March 23, 2022 - This statement is attributed to Srikar Reddy, MD, FAAFP, president of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, following passage of Senate Bill 247 by the Michigan Legislature.
“On behalf of the membership of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, I applaud the Michigan Legislature for passing Senate Bill 247. This important legislation establishes common-sense reforms to the state’s prior authorization process, which is currently detrimental to the health of Michiganders.
Senate Bill 247 brings new transparency, fairness, and clinical validity requirements to the prior authorization process. These positive changes will help ensure that patients throughout the state can get the care and medications they need, when they need them, as determined by their family physicians. For some patients, this good news will be the difference between life and death, as postponing medically necessary care and prescriptions only exacerbates cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and other health conditions.
What’s more, streamlining the cumbersome prior authorization process will help alleviate some of the administrative burden placed on physicians. Not only will Senate Bill 247 reduce the amount of time physicians and their staffs must spend on prior authorization paperwork and phone calls, allowing for more direct patient care, it will help combat burnout that often leads to early retirement. In Michigan, we are already experiencing a physician shortage; Senate Bill 247 makes important changes that can help improve the practice environment, starting now.
Passage of this bill comes during Family Medicine Week and on our Michigan Family Medicine Advocacy Day gathering in Downtown Lansing. After working for three years to get this bill passed, its final passage today allows family physicians, family medicine resident physicians, and medical students aspiring to become family physicians, to celebrate together, in person, as we continue to advocate for our patients, practices, and profession.”