MSMS on Introduction of SB 279: Scope of Practice Expansions would Weaken Care Teams and Jeopardize Patient Health and Safety

The following is a public statement from Thomas Veverka, MD, president of the Michigan State Medical Society, in response to the introduction of SB 279—scope of practice expansion legislation that removes physicians from the patient care teams.

“Patients are best served by a team-based approach to health care that provides the maximum amount of choice while ensuring that patients benefit from the additional training and expertise that comes from having a physician on the team.  Senate Bill 279, however, seeks to remove physicians from the patient care team, creating significant concerns as it relates to quality, cost, and access to care.

“In states that have passed laws like Senate Bill 279, data shows these measures have failed to improve access to care, failed to improve quality of care, and failed to reduce costs. In addition, while patients overwhelmingly support having a physician involved in their care, Senate Bill 279 removes physicians from the care team and instead has the potential to create a two-tiered health care system where a patient’s zip code will determine whether a physician is involved in their care decisions.

“A highly functioning health care team is the best way to serve patients, and the Michigan State Medical Society will continue to promote the role of the physician as the leader of the health care team and oppose any efforts to expand allied health professionals’ scope of practice that may put patients at risk.”