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Archive for the ‘Message from the President’ Category

Next Steps After Health Care Price Transparency in Minnesota

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Neil Shah for writing an excellent article titled Minnesota’s price transparency law in the July issue of Minnesota Physician magazine. See:

Health care price transparency is a good and necessary first step to empowering Minnesota consumers. And in 2018 most Minnesota legislators on a bi-partisan basis agreed. But, as Dr. Shah correctly concludes in his article, “Unfortunately, what’s good for patients and health care purchasers may not be good for some insurers or large health care systems.” That can change.

So, here are three “next steps” to improve Minnesota health care:
1. Voters in 2018 need to support and elect politicians who’ll expand consumer health care choices in Minnesota.
2. Minnesota “insurers” should offer consumers (employers and patients) a wide range of health care coverage options.
3. When health care “providers” as a normal business practice can tell patients what their care costs, this will improve and sharpen the quality of health care decisions as well as be a business opportunity for “providers.”

Minnesota physicians do not want to be our vaccination police

Thursday, July 19th, 2018


Minnesota physicians do not want to be our vaccination police

A July 19 letter from the Minnesota Medical Association and MN Academy of Pediatrics urges our legislators to act to “tighten Minnesota’s law by closing the current loophole that allows parents to express a conscientious objection to administering vaccines.” In our view there is no reasonable disagreement that scientific information readily available to parents and vulnerable communities about vaccinations is a laudable goal and worthy public expense. For example, the Somali community is combating false claims that measles vaccines cause autism in their children Moreover, today children who are not immunized for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) in Minnesota are denied admission to schools or day care programs unless their parents formally object (the conscientious objection). This is how it should be. Our Minnesota public health goal ought to be reduce parental objections. However, requiring Minnesota’s licensed physicians (and other professionals) to administer vaccines is counterproductive. Making a medical license contingent on administering vaccines smacks of George Orwell’s dystopia. Such public policy only sows patients’ distrust for doctors and discontent among clinicians.