1. Those present: President Lee Beecher, Don Gehrig, Dave Feinwachs, Bob Geist, Mike Ainslie, Doug Smith, Wayne Zuehlke, Rick Morris, Lee Kurisko, and guests Steve Huey, and Jim Abeler.
2. MN Provider Coalition bill—Dave Feinwachs and Geist, gave an up-date on the bill. It was modified as requested by MPPA. It will let patients spend their own money wherever they like and would mandate that such payments be fully credited to their insurance plan deductible.
3. The 6th US circuit ruling in the MI Hi-Lex case—Dave Feinwachs noted that the court settlement decreed that all plaintiffs be compensated—100 firms have lined for payment!
4. Geist noted the dangers in the SGR repeal bill due to be voted by Congress in March—it will gradually kill all clinics not willing to be “at risk” financially for populations. The alternative is to become an ACO bedside gatekeeper. You and your doctor will be ACO cost centers. As one wag put it, you will not want to see a doctor, who doesn’t want to see you!
5. The bulk of the meeting addressed the problem of MN state mandated Electronic Health Records (EHRs) brought to our attention by psychologist Stephen Huey. His erudite analysis of the problem was emailed to MPPA members previously. EHRs pose a significant privacy and security (hacker) risk to patients and threaten the viability of clinics. No other state has such a mandate. Federal law gives a financial nudge to comply with EHR requirements but it is not breaking fed law to not have one. There was a great deal of discussion about what to do.
Action: A meeting will be held within the week to consider a bill that will protect clinics until legislative fantasy about EHRs can be dispelled and that will protect patients by allowing them to opt in or maybe opt out from having their file be an EHR.
6. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned a few minutes after 8 PM.
7. The next meeting date will be announced.
Robert W. Geist MD