Highlights of MSMS Board of Directors Meeting, January 18, 2012

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From Jim Mitchiner

Highlights of MSMS Board of Directors Meeting, January 18, 2012

Future of Medicine:  The Board was updated on progress on the five Future of Medicine activities (childhood obesity, primary care, quality & safety, healthcare stewardship, and Medicaid).

 Membership:  The Board voted to eliminate the current life membership category (but grandfather in current life members), and create two new categories of membership:  Active Emeritus, and Emeritus.  Active Emeritus members would be allowed to serve on a MSMS committee, receive publications, vote in elections, serve as a delegate or alternate to the MSMS House of Delegates, be counted for the purpose of determining the number of district directors and delegates eligible to be elected, and receive the member rates for MSMS insurance and CME.  Proposed annual dues are $100. Emeritus members would not pay any dues but would forfeit all of the benefits listed above, except for eligibility for insurance and CME rates.  These changes were endorsed by the Board Finance Committee.

 Governance:  The Governance Task Force, chaired by Dr. Greg Forzley, has met 3 times and agreed on maintaining the current mechanisms for electing District Directors and selecting Board committee chairs, and retaining the current policy on District Director term limits (3).  Undecided issues include possible redrawing of District boundaries, equitable geographical distribution of Directors, and overall composition and size of the Board.

 PGIP Update:  There are currently 14,778 physician participants in the BCBSM Physician Group Incentive Program (about 50% of all MI physicians); 6,754 are PCPs and 8,024 are specialists. Strategic PGIP initiatives include Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Organized System of Care (the Blues’ version of Accountable Care Organizations), integrating specialty care, and support of the MiPCT demonstration project (see below). PCMH practices have shown improvements to date in ED visits and ambulatory care-sensitive inpatient discharges.

 MiPCT Update:  The Michigan Primary Care Transformation Project, launched on January 1, 2012, is Michigan’s multi-payer Advanced Primary Care (APC) federal demonstration project. The object of the demonstration is to partner public insurers (Medicare and Medicaid) with private insurers on initiatives centered on the Patient Centered Medical Home concept. There are currently 29 Physician Organizations participating, representing 1,600 physicians and 1.1 million patients.  Additional POs are expected to sign up by April 1. Current MiPCT participating plans include BCBSM, BCN, Medicare FFS and all Medicaid managed care plans.

 Autism Insurance Coverage:  The Board voted to support state Senate Bills 414 and 415 which would require insurers to cover evidence-based medical treatment of autism.  Although MSMS has historically eschewed support of condition-specific insurance mandates, it was felt that advocacy for this legislation was consistent with MSMS’s policy of supporting mental health parity in health insurance.

 Tort Reform:  One of 3 legislative options to strengthen Michigan’s current tort statutes likely will be introduced in February. These options include (1) a requirement of meeting a gross negligence standard for EMTALA-related care* in order to sustain a judgment against the physician; (2) establishing a gross negligence standard for all care (not just EMTALA-related); and (3) adopting the “Judgment Rule”, which is the standard used for legal malpractice, whereby an attorney is not answerable for mere errors in judgment so long as the disputed actions were taken in good faith and were consistent with current law.

 Appointments:  WCMS members Dr. Kim Eagle (UMHS cardiologist) and Dr. Joseph Nnodim (UMHS geriatrician) were appointed to the Liaison Committee on Michigan’s Public Health, and Dr. Michael Heung  (UMHS nephrologist) was appointed to the Planning Committee for the MSMS Annual Scientific Meeting.

 Respectfully submitted,

 James Mitchiner, MD

District 14 Director

 *EMTALA is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, a 1985 statute that mandates Medicare-participating hospitals to provide emergency treatment, including specialty care, to any individual who presents to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

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