News & Announcements
As the state's largest physician specialty organization in Michigan, MAFP remains steadfastly dedicated to advocacy that reflects the best interests of Michigan's Family Physicians, Family Medicine Residents and medical students. As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share the Academy's priorities for action in 2016.
On December 17, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the state's second Healthy Michigan waiver, which was crucial for the continuation of the program for nearly 600,000 low-income, hardworking Michiganders that rely on Medicaid coverage through the plan for health insurance. "As specialists in primary care for individuals across the lifespan, Family Physicians witness every day how important it is to have health insurance. Far too often, patients come to us for care long after they should have, many times because they didn't have insurance and couldn't afford care, or because they are referred to us after visiting the emergency room, which is costly and does not build the patient-doctor relationship that facilitates better health outcomes through preventive care," said MAFP President Kim K. Yu, MD, FAAFP, in a statement applauding CMS' approval of the waiver.
Each year the AAFP Foundation provides Student Externship Matching Grants to stimulate interest among medical students to select a career and/or pursue research opportunities in Family Medicine. The MAFP Foundation has budgeted to sponsor a Student Externship in 2016, and we are seeking interested medical students and Family Medicine mentors/preceptors as identified by medical schools in Michigan. The AAFP Foundation provides $1,250 in funding, which is then matched by the MAFP Foundation. The funding is intended to support $2,000 for a medical student’s stipend and up to $500 for a mentor physician's participation as the externship host. Interested medical schools who have identified a student and a mentor/preceptor should submit a Letter of Intent to the MAFP Foundation no later than January 11, 2016.
Last week, during Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, the State of Michigan launched michigan.gov/agingdriver, a new website of resources to help aging seniors stay safe on the roads. "The comprehensive website also includes resources for healthcare professionals, including Family Physicians, who interact regularly with aging Michiganders who might be having difficulty navigating safely on the roadways, and navigating the resources that are available to help them," said Barbara Saul, DO, FAAFP of West Bloomfield and a member of the MAFP Board of Directors. Dr. Saul represents MAFP on the coalition of partner organizations that helped develop and provided resources for the website.
On December 1, MAFP Advocacy Committee member and associate professor of Family Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Julie Phillips, MD, MPH and MAFP Director of Government Affairs, Christin Nohner, MPP, traveled to Detroit for an enriching tour of a Teaching Health Center—one of just two such health centers in Michigan. The intention behind the THCGME model is intuitive: teach aspiring primary care physicians in settings where they are directly exposed to the community and the multitude of factors that influence health.
MAFP and the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians—which collectively represent more than 4,500 Family Physicians statewide—invite you to the 2016 Michigan Family Medicine Advocacy Day on February 23 in Downtown Lansing. This annual event provides a valuable opportunity to talk with legislators about issues impacting Family Medicine in Michigan, including access to primary care, team-based healthcare, primary care workforce issues, and payment and delivery reforms.
On October 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) promulgated a final rule that would update payment policies under the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). Among the updates is the establishment of a separate payment and payment rate for Medicare providers who provide advanced care planning services.
Amidst pumpkins, costumes, and sweet treats, medical students and Family Medicine residents from Michigan, neighboring states, and Canada convened at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing on Halloween for a day of hands-on learning and networking at the 2015 Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference.
On October 26, the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force released its report of findings and strategic recommendations for addressing the growing problem of prescription drug and opioid abuse in Michigan. According to the report, schedule II prescriptions have quadrupled in Michigan over the past seven years, and data compiled by the Trust for America's Health ranked Michigan 18th in the nation for number of deaths due to drug overdose in 2011-2013.
After over one year spent planning and preparing for the Health is Primary Detroit City Tour, it finally took place on October 21. In the morning, Family Medicine for America's Health hosted panel discussions among Michigan healthcare leaders to showcase innovative primary care solutions that are driving the transformation of healthcare delivery in Michigan. All the while, Tess Tobolic, a Michigan artist commissioned by the MAFP, unveiled and put the finishing touches on an 8-foot by 4-foot mural that beautifully captures the breadth and depth of Family Medicine in our state. Another highlight was a behind-the-scenes tour of CHASS Center, a local primary care success story that's increasing access to comprehensive care, improving health, and impacting social determinants of health in southwest Detroit.