MSMS Board of Directors Addresses MACRA During Meeting

Earlier this week, the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) Board of Directors met to address the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), the State’s Innovation Model (SIM), MSMS's strategic future, and legislative activities. Below are some of the highlights:

Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)

The Legislative Policy Committee, the Health Care Delivery Committee, and the Scientific and Educational Affairs Committee joined together to receive an update from Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Advocacy at the American Medical Association (AMA), regarding MACRA. The program that has begun to emerge in the wake of the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate has begun to take form via the federal rulemaking process. To that end, a specific advocacy agenda is premature. MSMS, the AMA, and various other physician groups have weighed in with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to make the recommendations better reflect the practice realities of physicians. Just prior to the discussion, CMS Secretary Andy Slavitt was presenting on MACRA in front of the Senate Finance Committee regarding the implementation of MACRA. Once rulemaking is finalized, MSMS, in coordination with the AMA, will be able to better advocate for additional changes to MACRA via congressional action.

MACRA is a currently an extremely cumbersome proposal, and will continue to be a topic of discussion in both the Legislative Policy Committee, as well as Health Care Delivery. MSMS will continue to carefully monitor developments and provide feedback as appropriate. By discussing this matter relatively early in the process, MSMS is serving its members by being able to have the most likely chance to improve the outcome of MACRA; however, we are still left with several significant questions as to how MACRA might uniquely impact Michigan.

State's Innovation Model (SIM)

Thomas L. Curtis, SIM Departmental Specialist with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), provided a very succinct summary of the SIM. As has been previously reported, Michigan received $70 million in federal funding over the next four years to support multi-payer payment and health care delivery system transformation. The five pilot locations are: Jackson County; Muskegon County; Genesee County; Northern Region; and the Washtenaw and Livingston counties area.

The state recently decided to develop a custom payment model since the CPC+ model does not allow practices to continue to be added over time. The timeline is being adjusted to accommodate this delay for creation and CMS approval. A concept paper will be delivered to CMS in August with the plan of submitting a formal waiver this fall.

MSMS is convening several physician organizations with the three largest payers later this month to develop recommendations for the custom payment model.

MSMS’s Strategic Future

Discussions around the future of the Michigan State Medical Society continued with an emphasis on goals, objectives and strategies.

Legislative Activities

State lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 1019, dangerous legislation that would remove physician anesthesiologists from doctors' offices and operating rooms across Michigan, and end physician supervision of anesthesia care. The bill risks patients' health -- and even lives -- by ending physician supervision of the anesthesia care team.

Michigan physicians understand that every discussion in Lansing about health care and health policy should start and end with what is best for Michigan patients.

Please urge your lawmaker to put the needs of Michigan patients first by voting NO Senate Bill 1019, as currently written, by visiting


Posted in: State Government News, Medicare, Board of Directors News, Hot Topics, News for Practices, Advocacy