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Bills on Telemedicine, Adult Day Care on Governor’s Desk

A new bill would make it easier for doctors licensed in other states to practice in Michigan. (Lilijoel/Morguefile)
A new bill would make it easier for doctors licensed in other states to practice in Michigan. (Lilijoel/Morguefile)
December 20, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House of Representatives passed several bills on Wednesday that senior groups say will improve health care across the state.

Two bills introduced by Rep. Jim Tedder (R-Lake Orion), would make Michigan the 25th state to sign onto the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Melissa Seifert, associate state director for government affairs for AARP Michigan, says that will allow doctors from other states to be licensed to practice in Michigan, increasing access to health care for everyone.

"This means better access to quality care for individuals, most likely for the use of telehealth and telemedicine," she points out.

According to the American Hospital Association, 65 percent of hospitals now have some form of telemedicine, often where a physician meets with the patient via video conference.

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has said the state will need 12 percent more primary care physicians by the year 2030.

The Michigan House also passed a bill Wednesday that could lead to more funding down the road for PACE programs that help seniors be more independent, improving access to long-term care and adult day care – something that gives caregivers a much needed respite.

Seifert says she'd like to see PACE programs expanded significantly.

"Right now there's only about 19 programs currently in the state of Michigan, and there's overwhelmingly more individuals who need this type of care," she states.

The PACE bill puts the official definition in statute – a step required for the appropriations process next year.

Both bills now go to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for his signature, and would take effect 90 days later.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MI