When lawmakers gather in St. Paul on Feb. 20, the MMA’s legislative team will be ready with two main priorities in mind – ensuring patients have ready access to needed medication and continuing to address the opioid epidemic.
Last month, the MMA’s Board of Trustees voted to focus on:
1) Supporting legislation to ensure patients have access to needed medication in a timely manner. This includes continuing efforts to pass medication prior-authorization reforms, support legislation that limits the use of step therapy, limit the number of formulary changes during a patient’s contract year and opposing limits on practitioners’ and pharmacists’ ability to ensure patients get the most cost-effective therapies available.
2) Supporting increased funding to reduce the harm of opioid use by investing in patient and prescriber education programs, expanding addiction treatment programs, and embedding the Prescription Monitoring Program into electronic health records.
Additionally, the MMA will continue to work to maintain the repeal of the provider tax as scheduled in January 2020.
“We expect a host of other issues will come up that we will need to address, but it is helpful to have the board provide focus on priority issues,” said Dave Renner, MMA’s director of state and federal legislation. “Like in year’s past, we’ll focus on our priorities while keeping an eye on whatever potential laws affect physicians, patients, and the practice of medicine in Minnesota.”
The 2018 session is expected to be a shorter session that will adjourn no later than May 22. With all 134 House seats up for election, there will be pressure for representatives to get their job done without too much controversy, so they can get home to campaign.