Page 22 - Volume 70 Number 1
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Legislative News
Legislative Update
The final months of 2017 saw a number of issues of interest to physicians come to the fore in the Michigan legislature.
Auto No-Fault Legislation
In late October, House Bill 5013 passed the House Insurance Committee despite opposition from a broad segment of the health care community, including MSMS, but later failed to garner the votes necessary on the House floor to move to the Senate. This legislation would make several significant changes to the laws regulating auto no-fault in Michigan. Specifically, the bill would have done the following:
 Eliminate “reasonable and necessary” standard for fees and impose a two-tiered fee schedule for physicians and other providers. Emergency care could be limited to billing not greater than 125% of Medicare. All other care would be limited to billing not greater than the rates paid by Medicare.
 Cap lifetime benefits. Current law does not impose a lifetime limit on the benefits an accident victim may require for long term rehabilitation. House Bill 5013 would have allowed drivers to choose the level of coverage they maintain with as little as $225,000 in coverage for catastrophic care, an amount that could quickly be exhausted in any serious injury.
In addition to allowing a large segment of Michigan drivers to be uninsured and underinsured, this legislation was projected by the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency to shift costs of care onto the Medicaid at a cost between $80-150 million.
These and other changes to the law are being pursued for the prospect that insurers would be expected to cut premiums on the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of the premium by 40%, which would generally result in a net savings between 10-18% on the total premium of most drivers.
House Bill 5013 was supported by House leadership, including the Speaker, the mayor of Detroit, a number
of prominent business leaders from the Detroit region,
a well-funded insurance industry, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Ultimately, despite support from many key constituencies, the bill failed to pass on the House floor due to continued opposition from the physician community as well as our other partners committed to protecting patients with catastrophic injuries and preserving auto no-fault.
By Dr. Brad Uren
For WCMS, many of our local legislators played key roles in voting against this bill and kept a united front against this bill in favor of a more balanced reform which maintains protections for our patients. Of particular note, Representative Donna Lasinski has introduced legislation to approach reforming no-fault in a manner that preserves the key elements of the program, while addressing some of the areas required to assure that accident victims can rely on into the future. If you have the opportunity, please thank Rep. Lasinski for protecting our patients. MSMS is continuing to work on this issue in concert with our partner members of the Coalition Protecting Auto No-fault (CPAN), including alternative proposals that do not undermine physicians or patients.
Opioid Legislation
Bills designed to better control access to opioid pain killers and prevent new cases of addiction were signed Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Lt. Governor Brian Calley.
Among the bills is a requirement that physicians check a patient’s history on the Michigan Automated Prescrip- tion System (MAPS) to ensure they are not prescribing opioids to someone who recently received a prescription elsewhere.
“(The change) is really very central to making progress in the fight against the addiction epidemic that has swept across our state,” Mr. Calley said on signing SB 166* (PA 248) and SB 167* (PA 249). “It’s about earlier detection and prevention,” Mr. Calley stated. “We’ve done a lot of great work to try and save lives after a person becomes addicted. What we’re doing now is the work to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place, to detect it earlier in the process.”
He said doctors could be required to now use Michi- gan’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), locally known as MAPS, because earlier legislation updated the system and began integrating the MAPS into the electronic medical records system, a process which is beginning now in Michigan.
“We wanted to make it as easy as possible to make this a normal part of the medical practice,” he said. Mr. Calley pointed to data showing that about a third of physicians were already using MAPS before the requirement was enacted. The bills become effective Wednesday, but require the patient checks to begin June 1 to allow time for those remaining physicians to sign-up for MAPS.
Separate from the MAPS requirement, the package would also prohibit, beginning July 1, new prescriptions for opioids of more than seven days’ worth for acute pain.
22 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018

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