Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) is excited to offer the latest in news and announcments from the Academy and our many partners, collaborators, colleagues, and friends. Whether it be communicating the latest updates in Family Medicine or raising awareness of the value and importance of Family Medicine to the general public, we are committed to the highest quality of news at your fingertips.
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News & Announcements
Thanks in part to grants and contributions from organizations and the individual donors listed below, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan expended $151,000 in 2019 to further its work of advancing family medicine in Michigan.
Last week’s tentative fiscal year 2019-2020 state budget agreement between legislative leaders and Governor Gretchen Whitmer was finalized this week. Included in the supplemental appropriations bill approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature on December 10 is the reappropriation of $573.5 million in funding that was line-item vetoed by the Governor in late September. Of particular importance to MAFP and family physicians is restored funding for critical access hospitals, rural hospitals, and the MIDOCS program.
MAFP Legislative Liaison Matt Black testified before the Michigan House Judiciary Committee on December 10 in opposition to legislation that, if passed, would establish new regulations for prescribing emotional support animals and punishments for failing to adhere to the regulations. As currently written, the bill includes a broad definition of healthcare providers who may prescribe emotional support animals; requires that a healthcare provider deliver a notarized statement, when requested, to the landlord of a patient for whom an emotional support animal is prescribed; and makes violating the bill a misdemeanor punishable by jail, fine, and/or community service.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced on December 11 that it has reached new 5-year value-based, performance-based, risk-based payment contracts with seven hospital systems and physician groups in southeast Michigan. Beginning January 1, ‘Blueprint for Affordability’ participants must meet agreed-upon annual cost targets or pay penalties. The goal is to contain healthcare costs and improve quality of care.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Immunization recognized practices in Michigan for reaching or exceeding immunization criteria in four categories: pediatric vaccine series, pediatric seasonal influenza, adolescent vaccine series, and adolescent seasonal influenza. Congratulations to the following MAFP members whose practices were recognized during MDHHS’ 2019 fall regional immunization conferences.
Funding for MIDOCS and rural hospitals in the state's Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget hang in the balance, as negotiations between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leadership are put in hold for the hunting and Thanksgiving break. Central to the debate is the Governor's constitutional authority to shift money from one program to another using the State Administrative Board. MAFP continues to advocate for restoration of funding for the MIDOCS program and rural hospitals.
Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House and Senate that would require certain criteria be met prior to a physician recommending an emotional support animal for a patient. With a shortage of behavioral health professionals in the state, MAFP members have shared they are receiving an increase in the number of patient requests for the recommendations of an emotional support animal. MAFP opposes these bills as written, because of the potential burdens they could place on family physicians.
Please contact your state lawmakers to urge them to support Senate Bill 612, a new bill recently introduced in the Michigan Senate that calls for adding transparency, fairness, and clinical validity requirements to the prior authorization and step therapy process. The goal is to ensure patients receive timely coverage decisions and the care, treatment, and medications they need, when they need them, as determined medically-necessary by their physician.
Health Can't Wait Action Day in downtown Lansing on October 30 provided a forum for patients, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to share real-life examples of how the current inefficient prior authorization process is adversely impacting health outcomes, and to advocate for reform. According to a 2018 American Medical Association survey, 91% of physician respondents reported care delays associated with prior authorization, 75% said it can lead to treatment abandonment, and 28% acknowledged that prior authorization has led to serious adverse event for a patient in their care.
More than 100 medical students from 21 different medical schools convened on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Saturday, October 19 to explore their future in family medicine at the sixth annual Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference. Coined a "must-attend event for any student considering family medicine," the conference shone the spotlight on what it's like to be a family physician, through question-and-answer panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and a residency program fair.