5 Things Michigan: New health bill, abortion law update, relaunch of family planning program – state of improvement

This month’s newsletter includes a run-down of some of the new health laws being considered by the Michigan Legislature, information about the state’s new constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights, and your family planning through Medicaid. State’s plan to resume services.

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Eli Kirschbaum
state of improvement

1. Newly introduced health law

The Michigan Legislature recently introduced a bill to require pediatricians to periodically perform mental health screenings for new moms until their child is 18 months old. They will need to provide a list of common postpartum conditions and available treatments. Another new bill would establish a doula scholarship program to increase the number of certified doulas in Michigan. Both these bills are pending action.

Republican legislators also recently introduced a bill that would classify an adult’s participation in the provision of “gender transition procedures” as child abuse. The bill’s sponsor argues that children are not equipped to agree to these life-changing procedures, while opposition organizations such as Equality Michigan are urging stakeholders to ask their representatives to block the effort.

2. Abortion is now constitutionally protected in Michigan

Last week, a ballot measure passed with a nearly 57% majority to enshrine the right to obtain an abortion in the state’s constitution. It also potentially invalidates a 1931 law banning abortion in cases of rape or incest, which was placed under a preliminary injunction by a judge after separate lawsuits were filed by Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Gov. Whitmer was.

Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, made a statement in response to Proposition 3’s passage. “Michigan made history as the first state in the nation to pass an affirmative civil-constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to abortion,” Stallworth said. “But we will not be the last. This victory will provide a blueprint for other states looking to use the power of direct democracy to restore reproductive rights protected under First Roe.

3. Michigan will reintroduce the Medicaid family planning program

To address the significant number of low-income Michiganders who are not eligible for Medicaid-sponsored family planning programs, the state of Michigan has launched the “Plan First!” Family planning program. The program was terminated in 2016 after the individual mandate of the ACA was deemed to meet its goals.

Since the removal of the individual mandate in 2017, MDHHS says the family planning service gap has widened, with nearly 25,000 Michiganders with incomes below 200% of the FPL currently ineligible for Medicaid family planning programs. “MDHHS is committed to expanding access to healthcare, including family planning services,” the department told State of Reform. “Women and families need access to services to help them determine if and when they want to start a family.” The initiative is estimated to save participants about $2,000 per person per year.

4. Mihin works to provide more LTC facilities for sharing of health data across states

The Michigan Health Information Network recently announced a partnership with PointClickCare Technologies that aims to include more long-term care facilities in the statewide health information exchange. According to Tim Fletcher, Mihin’s executive director, PointClickCare has a wide network of electronic medical records in LTC facilities across the state and will help bring these facilities into the health data sharing ecosystem.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is currently the only organization that offers incentives for LTC facilities to join HIE, and the number of such facilities is limited, Pletcher said. “But PointClickCare really has some capabilities that make it one-button easy for those long-term care facilities to incorporate their data and position them to be able to get data back from everybody.”

5. Michigan Medicine CEO outlines 2023 priorities

MHA recently hosted a podcast featuring remarks from T. Anthony Denton, Vice President and CEO of U of M Health – Michigan Medicine, during which he emphasized Michigan Medicine’s commitment to supporting the healthcare workforce. He described how Michigan Medicine is partnering with academic institutions to recruit new health professionals, as well as conducting workforce violence prevention programs and counseling services to boost retention.

Another priority for her organization continues to address health disparities. Denton said he is specifically focusing on food insecurity, saying initiatives like Michigan Harvest Gathering are effective ways to support the nearly 2 million food-insecure Michiganders. “The connection between food nutrition and overall health is so important to enabling our communities to thrive,” Denton said.

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