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E-News: February 2016
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Minnesota Medical Group Management Association
Advancing Leaders. Advancing Practices.

MMGMA Fun Fact

Founded in 1951, Minnesota Medical Group Management Association (MMGMA) roots reach as far back as 1890 with the birth of group practice in southern Minnesota. The first meeting of the National Association of Clinic Managers in 1926 addressed problems of clinic administration.

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Free advance care planning sessions for patients and families, beginning March 10.

From March10 to October 27, your patients and their family members may register for one of 13 free advance care planning sessions. Held in Edina, the sessions are a population health initiative of Fairview Physician Associates Network. Trained advance care planning facilitators lead the 90-minute programs, offered during morning and afternoon time blocks. Learn more and register at

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February E-News

In This Issue:

Featured Articles

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Stay Current at 2016 Winter Conference, March 1-2

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Managing the Current

Stay current in your career at our premier educational event. The 2016 MMGMA Winter Conference, Managing the Current, will help you stay up-to-date, innovate and succeed. Join some 250 healthcare professionals from across Minnesota. We begin March 1 with the Morning at the Capitol event at the RiverCentre in St. Paul. The conference kicks off with lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by keynote sessions, time to visit with business partners, and the always enjoyable networking reception wrap-up. Wednesday will continue with a full line-up of exceptional educational sessions and time to explore the resource center with our exhibitors.

View the conference schedule or download the pre-conference brochure for the agenda, speaker biographies, special event details, and more. Download a registration form here.

Members Discuss Issues with Legislator

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MMGMA members gathered Feb. 2 at the MMGMA “Eggs and Issues” to discuss legislative issues with State Representative Nick Zerwas from Elk River. Zerwas serves on both the Health and Human Services Reform and Finance committees. The second annual “Eggs and Issues” forum took place in St. Paul, where Zerwas shared his background in healthcare and offered an update on the legislative session. In 2016, Zerwas said he will oppose efforts to reinstate the provider tax beyond 2019, which is consistent with MMGMA’s legislative priorities.

By March 15: Submit a Hardship Exception, Avoid the 2017 Meaningful Use Penalty 

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MGMA updated its member-benefit resource, Overview of the Final Requirements for Meaningful Use -  2015 through 2017, to assist members applying for the 2017 hardship exception. MGMA encourages all eligible professionals (EPs) subject to the 2017 Medicare Meaningful Use penalty to apply for the hardship exception. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently stated that it will broadly accept hardship exceptions due to the delayed publication of program regulations and will require no supporting documentation if the application is submitted by March 15, 2016.

In addition, CMS now is permitting group practices to submit one application for all of its EPs. As a reminder, applying for the hardship exception will not prevent an EP from earning an incentive, and EPs attesting that they have met the requirements for the 2015 Meaningful Use reporting period should still apply for the hardship exception.

For more information, access the CMS hardship exception instructions and application form.


Committee Updates

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ACMPE Liaison Committee

Attending the MMGMA Winter Conference? Look for a conference special discounting the cost of the ACMPE certification exam.  Also, check out the lending library. We now have two sets of the Body of Knowledge third edition books and a copy of the exam review booklet. In addition, check out the great study tools on the MGMA website. As always, we offer several volunteer mentors to help you prepare for the certification exam or writing the Fellowship paper.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is working to develop best practices around several MMGMA communications functions. We’re starting with e-mail communications, especially those surrounding our special events and conferences. We also are piloting a business partnership with a health care trade journal to broaden the visibility of MMGMA. Watch for further details.

Exhibitor & Sponsorship Committee

Help us Build Sponsors for MMGMA’s Winter Conference

Conference Photos

We welcomed 12 new MMGMA annual sponsors this year, and with the help of our MMGMA management company, Ewald, we have secured a great line up of Winter Conference sponsors and exhibitors.  Please encourage your vendors and suppliers to sponsor MMGMA and exhibit at the winter and summer conferences as a great opportunity for exposure with healthcare business decision makers.

Visit to sign up online or call 651-999-5359 to learn more about exhibit and sponsorship opportunities.

Government Affairs Committee

The Government Affairs Committee and our contractor, Messerli & Kramer, hosted a quarterly political action committee (PAC) conference call Feb 1. Messerli & Kramer representatives provided an overview of the MMGMA PAC and compliance guidelines, followed by a question and answer period. Watch for information about the second quarter call planned for June, to stay engaged with PAC activities and events. For more information about the PAC, contact Josie Lonetti, Legislative Coordinator, Messerli and Kramer,

The MMGMA PAC will be hosting a Lagers & Legislation event on Tuesday, Feb. 29 from 5-7p.m. at Bonfire, 850 Grand Avenue, St. Paul  Special guests will include Senator Jeff Hayden and Representative Tony Albright. Please note the event falls the evening before the Winter Conference. You are encouraged to attend.

Watch for details of MMGMA’s 2016 legislative agenda at the Winter Conference’s Morning at the Capitol, Tues., March 1. To offer issues for consideration, please contact Government Affairs Committee Chair Eric Tempelis at

Membership Committee

MMGMA welcomes the following new members who joined in January:

  • Brian Albers, Preventive Cardiology Consultants
  • Timothy Brown, HealthEast Care System
  • Ellie Butler, Concordia College Healthcare Management
  • Katherine A Cairns, MN-AAP; MN-ACP
  • Jon Fering, Greystone Construction Company
  • Emily Friedrich, Concordia Student Healthcare Management Association
  • Mary Kay Lick, Twin Cities Orthopedics, PA
  • Delaney McKay, Concordia Student Healthcare Management Association
  • Nicole Miller, St. Paul Radiology
  • Anna Mueller, Minnesota Eye Consultants
  • Carol Ponsolle, Minnesota Gastroenterology, PA
  • Tracy Rheineck, Physicians Diagnostic & Rehabilitation
  • Trudi Ruzich, Northwest Family Physicians, PA-Crystal
  • Tina Marie Thorson, South Lake Pediatrics

Renew your MMGMA Membership now!
Don't let your voice on behalf of medical practices go silent by forgetting to renew your MMGMA membership for 2016. Renew now by going to
Or call 651-366-6089.

MMA Liaison Committee

MMA Makes Electronic Prior Auth Materials Available
This year, all Minnesota prescribers will be required to submit, and payers will be required to accept, electronic prior authorization (ePA) requests for prescription drugs. The MMA has created resources to help members switch to ePA, including a fact sheet, answers to frequently asked questions, and a recording of a webinar that took place in December. The MMA learned last month that the Minnesota Department of Human Services will not be able to accept ePA until April 1, 2016, at the earliest.

Source: Feb. 4 MMA News Now; used with permission.

Speak Out to Repeal Provider Tax
On Jan. 15, a state task force composed of legislators and health care experts voted to recommend that the 2 percent tax on all health care provider services be re-instated. The tax is set to expire in 2019, but will stay in place if the Legislature adopts the group’s plan. Contact your elected officials today by clicking here.

Please join us in stopping this unacceptable plan, which would further drive up the cost of health care when costs are already increasing dramatically.

Source: Jan. 28 MMA News Now; used with permission.

CMS Extends Deadline for 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Submission

CMS is extending the submission date for 2015 QRDA data submission for the EHR reporting mechanism. Individual eligible professionals (EPs), PQRS group practices, qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) and qualified EHR data submission vendors (DSVs) now have until March 11, 2016 to submit 2015 EHR data via QRDA.

A complete list of 2015 data submission timeframes is below:

  • EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor (QRDA I or III): 1/1/16 – 3/11/16
  • Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QRDA III): 1/1/16 – 3/11/16
  • Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) Web Interface: 1/18/16 – 3/11/16
  • Qualified Registries (Registry XML): 1/1/16 – 3/31/16
  • QCDRs (QCDR XML): 1/1/16 – 3/31/16

View more information about the CMS timeline here.

Payer Relations Committee

The Payer Relations Committee (PRC) will offer the first in a series of 2016 quarterly meetings with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota leadership on Thursday, Feb. 25.  Please contact a PRC member if you have any BCBS issues you’d like brought forward.

Day With the Payers (DWP) planning has begun. The PRC would like your input as we develop topics and questions to address with the payer reps during their DWP presentations. Please stop by the Payer Relations Committee/Government Affairs Committee table at the Winter Conference and share your ideas with a PRC member.


Mark Your Calendar

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Job Listings

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  • Care Delivery Supervisor – posted 2/5/2016

  • Clinic Practice Development Manager – posted 2/3/16

Visit our job board to read more about these and other job postings.

Featured Sponsor

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MMIC is the largest policyholder-owned medical liability insurance (medical malpractice) company in the Midwest. We serve the entire healthcare community, including large hospitals and healthcare systems, physician practices, outpatient and long-term care facilities. We are always thinking ahead to find new and better ways to protect clients through risk financing, improving patient safety and physician well-being, and reducing risks associated with information technology. We provide peace of mind so clients can focus on delivering healthcare in an era of health care reform, increasing regulations and a growing patient base. MMIC’s headquarters are in Minneapolis.

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