Take Action to Protect Auto No-fault Today!

 
350x100_AutoNoFaultWith less than 24 hours notice, the Senate Insurance Committee yesterday voted to pass Senate Bill (SB) 248, a bill making sweeping changes to the Michigan auto no-fault system.

Specifically, SB 248 would:
  • Create an auto insurance fraud prevention authority;
  • Create an entirely new catastrophic claims system;
  • Impose a $15 per hour limit for in-home provided care regardless of the skill level required to safely care for the auto accident survivor;
  • Require a 20% co-pay (up to $200 a month) on attendant care, which would be a significant financial hardship for many families;
  • Apply a fee schedules for health care provided under the auto no-fault system, despite the fact that workers comp is not designed to address catastrophic injuries; and,
  • Do nothing to ensure rate payer relief.
Your Action is Needed Today!
As you read this alert, Senate Republicans are holding a closed door session, deciding whether to pass the bill today or not.

Your voice is critically important. Right now, without delay, please use the MSMS Engage system to send a prepared message to all Senators.


Please contact those Senators with whom you have a relationship, and/or if they represent your specific region.

 

Senate Returns to D.C. Next Week – Urge Vote on SGR Repeal Now!

The SGR fight is not yet over. On April 13, 2015, the Senate will return to session. We expect them to quickly take up the issue of HR 2, the bill that will permanently repeal the SGR formula.

The house has already passed this by an overwhelming margin. The president has indicated that he will sign it when he comes to his desk. Now we need to ask the Senate to act and fix this recurring problem.

It is very important that the Senate understands how important this bill is to Medicare beneficiaries and the physicians that serve them.

Please take a moment to contact Sen. Stabenow’s office and Sen. Peters’ offices today to let them know how important this is to you.

See the email below from the AMA grassroots network and contact your Senators today.

Senate has unfinished business in Washington, D.C. Recently the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that would permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, but the U.S. Senate failed to act before leaving on a two-week recess. Due to this inaction, the SGR patch expired on April 1, meaning the 21 percent cut to Medicare payments is now in effect.The administration can only hold claims until April 15, which is why the Senate must act immediately upon return next week or risk the damage these cuts will cause in disruptions to physician practices and putting patients at serious risk of not getting the care they deserve.

Please contact your senators today and remind them that they have unfinished business here in Washington, D.C., and urge them to support H.R. 2 immediately when they return!

  1. Call your senators district offices using the AMA’s toll-free Grassroots Hotline: (800) 833-6354.
  2. Send an urgent email to your senators reinforcing the need for SGR repeal now.
  3. Contact key senators still undecided on this most critical issue directly through their own social media channels and share with your own Facebook friends and Twitter followers as well!

This is urgent! The current SGR patch has expired; physicians are being hit with a 21 percent cut to Medicare – your voice is needed now, more than ever!

For more information read the bill summary (PDF) and be sure to check out fixmedicarenow.org for all the latest.

For more information, please visit:

AMA Physicians’ Grassroots Network AMPAC

Washtenaw Among Michigan’s Healthiest

Washtenaw County ranks first among Michigan counties in health factors according to the 2015 County Health Rankings released last week. Washtenaw ranks ninth among Michigan counties for health outcomes. This is the sixth consecutive year that Washtenaw County has received the top ranking for health factors.

Michigan Ranked 11th-best State for Doctors

Michigan is ranked the 11th-best state for doctors, according to a new report by WalletHub.

The study looks at 12 metrics to assess the medical environment in each of the states and the District of Columbia.

Michigan ranked fourth for average starting salary (with a cost-of-living adjustment), fifth for annual wages (with a cost-of-living adjustment), 13th for state medical board’s punitiveness 17th for insured population rate, 17th for malpractice payouts per capita and 28th for number of hospitals per capita.

Today is National Doctor Day.

“It has to do with limits on malpractice awards. Part of it is lifestyle,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Robert Frank, who’s been in Michigan for three and half years. “Having practiced in New York, having practiced in New Orleans and having perspective from around the country, there are a lot of large physician groups in Michigan. There’s a fair amount of satisfaction and security from those groups. A lot of changes going on in medicine today may have already occurred here, so physicians may be comfortable.”

South Carolina was the highest-ranking, the report found. No. 2 was Minnesota followed by Texas, Mississippi and Kansas. Rhode Island came in number one.

Washtenaw County Epi Update – 3/20/15

Influenza B

Influenza B is keeping this flu season alive.  Almost all of the confirmed influenza labs in Washtenaw residents in March 2015 have been Influenza B.  Both strains of Influenza B are circulating locally.

See the following website for more details on this year’s flu season:

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/disease_control/ph_flusurveillance.html

Animal Bites and Bat Encounters

Spring and summer months tend to be busy in public health for calls regarding animal bites and bat encounters. In 2015, 13 animals from Washtenaw County have already been submitted to the State Lab for rabies testing.  Fortunately, none of the tests have been positive to date.

When the possibility of rabies is being considered, animal bites and bat exposures must be reported to Washtenaw County Public Health within 24 hours of the bite/exposure incident.  Public Health will determine whether testing or quarantine of the animal is recommended (if the animal is available). Rabies risk assessment requires balancing a number of criteria:

  • the species of animal and the prevalence of rabies for that species in Michigan
  • the observed health and behavior of the animal
  • the vaccination history of domestic/farm animals
  • and the circumstances of the bite (provoked vs. unprovoked)

Pertussis summary for 2014

Although pertussis decreased in Washtenaw County in 2014 compared to the previous year, the 110 cases reported were much higher than typical levels for our community (20 – 30 cases per year).

Selected characteristics of the 110 Washtenaw pertussis cases in 2014:

  • 4 hospitalizations; 0 deaths
  • Age range 3 months – 79 years
  • 85% of cases were in children (19 years and younger)
  • June was the peak month for cases
  • Cases were reported across the county but the 48197 zip code (Ypsilanti area) had 39% of the cases

The Washtenaw County Public Health website has more information about the current pertussis situation: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/disease_control/pertussis

Pertussis summary for 2014:

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/disease_control/pertussis-summary-2014

Communicable disease trends for Washtenaw County

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/disease_control/ph_hltcdst.html

AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, Speaks at Washtenaw County Medical Society

WCMS Past President Charles F, Koopmann, Jr., MD; AMA President-Elect Steven Stack, MD; President-Elect Brad J. Uren, MD, and President Larry Junck, MD

WCMS Past President Charles F, Koopmann, Jr., MD; AMA President-Elect Steven Stack, MD; President-Elect Brad J. Uren, MD, and President Larry Junck, MD

The Washtenaw County Medical Society hosted the American Medical Association (AMA) President-elect Steven J. Stack, MD, at its general membership meeting March 4th in Ann Arbor.

An emergency physician from Lexington, KY, Dr. Stack will become the 170th AMA President on June 9, 2015. Also in attendance was AMA Board of Trustees Chair, Barbara L. McAneny, MD.

Dr. Stack discussed the changes transforming health care today, as well as the three-pronged approach the AMA is pursuing to improve the health of the nation: improving healthy outcomes, accelerating change in medical education, and ensuring professional satisfaction and practice sustainability.

Dr. Stack also addressed issues facing Michigan physicians, including graduate medical education (GME) funding and Auto No-Fault insurance. Many physicians in Michigan are urging lawmakers to fully fund GME this fiscal year and to closely examine Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal for a long-term solution to GME funding. “Reducing graduate medical education funding even in the short term would mean fewer Michigan physicians are able to learn here, train here and stay here,” said Dr. Stack.

After graduating from medical school, physicians are required to complete hands-on residency programs before obtaining their state license to practice medicine. Studies show that two-thirds of physicians who complete their residency in Michigan decide to practice medicine here; ensuring patients have access to both specialty and primary care physicians.

Dr. Stack also discussed Michigan’s Auto No-Fault insurance and how this current system provides an important benefit for motorists. In the last several years, there have been attempts to rewrite Michigan’s no-fault automobile insurance laws. Physician’s supporting the current system believe rewriting the law would cause a cost shift from insurance companies onto taxpayers and the state’s Medicaid and Medicare system.

March 4, 2015 General Session – Incoming AMA President Steven Stack, MD

March 2015 Session Flyer(1)

Dr. Steven Stack will be speaking on “Beyond Reform:  Rethinking Health Care for the 21st Century”.

Dr. Stack is an emergency physician practicing in Lexington, Kentucky. He has served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2006, and was elected President-Elect in 2014. He will begin his term as President in June of 2015.

Dr. Stack is the first board certified emergency physician to serve on the AMA Board of Trustees, and the first emergency physician to serve as President. He has served with distinction in a number of positions with the AMA and has made significant contributions to health IT, licensing, regulation and health policy.

MEETING DETAILS:
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ann Arbor City Club
1830 Washtenaw Avenue

5:30 p.m. Social Hour

6:15 p.m. Dinner

7:00 p.m. Program

There is no charge for dinner for active WCMS members.
Dinner for retired members, non-members, and guests is $35.

For reservations call the Society Office at 734-668-6241, or register via e-mail at wcms@msms.org.

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