Prior Authorization, Scope of Practice, State-mandated Training on Radar As Michigan Legislature Reconvenes Jan. 12

Jan. 6, 2022 - When the Michigan Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 12, several health-related bills will be carried over from last year to continue their potential movement through the legislative process. Tops on Michigan Academy of Family Physicians' advocacy radar is legislation that would impact the practice environment and the delivery of and access to care. Below is a summary of the status of bills calling for reforming the prior authorization process, expanding scope of practice for non-physicians, and requiring that physicians complete additional state-mandated continuing education courses. The MAFP advocacy team has done a tremendous amount of work to advance or oppose these bills and will continue to do so in this new year. Stay tuned for information on these and other health-related bills introduced in the Michigan Legislature in 2022.

Prior Authorization Reform

Senate Bill 247 still resides in Michigan's House Health Policy Committee after being passed by the Senate in late April. MAFP's conversations with committee members have been ongoing, but at this time there in no scheduled date for holding a committee hearing on this important piece of legislation that calls for reforming the state's prior authorization process. Please continue to share your and patient stories on the Health Can't Wait website about how the current process impacts access to care, care delivery, and health outcomes.

Encroachment on Physician Scope of Practice

Naturopathic providers continue to push, via legislation, for medical licensure, expanded scope of practice, reduced education requirements, and the ability to use the word physician in their title. Several bills were introduced in the Michigan Legislature early in 2021 but have not received further consideration by the House Health Policy Committee. Meanwhile, Senate Bill 680, which resides in the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, calls for authorizing nurse practitioners to practice and prescribe independent of physician oversight. MAFP opposes both the naturopathic and nurse practitioner bills because they would put patient safety at risk and negatively impact the patient-physician relationship. Our advocacy team continues to meet with committee members and bill sponsors to share our concerns and educate them about the importance of physician-led team-based care.

Additional CME Mandates

Under House Bill 5414, physicians in Michigan would be required to complete continuing medical education on screening, identifying, and treating lead poisoning in children. Passage of this bill would make Michigan the state with the most mandated CME. MAFP opposes HB 5414 because continuing to require additional CME mandates for medical licensure exacerbates the burdens that physicians face without ensuring benefits for patients. Our advocacy team is working with the bill sponsor's staff to reach the best solution for ensuring children at risk for elevated blood lead levels get the preventive care and treatment they need.