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AAP and Local Chapters Continue to Press Congress on CHIP

A bill to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another 5 years has yet to be passed by Congress -- leaving millions of children and families with uncertainty about how they will be able to access the health care coverage they depend on.

In Minnesota, CHIP is known as Minnesota Care and provides coverage for 3,800 children whose families don't qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford or obtain private insurance. 


Minnesota stands to lose a substantial amount of federal federal funding the longer reauthorization is delayed, putting a significant strain on the state's general fund.


MNAAP recently sent a letter to Governor Dayton, urging him to contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken and stress the urgent need for immediate action on CHIP. They are supportive of maintaining and strengthening CHIP.

Letter to Governor Dayton

MNAAP and AAP will continue to monitor developments and communicate updates as they become available. 

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Making the Most of MNAAP Membership

Have you ever wondered what MNAAP can do you for you, individually? Ever doubted whether being involved in a professional group really makes a difference? Watch a short video about the impact of MNAAP membership -- and find out what MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, MD, MSPH appreciates most about the state's pediatricians. 


Feel free to share on social media and with fellow pediatricians! 


Watch the video

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Register Now: March 7 Pediatricians' Day at the Capitol

Each year MNAAP brings together more than 100 residents, community pediatricians and medical students to discuss and advocate for issues that have a direct impact on the health of Minnesota children. Ensuring access to care is among MNAAP's top priorities for 2018.


Following a brief primer on the chapter's positions, we'll hear from our state lobbyist and key legislators about specific child health issues being debated. You'll have the opportunity to weigh in and discuss priority issues with your own legislators as well. 


Children can't vote, and there are no pediatricians in our state legislature, which is why these discussions are so important. Please plan to join us the afternoon of March 7 at the State Capitol to speak on behalf of children! 


Learn more/register now

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Child & Teen Checkup (C&TC) Concerns Raised with MN DHS

MNAAP President Dr. Andrew Kiragu,  President-elect Dr. Lori DeFrance, Lobbyist Eric Dick, and Executive Director Katherine Cairns met with staff from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) recently to raise concerns about the short notice for changes in the state Child & Teen Checkup (C&TC) program that went into effect Oct. 1st. 


Additionally, representatives from Allina, Children's Minnesota and Avera clinics shared examples of changes required in their EHR, new equipment requiring purchase, staff training and workflow changes. Billing and policy issues were also discussed. 


All participants stressed that six months notice of C&TC changes is needed. DHS staff are considering options for billing and reporting changes based on the concerns raised. MNAAP will share any additional updates as they become available.


C&TC fact sheets on new requirements

C&TC schedule of age-related screening standards

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New Condition Recommended for Minnesota's Newborn Screening Panel

Recently, the Minnesota Advisory Committee on Heritable and Congenital Disorders recommended to the Commissioner of Health that Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) be added to the state's newborn screening panel.

SMA is the leading genetic cause of death in infants, and a recent FDA-approved treatment has quickened efforts by advocates to add SMA to state newborn screening panels throughout the country. SMA is also being reviewed at the federal level for possible inclusion on the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel.

The Commissioner of Health makes the final decision on inclusion of disorders to Minnesota’s newborn screening panel after a thorough review of the advisory committee’s recommendation and associated scientific, clinical, and public health evidence.  If approved, it is estimated that 14 children per year will be identified with the disorder in Minnesota.









Advice to Policy Makers to Avoid Future Vaccine-Preventable Outbreaks

Now that the 2017 measles outbreak is over, many in the state are calling on lawmakers to take steps to avoid future outbreaks. Here are three suggestions from Star Tribune's editorial board: 


1. Eliminate the state's "personal belief" vaccine exemption.

2. Exclude unvaccinated individuals from schools and daycares during outbreaks.

3. Sanction medical providers who spread inaccurate vaccine information.


MNAAP will be discussing Minnesota vaccine policy and other legislative issues for 2018 at its upcoming policy meeting on September 27.  


Read the full article


Consider a Year-End Donation to our Foundation

This holiday season, consider making a tax-deductible, year-end donation of $10 or more to the Minnesota Academy of Pediatrics Foundation. Giving Tuesday is November 28. 


The Foundation is leading various projects and initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Minnesota infants, children and adolescents. Learn more to see how you can support or join these efforts.


More info




Reach out and Read Names Northfield a "Bookend Community"

Reach Out and Read, a nationwide, nonprofit early literacy program that provides free books to children at their regular checkups, has named Northfield a "Bookend Community," only the second city in Minnesota to earn that designation. 


To become a Reach Out and Read Bookend Community, 100 percent of all primary health care practices in the community must participate in the program. In Northfield, Pediatrician 
Benjamin Flannery led the way for all three of the city's clinics to begin participating in Reach Out and Read. 


100 percent of Northfield's providers, including three pediatricians, one pediatric nurse practitioner, and 15 family practice providers, now incorporate the Reach Out and Read model into their well child visits. 


Across the state, 1 in 3 children from the ages of 6 months through 5 years of age participates in Reach Out and Read. MNAAP member Dr. Nate Chomilo is the organization's medical director. 


Learn more