MMGMA Winter Conference Focuses on Healthcare Environment

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Minnesota Medical Group Management Association (MMGMA) 2017 Winter Conference, held March 7–8 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, attracted more than 300 medical practice management executives, members and business affiliates to discuss various aspects of today’s healthcare environment.

This year’s MMGMA President, Sandra Rutherford, Chief Operating Officer, Kaleidoscope (left), is shown with Mary Brainerd, CEO, HealthPartners (center), and Darla Morris-Preble, Chief Administrative Officer, Center for Reproductive Medicine, and immediate past president of MMGMA.

“Our winter and summer conferences are the highlights of our year,” says Sandra Rutherford, Chief Operating Officer, Kaleidoscope, and 2016–2017 MMGMA president. “Not only do we hear from key opinion leaders in the healthcare industry, but we also have an opportunity to network with our colleagues throughout the state.”

The winter conference typically begins with a “Morning at the Capitol.” This year, members attended a legislative introduction at the State Office Building from Messerli & Kramer lobbyists Nancy Haas and James Clark, participated in individual meetings with their local legislators, and heard from the chair of the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Reform Committee, Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne).

Douglas Wood, MD, Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, opened Tuesday’s agenda with a presentation on “Trends in Health Care and Implications for the Future: A View from the Mayo Clinic.” He reminded attendees that the healthcare problem is not a lack of innovation in the science of medicine, but rather the need for innovation in the design decisions made around care delivery.

Douglas Wood, MD, Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, spoke on “Trends in Health Care and Implications for the Future: A View from the Mayo Clinic.”

Other presenters on Tuesday included David Kisch, Chief Operating Officer, Optum Analytics, who spoke on “Analytics’ Role in Driving Successful Practice Management.” Attendees wrapped up the day with a legislative update from the MMGMA Government Affairs Committee, Payer Relations Committee and members of the organization’s law firm, Messerli & Kramer.

On Wednesday, Mary Brainerd, Chief Executive Officer, HealthPartners, was the keynote speaker, sharing her thoughts on “The Future of Health Care in Minnesota and Beyond.” Attendees also heard from Tim Johnson, Julia Reiland and Jesse Berg from Gray Plant Mooty on “Land of 10,000 Barriers: Tips and Tools for Exchanging Health Information in Minnesota.”

Breakout sessions that afternoon focused on a “Quality Payment Program” and “Malpractice Risks in the New Health Care World.” Closing the day was Joanne Stadnik, Executive Director, North Clinic, asking attendees, “The Thrill is Gone … Or is It?”

Founded in 1951, the MMGMA is one of the largest state associations in the United States, offering advocacy, education, information and representation to its membership. Members include medical practice executives throughout Minnesota.

The MMGMA’s mission is to enable medical practice executives and their organizations to recognize and improve the health status of the community of patients they serve by promoting and delivering the physician/administrative team approach to health care and medical group management. The MMGMA also focuses on enhancing a member’s professional role, knowledge and skills.

The MMGMA’s Summer Conference is scheduled from July 26 to 28 at Breezy Point Resort in Pequot Lakes. For more information on the MMGMA, including additional photos from the Winter Conference, or to join the organization, visit