Board Kicks Off Strategic Planning, Supports Medical Marihuana Bill & More > Michigan State Medical Society


Board Kicks Off Strategic Planning, Supports Medical Marihuana Bill & More

During its midsummer meeting last week, the MSMS Board of Directors not only took action on a host of issues from MSMS Committees and House of Delegates resolutions, but it also began to update the MSMS Strategic Plan. The Board updated the main areas of focus to include the following:
  1. Ensure the Viability of Primary Care
  2. Prevention, Wellness & Personal Responsibility/Child Obesity
  3. Quality & Safety
  4. Physician Leadership

The Board will continue Strategic Planning updates at its fall meeting. Read more about the Board’s Strategic Plan objectives

Following are Board meeting highlights:

Medical Marihuana Legislation - The Board approved a recommendation from the MSMS Committee on State Legislation & Regulations that MSMS support Senate Bill 506 introduced by Sen. Roger Kahn, MD (R-Saginaw) that would legislatively define bona fide physician-patient relationship as it pertains to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The bill is consistent with MSMS House of Delegates policy requiring a bona fide patient-physician relationship, and it stipulates that the following conditions must be met to qualify as a bona fide relationship:

  1. Taken a medical history of the patient
  2. Performed a relevant physical examination
  3. Reviewed prior treatment and treatment responses
  4. Obtained and reviewed relevant diagnostic test results
  5. Discussed advantages, disadvantages, alternatives, potential adverse effects, and the expected response to the recommended treatment and made reasonable efforts to ensure that the patient understands that information
  6. Provided for monitoring the patient to determine the response to and any side effects of the treatment
  7. Created and maintained records for the patient
  8. Notified the patient's primary care physician, if any
Read a Saginaw News article about the bill at For more information, contact Colin Ford at MSMS at 517-336-5737 or

Blue Cross Updates: PGIP - The Board received an update on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Physician Group Incentive Program (PGIP), which has been designated as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In addition to statistics on increased PGIP participation, the Board heard that Blue Cross is exploring the development of a pediatric obesity PGIP initiative for 2012. The objectives under consideration for such an initiative would encourage POs and PCPs to create systems that improve the adoption and use of national obesity prevention and treatment guidelines, and develop innovative approaches for managing and counseling patients with (or at risk of) pediatric obesity. For more information, contact Stacey Hettiger at MSMS at 517-336-5766 or

Blue Cross Updates: OSCs - The Board also discussed the rollout of BCBSM's version of Accountable Care Organizations, known as Organized Systems of Care (OSC). The purpose of an OSC, according to Blue Cross, is to serve the needs of a community of patients in an effective and efficient manner across settings and over time. It also supports shared leadership and collaboration among PCPs, specialists, and hospitals to improve transitions of care, coordination, and communication. For more information, contact Stacey Hettiger at MSMS at 517-336-5766 or

Impaired Driver Reporting Legislation – The Board approved a recommendation from the MSMS Committee on State Legislation & Regulations that MSMS support Senate Bill 402 introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) that would create immunity protections for physicians who report impaired drivers. Senate Bill 402 addresses several issues related to the physician reporting of patients who may have impairments rendering them unfit to operate a motor vehicle, and is based on previous versions of similar legislation supported by MSMS in the past. For more information about the bill, contact Colin Ford at MSMS at 517-336-5737 or

Maintenance of Licensure – The Board heard a report about the creation of the joint MSMS-Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA) Task Force on Maintenance of Licensure (MOL). The purpose of the joint Task Force will be to develop recommendations to the Board of Medicine about the elements or criteria of MOL, including an implementation plan. For more information, contact Rebecca Blake at MSMS at 517-336-5729 or

MSMS Institute for Physician Leadership - In the rapidly changing health care landscape, physicians will need a different skill set to deal with critical challenges and new demands and with the changes in how health care is delivered. With the emergence of ACOs, it is imperative that physicians position themselves to be leaders in the organization of this health care delivery system.

In line with the new physician leadership focus area in the Strategic Plan, MSMS is currently developing a program—The Institute for Physicians Leadership—that will contain practical information and successful training tools necessary to meet challenges and demands, and gain strategic advantages. Many of the content areas included in the proposal are based on the American College of Physician Executive’s competencies. The goal is to host two conferences approximately six weeks apart, with several hours of web-based learning in between. The Institute for Physicians Leadership is tentatively scheduled for winter 2012. For more information, contact Caryl Markzon at MSMS at 517-336-7575 or

Legal Counsel Report – The Board approved a measure to file amicus briefs in Myriam Velez v. Martin Tuma, MD, supporting the defendant physician’s position that jury verdicts awarding non-economic damages first be reduced to the amount of the statutory cap, and then further reduced by settlement payments received from parties jointly and severally liable. Also, the Board approved another measure to file an amicus brief in Rodney Hannah v. Dario Merlos, DDS, supporting the defendant’s Application for Leave to Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court taking the position that Affidavits of Merit must be actually filed with the Complaint and not “serendipitously” filed at a later date as an attachment to other pleadings. Legal counsel also delivered an update about several other cases and topics including medical liability, federal medical marihuana prosecution activity, federal health care reform litigation, and more. Read the entire report at

For more information about MSMS leadership, contact Executive Director Julie L. Novak at 517-336-5742 or


Posted in: Board of Directors News