Before finishing his term of office, former Governor Rick Snyder considered hundreds of bills during the final days of lame duck—some he signed into law, others he vetoed. Below is a summary of bills that MAFP's advocacy team continued to monitor for their impact on the practice of Family Medicine.
Maintenance of Certification - Signed Into Law
House Bill 4134 (Public Act 486) prohibits specialty certification as a requirement for Family Physicians, Internists, and Pediatricians earning or renewing medical licensure in Michigan. House Bill 4135 (Public Act 487) prohibits insurers from withholding reimbursement based solely on specialty board certification.
While the original bills, as introduced by former Representative Edward Canfield, DO, applied to all physicians, an amendment introduced in the House Health Policy Committee and passed by the House of Representatives, followed by the Senate, narrowed the focus to Family Physicians, Internists, and Pediatricians—specialties where the shortage of physicians is most significant in Michigan.
“Michigan Academy of Family Physicians applauds the Michigan legislature for passing this important legislation, realizing that continuing medical education requirements for licensure equip physicians with new and updated procedures and clinical information. Pre-empting the arduous maintenance of certification process frees up a significant amount of time—time that can now be devoted to what physicians are trained to do—care for patients,” said MAFP President Mary Marshall, MD, RN.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Signed Into Law
House Bills 4066 (Public Act 563) and 4067 (Public Act 524) enter Michigan into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). Under the IMLC, qualified physicians seeking to practice in multiple states are eligible for expedited licensure in any state participating in the compact. This legislation was introduced in an effort to combat Michigan's growing physician shortage and expands opportunities for telemedicine. It is important to note that being licensed through the compact requires specialty board certification. Click here to read more about the IMLC.
HIV Bill Package - Signed into Law
House Bills 6016-6023 align Michigan statute with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. They reduce sentencing guidelines for individuals who fail to disclose to their partners, before sexual intercourse, that they have HIV, and they require physicians to test pregnant women during the third trimester for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B. Women are, however, permitted to decline the tests.
Ban on Prescribing Medical Abortions through Telemedicine - Vetoed
Senate Bill 1198, which passed both chambers, called for permanently banning medical abortions prescribed through telemedicine. MAFP opposed this legislation, as it would reduce access to care, and signed a veto request letter along with other healthcare organizations. Former Governor Snyder vetoed the bill, writing in his veto letter that, "Ultimately, providing patients with the ability to remotely receive safe and proper medical care, at a time-sensitive preriod for the patient, is significant." The ban expired on December 31, 2019.
State Police Access to MAPS - Stalled
Senate Bills 1245-1247 called for allowing state police access to the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to aid in addressing issues surrounding substance abuse. The legislation also called for setting standards for the information police could gather, including a check on physicians who overprescribe, and when they could do so. These bills passed the Senate and House Health Policy Committees but were not considered by the full House before the 2017-2018 session ended. MAFP will continue to watch for the return of these bills in the new legislative cycle and address any concerns if new language becomes available.
Naturopathic Licensure - Stalled
Senate Bill 826, legislation to license naturopathic providers, did not receive a hearing or move beyond the House Health Policy Committee before the 2017-2018 session ended. MAFP will continue to watch for the return of this bill in the new legislative cycle.