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Legislative Updates & Alerts

During the legislative session, MNAAP members receive bi-weekly legislative updates emailed to them from the chapter’s policy chair and lobbyist.

The 2021 session runs from Jan. 5 to May 17.

May 11, 2020

Legislation to reform the prior authorization (PA) process cleared committees in both the House and Senate in recent days. The MNAAP-supported bill includes several provisions intended to assist in ensuring patients receive timely care while also removing the administrative burden of prior authorization. The bills accelerate the timelines health plans are allowed to review PA requests, requires plans to post clinical criteria used for prior authorization, provides for a transition period for patients who change health plans, and several other provisions.

MNAAP leadership and staff continue to lobby the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) for flexibility in how Child & Teen Checkup (C&TC)  visits are reimbursed given the dramatic increase in these visits being done via telemedicine, meaning some services otherwise part of the C&TC bundled payment cannot be completed.  The MNAAP has lobbied the administration to reimburse for these visits at the full rate with the expectation that the services will be provided at the patient’s next visit.  DHS has indicated that they face several challenges in accommodating the request.

Gov. Tim Walz continues to use his executive authority to enact time-limited changes in many areas and industries. In addition to recently extending the “stay at home” order for several weeks, he also acted to allow physicians and nurses from other states to practice in Minnesota during the peacetime emergency.  Another order modified an earlier executive order prohibiting elective surgeries and procedures. The new order allows such procedures to go forward if certain conditions regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), screening and testing capacity, and other metrics are met.  The MNAAP assisted in making recommendations to the governor.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

April 19, 2020

The MNAAP has sought to expand reimbursement for Child & Teen Check-up (C&TC) services to better accommodate the challenges of delivering health care services via telemedicine. Current regulations allow payment for C&TC services delivered via telemedicine, though the reimbursement is lower given that the entire bundle of services – including physical exams and diagnostic testing – is not able to delivered telemedically.  Several states have acted to deliver full reimbursement with the expectation that clinics will complete the services once the patient is able to be seen in clinic. The MNAAP’s letter of request to DHS was joined by a number of other provider groups, including the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP), Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and others.

Legislation to expand access to affordable insulin for low-income, uninsured, underinsured individuals and Minnesotans with high drug expenses became law after a debate stretching back to the 2019 legislative session.  Under the new law, which is effective July 1, both emergency insulin and longer-term access is given to eligible individuals.  The bill builds upon existing insulin manufacturer’s patient assistance programs and passed both the House and Senate by wide, bipartisan margins.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

April 6, 2020

The Capitol remained largely empty in recent weeks as the extended Easter and Passover breaks continued.  Legislators did return to the Capitol in late March to pass another COVID-19 relief package.  The $320 million measure provides funding for many impacted sectors of Minnesota, including childcare, transportation needs, veterans programs, government continuity, and dozens of other provisions.  Of note, the bill provides $26 million to support programs for the homeless, as well as an additional $9 million appropriation for food shelves and other food stability programs

Governor Walz continued to use his executive authority to enact measures to stop the spread of the pandemic and assisting those who are impacted.  Recent executive measures include restrictions on the prescribing of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent shortages of the drugs, as well as temporarily waiving CME requirements for the duration of the public health emergency.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

March 9, 2020

Positive movement on tobacco and nicotine control continued in recent weeks. Legislation to align Minnesota’s tobacco purchase age minimum at 21 with new federal cleared a key Senate committee, and a bill to prohibit the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in vehicles when children are present was passed by two House committees in recent days. Youth-friendly flavors in tobacco and e-cigarettes was the subject of another hearing.

One of the Legislature’s leading voices on early childhood investment, Rep. Dave Pinto is set to keynote the Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 23.  In addition to being a leader on child health issues, Rep. Pinto is also the author of one of the session’s most important bills to reduce firearm injury and death.

Join your colleagues for this day of advocacy on behalf of Minnesota’s youngest residents, as well as fellowship with colleagues from across the state at Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 23. Registration information is available here.  Act now, as early registration increases your likelihood of securing a meeting with your elected officials.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

February 24, 2020

Vaccine proponents from around the state gathered in the Capitol rotunda for a joyful celebration of immunizations and the tremendous public good served by vaccines. Dozens of health professionals – including many pediatricians and medical students – as well as parents and children, held an enthusiastic rally in support of increasing vaccination rates.

Mark your calendars for Pediatricians’ Day at the Capitol, set for Monday, March 23. Join your colleagues for this day of advocacy on behalf of Minnesota’s youngest residents, as well as fellowship with pediatricians and pediatricians-in-training from across the state. More information is available here.

The House DFL’s major early education proposal gathered some momentum in recent weeks as it was considered in the House Childhood Finance and Policy Division on Feb. 18. The bill’s intent is to decrease racial and ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of high-quality prenatal care. The bill would provide $500,000 in additional spending to expand eligibility for scholarships to provide access to the state’s youngest learners, while also providing policy changes intended to improve and expand the program and other early learning opportunities.

This is a summary only. To receive full legislative updates on a biweekly basis, you must be a member of MNAAP. The emails provide additional details about legislative issues that are not posted on our website and are for members only.

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