News & Announcements
The U.S. Department of Labor posted revisions to regulations governing workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the emergency paid sick leave provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Most notable for healthcare employers is the new, narrower definition of "healthcare provider," for purposes of exempting businesses from complying with paid leave provisions under the Act.
A package of bills currently before the House Tax Policy Committee would exempt eligible employers, including physician practices, from paying state sales tax for certain personal protective equipment and supplies. Through a substitute adopted by the committee, the exemptions would be retroactive and apply beginning March 10, 2020—the date Michigan’s COVID-19 State of Emergency went into effect—through December 31, 2021.
Christal Clemens, a fourth-year student at Central Michigan University College of Medicine, was appointed by the AAFP Board of Directors as the student member to the Annals of Family Medicine Editorial Advisory Board. She will serve a one-year term beginning Oct. 1. Annals of Family Medicine is AAFP’s peer-reviewed clinical research journal dedicated to advancing knowledge essential to understanding and improving health and primary care.
With no travel required to attend this year’s virtual meeting of the Congress of Delegates—AAFP’s policy-making body—it is easier than ever for members to participate and make their voice heard on key issues impacting family medicine and the election of AAFP officers and members of the Board of Directors. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required by Sept. 25, and access to materials is password-protected.
At the request of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Academy of Family Physicians is supporting a new statewide public education campaign called “Spread Hope, Not COVID.” The goal of the campaign is to unite all Michiganders to take three simple actions that will contain the spread of the virus at levels that will enable the state to fully reopen—and stay open.
AAFP has reviewed and agrees with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendations for the 2020-2021 influenza season, which—among other things—call for all patients 6 months and older who have no contraindications to be appropriately immunized. The report also provides guidance on administering the influenza vaccine to individuals with COVID-19
MAFP President Brings Diverse Perspectives
Mark Hamed, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAFP brings a wealth of experience to his role as 2020-2021 MAFP president. Through his current professional positions, which are many, he combines family medicine, emergency medicine, academic medicine, and public health. As he prepared for his presidential induction at the virtual MAFP Annual Meeting on Aug. 8, Michigan Family Physician had the opportunity to learn what inspires him, what he sees as the most pressing challenges facing the specialty, and his vision for the future of family medicine.
Thanks in part to two matching grants from AAFP Foundation, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan was able to grant externship awards to two students in summer 2020. Under the mentorship of seasoned family physicians, both students gained valuable insight into direct patient care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthened their commitment to family medicine.
August marks the start of a new service year for the MAFP Board of Directors, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan Board of Trustees, and committees. All board and committee meetings and events hosted by MAFP and Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan are being held virtually through Dec. 31, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAFP's initial summary of the proposed 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule reports good news—the increase in total allowed charges for family physicians announced last year is still set to begin in 2021 and is now up from 12% to 13%. Family physicians are encouraged to start preparing now, using AAFP's resource package, to take full advantage of these significant changes to office/outpatient evaluation and management visit coding that take effect Jan. 1.