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Minnesota Medical Group Management Association
Advancing Leaders. Advancing Practices.

MMGMA Fun Fact

It’s National Gratitude Month:  Something to consider…. Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure; they are more physically fit, they are happier, have more satisfying personal and professional relationships and will be better liked.

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November E-News

In This Issue:

Featured Articles

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Free Webinar on Electronic Prior Authorization Set for December 3

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MMGMA and MMA will co-host a free 30-minute webinar at noon on Dec. 3 on the prescription drug e-PA mandate, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2016. The featured speaker is Laura Topor, president of Granada Health, LLC, and member of the Board of Trustees at the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs Inc. The webinar will be live, but will be recorded for posting online and later viewing. 


ICD-10; Source MN ICD-10 Collaborative

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The Minnesota ICD-10 Collaborative held its first “Post ICD-10” meeting on Thursday, October 8.  At the meeting, both payers and provider groups reported back with an update on “go live” items. Payers reported a generally uneventful “go live.” Payer feedback is outlined below.

  • BCBS has received more than 100,000 claims with ICD-10 codes to date. BCBS did some small tweaking of database permissions for storage of data, but claims are adjudicating as expected and producing remittances. There was also a very small volume of edit rejects. 
  • HealthPartners reported one issue with a clearinghouse (IGI) that was sending ICD-10 codes and qualifiers with dates prior to the mandate date. The clearinghouse has worked with the providers to correct and resubmit those claims. Blue Cross also experienced this issue with this clearinghouse. Claims are being received and adjudicated as expected.
  • Medica reported no claims processing or payment issues to date. Medica experienced an issue with prior authorizations that were received by its external vendor prior to October 1 but not received by Medica until after October 1.  This was resolved.
  • PreferredOne reported that claims are processing and no issues have been reported thus far.
  • UCare reported some trading partners that were hoping to test very close to “go-live” were unable to be completed, but those that were able to test were reporting good results. UCare did have a date span issue related to claims that spanned the compliance date, but that issue has been corrected. 
  • DHS reported that all types of claims are processing as expected.
  • Primewest reported that claims are in its system and processing and paying as expected.

Provider group updates did not show significant issues.

Additional post-“go live” items:

  • Medica noted that it is getting a lot of questions from Elderly Waiver providers. These providers submit very few claims and so they typically have a lot of questions when something changes.
  • HealthEast, Fairview and Sanford also reported issues with ABNs in Epic. Issues seem to be related to the Medicare LCD changes resulting in providers getting more pop-ups indicating that services are not covered but the same services were covered in ICD-9. It was reported that software updates should correct this.
  • The collaborative will discuss appeals at the next meeting.

If MMGMA members are experiencing issues with ICD-10 items, they are encouraged to contact Sandy Rutherford at Feedback will be shared directly with the Minnesota ICD-10 Collaborative. 

CMS Allows Exclusion for Meaningful Use Public Health Reporting Objective

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In October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized changes to the reporting criteria for the EHR Incentive (meaningful use) program. Starting in 2015, eligible professionals (EPs) are now required to report certain public health measures, which were previously optional. If EPs were not intending to report these public health measures, CMS has announced that they may now claim an alternate exclusion in 2015 because the agency issued the changes so late in the year. 

Out of the three public health measures, EPs can claim an alternate exclusion for up to two measures, depending on their stage of the meaningful use program. To learn more about this alternate exclusion and all of the modified 2015 meaningful use requirements, visit the website

Source: CMS

MN Community Measurement Releases Results of Two New Health Care Quality Measures

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MN Community Measurement, in conjunction with the MN Department of Health, just released the results of two new measures of health care quality: Adolescent / Teen Mental Health and Depression Screening and Pediatric Obesity Counseling.

According to MN Community Measurement, “Forty percent of adolescents and teens in Minnesota were screened for mental health conditions and depression as part of their preventive care checkups last year. Of those screened, nearly 10% showed signs of a possibly mental health or depression condition. Additionally, 28.6% of three to 17 year olds were overweight or obese in Minnesota last year. Of those, 85% were counseled about nutrition and physical activity by their health care providers.”

For more details, read the MNCM news release.  


Committee Updates

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Executive Committee

The transition from Synergos to Ewald was completed October 30, 2015. The process went smoothly, thanks to everyone’s due diligence each step of the way. As expected, there will be minor adjustments over the next month or two. Please send me any feedback so that all of MMGMA continues to benefit from this new relationship. A special thank you to all the committee chairs for providing 2016 budget forecasts on a timely basis to Sandy Rutherford, Vice President. You can be assured that MMGMA remains strong in quality members as well as financially.

Thank You Image

Finally, in honor of National Gratitude Month – It takes a lot of volunteer hours to make MMGMA the great organization that it is and so it seems timely to say "thank you" to officers, committee chairs, committee members and everyone else, past and present, who has freely given his or her time and talent to MMGMA.

~Darla Morris-Preble
MMGMA President

ACMPE Liaison Committee

State Certification promotion continues through December 31, 2015
MGMA is offering a waived first year of MGMA membership to any member of a state MGMA organization entering the board certification through the ACMPE program. In order to participate in the program, you must meet the following qualifiers:

  1. Must be a current state MGMA member.
  2. Cannot be a current MGMA member.
  3. Must be a qualified applicant for certification, and application must be accepted to receive free one-year MGMA membership.
  4. Pay $250 one-time application fee.

REMINDER – Enter Continuing Education

Reminder to nominees, certified members and Fellows to enter your continuing education (CE) hours in the online transcript.

The 50 CE maintenance hour deadline is quickly approaching for all certified members and Fellows. The deadline to log qualifying hours is December 31, 2015.

2016 exams will be offered:

Exam Dates Registration
February 13 – 27 December 30, 2015 – January 13, 2016
June 11 – 25 April 27 – May 9
September 10 – 24 July 27 – August 8
December 3 – 17 October 19 – November 2

Certified members are encouraged to begin pursuing Fellowship.

  • Streamlined Fellowship options in 2015:
    • The three case study option will end on Dec. 31, 2015. Currently, the only way to proceed with case studies for Fellowship is if the author already has an approved outline. Beginning in 2016, we will only accept professional paper submissions in pursuit of Fellowship.
    • More information is available at
  • If you are interested in Fellowship, please keep the 2016 Fellowship deadlines in mind:
    • July 1, 2016 – Outline deadline (recommended)
    • August 26, 2016 – Manuscript deadline
    • October 30 – November 2, 2016 – New Fellow Recognition at the MGMA Annual Conference in San Francisco

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee continues to tweak the new website. All members were previously sent an e-mail with their user name and a temporary password. Be sure to log in to to re-set your password and take a tour of the new site. If you spot errors, either in fact or function, please let Sue Haberle know so the corrections can be made. Also, the Communications Committee is looking for some new members. The committee’s primary projects include the e-newsletter, the website and support for the various committees. If you are interested in joining this great group, contact the committee chair at or 763-550-0101.

Conference & Education Committee

Please mark your calendars for the MMGMA 2016 Winter Conference on Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2. The theme of the conference is “Managing the Current,” which is appropriate as the conference location is crossing the river and returning to the St. Paul River Centre.  There is a great line-up of speakers and presentations.  As always, this premier educational event will equip medical practice executives with new ideas and tools to stay up-to-date, innovate, and succeed in their careers.

Managing the Current

Exhibitor & Sponsorship Committee

The Exhibitor and Sponsorship Committee is still looking for annual sponsors as well as Winter Conference event sponsors and exhibitors. If your organization is interested in more information about sponsorship or exhibit space, or if you know of an organization that the committee could follow up with, please contact the committee chair at

Government Affairs Committee

The Government Affairs Committee approved its 2015-2016 strategic plan, which promotes increasing the level of engagement between MMGMA and lawmakers. In the coming months, the committee will be organizing events for members to meet with lawmakers in St. Paul to hear legislative updates, discuss issues of interest and promote MMGMA’s advocacy agenda. In addition, the committee will be monitoring and developing positions on a variety of policy matters including administration of Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, the structure of alternative payment models and the future of the provider tax. This past year, MMGMA has been supporting adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which the governor signed into law on May 19.  The governor recently appointed Jon Thomas, MD, and Ruth Martinez, of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice to represent Minnesota as commissioners at the inaugural meeting of the commission in Chicago in late October. The committee will continue to monitor the commission’s efforts to develop an expedited interstate medical licensure process.

MMGMA Political Action Committee (PAC) Update: In October, members of MMGMA and the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) participated in two health care fundraising events put together by our legislative team at Messerli & Kramer. The events included eight key legislators in health care: Rep. Matt Dean, Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance Committee; Rep. Joe Schomacker, Chair of the Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee; Rep. Tara Mack, Chair of the Health and Human Services Reform Committee; and Rep. Nick Zerwas from the House of Representatives. 

The legislators in attendance from the Senate were: Sen. Jeff Hayden, Deputy Majority Leader; Sen. Melisa Franzen, Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Budget Division; Sen. Tony Lourey, Chair of the Health and Human Services Budget Division; and Sen. Kathy Sheran, Chair of the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee. 

Attendees had the opportunity to network and build relationships with these legislators that will be beneficial as 2016 legislative session issues arise. Both fundraisers were hugely successful, and the MMGMA PAC played a key role in raising contributions for the legislators who attended.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee recently hosted a great New Member Breakfast where information about MMGMA, the events and committees was shared. Continuing to grow is something the committee is focused on for 2016, and you can help.  Refer your colleagues and remember that we also wish to continue to attract MMGMA affiliate (vendor) members to help keep our conference fees low.  If you know of someone who needs information, have him or her contact our committee chair, Kim Thompson, at

MMA Liaison Committee

The Minnesota Medical Association hosted an “Opportunities and Challenges for Independent Practice” forum and webcast on November 11.  Bruce Bagley, MD, FAAFP, presented a new AMA program called “Steps Forward” that has been shown to help physicians revitalize their practices and improve patient care. Some of the topics covered included an overview of the changing marketplace, why physicians need to change the way they practice, how increasing practice efficiencies can decrease burnout, and more. Information about other upcoming events can be found on the MMA website

Payer Relations Committee

BlueCross and BlueShield of Minnesota has contracted with EquiClaim to review the use of the Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes for all physicians participating in the BCBS network. Many physicians received letters and profile reports from EquiClaim, notifying them that their utilization of services provided at levels 4 & 5 were considerably higher than the expected billing distribution as determined by the average billing behavior of other physicians within the same specialty. While it is beneficial for physicians to be aware of their code utilization profile, MMGMA doesn’t recommend practices change their coding behavior based solely on the EquiClaim profile. MMGMA recommends that physicians review documentation and coding criteria for all services, and physicians should not hesitate to code accurately for the services they provide.


Mark your Calendar

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Job Listings

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  • Vice President, Research – posted 11/02/2015
  • Clinic Administrator – posted 10/29/15
  • Chief Financial Officer – posted 10/22/15
Visit our job board to read more about these and other job postings.

Featured Sponsor

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Cushman & Wakefield/Northmarq

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq provides real estate advisory services to medical practices and hospital systems. Services include site selection, acquisition and disposition, strategic planning, lease negotiation, ownership structuring, and relocation analysis. Ancillary services include lease administration, project management, facilities management and property accounting.

Platinum Sponsors

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MMIC Group