battling prescription opioids misuse
The MMA supports strengthening the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program so that alerts are sent to prescribers on patients who are potentially “doctor shopping.” The MMA also supports “911 Good Samaritan and Naloxone” legislation that is designed to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths by providing immunity to those who call 911 in good faith to save a life and increasing public access to the antidote naloxone. The law would allow first responders to carry naloxone and make the drug available through community-based agencies that work with intravenous drug users.
The MMA supports prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public indoor spaces such as workplaces and bars by the Freedom to Breathe Act. The MMA is also looking at additional retail regulations such as requiring tobacco sellers to obtain a license to sell e-cigarettes and requiring that they put the product behind their counters. Requiring ingredient disclosure on the product’s packaging is another option being considered.
Aligning clinical data sharing
The MMA supports legislation that would bring the Minnesota Health Records Act into alignment with HIPAA, the existing federal standards governing the sharing of health information. Enhanced information sharing is crucial to the functioning of Accountable Care Organizations, Health Care Homes and Total Cost of Care arrangements. Appropriately shared clinical data will increase the quality of patient care and decrease costs.
Expediting the provider tax phase-out
In 2011, legislators voted for the phase-out and eventual repeal of the provider tax (Dec. 31, 2019). The 2 percent tax has driven up the cost of health care and falls more heavily on sick and low-income Minnesotans. The MMA will continue to lobby legislators to ensure the repeal and will oppose any efforts to use the Health Care Access Fund for any new purposes.
Prohibiting tanning beds for minors
The MMA supports legislation to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for minors, require a warning notice be provided to each consumer, update posted warning signs, and create a licensing fee for tanning facilities to pay for enforcement.
Restoring the newborn screening program
The Legislature should restore the state’s newborn screening program to its prior nation-leading status by removing the arbitrary and dangerous retention periods for test samples and data established in 2012.
Cost and quality data for hospitals and clinics
The MMA supports eliminating Provider Peer Grouping and focusing more attention on the All Payer Claims Database as the tool to be used in creating public comparisons of the cost and quality of care provided by hospitals and clinics.
Director of State and Federal Legislation
Office - 612-362-3750
Mobile – 612-518-3437
Manager of State Legislative Affairs
Office - 612-362-3732
Mobile – 612-747-3683