News & Announcements
With monoclonal antibody therapy proven to significantly help reduce COVID-19 symptoms and risk of hospitalization and death, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are calling on physicians to expand the number of infusion sites in the state. There are already many sites providing monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) in at least 37 Michigan counties. The goal is for 50% of eligible high-risk Michiganders who test positive for COVID-19 to receive the therapy within 10 days of symptom onset.
On May 12, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference to outline the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and announce its new push of distributing vaccine to primary care physicians, identified as key to reaching vaccine-hesitant Michiganders and vaccinating the newly eligible 12-15 year-old population. All primary care physicians are asked to enroll as vaccine providers, if they have not done so already, and e-order vaccine through the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. Speaking on behalf of the family medicine community during the press conference was Srikar Reddy, MD, FAAFP, president-elect of MAFP and a family physician affiliated with Ascension Health in South Lyon.
American Board of Family Medicine announced two initiatives that will help support Diplomates in their continuous board certification: moving the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment from pilot to permancy, and launching a new and improved Physician Portfolio.
MI CARES Spotlight: Dr. Glenn Dregansky
MAFP Board Member Glenn Dregansky, DO, FAAFP, describes his experience of becoming Addiction Medicine certified through the Practice Pathway program with assistance from MI CARES.
Following a single committee hearing, this week, the Michigan Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee passed Senate Bill 247—the newest iteration of prior authorization reform that MAFP has been working on independently and collaboratively through the Health Can’t Wait Coalition. The Senate then moved swiftly, passing the bill on Apr. 29, sending it to the House Health Policy Committee for consideration. As SB 247 moves to the House, it is expected to receive a more lengthy debate, since this is the first prior authorization legislation considered by the chamber.
Both the House and Senate Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Sub-Committees passed their respective budgets, representing the Legislature's first drafts of the state's largest departmental budget. Due to points of difference between the House and Senate budget proposals, the bills will go before a joint conference committee, where members from each chamber will iron out the differences and provide a final MDHHS budget proposal. The MAFP advocacy team continues to meet with legislators and budget chairs as the process continues.
We Treat Hep C Clinical Webinars
To support Michigan’s efforts to eliminate hepatitis C, AbbVie is hosting four statewide broadcasts on their hepatitis C medication, MAVYRET®, and one general education webinar on the evolving hepatitis C epidemic. Registration for the broadcasts on Apr. 28, Apr. 29, and Apr. 30 is open.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has opened an 80-day "Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments" to obtain input and feedback from all stakeholders who possess, use, or rely upon the board certification credential as an indicator of a diplomate’s professionalism and proficiency of specialty knowledge and skills. The “Call for Comments” will be open from Tuesday, April 20 through Thursday, July 8.
Due to concerns over delays to patient care, reforming the prior authorization process is picking up steam nationally and in Michigan. At the federal level, AAFP joined 39 organizations in sending a letter to CMS to express growing concern with expanding use of prior authorization requirements. In Michigan, newly introduced legislation calls for transparency, clinical validity, and fairness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Health Alert about its joint recommendation with the FDA to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “in an abundance of caution” due to the potential risk of patients developing a rare and severe type of blood clot. The pause is, in part, to ensure that the healthcare community is aware of the potential for adverse events and can provide proper management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.