Resolutions cover range of legal issues

The Minnesota Medical Association approved resolutions for 2003 that support the following issues:

Use of a portion of taxes from alcohol sales for chemical dependency programs.

Establishment of ethical guidelines for management of surgical patients.

A federal requirement to print the chemical name and strength on every pill to make medication identification easier.

State government initiatives to negotiate favorable pharmaceutical prices on the Minnesota Medical Assistance formulary.


Contacting the Minnesota Congressional delegation seeking legislation consistent with MMA and American Medical Association policies related to medical savings accounts and tax deductibility of individual health insurance premiums.

Minnesota physicians providing patients the option of information about emergency contraception.

Asking the MMA delegation to take a resolution to the American Medical Association asking it to support demonstration projects to reduce the cost of Medicare.

Finding a common definition of "medical necessity" for the insurance industry and the medical profession to avoid confusion about what is covered.

Encouraging the elimination of secondhand smoke on or in all county property, such as buildings, jails, vehicles and land; urging county employees who use tobacco to receive smoking cessation services from their insurance providers; and asking counties to buy health insurance covering smoking cessation.

Supporting the Diabetes Care Program of the Minnesota Department of Health to prevent diabetes and obesity, including disparities in diabetes that affect minority populations.

Continuing dialogue with Minnesota Council of Health Plans to encourage full coverage for evidence-based obesity care.

Analyzing proposals made for universal health care and report back to the 2004 MMA House of Delegates.


Emphasizing the benefits of having a personal physician.

Choosing facilities for MMA meetings based on the facility's smoking policy.

Evaluating all policies 10 years after passage.

Increasing dues from $460 to $490 starting in 2004.

Adopting the AMA late-term pregnancy termination techniques policy.

Developing a standard employment agreement.

Asking the state attorney general to enforce the state law requiring patient consent to release medical records to avoid the practice of insurance companies obtaining the records without patient consent.

Supporting pending federal legislation protecting physicians from being responsible for funding interpreter services.


Working with the Minnesota Psychiatric Society to develop legislation to consolidate oversight of health plan contracts within one state agency.

Working with MPS develop legislation requiring appropriate state agencies to monitor access to inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services in Minnesota, health plan coverage of psychiatric services to ensure geographic and timely access and health plans to publish their mental health medical necessity criteria -- with enforcement of contracts if access isn't meeting state guidelines.

Another resolution approved states that the MMA is against unnecessary expansion of the scope of practice beyond licensed, practicing medical doctors.

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