News & Announcements
Amidst a flurry of activity leading up to the summer legislative recess scheduled to begin next month, the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee approved, on May 25, an alternative to the much-bemoaned Health Insurance Claims Assessment Tax (HICA)—a broad-based tax on paid health claims that continues to be a thorny issue in Lansing.
On May 18, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule that, effective December 1, doubles the salary threshold under which most employees are guaranteed overtime pay, increasing it to $47,476. This rule is expected to affect a total of 4.2 million workers across the country, including 100,000 in Michigan,
On May 17, The House and Senate Health Policy Committees took up legislation focused on issues that MAFP has been closely monitoring in Lansing on behalf of members—requirements for reporting maternal deaths, changes to maintenance of certification, and prescription drug and opioid abuse.
The Board of Trustees of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) Foundation—the philanthropic arm of the Michigan chapter of the Academy—held its Annual Meeting on May 11, during which members elected new officers and trustees for 2016-2017.
Michigan's five delegates to the 2016 National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) took active roles in drafting and testifying on resolutions with their colleagues from across the country May 5-7. Resolution topics included eliminating patient satisfaction scores as a metric of quality healthcare, recognizing HIV/AIDS as a chronic disease, increasing the pipeline of underrepresented physicians to address diversity and inclusion, physician management of patient reviews on social media, and more.
Although vaccine-preventable diseases are at their lowest point ever, variations in coverage levels exist in all age groups, and pockets of under-immunized populations can be found in many urban and rural areas, particularly in those below the poverty level. In its efforts to help physicians and other healthcare professionals improve immunization service delivery, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is hosting training webinars on May 16 and May 20.
As the opioid crisis continues to be a major public health concern across the country, AAFP President Wanda Filer, MD, MBA, FAAFP issued a statement on May 11 affirming the Academy's commitment to addressing the crisis and the role of Family Physicians. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is wrapping up work on more than a dozen bills addressing prescription drug and opioid abuse.
This week the House Health Policy Committee considered legislation that would create a new requirement for reporting maternal deaths. Proponents say this would strenghten the current process in Michigan to ensure all maternal deaths are identified, and accurate and comprehensive data is collected.
During the National Conference of Constituency Leaders/Annual Chapter Leaders Forum held May 5-7 in Kansas City, preparing for implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was a hot topic. AAFP launched its multi-year, comprehensive communication and education initiative--MACRA Ready--and CMS invited Family Physicians to share their input during a Town Hall Meeting with Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt and Deputy Chief of Staff Tim Gronniger.
On May 5, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration announced a final rule broadening the definition of tobacco products and giving the FDA authority over the sale, marketing and manufacturing of these products.