Highlights from the WCMS Legislative Update Meeting include the following ongoing issues:
Scope of Practice Expansion, Senate Bill 2
Introduced by Senator Mark Jansen
Senate Bill 2 would amend the Public Health Code to provide for the licensure of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), who would include certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialist-certifieds; and eliminate provisions regarding the specialty certification of nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. Senate Bill 2 proposes nurse practitioners can practice without the overview of physicians and authorizes a licensed APRN to possess, prescribe, and administer nonscheduled prescription drugs and controlled substances included in Schedule 2 through 5.
WCMS does not support the passing of this Bill, and continues to strive for a teamwork approach in medical care with APRNs, exercising direct contact with a supervising physician on site. The length of medical training required for general practitioners, specialists and nurse practitioners versus education and training required of physicians was also discussed.
Nurse Anesthetist Expansion, Senate Bill 180
Introduced by Senator Mike Green
Senate Bill 180 would amend the Public Health Code to include the administration of anesthesia by a nurse anesthetist in the definition of “practice of nursing” and could administer anesthesia without supervision.
WCMS discussed the issues with this bill which led to further discussion on the “Patients Right to Know Act,” that is currently in the House of Representatives. This Act would require clear identification of MDs, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants. This bill is receiving resistance from hospitals and chambers of commerce. Representative David Rutledge will speak to Representative Haines about the “Patients Right to Know Act,” and what needs to be done to have this bill pass the House.
Graduate Medical Education
The Michigan legislature kept GME at the current fiscal year levels.
Michigan Essential Health Provider Program Expansion, Senate Bill 648
Senate Bill 648 modifies Part 27 of the Public Health Code regarding the Michigan Essential Health Provider Program, related to the State Loan Repayment Program. The State Loan Repayment Program is a state/federal program to assist primary care providers in the repayment of medical education loans, in exchange for service in designated health professional shortage areas for 2 to 4 years.
Senate Bill 648 would:
• Allow eligible dentists to participate
• Revise the maximum annual state loan repayment amount per participant to $40K, rather than an increasing scale of $25K to $28,940
• Remove a 4-year maximum for participation in the program
• Establish a maximum total loan repayment amount of $200K per participant.
• Limit provider group specialty areas that may be given preference by the Department of Community Health when enrolling participants in the state loan repayment program to general practice, family practice, obstetrics, pediatrics, or internal medicine.
Expedited Partner Therapy, House Bill 4736
Sponsored by Representative George Darany
Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is the clinical practice of treating sex partners of patients diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease without clinical assessment of the partners. This is typically done by clinicians providing prescriptions or medications to the patient to give to his/her partner. Under Michigan law, a physician or authorized prescriber may only write a prescription for his or her patient.
House Bill 4736 would:
• Authorize expedited partner therapy to protect individuals from the spread of sexually transmitted infections
• Require the Department of Community Health to include a separate list of sexually transmitted infections appropriate for EPT in its list of reportable diseases and infections
• Allow health professionals to provide EPT if certain conditions were met, including prescribing or dispensing medication to the patient’s partner without an examination
• Grant immunity to health professionals providing EPT from civil and administrative actions, except for gross negligence.
Rapid Diagnostic Testing in Pharmacies
Ferris State University College of Pharmacy is offering a pilot program that trains pharmacists on rapid diagnostic testing. This program allows pharmacists to test, diagnose, and treat for strep and influenza. This is happening in 26 pharmacies and mainly in Meijer stores. A letter from our Legislative Chair, and MSMS District Director #14, James Mitchiner, MD, was sent to the Bureau of Health Professions for action.
Reinstatement of the Helmet Law
WCMS has requested to legislators the re-instatement of the helmet law. In response, Senator Rebekah Warren has requested their Legislative Service Bureau draft a bill to reinstate Michigan’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law. WCMS will be following the progression of this bill.
Legislation Regarding Voting Among Elderly Population with Dementia
During the MSMS House of Delegates meeting, Board Action Report 8-13 – Resolution 57-13 – Voting Rights for Patients with Dementia – was approved as amended.
The resolution requests MSMS present legislation mandating that patients who have been declared legally incompetent to manage their finances and medical care be prohibited from voting in all local, state, and national elections; to have their names removed from the statewide qualified voter list (to prevent voting fraud by absentee ballot); and MSMS provide education to physicians to report legally declared incompetent patients to the Michigan Secretary of State.
WCMS encourages legislators to consider this legislation when presented,and suggests an evaluation on an elderly individual’s mental capacity be assessed at the time of commitment or guardianship.
Join us for the next meeting scheduled for Monday, September 15, at the Society Office, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.