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WCMS Bulletin: Summer Edition

Access the digital 2nd quarter issue of the WCMS Bulletin: Executive Council Statement on Health Disparities and Institutionalized Racism, Changes to Michigan's New Auto No-Fault Law, WCMS Convenes County-Wide COVID-19 Workgroup to Share Information about COVID-19 Crisis, Share Your Story, Membership News, Washtenaw County Health Department Medical Director Report, & More!

What to Look for in this Edition of the WCMS Bulletin from Editor Richard Burney:

The times, they are a-changin' as Bob Dylan perceptively wrote 50 years ago, and yet in too many ways the times have not changed enough, as the current awakening and protest over racism and health inequities demonstrate. In this regard, I would call your attention to the Executive Council Statement on Health Disparities and Institutionalized Racism, which can be found on page 6 of this issue.

Although not planned in advance, both of the shared stories in this issue, the first a contemporary story by Adam René Rosenbaum, MD, the second the concluding chapter of The Principal Clinical Year - 1968, touch on the topics of health disparities and protest, confirming how little things have changed.

I would also call attention to the story on page 12 of the unique WCMS organized COVID-19 caregiver collaboration which has been in place for the past 3 months.

The main focus of this issue is auto insurance, because the Bulletin believes the citizens of the state are likely underinformed about the changes that will take effect July 2, and without all the information are likely to make unfortunate choices. As a former trauma surgeon who cared for many patients with auto-related injuries, some continuing to cause disability years after the crash, I have some bias in this matter. I know how critical the type of coverage motorists have is to their well-being and that of their families.

Most of us have only a vague recollection that a year ago, Governor Whitmer acceded to the political pressure that had been building up from a variety of sources for years to reduce Michigan auto insurance rates and signed a bill that gutted the medical care provisions of the state's no-fault insurance law. For many years it has covered all costs related to motor vehicle injuries. Whether this medical cost was the actual driver behind the relatively high auto insurance rates in the state or not remains a matter of dispute. We will see the actual effect the new law has on rates in the next year or two. Reduction in rates is not guaranteed. Among other things, the old law limited victim's rights to make claims (i.e. to sue you) for damages resulting from an accident. This door has now been reopened.

This issue of the Bulletin gives you everything you need to know but may not have asked about. Please read this carefully and share it with your patients and families.

Copies of the WCMS Bulletin are available at the WCMS office at 5 Research Drive, Suite C, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. To request a printed version, please contact Gabrielle Szlenkier at gszlenkier@wcms-mi.org or (734) 668-6241.

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